Cover photo: Danielle Levitt

If you grew up in the ’90s, you probably watched Nickelodeon religiously. One of the kid stars from that network is Amanda Bynes, who started out on All That and went on to have her own spinoff, The Amanda Show before starring in several teen comedies.

It’s only been recently–the mid ’00s–when Bynes’ star began to fall. Erratic behavior and strange Twitter messages left people to speculate if she was having a nervous breakdown or exhibiting symptoms of other mental illnesses, acting out for the paparazzi, or just following down the path of other kid actors who never recovered from their early stardom.

Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder or worry any longer; Bynes is back to tell her story in her own words and to apologize for any wrongdoing she’s caused anyone during her tumultuous period.

As she told Paper magazine in its “Break the Internet” profile, Bynes got caught up in drug use. In her case, it was marijuana and Adderall. It was the Adderall in particular, which she started using to stay thin, that had an adverse affect on her career and her mental state.

“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 [more] high [that way],” she said in the interview. “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.”

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She continued, saying, she “remembers seeing my image on screen ad literally tripping out and thinking my arm looked so fat because it was in the foreground or whatever and I remember rushing off set and thinking, ‘Oh my God, I look so bad.'”

Things had gotten so bad that she pulled herself out of the film. “I made a bunch of mistakes but I wasn’t fired,” she said. “I did leave…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.”

Through her addiction to marijuana and Adderall, she had convinced herself she needed to stop acting and leave Twitter, but not before leaving a string of Twitter messages that left people confused and, in some cases, offended. For that, she was very contrite.

“I’m really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said,” she 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.”

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Thankfully, Bynes is now four years sober with the help of her parents and majoring in Merchandise Product Development at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She even wore a metal geometric and crystalline top she created in her photo shoot with Paper. But she said she’s ready to get back into acting, but only if she can get back in the game “kind of the same way I did as a kid, which is with excitement and hope for the best.”

It’s so exciting to have Bynes back, as healthy and vibrant as ever. I hope we can see her in some films soon, as well as on TV. I even hope we can see some of her merchandise in the stores soon. It seems like the sky’s now the limit for Bynes, and and I can’t wait to see where she goes.

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