Three years after filing for divorce from then-husband Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie is speaking candidly about their separation and how it forever changed her.

“I didn’t recognize myself anymore,” the actress said in a new interview with French magazine Madame Figaro (translated in English by Lainey Gossip), adding that the former couple’s separation was a “complicated moment” in her life. 

As their relationship began to crumble, Jolie admitted that she lost her strength. “I’d become smaller, insignificant, even if I didn’t show it. I was profoundly, deeply sad, I was hurt,” she explained. “On the other hand, it was interesting to tap into this humility and sense of insignificance. In the end, that’s human.”

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Around the same time as the Jolie-Pitt divorce proceedings, Angelina was also experiencing health issues, which unwittingly helped her heal from heartbreak. 

“All of these things ground you and remind you of how lucky you are to be alive,” she revealed. “It’s a lesson I pass onto my children: the idea of renewal, and through it all, the possibility of joy. I had to rediscover the joy.”

Jolie’s six children — daughters Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and Vivienne, 11, and sons Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, and Knox, 11 — are the reason for her renewed sense of self. During the premiere of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, People asked Angelina the source of her strength, to which she replied: “My kids.” 

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

RELATED: Brad Pitt Joined Alcoholics Anonymous Following His Split from Angelina Jolie

Today, Brad and Angelina are reportedly on good terms with the divorce drama behind them. Back in April, a source told ET: “To the surprise of many of their closest friends, their communication has improved tremendously and they’re both dedicated to co-parenting.” 

“While they don’t agree about everything, they rarely argue now,” the insider added. “Brad and Angelina are now at a point where they can discuss their children’s plans calmly.”