Demi Lovato Gets Brutally Honest, Talks Rehab, Cutting and Rebuilding With "Skyscraper"

"It ended up being my symbol," teen star exclusively tells E! News of her hit single and brand-new video

By Natalie Finn Jul 13, 2011 4:30 PMTags

Demi Lovato may have been knocked down, but over the past year, she built herself right back up. 

"I wasn't going to continue to be alive if I continued to treat my body the way I was," the 18-year-old said in an exclusive sit-down with E! News' Ryan Seacrest, discussing her decision to seek treatment last October for issues that included anorexia, bulimia and a tendency to self-mutilate by cutting.

"It's a daily journey and it's definitely going to be a struggle that I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life," she admitted. "Sometimes I think, ‘Why couldn't I have been normal?' "

Luckily for her fans, however, Lovato isn't "normal." She's an on-the-rise star with a hit single and a brand-new music video (enjoying its world premiere today on E! News and E! Online) that literally mean the world to her.

"I'm not going to be perfect, but...if I can make it through the day, that's all that matters," the former Sonny With a Chance star said confidently.

Of her latest single "Skyscraper," in which she sings about being broken but coming back stronger than ever, Lovato revealed that she first recorded the song a year ago when her voice was weaker because she was "ruining it by damaging it after every meal," and then rerecorded it after undergoing treatment.

But guess which version she went with!

"It just didn't feel the same, so we kept the original one," Lovato said. "For me it was...so symbolic, it being the song I recorded before treatment and yet it was providing a message. It's so crazy the way things played out, that it ended up being my symbol and it represented what I'm trying to spread the word about—getting help and rising above any issues that [I and] my fans are dealing with."

When she first sang it a year ago, Lovato said, she was "just pouring tears in the studio."

"I was doubled over, just in pain. I remember thinking, This is kind of my cry for help back then, because I hadn't spoken to anyone about these issues and I hadn't gotten the help that I needed."

The "Skyscraper" video features Lovato standing in the desert, dressed all in white, her makeup subtle and her feet mostly bare. The teen said that she wanted it to have an emotionally raw feel.

"There were so many things that represented my addictions and eating disorders and self-harm," she explained. "When I'm unraveling this black fabric...It was the toxicity took over my mind for so long, that oozed out of every pore that I had because I was suffering inside...I'm taking it off and walking on broken glass and powering through it.

"That video was an emotional release for me, like therapy…I kept crying, I was so emotionally invested...That's when I realized, that's what music videos are all about."


Tune in to E! News at 7 p.m. ET for the exclusive world premiere of Demi's new "Skyscraper."

WATCH: On set with Adam Levine!