Many fans are aware of Demi Lovato’s battle with addiction and an eating disorder. However, the singer revealed in a recent interview with American Way that her condition was so bad, she didn’t think she would live to be 21 years old. She addresses her constant battle with body image issues, mental health, as well as her addictions that nearly cost her everything.

She’s had a tumultuous couple of years, facing down one demon after the next. After tackling her bulimia and bipolar disorder, she entered rehab for her substance abuse. And when asked if she ever thought she’d see forty, Lovato responded by saying “I lived fast and I was going to die young. I didn’t think I would make it to 21.”

Talking about her tremendous recovery, Lovato avoided becoming the Hollywood stereotype she feared she would become. She never thought she would become an ambassador for mental health but has since embraced that title.

“I didn’t go into treatment thinking, ‘OK, now I’m going to be an inspiration. At times I was resentful for having that kind of responsibility, but now, it’s really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable.”

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During a concert in Los Angeles in 2011, the singer gave an inspirational message to her fans before going into her hit “Skyscraper.”

“If there’s anybody out there tonight that doesn’t feel beautiful enough or worthy enough, you’re wrong, because you guys are all so incredible. If you’re dealing with any of the issues I’ve been through, don’t be afraid to speak up, because someone will be there for you. And if you think you’re alone, put on my music so that I’ll be there for you.”

The performance evoked an outpour of emotional responses online from her fans, who gave the video more than just Likes. One YouTube user commented that “This just stopped me from going up to the balcony on the top floor of my hotel and jumping. Another fan responded similarly by saying “I nearly drank bleach until I watched this. Demi Lovato saved my life.”

To this day, fans come up to Lovato, telling her their stories and thanking her for being an inspiration.

“When I have meet-and-greets, I can’t tell you the amount of times that girls will show me their arms covered in scars or cuts,” the former Disney star says. “They’ll tell me, ‘You helped me get through this. Because of you, I stopped self-harming,’ or ‘I got sober.’ Hearing those things gave my life new meaning.”

Read the full interview here and be sure to let us know how you feel in the comments below and on our Facebook and Twitter!

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