So many young Hollywood starlets find it impossible to regroup and change their lives following an emotional breakdown — but not Demi Lovato.
Although her long battle with physical and emotional issues put the Disney star in rehab for nearly three months, Lovato is not a victim. In fact, the brave star is using her issues (she reportedly had an eating disorder and cut herself), to send the message to other young women that they too can overcome emotional roadblocks.
In the latest issue of Seventeen magazine, Lovato, 18, writes about her experience at the Chicago-area rehab facility Timberline Knolls and how it taught her about healthier ways to relieve stress. "It's very crucial that you get your feelings out - but don't ever inflict harm on your own body because your body is so sacred," writes Demi. "I wish I could tell every young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any way, that she's worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything."
Lovato writes that she feels like a weight has been lifted after being in rehab and she's learned not to be so hard on herself. "I allow myself a lot of freedom and I'm very peaceful now. I have come to realize that just making yourself happy is most important. Never be ashamed of what you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion that you want, and to do what makes you happy. That's my life motto."
But Demi adds that just because her struggles have gotten easier, it doesn't mean her issues have gone away entirely.
"Yes, there have been times when I definitely have been tempted to get rid of my dinner," she writes. "But I will deal with it for the rest of my life because it's a life-long disease. I don't think there's going to be a day when I don't think about food or my body, but I'm living with it, and I wish I could tell young girls to find their safe place and stay with it."
Demi says the best thing to do when you're having a hard time is ask for help. "If you are going through that dark period, go to your family and closest friends," she says. "Don't put yourself in danger."