Just because Miley Cyrus is strong and independent now doesn’t mean she was always that way. The 21-year-old singer opened up about her struggles during a new interview with Elle magazine and said she's far from the person she was three years ago.

The “Wrecking Ball” singer might be known for sticking her tongue out and twerking for the masses, but she’s dealt with darker times in her past. In fact, there was a time when she didn’t think should would be able to make it without ex-fiancé Liam Hemsworth or her contracted career with Disney.

"When I was with (Liam) or when I was on Disney, the thing that gave me the most anxiety was not knowing what to do with myself when Disney wasn't there to carry me anymore or if I didn't have him," she told the glossy for their May issue.

But she's thrown those crutches to the wayside, and Cyrus said she’s doing just fine. She's no longer with the Australian actor, 24, and the former Disney star has seemingly done everything in her power to shatter her relationship with the family-friendly network. "I lay in bed at night by myself and I'm totally okay, and that's so much stronger than the person three years ago, who would have thought they would have died if they didn't have a boyfriend," she said. 

Cyrus credited part of her growth to her fans, which has turned out to be symbiotically beneficial. She was able to find “purpose” through her followers, and they in turn said the singer helped them with their sexual identities. "I have guys and girls that come out, and they're like, 'The only reason I'm able to admit that I'm gay is because you've made me feel like that's okay,'" Cyrus said. "That is so intense, because that is a part of this generation — it wasn't always accepted — and I feel like I am a big part of that change."

“That gives me a big purpose-- a reason to wake up in the morning that's bigger than to put on my f--king feathers and my little outfits,” she added. "(Fans) know that I've struggled with depression, and that helped them get over theirs.”

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