While sharing her "life story" on the premiere episode of her new YouTube series, "9 to Wine,""The Bachelorette" alum, 34, revealed she was once addicted to Valium and only weighed 93 pounds. After going through a breakup in her late twenties, Bristowe fell into a deep depression.
Many years before she appeared on Chris Soules' season of "The Bachelor," Bristowe gave up her dance career to move to Germany with her then-hockey player boyfriend.
"Everything in me told me to follow my heart," she admitted. "But a small part of me was dying everyday that I wasn't doing what I loved to do. 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."
Though she agreed to move her life in Canada to be with her boyfriend in Europe, Bristowe immediately realized it was a mistake, saying she "completely lost" herself.
"When I say I lost myself, that is an understatement," she recalled. "I think I had out-of-body experiences in Germany. Where I was a child and I was screaming and kicking on the floor, bawling my eyes out. It was like I was looking down on myself, going, 'Why are you behaving this way? This is not who you are, get up off the floor.' And I couldn't."
"I was just a shell of myself," she added.
After the ABC star, then 27, and her hockey player beau split, she decided to go back home to Alberta, Canada to live with her mom and her stepdad. The "severe heartbreak" and "grieving process" prompted her to seek medical help.
"It is heavy dark times," she explained. "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."
Bristowe said her doctor prescribed her Valium as well as an antidepressant. Though she's a "big believer in medication," Bristowe admitted she was slightly unsure about taking the Valium.
"I was open to being on [the antidepressant], but Valium I had never really known what that was or what it would do to me," she recalled. "I didn't feel anything. I got to sleep, I got to not feel my feelings, and that felt great to me."
"I had become addicted to Valium, and I was about 93 pounds," Bristowe continued. "And that was when somebody had to shake me and say, 'You can't live like this. This is not you.'"
"Eventually, I just knew I couldn't live like that anymore," she added. "I was sick of being numb. I wanted to feel feelings again. I wanted to go back to Vancouver and get a job and start over and meet people and get out. So I did."
Bristowe, who is currently in a relationship with "Bachelorette" alum Jason Tartick, said if she could go back in time, she would tell her 27-year-old self: "You can't let anyone be responsible for your own happiness. That is up to you."
"And now I can say that because I'm in a loving, fulfilling, happy relationship," she said. "But 27-year-old Kaitlyn was just starting to learn that and figure that out."
Shortly after, Bristowe joined Season 19 of "The Bachelor" in 2015 and came in third place. She then went on to star as Season 11's Bachelorette and became engaged to contestant Shawn Booth. The couple dated for three years, before splitting in 2018.