Over the past several years, Amanda Bynes has become known less for her movies and more for her erratic behavior, which caused many fans to worry about her mental health. But after some time away from the public eye, the former actor opened up on Nov. 26 about her struggles with substance abuse and how significantly it impacted her life. And judging from Amanda Bynes' comments about her sobriety, she's definitely in a good place right now, and perhaps even ready to step back into the spotlight.
Bynes, who appears on the cover of Paper Magazine's "Break the Internet" issue, shared with the outlet everything that she went through during the past decade and what exactly it was that led her down such an unexpected path. Though she admitted that she started smoking marijuana when she was 16 years old, it wasn't until later that things started to take a turn for the worst. As she told outlet, "I definitely abused Adderall." Bynes went on to recall how her overuse of the drug left her "scatterbrained" and led to her dropping out of Hall Pass. But it wasn't until she saw herself in Easy A in 2010 that she decided to quit acting completely.
"I literally couldn't stand my appearance in that movie and I didn't like my performance. I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing it," Bynes told Paper Magazine. "I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me. I don't know if it was a drug-induced psychosis or what, but it affected my brain in a different way than it affects other people. It absolutely changed my perception of things."
It was at this point that Bynes became infamous for her Twitter rants — a time which she now deeply regrets ever happened. "I'm really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said. I can't turn back time but if I could, I would," she stated to the outlet. "And I'm so sorry to whoever I hurt and whoever I lied about because it truly eats away at me. It makes me feel so horrible and sick to my stomach and sad. Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter."
Thankfully, it seems that Bynes has turned a corner and is currently four years sober as she finishes getting her Associate's degree at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising before continuing on with her Bachelor's degree next year. "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," she told Paper. "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."
And for those out there who find themselves dealing with the same struggles as she did, Bynes has a few pieces of advice. "My advice to anyone who is struggling with substance abuse would be to be really careful because drugs can really take a hold of your life," she said. "There are gateway drugs and thankfully I never did heroin or meth or anything like that but certain things that you think are harmless, they may actually affect you in a more harmful way. Be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did."
As much as Bynes has struggled these past few years, it's comforting to see her use the experience as a way to help others who might be going through a similar ordeal. Here's hoping that 2019 will prove to be her best year yet.