Kudos to Demi Lovato

People made some snide comments about Demi Lovato’s MTV appearance. These remarks seemed to focus mainly on her weight (follow the link to find out more, http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2011/08/demi-lovato-at-mtv-vmas-2011-ive-gained-weight-get-over-it.html). Kudos to Demi for your polite eff-you response in the face of insecure strangers throwing rocks at you!

I must say that I am proud that Demi Lovato is brave enough and strong enough to be open and honest about her issues with the public. As a fellow mental illness sufferer, I’m glad that she’s out there addressing these issues with young fans. As a society we prefer to gloss over these issues and tend to blame the person suffering from them.

I’m neither referring to those who are sad for a moment that their dog died, nor am I referring to those who have no humanity. I’m referring to those of us who will be on medication for the rest of our lives, but are sane enough to function out here in the real world without harming others. Let me also say that it is extremely difficult to deal with – medicine or not. Coping requires major behavior changes. Honestly, it is unnerving and scary enough to deal with mental illness when you’re only surrounded by supportive friends and family. This valiant soul is openly dealing with it in front of millions of strangers. All of whom feel entitled to comment on her progress.

I’m here to proudly show my support for Demi (I’m allowed to comment too), and to let the world know that I cannot think of a better role model to come from world of Disney than she. I’m ecstatic that my daughter likes her.

However, I would like to leave my readers with this inside knowledge of mental illness. Even when you are “better”, your mind is still unstable and your view of everything, at times, is unstable. All of your learned behaviors are wrong. You can’t eat too much or too little. You can’t sleep too much or sleep too little. Can’t snap a rubber band on your wrist. Can’t bang your head on something. Can’t drink. Can’t reveal extreme emotions – even for a moment. Why? Because all of these are indicators that you’re falling into the cycle that you’re trying to overcome. Even if you know that you are just smacking yourself in the head as a joke, there’s a good chance that someone will misinterpret it and forever feel uncomfortable around you. Family and friends included. They feel like they’re walking on eggshells because they don’t want to set you off, and you feel like you’re walking on eggshells because you don’t want to lose their trust, love, respect, and support. Coping with mental illness requires a greatly underappreciated strength.

Demi Lovato is doing this with in public with great poise, dignity, and openness. I am so thankful to her for showing the world that you can fall, but you can also get back up and you will not be a lesser person for your stumble.

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