Alongside a shirtless photo of Colton, when he was stand-up paddleboarding with his dog resting on the board, the 30-year-old wrote, "This picture is easily one of my favorites for many reasons, but not for the reasons many would think."
"The reason I like it so much is because at this time in my life I was at my lowest and holding on to a secret that felt more like a ticking time bomb. Wait, what?!" Colton explained.
"I wasn't eating a lot, I was abusing my pills and I hated myself. When I look at this picture I'm reminded of how far I've come. It's a reminder that even in moments that the world feels like it's crashing down on me, it's not."
Colton said he now has "the perspective of being on the other side of things."
"I got help from professionals, my family and my friends," he continued.
"They quite literally brought me back to life by loving and supporting me through this time. I share this because it's a reminder to everyone that no matter how dark and traumatic it seems for you right now, it will get better!"
Colton advised his followers to "ask for help, take care of your brain and check on your friends/family."
"May is mental health month and I want to continue to share my lessons learned and small victories," he noted.
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Colton and Cassie talked about getting engaged, but they went through a devastating breakup in May 2020 after 18 months of dating and then Colton announced, publicly, he's gay on Good Morning America in April 2021.
What started out as an amicable split turned nasty in June 2020 when Colton got angry about Cassie appearing on a Bachelor special after they had agreed to handle their breakup privately. Cassie thought she respected Colton's wishes and proceeded to accuse her ex of trying to "monetize" their breakup by writing about it in his The First Time memoir.
Colton allegedly put a tracking device on Cassie's car, sent her "unsettling" text messages, and would stand outside her apartment or her parents' house very late at night, which resulted in a restraining order against Colton that was ultimately dropped once a private agreement was reached in November 2020.
Last week, Colton also wrote a note to his younger self and posted it on Instagram.
In the letter, Colton wrote in part, "You will have good days where fitting in seems easy... and also have bad days... like you have no reason to live. And to make things even worse[,] you will do all of this publicly."
"The good news?" he added. "You survive. You survive the pills. You survive the press. You survive 'coming out.' Be kind to yourself, be patient, your life means something... Keep strong."
Colton captioned the letter, "I've seen the adult and youth populations experience mental health challenges over the last two years, and I went through a major mental health crisis myself."
"I felt isolated, misunderstood, and scared. The support and conversations I needed to have needed to be in person, and that wasn't an option. I had no healthy way of communicating my problems over the phone or via email/zoom," he continued in his post.
"If I could go back, I would tell my younger self that the brain is very good at playing tricks on you. Very rarely are you in a situation that is as extreme as your brain likes to play it out to be. I had so much anxiety as a kid and would always play out the worst-case scenarios in my head."
Colton assured readers that no one is alone, regardless of what he or she is going through.
"During the month of May, I will be teaming up with @healthline to spreading awareness, resources and support for mental health," he concluded.
"He's a great person. It's very, like, natural. So easy, which I never understood until this [relationship]," Cassie gushed of her boyfriend on Kaitlyn Bristowe's "Off the Vine" podcast earlier this year.
"I'm never questioning him or us. It's more just we get annoyed at little things... We've definitely talked about the future."
And Colton is currently engaged to political strategist Jordan C. Brown, and the couple have discussed having a baby together and starting a family.
The former football player told GMA last year that he realized he was different at the age of six and came to the conclusion he's gay when he was a freshman in high school.
Colton said he hated himself "for a long time" and was "a miserable person living as a shell of a human being" while pretending to be straight for well over a decade.
Colton has said in the press he thought being the Bachelor and dating Cassie could make him straight but he was ultimately lying to himself and he feels badly for having hurt so many women on his season.