Bachelor Nation is back again! Although we may not be seeing a new season of The Bachelorette anytime soon, a former lead from the hit series has been using YouTube to connect with her fans. In her most recent video, it’s revealed that Kaitlyn Bristowe’s life before The Bachelor was anything but easy.

Over the years, the Canadian has become a beloved figure in The Bachelor family. She made her first appearance on season 19 of the show when she came in third place in the run for Chris Soules’ heart.

After facing heartbreak on national television, it was announced that the 34-year-old was one of the two women who had the chance to be cast as The Bachelorette during season 11. The Leduc-born star eventually beat out Britt Nilsson and went on to have one of the most controversial seasons in Bachelor history.

Before all of this, Bristowe had a very interesting life that she recently opened up about in her new YouTube series, 9 to Wine.

When she moved from the small town of Leduc to the big city of Vancouver, Bristowe didn’t have an exact plan, but she did have the support of her family. She began attending several dance auditions, and eventually landed herself a spot as a dancer for the BC Lions CFL team.

In the video, the Bachelorette alum revealed that she thought that she had peaked at that point—until she met a boy, that is. The two had a summer fling, and when he moved to Newfoundland for his hockey career, she followed him.

“I didn’t even realize I was a hopeless romantic that would do anything for love. That’s what got me onto ‘The Bachelor’, maybe that was my path and didn’t even know it yet,” she said.

Bristowe eventually followed the same boyfriend overseas to Germany, although she found it increasingly difficult to be happy there.

“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,” the Canadian said.

She eventually made the decision to return to Canada and moved in with her parents at the age of 27. After seeking treatment for depression, Bristowe was prescribed Valium, which initially helped but eventually led her to addiction.

“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,” the dancer revealed.

“I’ll never forget my mom coming into the room middle of the night with YouTube videos of hypnotizing people saying, ‘You’re happy, you’re going to be okay,’ and she just played it in my ear as I slept.”

These days, Bristowe seems to be doing much better. She’s dating former Bachelorette season 14 contestant, Jason Tartick, and has two golden retrievers that she loves to show off on her Instagram.

You can watch the entire episode of 9 to Wine below.

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