Nicole Scherzinger may look happy and confident (not to mention gorgeous) on the cover of Cosmopolitan, but the star reveals it was a difficult battle to get there.

The former Pussycat Dolls member and 'X Factor' U.K. judge has come a long way since the dark period she suffered through in her twenties. Though she’s now celebrating personal and professional success — she recently celebrated six years with her boyfriend Lewis Hamilton, and her comeback single ‘Your Love’ is a jam — it was hard-fought and hard-won.

The 36-year-old spent eight years battling an eating disorder, a subject she still has difficulty talking about. “Thinking about it, I try not to well up,” she told the U.K. edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. “It is such a horrible, paralyzing disease and it was such a dark time for me. That’s why I can empathize so much with people who have demons and voices in their heads, who aren’t nice to themselves. It robs you of living your life. But you can recover and can get rid of it forever. I did it and that’s why it’s so important for me to share my story.”

It wasn’t until Nicole’s eating disorder put her career at risk that she pop star realized she needed to get help. “I had started losing my voice,” she revealed, “I couldn’t sing at shows, and then I remember my manager finding me passed out on the floor in Malta or in the south of France. I thought, ‘I’m going to lose everything I love if I don’t love myself.’”

She continued, “One day when you feel like you’ve reached the end, you just say, ‘I’m not doing this anymore.’ It’s sad to see how I wasted my life. I had such a great life on the outside, the [Pussycat] Dolls were on top of the world, but I was miserable on the inside. I’m never letting that happen again; you only get one life — I was 27 only once.”

We're glad to see Nicole is happy and healthy now!

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