Kaitlyn Bristowe went through a lot in her 20s. On the first episode of her new digital show, 9 to Wine With Kaitlyn Bristowe, the 34-year-old former Bachelorette star recalled a series of choices that left her weighing less than 100 pounds and addicted to Valium.
After landing a dream dancing gig, Bristowe gave it all up to move to Newfoundland, Canada, with her hockey player boyfriend at the time. Though she was "losing a little part" of herself after the move, Bristowe decided to further commit to the relationship and move to Germany with him when he signed there.
"Everything in me told me to follow my heart... but a small part of me was dying everyday that I wasn't doing what I loved to do," she said. "And I think that was really hard for me, and I think that would be really hard for anyone, to lose that part of passion in your life, just to follow somebody else's dream."
"The second I moved and was financially, emotionally reliant on someone -- most importantly emotionally reliant on somebody -- is when I completely lost who I was," she added.
Though she "thought he was the one," Bristowe and the hockey player ended up calling it quits and the TV personality was forced to move in with her mom and stepdad at age 27.
"I went to the doctor and I'll never forget filling out paperwork on how depressed I was," she said. "... I remember filling everything out and just feeling like I had nothing and that life was over for me. That I'd given up all my hopes and dreams and that the love of my life was now gone."
The doctor she sought help from placed her on both an anti-depressant and Valium, the latter of which made her "numb."
"I didn't feel anything," she recalled. "I got to sleep, I got to not feel my feelings, and that felt great to me."
That state of being wasn't sustainable for Bristowe, though.
"I had become addicted to Valium and I was about 93 pounds and that is when somebody had to shake me and say, 'You can't live like this, this is not you,'" she said. "And I'll never forget my mom coming into the room [in the] middle of the night with YouTube videos of hypnotizing people saying, 'You're happy, you're going to be OK,' and she would just play it in my ear as I slept."
"Eventually I knew I couldn't live like that anymore," Bristowe continued. "I was sick of being numb. I wanted to feel feelings again."
Through all of her struggles, a huge lesson she learned remains with her even now, as she's in a committed relationship with Jason Tartick.
"You can't let anyone be responsible for your own happiness. That is up to you," she said. "And now I can say that because I'm in a fulfilling, loving, happy relationship."
ET spoke to the happy couple last year, and they opened up about their "healthy relationship."
"I didn't realize a relationship could be this easy and that I could be this happy with somebody. It's just so easy," Bristowe said. "We just have a really healthy relationship, healthy communication, and we build each other up."