Demi Moore‘s memoir was a practice in self-acceptance.
The actress, 56, spoke to PEOPLE about writing Inside Out while at the Los Angeles premiere of her new film, Corporate Animals, on Wednesday night.
“I think my desire was to really get to a place where I am OK to really be seen,” Moore said of her memoir. “When there isn’t anything to protect. That’s a great spot.”
Moore’s memoir is promising to reveal the inner workings of the actress’s life such as her marriages to exes Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, her struggle with substance abuse and the miscarriage she had while dating Kutcher.
The actress began the writing process nine years ago, she said.
“Then I had to really put it on the shelf for a while. It’s like trying to really create what is the arc of a whole life, and really bring it so that it has a real shape,” Moore said. “That has a completion when life is still in process and far from being complete.”
“I centered [the book] on a fundamental question, which is, ‘How did I get here?'” she continued. “Coming from where I’ve come from, how did I get here? That created a shape. Once I had the shape it became far easier because I wasn’t trying to answer or address everything. I just was answering that piece from where I kind of start the book, which is right at 50.”
She added, “And being able to really step in and accept yourself for all that you are, and have compassion for your self-judgment of all that you’re not.”
In 2012, the star was rushed to the hospital after smoking synthetic marijuana and inhaling nitrous oxide at a party. “Part of my life was clearly unraveling,” Moore said in an interview with the New York Times. “I had no career. No relationship.”
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In her memoir, Moore writes about the emotional toll her relationship with and marriage to Kutcher took on her mental and physical health — and how it heightened her existing insecurities about aging in Hollywood.
“It really played havoc with her self confidence,” an industry source told PEOPLE of Moore’s split from Kutcher, 41. “Demi was confused about her life and what direction her career would take as she got older.”
The source added that although it’s taken a long time, Moore is getting to a much healthier place.
“She really has changed a lot for the better in the past few years. You can tell that she is much happier and enjoys her life more,” the source said. “She goes to therapy and works on being a positive and kind person to herself.”
Writing the book, which is available Sept. 24, has been cathartic for Moore.
“She wanted to free herself of the trauma and heartbreak endured after her split from Ashton, but it was a struggle,” said an industry source. “Demi has been trying to improve her life, gain self-esteem and get healthy for several years. Spilling it all out in a personal memoir is a way to close the old door and open new ones.”
Corporate Animals opens in select theaters Friday.