Thanks to some new ink, Demi Lovato has a permanent reminder of her strength and ability to overcome even the most difficult of circumstances. In an Instagram post shared by her tattoo artist Dr. Woo, Lovato now has a neck tattoo that says "survivor" in fine script. The artist captioned the photo, "on a real one."
While Lovato has not yet shared the ink or the inspiration behind it, fans speculate that it likely references the singer overcoming her struggle with sobriety. Since July 2018, when she was rushed to the hospital following a reported overdose, Lovato has consistently reminded her fans that she's grateful to be on the other side of a harrowing time in her life.
Although Lovato has struggled with sobriety off and on over the years, the summer of 2018 seems to represent a significant turning point. Lovato took that time to "heal," according to statements she made following confirmation that she was checked into Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. “It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet,” she told fans. It's also the summer she released her song "Sober," with lyrics that admit she broke her sobriety after six years.
After her time in the hospital, Lovato chose to stay in treatment through November of that year. “The love you have all shown me will never be forgotten and I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side,” she wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post. “I will keep fighting.”
Since then, save the occasional body-positive selfie, Lovato has largely stayed out of the public eye. In March 2019, she temporarily checked herself back into treatment following her breakup with Henri Levy, but reports claimed that it was a preemptive measure and not due to a relapse. One year after her overdose – and appearing to be in a much better place – Lovato announced her role in a Netflix comedy alongside Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams.
It's no surprise that the artist, who often speaks out about celebrating her own personal wins, would want to mark this time in such a significant way. At the start of this year, Lovato made a promise to herself and her Instagram followers to “never take another day in life for granted, even the bad ones.” Her new ink captures that sentiment perfectly.
Refinery29 has reached out to Dr. Woo and Demi Lovato's team for comment.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.