LeAnn Rimes surprised everyone when she entered a 30-day residential treatment program in August. While rumors swirled that she was fighting an eating disorder or an addiction, the singer stayed relatively quiet on the reason for her extended stay in rehab -- until now. LeAnn is finally coming clean on why she felt the need to step away from it all, and how life looks on the other side.

"I had never taken a break for myself to examine myself and just learn who I am outside of LeAnn Rimes for 30 years," she revealed to Katie Couric on the daytime talk show, "Katie." "I was this big voice, this little girl that no one really knew much about. I couldn't really grow up even understanding who it was that I was."

LeAnn, who entered treatment one day before she sued two women who allegedly taped a phone conversation with her and posted it online, said no one knew the truth about why she had to enter an in-patient facility.

"People look at you and go, 'Why are you struggling?'," she said tearfully. "No one can quite understand why you hurt so badly."

The Texas native, who weathered a very public divorce from her first husband, Dean Sheremet, in the wake of her affair with now-husband, actor Eddie Cibrian, says very few people know the full story. "There's been so many lies," she explains. "I made my choices. I made my choices and I'm living with them."

With treatment behind her and a new album, Spitfire, scheduled to be released early next year, the singer is anxious to focus on the future. "I feel like I'm starting over, even though I have all these years behind me," she notes. "How many people get to start over again in this day and age?"

LeAnn will play several shows throughout the remainder of 2012, including stops in New York and Virginia this week. See a list of her upcoming concerts here. More of the singer's interview with Katie Couric will air on "Katie" on Thursday (Oct. 25), and also on "All Access Nashville With Katie Couric," a special edition of ABC's "20/20," this Friday at 9:00 PM ET.

Watch a Clip From LeAnn's "Katie" Interview

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