For Demi


Dear Demi,

It felt wrong to talk about the new song you put out in the world in any other form but this one. It didn’t feel right to break it down and give opinions on such a raw piece of your artistic truth. The only way forward for me to process my feelings about this song was to turn to writing as I always do but this time, in a letter to you.

It’s dark outside when I watch the video. There’s been a ball of unshed tears I seem to have been struggling to swallow for the last fifteen minutes. It came in a wave of tangled emotion as soon as I saw the opening shots.

First, let’s get one thing straight. You say you want to be a role model but you’re only human. That was so searingly honest. I can’t imagine what fame, success and the pressures that come with it do to your life. I can’t imagine having every moment and interaction dissected to mean something in the great tapestry of your celebrity construction. At the end of the day, you are a human, just like you said, feeling the same emotions and perhaps facing similar struggles to many who listen to your music. You go through the same things, just in a heightened arena.

You may think you’re not a role model but in releasing this song and its video, you are exhibiting lionhearted candid courage. It would be easy for you to hide away, promote things from afar and pretend like everything was OK by offering us the highlight reels of life but you don’t do that. You share private, raw, hard things and that is so brave. You take responsibility for what happens to you and the choices you make. You show all of us that it’s OK to stumble and fall sometimes. You did that spectacularly with Simply Complicated.

I don’t claim to know the first thing about addiction or sobriety. I do know that it’s never a simple black and white clean-cut situation but then again, when it comes to life, what is? I can’t imagine the urges you have fought off in the past or the strength of the urges that pulled you under again. I can, however, understand that after six years you felt caught in the eye of a storm, all too familiar yet no less powerful. Perhaps this came with self-loathing, anger, sadness, disgust and a bunch of other emotions, I’m sure.

Admitting the need for and being willing to accept help is a brilliant first step. In sharing this with the world, you make us inherently complicit in your recovery process. You’re holding yourself accountable by making sure people know what’s been going on.  You let people out there who are also valiantly fighting every day know that they are not alone and if they have relapsed, it is not the end.

Some of the people you apologised to, Demi won’t need it. Their loyalty will not waver. They will have your back because their priority is your health and happiness.

I know recovery is a long, complicated and never-ending road. I know the urges will come again. I know it’ll be a fight each and every day so I’m sending you so much love and good vibes and strength. Take it one day at a time. Celebrate little victories. We all want you to live the best life you can. I’m rooting for you. I hope the sharing of this music and the beginning of #D7 is the start of a happy, healthy creative, love-blooming heart-shaking always-learning freedom.

Love your birthday twin,

Hannah ❤

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction/mental health etc. please feel free to reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14. You are not alone. You will get through this. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. Sending all of you so much love xxx.