My review of the final episode of Demi Lovato’s Dancing with the Devil revealing YouTube documentary titled “rebirthing”.
Warning to readers: This documentary discusses subjects of substance abuse, addiction, sexual abuse, and eating disorders. Some of these subjects may be triggering for some. Please use self-care.
I said in the previous article that I had the popcorn ready, and man did they deliver!
First, they just decided to smack us in the face with Christina Aguilera, Will Ferrell, and Elton John being interviewed about their relationships with Demi.
Demi has a lot of love, that is clear. And this episode did not end quite the way I anticipated, which was a real wake-up call to me about how I perceive others’ journeys.
Most of the episode is the wrap-up of Demi’s process through her overdose, beginning to start her career again, the pandemic, and where her resolve is through all of this.
The first issue that is addressed is her brief engagement in 2020. She and her family and friends reflect on how happy she appeared to be in her relationship. It is revealed later that her fiancé did not have proper intentions for her and their marriage. She has a revelation that the whole time she was more in love with love than actually being in love with who that person really was. I can attest to that. It is common to be so excited, and at the same time so lonely for affection, that we miss the signs. We praise the ideal that we think the person should be, not as they are. That is devastating. And the last thing you want to feel is the disappointment of love lost when you’re doing everything you can to not use harsh substances to make you feel better.
Demi is in a place where she recognizes her strengths and weaknesses. And what she is doing, which so many do not do, particularly those dealing with mental illness, is getting out ahead of it. I believe we are seeing a wonderful wave of awareness of not “fighting” mental illness, it is recognizing the signs and triggers and doing what we can to keep it at an even keel. Demi is working with her specialists by vocalizing her feelings at the time she feels them before they build up to a dangerous game of Russian roulette. She has decided to take a specified medicine that helps curb cravings for opioids. She has stopped restricting her food and goes with the flow of what food makes her feel good. One of the most shocking things I have ever seen is that in an effort to control her intake, her staff would give her watermelon cakes for her birthday. Watermelon cake. A cake, with some icing, and underneath, is carved watermelon. I don’t know about you, that sounds like frikkin torture. So the move she makes this past year, which I did a literal fist pump for, is to buy THREE birthday cakes and celebrate with her friends. That is what freedom looks like.
We tend to take the paths of the most resistance, and frankly, it doesn’t do us any good. We feel like we always have to struggle, and persevere, and push, and fight. And then we wonder why we are so frustrated, so angry, so hopeless. She is proving that we take what road we can to find ease and peace even in the midst of chaos. She reveals her bipolar diagnosis was wrong, and she is now properly treated for depression. She cut and dyed her hair to remove herself from gender conformity. In her words, she realizes she may be too queer to be married to a man, or to be married at all, she’s fluid (who can relate??!). She bought a house and decorated it all to her liking, including what is called a “shroom room”, and yes, it is as spectacular and magical as it sounds (there is a full storm cloud fixture that bursts colored lightning from inside, I mean come on).
I mentioned before the episode did not end as I anticipated, and here is why—Demi has chosen to continue to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol, in moderation. I am going to step on my soapbox for a moment…bear with me.
As someone in a recovery program, it is my belief there is no such thing as moderation in any form of addiction. Hence, it is called addiction. One of the main warning signs of addiction is trying to use your substance of choice in a controlled fashion and expecting it to work out in your favor (aka insanity). However, those of us in recovery programs are reminded constantly, we’re in a program for a reason. It is a very slippery slope to tempt fate with nibbling at a drug of choice. The nibble becomes a bite, which becomes a meal, which becomes an avalanche of mental and physical torture. No bueno. And the vicious cycle will continue until we get it, or we’re dead. End of soapbox.
What was intriguing was the director asking Demi if she was lying about her sobriety, which she had done before, and fooled a lot of people. He asked her friends, family, and staff if they believed she was doing as well as she says. He also asked if they felt they could really trust she could take care of herself and maintain her wellness. And despite knowing that she is still using certain substances, they all came out with an immediate yes, followed by a “maybe” or “at least for now”.
Elton was my hero when he was blunt and said moderation does not work. He knows from experience. But here’s the thing…what the f*** do I know about how someone needs to take care of themselves? I am not her, and despite my recovery angel screaming in my head this won’t work for her, I am not judge, jury, nor executioner. I believe that is the real message behind this whole series. People have to be allowed to do what they will do, even to their own detriment. Nothing we can do to stop that, and we have to make peace with it no matter the outcome. Most importantly, it is beautiful that Demi realizes this for herself and she makes no apologies about speaking her truth and what she believes works for her at this moment. She is freeing herself, as we all should.
The IDGAF meter is on a ten thousand, and I’m here for it. Love this girl.
Watch the series. 👍🏽
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