Clayton Echard‘s season of The Bachelor didn’t go as smoothly as planned.
His top choice (and now girlfriend), Susie Evans, left the season after Fantasy Suites because she was upset with how Clayton had conducted himself. In the end, Clayton chose neither of his top two women and decided to go home and go after Susie.
Clayton has been open about how his mental health was affected by appearing on the ABC show, but now he’s revealing the point where he felt he had hit “rock bottom.”
During After the Final Rose, Clayton Echard and Susie Evans revealed that they were together after all the drama that went down during the season.
“I spent the last four months with her,” Clayton said on the show. “She just impresses me more and more every day. And she continues to give me reason after reason why following my heart was the best decision I could have ever made, and I could not be more in love with this woman.”
Before the end of the season, Clayton told Us Weekly that he was nervous for fans to watch the final rose ceremony.
“I went in there hoping that I could make it as seamless as possible. And I think, honestly, it was the closest thing to a trainwreck,” he said before the finale aired.
“I took the actions that I took thinking that they were the right actions to take at that time. I since found out that, looking back at it, I should have asked more questions and made sure that all the women were on the same page,” he added. “It was a mess and I feel terrible and it hurts me, but I know I have to talk to these women and we all need our closure. I’m not looking forward to [it] because it’s going to be very emotional.”
In a new post on Instagram, Clayton opened up more about how he felt heading into After the Final Rose.
“Suse took this picture of me 1 day before After the Final Rose. In this moment, I was at rock bottom,” he wrote on a photo of himself looking out a dark window. “I knew what was coming and realized my reality was much further from what I had ever expected. As I looked out the window, I questioned who I was? What had I become? Where did everything go wrong? Why me?”
6 months prior, I was standing outside as the first limo pulled up and kept thinking to myself how I was so lucky to be in this position as The Bachelor. 6 months later, I was staring out this window wondering how much worse things could get.
But as I’ve reflected back on it all now since being out of the spotlight, I’ve had the ability to see what I couldn’t see before. I was too busy trying to defend my actions and my character, instead of accepting full responsibility for not only what I had done, but for who all I hurt. Often, we are so concerned with explaining ourselves that we don’t realize the explanations sometimes hurt more than the actions. Because they appear as excuses and nothing more.
Clayton explained that he’s learned from the mistakes he made, both on his own and with a therapist.
“But I feel that I finally have learned my lesson. I hurt people. Sure, I didn’t have any intention of doing so and ‘did what I thought was best by following my heart,’ but I still hurt people,” Clayton’s caption continued. “Perception is reality and regardless of intention, the results of our actions hold the most weight.”
So, through therapy and other means of self-reflection, I have been able to finally see the reality of what all I had done. I never forget to give myself grace, as we all should do for ourselves. But I am a work in progress and always will be. Because perfection is impossible to obtain, but we can all be better than we were the day before. So that’s what I’ll continue to strive to do.
Thank you to those that have been in my corner throughout this entire experience. Without you all and your support and constructive criticism, I would still be focused on defending my character, instead of building upon it. I would still be coming up with explanations that fit my narrative, instead of working to understand “the other side”. And I would still be looking out that window, wondering who I really am. But I now know…and for that, I am finally at peace.
“Humility is indeed one of your greatest strengths,” host Jesse Palmer commented. “So well said, and a great reminder to all of us that we should constantly be striving to become better versions of ourselves. So proud of you.”