Here's some happy news to kick off your week: Amanda Bynes is on the cover of Paper Magazine — it's her first cover in years — and she looks absolutely stunning. JUST LOOK AT HER.
In a wide-ranging interview, Bynes opened up about the difficult time she went through, starting in 2007, and explained how substance abuse was at the root of her struggles.
According to Bynes, things in her life took a turn for the worse after she watched her performance in She's the Man.
"When the movie came out and I saw it, I went into a deep depression for four to six months because I didn't like how I looked when I was a boy," she revealed. "I've never told anyone that."
Over time, she says she became increasingly self-conscious about her appearance on camera and started using drugs to cope — and to stay thin.
After watching herself in Easy A, Bynes announced on Twitter that she was retiring from acting — something she now reveals happened in a "drug-induced psychosis":
I saw [Easy A} and I was convinced that I should never be on camera again and I officially retired on Twitter, which was, you know, also stupid. If I was going to retire [the right way], I should've done it in a press statement — but I did it on Twitter. Real classy! But, you know, I was high and I was like, "You know what? I am so over this." So I just did it. But it was really foolish and I see that now. I was young and stupid.
And while there were many rumors that her behavior was the result of a condition like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, Amanda says that wasn't the case:
It definitely isn't fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are. That was always really bothersome to me. If you deny anything and tell them what it actually is, they don't believe you. Truly, for me, [my behavior] was drug-induced, and whenever I got off of [drugs], I was always back to normal.
But the interview had lots of good news in it, too! Bynes says that she's almost four years sober now and feeling great.
She explained why she'll never go back to that dark place again:
Those days of experimenting [with substances] are long over. I'm not sad about it and I don't miss it because I really feel ashamed of how those substances made me act. When I was off of them, I was completely back to normal and immediately realized what I had done — it was like an alien had literally invaded my body. That is such a strange feeling.
She's currently studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, and her instructors say she is KILLING it there.
Bynes also revealed that she'd like to go back to acting when she finds a project that excites her, and she says she's optimistic about her future:
I have no fear of the future. I've been through the worst and came out the other end and survived it, so I just feel like it's only up from here.