demi lovato getty Demi Lovato opens up about eating disorder and self harmAs a guest editor for Seventeen Magazine, Demi Lovato has decided to use the platform to clear the air about her stint in a rehab center and the problems that landed her there. Her widely publicized battle with an eating disorder and self-harm came to a head when she had a violent outburst while on tour with the Jonas Brothers. Now that she’s out of the institution and continuing her treatment at home in LA, Demi felt comfortable writing about her experiences in Seventeen.

She wants girls and women to know that their best option is to seek help. “If you are going through that dark period, go to
your family and closest friends,” she says. “Don’t put yourself in danger.”

In treatment, Demi learned healthier ways to release stress. “It’s very
crucial that you get your feelings out – but don’t ever inflict harm on
your own body because your body is so sacred. I wish I could tell every
young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any
way, that she’s worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can
overcome and get through anything.”

The singer and actress admits that despite her successful treatment, she still has bad days.

Yes, there have been times when I definitely have
been tempted to get rid of my dinner. But I will deal with it for the
rest of my life because it’s a life-long disease,” she says. “I don’t think there’s
going to be a day when I don’t think about food or my body, but I’m
living with it, and I wish I could tell young girls to find their safe
place and stay with it.”

As for her life post-rehab, Demi says that she feels a weight has been lifted and there’s less pressure for her to meet expectations. “I don’t really define it by anything. I live my
life every day, and if I feel like wearing combat boots one day and
shoes the next, I will. I allow myself a lot of freedom and I’m very
peaceful now. I have come to realize that just making yourself happy is
most important. Never be ashamed of what you feel. You have the right to
feel any emotion that you want, and to do what makes you happy. That’s
my life motto.”