Demi Lovato: I'm Not Fully Recovered Yet

07/21/2011 at 11:15 AM EDT

Demi Lovato: My Ongoing Health Process
Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato

In Demi Lovato's latest hit "Skyscraper," she sings about being torn down, but rising above.

It's an appropriate comeback anthem for the singer, who completed treatment for "emotional and physical" issues in January, but still considers herself on the road to recovery.

She's not completely healed, Lovato, 18, tells AOL Music. "This is an ongoing process, and the hardest part about these diseases is that they're things that I'm going to have to face every day for the rest of my life."

Since her three-month stay at the center, she says she's come a long way in her battle with bulimia, anorexia, self-mutilation, depression and bipolar disorder.

"I'm going to mess up, and I'm not going to be perfect," she says. "But as long as I try every day to get better and better myself, then I'm one step ahead of where I was before."

Her issues, she says, stem from her childhood – not from her life in the spotlight. "They are issues that every girl deals with," she explains. "Cutting has become so common with so many girls, and in almost every family, people have tried it or experimented with it. And there is addiction all over the place."

Still, "it doesn't make it easier being in front of cameras while I'm trying to be in recovery from an eating disorder."

The sacrifice is one she's willing to make, even if she once considered putting her career on hold.

"I thought, 'Music is something that keeps me healthy and that has saved my life at one point,' " she says. "I love it, and I'm not going to give it up."

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