Lindsey Sterling, an electric violinist, may not have won "America's Got Talent," but she did find monster success on YouTube.
Now, the musician is opening about the eating disorder that inspired the lyrics and video for her song, "Shatter Me."
"It's actually my story of overcoming my eating disorder. ... I just related so strongly to this character [of a ballerina] that was so perfect and seemingly flawless on the outside... because an eating disorder is a mental disorder that is consumed with control and perfection," she told ABC News. "I realized I was so incredibly unhappy and depression had kind of taken over my life as a result of this mental disorder that I had, and I realized I wanted to change."
"This video depicts the intensity and the fear I faced in basically wondering if I left this huge part that had consumed my life... would there be anything left of me that had value?"
Of course, there was. Stirling, 27, who was also brutally rejected on "America's Got Talent" in 2010 ("I did consider quitting," she admitted), has persevered. She recently recorded a version of "All of Me" with John Legend and just finished touring. Now, she wants to use her story to help others who are facing the same uncertainties and insecurities that she once did.
"I don't feel like anyone deserves to feel that way and I think so many girls, whether it's a full-fledged eating disorder or whether it's body image issues, I think that so many women and probably men as well can relate to looking in the mirror and feeling worthless and ugly," she said. "I wanted to share that there's hope."