A few days ago I came across an article in a magazine that spoke about a serious issue. The interview was with teen star Demi Lovato after she had been released from a treatment facility as a result of her “emotional issues.” I was very touched by her bravery and her honesty as she came forth with her struggle with eating disorders, bipolar disorder and self-injury. She didn’t have to put her life out there for the whole world to see, she didn’t have to speak about the things that have brought her so much pain. But she did, and for that I commend her. By coming out of hiding with her issues she is allowing honest conversations to take place. She is taking responsibility for her actions, but also showing others who are struggling that it is ok to get help.
For so many years she hid behind that shadow of darkness and shame, afraid to say what was really going on because she had so much to lose. She hid the cuts on her arms, she hid her eating habits she hid everything she was feeling even from those who cared about her the most. She knew that if she came out and admitted what she was struggling with her career would go down the drain. She eventually knew that she had no where left to turn, but to get up and give up everything she had worked so hard for. She had come to the point where her life was more important than her career. She finally sought help and checked into a treatment
But it shouldn’t have to be this way. We shouldn’t have to live our lives in fear of being “found out.” If we need help we should be able to seek it freely without recourse from the world around us. The fear and shame that our world tries to instill in us creates a more damaging environment than the illness in and of itself. The more we hide the more damage we are doing to ourselves, and the less likely we are to seek help until it may be too late.
I am happy for Demi as she takes the steps to get her life back in control, even if that means stepping out of the limelight. I am happy that she sought help, and I am happy that she can now speak freely about her life in order to bring hope to others. I admire her bravery and honesty.
This is why I am walking in the Overnight: To bring these issues out of the darkness and to create an environment where we can talk openly and honestly about these issues. We want to be able to reach out our hands for help without fear of stigma or shame, and we want to freely share our stories of hope and healing.