MTV’s ‘Demi Lovato: Stay Strong’ a Worthy Look @ One Star’s Battle w/ Addiction & Recovery

6 03 2012

There are times, Demi Lovato admits in a revealing MTV documentary, when she doesn’t think she’s going to beat her addictions.

“There’s days where you’re going to struggle,” she says in “Demi Lovato: Stay Strong,” airing Tuesday at 10 p.m. “I cannot tell you that I have not thrown up since treatment. I cannot tell you I’ve not cut myself since treatment. I’m not perfect. This is a daily battle that I will face for the rest of my life.”

Any doubt that Lovato’s MTV special would be just another piece of celebrity fluff should be gone after that moment, which happens early in the program.

Lovato is a Texas-born teen who’s superstardom rocket ride launched with a starring role in Disney Channel’s film “Camp Rock” alongside the Jonas Brothers.

The part earned her legions of fans and more work. But the craziness also masked her struggles with body image and depression. She turned to drugs and cutting herself.

She says she was “maybe, possibly, out of control” and that her underlying issues “literally ended up driving me insane.”

In October 2010, after an altercation with a dancer while on tour with the Jonas Brothers, Lovato’s parents confronted her in an intervention. She agreed to seek help and entered a treatment facility.

The documentary picks up last fall as Lovato is launching a concert tour and heading home for Thanksgiving.

As a young girl, she says, she struggled with how she looked. She also battled depression early on and says there was never a time whe she felt “good enough or worthy enough.”

Incidentally, those words are heard while viewers see a clip of 3-year-old Lovato at a ballet recital — an image similar to any number of dance reality shows today.

Those feelings intensified when the Disney run took off and she suddenly found herself as a role model — something she “hated.”

“I was partying, I was self-medicating,” she says.

Lovato says she was far from a role model. “I decided to take it out on myself. It was my way of taking my own shame and my own guilt on myself.”

She shows her wrists, with “Stay” tattooed on one and “Strong” on the other. They’re both a reminder of her time in rehab and a way to cover the scars where she cut herself.

On a network that gets its biggest audiences with the cheese of “The Jersey Shore,” “Stay Strong” sticks out for its honesty.

It’s clear that Lovato is still struggling with getting her life together and back on track. It is in those moments that the documentary breaks through the clutter, and might help some in a similar situation. To that end, MTV will air a live special Tuesday at 11 p.m. in which Lovato talks with SuChin Pak and fields audience questions.

“I don’t think I’m fixed,” she says. “People think you’re like a car in the body shop. You go in, they fix you, and you’re out like brand-new. It doesn’t work like that. It takes constant fixing.”

And that makes this must viewing.
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