Thomas Ravenel's Girlfriend Ashley Jacobs Opens Up About 'Severe Anxiety,' Addresses Weight Loss

"I was completely overwhelmed with moving across the country, leaving my family and friends, being in a new relationship," says Ashley Jacobs

Thomas Ravenel‘s girlfriend Ashley Jacobs is getting candid with her followers.

On Thursday, the brand new Southern Charm star shared two photos of herself lounging on a pool float in a bikini, asking her followers not to attack her as she addressed her weight loss.

“I was going to say in my caption something like, ‘Happy Summer Solstice’ and turn commenting off. But then I thought, ‘Who am I kidding?’ ” she captioned the post. “Turn commenting off so I don’t have to read all the comments on how unhealthy I look? How about I be honest with all of you and address this weight concern once and for all.”

“So here goes… In the last 8 months I have struggled with severe anxiety related to stress,” she revealed. “I was completely overwhelmed with moving across the country, leaving my family and friends, being in a new relationship, not having my nursing license, oh and being on a reality TV show! I made these choices and I take complete accountability for them. What I lacked was proper coping mechanisms.”

Jacobs said she “dropped a lot of weight in a matter of months.”

“I was putting too much pressure on myself, not taking care of my health and fitness, along with other external stressors,” she said. “People deal with stress in a multitude of ways (some of them healthy, some of them not so much). It’s important to monitor your response to stress, anxiety, or any other negative emotion in order to keep your health in check. I’ve learned the hard way that you need to ask for help when things aren’t going well. You need to talk to qualified professionals, get medical support, and not feel ashamed or try to ‘tough it out.’ It isn’t easy, but there is hope for me and I believe that things will get better.”

“I’m allowing comments but if you could please try to refrain from saying, ‘Eat a cheeseburger, you’re on drugs, you have an eating disorder, or you’re way too skinny,’ I’d appreciate it because TRUST ME, I know… I’ve heard it all and it doesn’t help,” she continued. “I appreciate everyone’s concern and hope you can all support me. I know how far I have strayed from who I used to be, and could be once again. I’m committed to choosing my health and well-being first.”

Jacobs has certainly faced her fair share of challenges since she began dating Ravenel, 55. Their up-and-down relationship has been documented on the Bravo reality series, including several explosive fights between Jacobs and Ravenel’s ex Kathryn Dennis.

Last month, it was announced that Ravenel would not take part in the upcoming Southern Charm reunion as he stands accused of sexual assault by at least two women.

But Bravo’s Andy Cohen recently confirmed that Jacobs did tape the end-of-season special in New York City, calling it “intensely dramatic” and telling ABC News this week that he was “stunned” by her behavior in the latest episode.

“It’s not her last meltdown of the season,” he said. “What happens at the reunion is jaw dropping.”

Cohen also revealed that Ravenel’s absence from the reunion was a “mutual decision.”

A source close to Jacobs recently told PEOPLE that she was “really happy to be able to finally set the record straight about her feelings.”

“She’s glad she was at the reunion and able to defend [Thomas] on his behalf,” said the source.

'Thoroughbreds' special screening, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 28 Feb 2018

South Carolina police are investigating allegations of sexual assault brought against former politician Ravenel by “nanny Dawn,” who was featured on the show caring for Ravenel’s two children with Dennis: daughter Kensie, 4, and son Saint, 2½. Dawn claimed he attempted to kiss her after coming back from a night out with friends.

Additionally, real estate agent Ashley Perkins has alleged that Ravenel assaulted her mom Debbie Holloway Perkins after meeting him on Tinder in October 2015 and going on a last-minute first date.

Ravenel has denied the accusations through his attorney, and a source close to the network told PEOPLE earlier this month that “no decision has been made yet” about firing him from the show.

Southern Charm airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

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