Written by Zoë Holloway, November 21, 2016

Selena Gomez announced in August that she would be taking time off from her career to deal with the ‘anxiety, panic attacks and depression’ that have come as side effects of her lupus diagnosis.

In a statement to People, the 24-year-old singer admitted ‘I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off,’; and now, she’s made her first public appearance since going off the grid.

While picking up her award for Favourite Female Artist, Selena opened up about taking time off and why she chose to go off the grid.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Recording artist Selena Gomez accepts the award for Favorite Femal Pop/Rock Artist onstage at the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/AMA2016/FilmMagic)

The candid speech is pretty emotional:

‘In 2014, this stage was actually the first time that I was authentically 100 percent honest with all of you. I think it’s safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life whether I liked it or not. And I had to stop. Because I had everything, and I was absolutely broken inside. And I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down,’

‘I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what’s in here. I’m not trying to get validation nor do I need it anymore. All I can say from the bottom of my heart is I am so grateful that I have to opportunity to be able to share what I love every single day with people that I love and I have to say thank you so much to my fans because you guys are so damn loyal and I don’t know what I did to deserve you,’

‘But if you are broken, you do not have to stay broken. And if that’s anything whether you respect me or not that’s one thing you need to know about me is that I care about people. And thank you so much for this. This is for you, thank you.’

Sending you all our love, Sel!

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