Getting vulnerable. Before Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette began airing last year, she was in a dark place. Now, she’s getting candid about her mental health struggles, even admitting she began taking medication to help deal with her emotions.
“I started taking antidepressants for the first time before my season aired. I thought I knew what to expect,” Thurston, 30, wrote via a lengthy Instagram message on Friday, January 21, alongside a swimsuit snap where she’s blowing the camera a kiss. “I didn’t. I thought I was strong enough to handle the negativity. I wasn’t. But they say time heals everything.”
In her social media upload, the former Bachelorette went on to thank her supporters for continuing to “show kindness,” noting that “last year somehow feels like 3 years of highs and lows.”
“I remember a producer texting me saying, ‘The old Katie is dead and the new Katie will rise from the ashes.’ He was right about one thing,” the Washington native wrote. “The old Katie did in fact die. But I was not some girl on fire.”
She continued: “If anything, the sparks I once felt for life were doused with the judgement and criticism of not only strangers, but even ones I worked closely with. I was drowning in my tears, unable to even recognize the girl in the mirror. Was the old me really gone?”
Thurston explained how, over time, she was able to quickly block out the online haters “in the most literal sense,” by unfollowing social media accounts, limiting her screen time with only a password her boyfriend — John Hersey — knew, and “anything I could do to bring myself out of a dark place.”
“For those complete strangers who write positive DMs and comments, I want you to know. I see them. I feel them. And there were times I even needed them. So thank you. 🤍,” she concluded her post. “If you’re reading this and you ever said something mean to a stranger online, I hope you reflect for a moment and reconsider hitting send next time. At the end of the day, we are all just people trying to coexist on this earth and make the best of our short lives. You’d be amazed on the impact putting positivity into the universe will have on your own life. Stay kind.”
The former bank marketing manager’s highs and lows of the last year began after she joined Bachelor Nation as a contestant on season 25 of The Bachelor. After Matt James sent her packing, the San Diego resident went on to become the season 17 lead of The Bachelorette. After a tumultuous journey, she ended up getting engaged to late arrival Blake Moynes in the August 2021 finale.
However, less than three months later, the pair confirmed their split.
“It is with mutual love and respect that we have decided to go our separate ways,” Thurston and the Canada native, 31, wrote via a joint Instagram statement in October 2021. “We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners, and it is the most caring choice for both of us to move forward independently. We ask for kindness and privacy as we both navigate this transition. Both of us will forever want the best for one another and ask you to please support us in our decision.”
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She moved on with Hersey, 28, who also appeared on her season but was eliminated early. The duo confirmed their romance in November 2021.
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