Sharing her story. Although LaNease Adams had a great time during season 1 of The Bachelor, vying for the heart of Alex Michel, when she came home and started reading the hateful comments, everything changed.
“At 23, I kind of thought I understood life. But once the show happened, I no longer understood anything. I didn’t understand myself. I couldn’t trust people—and, as someone who always looked outside for validation, that realization hit me hard,” she wrote in a blog for Women’s Health on Monday, July 6. “As soon as The Bachelor started to air, I got hit with a big dose of reality.”
The former reality star was the first woman to kiss Michel on the show, and after the episode aired, she came across the photo of them kissing on a white supremacist website. Underneath it was “terrible comments written about how disgusting it was to have people of two different races kissing on the show.”
She recalls seeing the photos and comments as “really scary” and noted she felt “helpless” in the moment.
“There were also blogs saying stuff like, ‘Who does this Black girl think she is dating The Bachelor?’ I was shocked by all the racist backlash online. Looking back, I guess it’s because I was naïve,” the Fountain of Youth Bath owner revealed. “Being from California, and particularly from Los Angeles, I didn’t know that across the country there was still so much racism. It also changes you as a person when you realize that there are some people that really hate you—and not for anything that you’ve said or done. They hate you just because of the race you were born with. I didn’t feel anger; I felt sadness. At the same time, some people in the Black community were unhappy with me dating a white guy on TV, or in general.”
After people began recognizing her from the show, she began having anxiety and panic attacks. Plus, she was still feeling the “hurt and rejection” for being turned down by Michel.
“I think that’s one of the things that people often overlook since it is a TV show: the heartbreak. After the show premiered, one of The Bachelor producers, Lisa Levenson, told me there was a therapist I could talk to, but I just never took her up on that offer,” Adams continued. “The train had basically already left the station at that point — I was just lost. I ended up going through a depression, and I stepped away from everything. I started to self-medicate by drinking and taking pills, and I wasn’t eating.”
Eventually, her actions led her in the hospital, which Adams calls her “lowest point.”
“The pills made me forget about my pain and sadness… but that was only a temporary fix. Laying in the hospital, I thought, ‘You put your trust and your faith into everyone else. And now, look, you’re here by yourself—about to die, basically.'” she wrote. “My hospital stay lasted about a week — long enough to break me of my cycle of self-medicating. After I was released, I started to see a therapist on a weekly basis. I did this for a few years, eventually moving to monthly sessions, and I slowly started to get my life back under control.”
The actress added: “To begin to heal, I also read a ton of books, and two changed my life: The Four Agreements and The Art of Worldly Wisdom. Those books really helped me learn about life and how to cope. I also did a lot of journaling because I had to build myself up.”
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