Four years after multiple arrests and bizarre Twitter rants, Amanda Bynes has decided to clear the air by reflecting on her life.

For the 2018 Paper magazine issue, Bynes appeared fresh-faced, dressed in a plaid suit jacket over a white button-down blouse and blue jeans. It has been almost decade since the actress announced her retirement, in which those years have been filled with a number of arrests, public breakdowns, and Twitter rants. Now Bynes, who is pursuing a degree at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, has decided that she wants to turn her life around and return to acting. 

The 32-year-old former Nickelodeon child star, went mainstream after she transitioned into movies, starring in film hits like, Big Fat Liar and What a Girl Wants. It wasn’t until her 2006 role in She’s the Man, in which she dressed in drag, that led to her taking a turn after the shoot had ended. “When the movie 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. I’ve never told anyone that,” she revealed. “[It was] a super strange and out-of-body experience. It just really put me into a funk.”

From there it went downhill, as Bynes became fixated on her appearance and begun to take Adderall and later experimented with drugs like cocaine and ecstasy.

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While speaking about her experiences which led up to her announced retirement over Twitter, Bynes told the magazine, ”I’m really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said. I can’t turn back time but if I could, I would. 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. It’s definitely not Twitter’s fault — it’s my own fault.”

In 2014, Bynes was sentenced to three years probation in a plea deal over a drunken driving charge. As part of the deal, she was also required to pay a fine and attend an alcohol education course. After the incident, Bynes continued to make headlines that same year for a series of shocking tweets which included false accusations of abuse against her father. 

Around the same time of her irrational tweets, Bynes had a psychological evaluation and tweeted and later deleted that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bynes revealed that she does not have a mental illness. “It definitely isn’t fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are,” Bynes said. “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. I know that my behavior was so strange that people were just trying to grasp at straws for what was wrong.”

With Bynes hopes of releasing a clothing line and getting back into acting, she also hopes that others can learn from her mistakes. “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. 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. I actually am a nice person. 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,” Bynes continued. “Be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did.”

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