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See 'Bachelor' alum Britt Nilsson open up about having bulimia on the show

by Gina Vivinetto / / Source: TODAY

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"Bachelor" alum Britt Nilsson is opening up about her behind-the-scenes battle with bulimia while on the popular reality show.

Nilsson, who competed for Chris Soules' love on season 19 — and then faced off (and lost) against Kaitlyn Bristowe for the lead spot on season 11 of "The Bachelorette" — got candid about her struggles with eating disorders and drug and alcohol abuse in a tearful video blog on her YouTube channel.

"My makeup is basically that I just want it all, all the time," Nilsson explained. "That’s what makes me a really joyful person… I really like experiencing life, I really, truly enjoy life so much — but I also don’t know when to stop."

ABC's "The Bachelorette" - Season 11
Britt Nilsson on season 11 of "The Bachelorette."Craig Sjodin / ABC via Getty Images

The reality star revealed that she's struggled with binge eating disorder since she was a young girl and developed bulimia in college, a time when she was also addicted to cocaine. "I had a lot of shame, and that just kicked it up," she said. "All addictions are pretty related to shame and pain avoidance, in my experience."

After college came "really dark years," said Nilsson. "I was binging all day, throwing up. I was hiding it because I was so ashamed — I was just mortified with myself."

Added Nilsson, "I didn’t tell anyone because I just thought it was too shameful."

Being on the set of "The Bachelor" in 2015 triggered a relapse with her bulimia.

"For me, having tons of food everywhere…it just became too much," she said. "I had pain and anxiety, I felt insecure, I didn’t feel pretty enough, I didn’t know what was going on, I missed my family."

She worried the show's microphones would pick up the sound of her vomiting. "You’re mic-ed 24/7," she continued. "I would take my mic off and try to hide it under towels so they wouldn’t hear me throw up."

The star said she hasn't had a drink in a year, and credits her fiancé, Jeremy Byrne, with helping her with her bulimia battle. "He just stuck by me with it, he would ask me about it, he would keep me accountable, and it actually got much, much better," she said.

She also urged others who are struggling to "tell somebody."

"Tell someone that you know, because just letting the secret out is the biggest part of it," said Nilsson. "We’re only as sick as our secrets."

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