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I’m not an addict, but I totally get what Demi Lovato says about triggers

Staying sober and healthy is a daily commitment, and nobody knows that more than Demi Lovato. At the tender age of 23, the former Disney star has already achieved four years of sobriety following her much-publicized rock bottom moment at the age of 18, when she knocked out a backup dancer while on tour with the Jonas Brothers.

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A stint in rehab for an eating disorder, cutting and cocaine addiction (Lovato says that, at her lowest point, she couldn’t go an hour without the drug) was only the start of the artist’s recovery.

We know this because Lovato is extremely open about her demons and the work she does to stay healthy. In a recent interview with Refinery 29, she revealed how she turned her lifestyle around to avoid relapsing. “I had to learn the hard way that I can’t do parties anymore,” she said. “Some people can go out and not be triggered, but that’s not the case for me.”

Of her preference for chilling on the sofa with her dog and/or long-term partner Wilmer Valderrama, she said, “I know [my life] sounds so boring. But I’ve come to a place where I’d rather be relaxed than get all dressed up and go to some party or club with people who don’t really care about my well-being at all.”

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Even when she’s opting for downtime and a movie, Lovato still has to be mindful of potential triggers. She hasn’t watched Oscar-winning documentary Amy, which chronicles the tragic downfall of Amy Winehouse, because to “see white powder in a movie” or “to see someone shooting up” is “too triggering.”

“If I feel even 1 percent unsure that I’m in a place where I can watch it, then I just don’t do it,” Lovato revealed.

You don’t have to be an addict to follow Lovato’s example. During my own struggles with mental illness, I’ve learned to identify (and hopefully avoid) potential triggers, and it’s a big part of my treatment. Whether it’s a line of cocaine, another glass of wine, a stressful environment or a toxic relationship, knowing what pushes our buttons is vital for mental health and happiness.

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