Ben Higgins Explains How He's Bouncing Back After Experiencing a 'Breakdown'
Ben Higgins opened up about life in the public eye — and the impact it’s had on his mental health — during a recent appearance on Trista Sutter’s “Better Etc.” podcast.
After experiencing a recent “breakdown,” the franchise star — who appeared on “The Bachelorette” Season 11 before leading “The Bachelor” Season 20 in 2016 — left his residence in Denver, Colorado, and returned home to Indiana to center himself.
“I am back in Indiana right now because of a breakdown, again, in my life where I don’t know what’s happening,” he explained to the original Bachelorette. “I don’t know what this next season of life looks like for me. I’m farther and farther removed from the show, and at the same time, I need to figure out what my life is going to look like and what my legacy is going to be.”
Looking on the bright side, Ben believes that his soul-searching is the start of a “really exciting” next chapter in his life — even if he feels like he’s in “a low place” at times.
“It’s also really hard,” he continued. “I don’t see myself as this thriving figure right now. I’m kind of lamenting and separating myself from a lot of things that I held close.”
Ben also recounted the aftershock of his journey as the Bachelor. While he eventually split from his final rose recipient, Lauren Bushnell, Ben’s reality TV notoriety led to a variety of incredible opportunities.
“All of a sudden I go from feeling like I’m an outsider to, over a period of time, having enough people tell me that I’m awesome to start feeling pretty good about [myself],” he said. “I start building an identity around that. I started to really feel like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is the thing that I was needing to fill me… I’ll be in the in-group forever.'”
Elsewhere, Ben — who, today, is happily engaged to Jessica Clarke, whom he plans to marry this fall — admitted that his “infatuation” with fame “started to fade” over the years as he “reached” to remain relevant.
“I was living not just for other people, but just for other people’s attention,” said the “Alone in Plain Sight” author.
When the novel coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, Ben said that he used his time in quarantine to “divorce [him]self” from his pattern of seeking validation from others.
“It was, selfishly, one of the most unhealthy and best times for me,” he said of the beginning stages of the worldwide health crisis. “I saw everybody else around me slow down… What I recognized then is [that] I was measuring myself on everybody else still, more than I knew.”