The Atlantic

When the Reality of Addiction Meets the Fantasies of Pop Stardom

Demi Lovato’s long struggle with sobriety—and her transparency about it—complicates the expected celebrity narrative of “overcoming.”
Source: Danny Moloshok / Reuters

“What I’ve learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time,” Demi Lovato recently said in a statement after being hospitalized for a drug overdose. “It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet.”

Read that last sentence again: . What tense are we in? What is being said? suggests an ongoing effort; implies something more final; makes an odd fit with . Far from coming off as the work of PR by committee, the tangled phrasing seems to hold complex truth. Here we might discern the brain-bending reality of addiction as articulated by someone whose job has long been, on some level, to bend reality to

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