It's been a whirlwind year for "Bachelorette" star Hannah Brown, to say the least.
She's gone from once-unknown Alabama native to famous face, from the pageant circuit to reality TV, and from love to loss — more than once.
Now the 24-year-old is opening up to her fans and followers on social media about the toll all of it has taken on her.
"Honest policy: I’m struggling," she wrote alongside a sun-soaked photo of herself sitting atop a lifeguard tower. "Life is so different. Since last August, I’ve been a pageant queen, a bachelor contestant, and the Bachelorette. I’ve been in love with multiple people, I got engaged, I broke off an engagement, and I shared it all with millions of people."
Viewers watched those latter incidents unfold just two weeks ago, on the season 15 finale of "The Bachelorette," when she said "yes" after contestant Jed Wyatt popped the question, and then soon revealed she said "no thank you" when she found out he still had a girlfriend back home when he first vied for her heart.
But the yo-yo relationships are just a small part of the problem for the woman who often found herself judged by viewers of the love-match series and by fellow Christians.
"My faith has been questioned by thousands who don’t know my heart, and my transparency with my decisions has labeled me promiscuous," she continued in her post. "Simultaneously, I’ve become a role model for young women and started bigger conversations around faith, and sex."
And amid it all, she's striking out on her own and wrangling with a new normal in the spotlight.
"I’m living on my own for the first time and shuffling through this life of next steps with press, media, and opportunities galore," she wrote. "I miss my friends and family that have watched my life explode. I feel guilty because I don’t have the time or emotional capacity to fill each of them in on my life right now. I can’t keep up with the people that matter most, because I can barely keep up with my own life right now.
And if it seems like a lot to bear, that's because it is. But if it sounds like she's complaining, she insists she's not.
"I am not complaining about this past year of adventures," Brown stressed. "The woman who has emerged would shock the mirror-image young girl from a year ago. I have so many blessings to be thankful for. However it’s uncharted territory for me, and it’s been hard to really process what the heck is going on."
And sharing how she's feeling with her fans is part of how she's choosing to process it.
"Maybe I needed write this out to remind myself I’m human and it’s okay to be overwhelmed. And maybe, I just needed to remind you guys too. Life is beautiful, but wild. I think it’s okay to be strong—to know you’re strong—but to still feel weak simultaneously. I believe that’s when the magic happens."
Brown is ready for that magic now, and she's turning to her faith to help her find it.
"My spirit has opportunity to grow and blossom from this place. Healing and restoration can happen. I can rest knowing that My Savior has compassion and wants to help and love me through this journey. I’ve just got to let Him," she wrote, adding, "I don’t know if I have been lately— but I am now because honestly, I think I would give out if I didn’t. So yeah, I’m not going to struggle to disguise my weakness— I’m just gonna give over the keys to my main man Jesus and let him bless me through this ride."