Tuesday (November 1) marks one year since Demi Lovato left her tour with the Jonas Brothers to enter a treatment center to deal with emotional and physical issues. Fast-forward one year later, and it's hard for even Lovato to recognize the person she once was. The former Disney starlet recently sat down with MTV News to talk about overcoming her struggles and becoming a role model for young teens.
"I feel like I'm a totally different person today, and I've grown up a lot, and I've overcome a lot, so I'm excited about where I am in my life today," Lovato said.
Even though Lovato is in a good place now, that doesn't mean her road to recovery was an easy one. The "Skyscraper" singer revealed the best piece of advice that helped her get through hard times.
"The best piece of advice is to fake it till you make it," Lovato said. "When I first went into treatment, I didn't want to be there, and I was kind of like, 'I'll just fake it until I make it.' I stayed in there, and I started believing that I was in there for the right reasons. And even though I didn't want to be there at the time, some girls might not want to get help, but if they fake it till they make it, hopefully they can get the help that they need, and they can start to believe it, and they can actually see one day that it's actually the right thing that they're doing."
Since leaving treatment in January, Lovato has talked candidly about her battle with eating disorders and self-mutilation, becoming a role model to young teens that might struggle with the same issues — a job Lovato takes very seriously.
"I do feel a responsibility, but it's not a burden to me," Lovato said. "I feel like there are certain choices in my life that I am faced with every single day, and I think, well, 'How would my little sister feel if I would do this? And how would she feel about this?'
"I have days where I'm cranky, but I definitely want to be there for my fans and step outside and shake their hands and be there for them too, because I'm now a role model, and I want to be there for them."
So, what is the best piece of advice Lovato can give her fans? "I would say: Speak up, and don't be afraid to get help, because it could save their lives."
Lovato has seen much success over this past year. In June, she dropped her first single, "Skyscraper," off her third album, Unbroken. She is getting back on the road this month for a mini-tour and planning a 2012 world tour. Yet, with so much on her plate, Lovato is making it a point to strike a comfortable balance between work and the rest of her life.
"I work because I love doing it, so it's hard to draw that line," she admitted. "It's hard to say 'I need to stop' when I love doing what I do, but it's important to find time for myself and 'me' time, so I make sure that I find that."