Ellen DeGeneres found it difficult to cope after she made the decision to come out as a lesbian.

The talk show host revealed she was gay in 1997 and even though she mainly got a positive reception for her decision, she was hurt by some people's reactions.

She said: "I didn't think it was going to be that much of a surprise. What hurt was this: Does that label, that word, change my talent, my kindness, my heart, my intention for entertaining people? The bottom line is as simple as this, my feelings were hurt. I just gave up and moved to Ojai (in California) and sat in my house as long as I could until I ran out of money. Then I started over again."

Ellen - who is married to actress Portia Di Rossi, and is one of the most powerful people on American TV - says she feels so distant from that time now it almost doesn't feel like it was her life.

She added to PEOPLE magazine: "Looking back, I did feel isolated, I did feel rejected, but now I look at it as a movie that I saw that someone went through. I only experience the amazing life that I have right now."

Ellen, 56, also revealed she is not funny all the time just because she is a comedian and witty talk show host and likes to have peace and quiet when she's at home.

She said: "I'm so blessed in many ways, but I'm not always funny. I'm not always happy. I'm a human being, I don't want to be expected to be funny all the time. It's not real. I'm constantly learning and growing and trying to be better ... Talking for a living makes you really, really love peace and quiet. When I'm done for the day, I like quiet. I talk all day long, so driving home I don't' talk. I just listen to the radio ... Sometimes Portia and I sit and talk or go for a long walk with the dogs. I try to be quiet and meditative before bed."