'The Bachelor' alum Ben Higgins: My faith will get me through my breakdown
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/17/2021
The Bachelor alum Ben Higgins has revealed he's relying on his faith to get him out of a dark place since suffering a breakdown.
Ben admitted earlier this month he had experienced a "breakdown" over his lack of inspiration and vision for his future, which resulted in him returning to his Indiana hometown to do some soul-searching and rely on family to get him through "difficult times."
Ben, who starred on The Bachelor's 20th season in 2016, has been trying to find his way in life as a former -- and essentially washed-up, for lack of a better term -- reality TV star.
Ben had toldThe Bachelorette alum Trista Rehn on her podcast that he's concerned about his legacy, but he shared with The Salvation Army in a video interview how he's now turning to God for help.
"I believe Jesus' truth. When I cry out to Jesus, in the moments I need Jesus the most, God has always shown up, and not only that, in my biggest moments of doubt," Ben told The Salvation Army Midland Division.
"The point to me that always makes sense is Jesus gave his one clearest commandment: Love your God and love your neighbor. Through my life, sometimes that's the only [thing] that makes sense or fits. If I do that well, I also understand there is a God that loves, life seems to click."
Ben also recalled having an addiction to painkillers that began when he was a teenager and struggling with loneliness in his memoir, Alone in Plain Sight, which hit shelves in February.
Ben went from having social anxiety to being The Bachelor star, and now he claims to be in a transitional phase where attention from the public -- which he used to find satisfying -- is no longer gratifying or fulfilling.
"That attention, one, was unwarranted. Two, it felt really good. Then over time, the attention started to feel less good personally because it felt very selfish," Ben explained.
"I didn't really feel like it was doing a lot for me and my community around me. I didn't feel it was doing anything for me personally other than to make myself feel better. So, I started to slip back into a place of feeling lonely."
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Ben acknowledged it wasn't easy to realize that people were only giving him attention because of his time on a reality TV show.
"That honestly felt like it was diminishing a lot of my life and a lot of things I was pursuing because I was getting attention for being on a show," Ben shared.
"Now, I'm sitting in a place where I'm in a transition phase. I'm still there -- I don't want to tell you I'm not -- where I'm looking to see what does life look like, maybe when the attention wanes and even if it continues, with all those factors and what is my role in that as a person."
Ben, however, definitely has a life milestone to look forward to. He and his fiancee, Jessica Clark, are set to wed in November 2021.
"Jessica is somebody who desperately desires to love people well, love God well and, as a result, love me well," Ben said in the interview.
"She's not only my biggest fan but biggest supporter and most healthy critic. I believe it's going to last a lifetime because she makes me a better man. I hope she would say this, I don't want to speak for her in this. She makes me a better man."
Ben said Jessica also makes his life "more exciting," adding, "I was worried about that as I settled down. That life was, all of a sudden, going to get less exciting. It's done everything in the opposite way."
After competing for Kaitlyn's heart on The Bachelorette's eleventh season, Ben starred on The Bachelor and proposed marriage to his winner, Lauren Bushnell, during the Season 20 finale that aired in March 2016.
As far as his personal goals for the future go, Ben previously revealed in June 2020 that he'd like to start a family within a few years and probably adopt at least one child.
But Ben has clarified he and Jessica -- who has agreed to abstain from sex until marriage to ensure their first encounter will be special -- won't be living together in their new place until after the wedding.
Ever since they began dating in 2018, Ben and Jessica have been making a long-distance relationship work, with Ben being in Denver most of the time and Jessica living in Nashville, TN, where she attends esthetics school.
The couple's relationship began in December 2018 when Ben apparently saw Jess' photo from a hockey game she went to with her father and decided to direct message her on Instagram. After chatting on FaceTime, the pair met in person and Ben asked Jess to be his girlfriend.