Amanda Bynes was a rising star in Hollywood before her own bad habits knocked her to rock bottom. Bynes started off as a young child on All That!, where she gained a reputation as an incredible comedic actress who could transform into any character.
The actress went on to star in movies like Easy A, Hairspray, and most notably She's The Man, but while we saw a happy-go-lucky starlet, Bynes was clearly struggling on the inside. As time went on, she began to go on crazy Twitter tirades, speaking incoherently, and getting into legal troubles.
Eventually, it all came to a head when Bynes was hospitalized under a psychiatric hold in 2014 after a DUI arrest in 2013. It was evident that what we thought was a "funny rebellious phase" was actually something much more serious. Her parents became her legal conservators, and it took three years for the courts to deem Bynes stable enough to have the conservatorship taken away.
Bynes fell out of the spotlight and began to focus on herself. She got medical attention, got sober, and enrolled herself in fashion school. Still keeping to herself, Bynes slowly started to be seen in public again.
But now, Bynes is back in a big way. She "broke the internet" after her spread in Paper magazine was released on Monday night, and the What A Girl Wants actress was looking better than ever!
Bynes opened up about her struggles, including her severe drug dependency.
"[I tried] cocaine three times but I never got high from cocaine. I never liked it. It was never my drug of choice," revealed Bynes. "I had a lot of time on my hands and I would 'wake and bake' and literally be stoned all day long. I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me."
And even though you or I may look at Bynes and see a beautiful young woman, Bynes admitted that seeing herself in certain roles only made her mental state worse.
"When [She's The Man] came out and I saw it, I went into a deep depression for 4-6 months because I didn't like how I looked when I was a boy," Bynes revealed. "I've never told anyone that. [It was] a super strange and out-of-body experience. It just really put me into a funk."
By the time Hairspray rolled around, Adderall was the new "skinny pill," and Bynes was falling victim to the hype.
"They were talking about how women were taking it to stay thin," Bynes recalled. "I was like, 'Well, I have to get my hands on that. When I was doing Hall Pass, I remember being in the trailer and I used to chew the Adderall tablets because I thought they made me [higher that way]. I remember chewing on a bunch of them and literally being scatterbrained and not being able to focus on my lines. Or memorize them, for that matter."
Bynes freaked out while filming Hall Pass because she saw herself on a monitor and thought her arm "looked so fat." She quit on the spot, leaving the cast hanging.
"[It was] a mixture of being so high that I couldn't remember my lines and not liking my appearance," she confessed. "It was definitely completely unprofessional of me to walk off and leave them stranded when they'd spent so much money on a set and crew and camera equipment and everything."
She also admitted that when people would try and "diagnose" her via the internet, she felt hurt and attacked.
"It definitely isn't fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are," Bynes admitted. "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."
And while she may have struggled in the past, the 32-year-old young woman says there is hope for both her, and everyone else struggling with substance abuse.
"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 cautioned. "Everybody is different, obviously, but for me, the mixture of marijuana and whatever other drugs and sometimes drinking really messed up my brain. It really made me a completely different person."
#BreakTheInternet: @amandabynes. Having spent years out of the spotlight, Bynes steps back in and opens up about her tumultuous — and remarkable — journey. https://t.co/NFpW1Yy7AN pic.twitter.com/w9TXCtwB6n— PAPER Magazine (@papermagazine) November 26, 2018
"I actually am a nice person," she pointed out. "I would never feel, say or do any of the things that I did and said to the people I hurt on Twitter. 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."
It's so great to see that Bynes is back to her driven, sober self, and we can only hope her story inspires others who are struggling to seek help.