This season of The Bachelorette has touched on many heavy subjects, including drug abuse, eating disorders, and racial inequality. But a conversation between Tayshia Adams and Ben Smith about his struggles with depression and multiple suicide attempts was the heaviest conversation of the season.
Smith, 30, impressed Adams during episode eight of the show when he revealed his decade-long battle with bulimia. He was given a group date rose for showing vulnerability and Adams was impressed enough with Smith to invite him to a one-on-one date in episode nine.
During that date, Smith opened up about the depression he battled after his time in the United States Army ended due to a broken back. He also said he attempted suicide twice, once in 2018 and again in 2019, before finding a new outlook on life.
“I’m 26 years old and I can barely walk up steps,” Smith said. “I was completely lost. My life was very dark and I didn’t know how to say I needed things. The only person I confided in was my sister.
“I guess we can go deep. I had two failed suicide attempts in 2018 and 2019. I don’t mean to throw that on you…. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I didn’t want to burden anyone with problems and I thought the easiest way was to not be around. Luckily it didn’t work.”
Adams was again impressed with Smith’s honesty about the darkest moments of his life and gave him a rose, guaranteeing that he’ll advance to the hometown date portion of the show. Following the one-on-one date, ABC showed the phone number for a suicide hotline.
Ben Smith Now Focuses on His Passion for Health & Nutrition
Smith is currently a coach at Deuce Gym and a trainer at Bodybuilding Club in Los Angeles, California. His Instagram account is littered with videos of workout regimens and photos with gym friends and coworkers in sunny California.
“The ability to have a direct impact on the lives of others is what fuels his work, development and happiness,” Smith’s bio on DeuceGym.com reads. “An empathetic approach to military leadership, daily interaction, and fitness has given Ben an uncanny ability to meet people where they are.”
Smith told Adams that the person he is today is not the same person who struggled with depression in recent years and that throwing himself into therapy taught him how to refocus his life.
Ben Smith Credits His Sister With Saving His Life
During his time opening up about bulimia, Smith said his sister, Madalyn, was the only one he opened up to about his struggles.
“She saved my life,” Smith told Adams in episode eight. “I’m finally at a place now where I feel safe and comfortable with the people that I live and work with. I care a great deal about this. It’s just hard for me to let it out.”
Smith spoke about how important of a role his sister has played in his life again in episode nine.
“She’s the best person I know,” Smith said. “She’s saved my life in more ways than one.”
With hometown dates coming soon and Smith advancing to that stage, it’s possible we’ll meet Madalyn soon. How those visits will look during a pandemic remains to be seen, though.