Nicole Scherzinger got serious for the August issue of U.K.'s Cosmopolitan magazine, fighting back tears as she opened up about how she battled bulimia for eight years before finally getting help.

"It is such a horrible, paralyzing disease and it was such a dark time for me," she says. "I didn't think anyone knew in my group or in my family because I hid it that well, I was so ashamed. I knew it wasn't normal or healthy because I was hurting myself through this cycle of disordered eating. It was my drug, my addiction. It's an endless vicious cycle."

The 36-year-old performer admits that it took fainting while on tour to make her realize how serious the issue had become.

"I had started losing my voice, 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," she remembers. "I thought, 'I'm going to lose everything I love if I don't love myself.' "

Battling the disease made Scherzinger more attuned to people’s vulnerabilities, she said.

“That’s why I can empathize so much with people who have demons and voices in their heads, who aren’t nice to themselves,” she explained. “ It robs you of living your life. But you can recover and you can get rid of it forever. I did it and that’s why it’s so important for me to share my story. I felt so alone... but I made myself so alone. You hide it from the world, you isolate yourself. But you can beat it – do not give up because you’re so special and you’re meant for such great things."

The Pussycat Dolls singer first publicly acknowledged her struggle with the disorder two years ago.