The Atlantic

When the Reality of Addiction Meets the Fantasies of Pop Stardom

Demi Lovato’s long struggle with sobriety—and her transparency about it—complicates the expected celebrity narrative of “overcoming.”
Source: Danny Moloshok / Reuters

“What I’ve learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time,” Demi Lovato recently said in a statement after being hospitalized for a drug overdose. “It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet.”

Read that last sentence again: . What tense are we in? What is being said? suggests an ongoing effort; implies something more final; makes an odd fit with . Far from coming off as the work of PR by committee, the tangled phrasing seems to hold complex truth. Here we might discern the brain-bending reality of addiction as articulated by someone whose job has long been, on some level, to bend reality to

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPsychology
Dear Therapist: My Fiancé Believes Spanking Is Good Parenting
His parents spanked him as a child, and he insists the punishment has shaped him positively.
The Atlantic6 min readSociety
What I Learned About Equal Partnership By Studying Dual-Income Couples
I studied over 100 dual-income couples and found that the ones who managed to create partnerships that felt truly equal had a few things in common.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Trump’s Court Artist
Jon McNaughton once painted landscapes and religious scenes. Now he’s focused on reverently depicting the Trump era for future generations.