Ryan Sutter knows the power of resiliency.
Just last month, Bachelor Nation was surprised to learn The Bachelorette alum was struggling with a mystery illness. And as 2020 comes to a close, the 46-year-old firefighter is opening up about the greatest lessons he's learned as he continues his search for answers.
"I pushed myself to develop a mindset that would not give up, give in or give off any sign of weakness," Ryan explained in an Instagram posted on Tuesday, Dec. 29. "I did this mostly on my own, choosing solitude as my practice ground. Though I had breakdowns, few ever saw them. Mostly I internalized difficulty and distracted myself from its presence through physical exertion. It worked for me. I felt confident. I felt resilient. Until this year..."
In the past 12 months, Ryan explained that he now realizes the importance of asking for help and letting others in.
"For me, health concerns brought on this realization, eventually forcing me to expose what I considered to be weakness. Once exposed, however, weakness became opportunity," he shared. "I was no longer alone in my struggle. My wife went on a mission, developing a medical strategy and path towards hopeful answers while at the same time leaving daily reminder notes to keep my spirits up."
Ryan continued, "My family has rallied behind me, my friends have shown tremendous support and my colleagues a high degree of understanding and patience. For all of this I am grateful."
With help from doctors, the couple ruled out everything from Lyme disease and cancer to immune disorders and autoimmune disorders. In addition, Ryan got tested for COVID-19 several times and did not receive any positive test results.
By sharing their family's story, both Trista and Ryan hope fans may be able to help.
"As difficult as it may be, soliciting the help of others is a critical step in moving forward through difficult times," Ryan shared in his latest update. "I appreciate all the help I have received and know that through it, I am a better, stronger, more knowledgeable and more resilient man. #thankyou #life."