Demi Lovato Talks About Overcoming Three Strokes and a Heart Attack
The singer is celebrating a rebirth after a 2018 overdose left her fighting for her life.
Demi Lovato, 28, says she has more lives than a cat. In her new YouTube documentary Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil, the singer talked about her 2018 drug overdose, which caused her to have three strokes and a heart attack while she was hospitalized. At a Television Critics Association panel, she and director Michael D. Ratner talked about the documentary and the harrowing aftermath of her overdose.
"I was left with brain damage, and I still deal with the effects of that today. I don't drive a car, because I have blind spots on my vision," she said. "And I also for a long time had a really hard time reading. It was a big deal when I was able to read out of a book, which was like two months later because my vision was so blurry."
This dramatic episode forever changed her physically and emotionally. "I dealt with a lot of the repercussions and I feel like they are still there to remind me of what could happen if I ever get into a dark place again," she said. "I'm grateful for those reminders, but I'm so grateful that I was someone that didn't have to do a lot of rehabbing. The rehabbing came on the emotional side."
The singer told People that she "wouldn't change a thing." "Everything had to happen in order for me to learn the lessons that I learned," she told the magazine. "It was a painful journey, and I look back and sometimes I get sad when I think of the pain that I had to endure to overcome what I have, but I don't regret anything."
In the trailer, we see Lovato's friends and family — including her mother, stepfather and her sister — talking about the days before and after the overdose.
The singer, who called off her engagement to actor Max Ehrich, is focused on herself and maintaining her sobriety. She says that besides substance abuse, what that led her to her "breaking point" was "past traumas" and the pressures that came with fame.
"I am holding myself accountable," she said at the panel. "I learned a lot from my past. I was sober for six years and I learned so much from that journey. That's the main thing that I learned, was coming forward and talking about my story held me accountable."
"That's a huge reason as to why I'm doing this, but I think that I was just so proud of the growth that I experienced and something inside of me was really excited to share that with people," she added.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.