Demi Lovato is no longer ‘California sober’: ‘Sober sober is the only way to be’


Earlier this year, Demi Lovato made a very big deal about how they were “California sober.” Demi’s definition of the term was a lot different than other people’s definition though. To many alcoholics in California (apparently), “California sober” means no drinking, but you might smoke some weed or occasionally have an edible. Demi’s definition of California sober was that they got to do whatever they wanted, just in more limited amounts. Demi was still drinking, smoking weed and possibly more. Sobriety recovery experts were very, very angry at Demi for their misrepresentation. Back in April, Demi even said that they were no longer even going to explain or talk about California sobriety because they wanted to “avoid scrutiny.” Well, months later, Demi had a change of heart. Demi posted this on their IG Stories:

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I do wonder what preceded this. It’s none of my business, but I do wonder. My guess is that Demi realized that they were actually rationalizing the continued use of alcohol and drugs. Still, the road to sobriety is messy for a lot of people and I applaud Demi for showing the world that it’s okay to make mistakes, f–k up and relapse and still pick yourself up and try again.


Photos courtesy of Instagram.

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23 Responses to “Demi Lovato is no longer ‘California sober’: ‘Sober sober is the only way to be’”

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  1. Watson says:

    Good for her for admitting it wasn’t working. Takes a strong person to do that on a very public platform when she never needed to announce any of it at all.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    Good for them. I still think they are spoiled and rude but putting her health and sobriety above all is wonderful. This is an important step for them.

  3. Zantasia says:

    I wish them the best. What a challenging journey, especially in the public eye.

  4. Lena says:

    This california sober thing is such a bad joke. But even people who would never use that term think they’re sober if they substitute alcohol with prescription pills because those don’t count. But those can be even harder to get off of.

  5. CC says:

    Is it possible to have face blindness but only for specific people? Because that’s what I feel I have about Demi Lovato. Maybe the extra-terrestrials they believe in put a cloaking device over their face?
    Good for them for continuing their sobriety journey.

    • observer says:

      i actually have *partial* face blindness. there are some people whose faces i can always recognize (these tend to be really emotionally important people to me like my parents, my siblings, my boyfriend) but anyone whose face i havent spent years studying and creating some kind of strong emotional link to, i can very often struggle to be sure if they are who i think they are.

      face blindness is really complicated and interesting, the way the brain processes faces is so complex.

      anyway my answer is: maybe?

  6. lunchcoma says:

    I’m a straight up recovering alcoholic, and I don’t use substances beyond caffeine, but I’ve recently started hanging out in non-AA sobriety groups and have met a lot of people who’ve taken different approaches to problem drinking.

    For some people, encountering those other paths is a temptation, and I think that Demi ended up discovering that she’s an all or nothing kind of person, and that nothing makes her happier. There are other people who do variations on California sober or moderating alcohol use that work for them, and I support people who want to make the changes those require too.

  7. CE says:

    I think Demi is going through it in terms of their identity especially as I think drugs and alcohol defined them for so long. Just a hunch from knowing other Trans people, but I do wonder if they may seek gender reassignment in the future. I know a few Trans people whose journeys went this way before coming out as trans.

    • observer says:

      they’re not currently out as trans, though, they’re out as nonbinary (which sure depending who you ask can fall under trans umbrella, but the whole POINT of being nonbinary is that gender is a construct and you don’t want to be locked into any one particular gender).

      so i think this is big speculation. yes maybe later they could come out as being FtM but if they identify as NB that should be respected. don’t erase NB people’s validity by saying “it’s just the step before coming out as trans and getting reassignment surgery”

      oh, and you can be trans and feel fully transitioned without bottom surgery. there are many trans people who don’t even feel the need to have the surgery.

  8. Concern Fae says:

    Good for them. There is a real tendency in the US to believe that only the strictest, most extreme version of is correct. The reality is that “you have to hit rock bottom and then go cold turkey” is a model that we use for nothing other than addiction. Harm reduction is a valid approach for so much in life.

    Give up sugar except for other people’s birthday cakes? Good on you. Vegan at home, vegetarian outside it? Yep. I had a friend who quit smoking weed but was miserable. Realized that what he really missed was being buzzed in one particular situation. Explained to friends, they respected his boundaries. Namely, they never offered him a hit, he had to ask, and not bringing any weed over to his apartment. So he gets a buzz about once a month and that helps him maintain his sobriety the rest of the time.

  9. iconoclast59 says:

    “I do wonder what preceded this…My guess is that Demi realized that they were actually rationalizing the continued use of alcohol and drugs…”

    Or…it’s been a while since they’ve been in the news. This seems to be a pattern w/ Demi; they reveal something deeply personal, it’s in the news for a bit, and when the news is quiet for a while, Demi trots out another revelation.

    Demi clearly struggles with multiple issues, and I truly hope they can find lasting peace and contentment. There are probably a lot of people who feel less alone when Demi shares this information, but personally I find them exhausting. YMMV.

  10. Margo says:

    This young lady’s addiction is attention – she will tell any story to get people talking. Who knows what is really happening with her – I’m not sure she knows what’s happening with her. All those dollars and no sense. She really needs to get off the fame hamster wheel and let her immense talent speak for itself. I truly hope she nurtures herself and grows her talent – what one does not care for dies slowly.

  11. Chelsea says:

    A friend of Demi’s that they went to rehab with died a month or so ago of an overdose at a time when Demi was already struggling and had just released a charity song called Unforgettable about another friend on the anniversary of said friend’s death from an overdose. Tbh i was really worried for them as they’ve talked about having survivor’s guilt before and they were getting dragged in the press over dumb alien comments which seemed to cause them to disappear from social media for a while, but I’m guessing what they were going through with those losses prompted this reflection and change.

    I was never a fan of the California Sober thing but I got that the abusive and controlling behavior of their past team made the prospect of completely ruling everything out triggering for them. I’ve never experienced half the trauma they have so I didn’t feel it was my place to publicly judge. I did appreciate that even their own documentary featured professionals and friends of theirs disagreeing so it didnt push the idea that everyone thought this was a good idea to their fans but I’d hoped they get to this place of understanding eventually and I am glad they have.

  12. Rhodabear says:

    Demi’s post used I/me pronouns, but I thought Demi is using we/they. Is it common to switch back and forth? Honest question, not being snarky.

    PS – her entire Twitter uses I/me. I’m so confused, because she misgenders herself multiple times in this article alone.

    • Lex says:

      I/me is fine…. it’s she/her that shouldn’t be used, instead replaced with they/them

      I/me has never been an issue for anyone, afaik

    • observer says:

      I/Me isn’t a gendered pronoun. Literally people of any gender can use it. You’re confused.

  13. Otaku fairy says:

    That’s a relief. A lot of us were worried when they were talking about being “California Sober” because of their history.

  14. Lucille says:

    She wants to date aliens and sings to them. Either she is lying about sobriety or she’s completely lost it.