June 30, 2017 03:07 PM

Trista Sutter is opening up about the terrifying seizure that she suffered while on vacation with her family — and why she now considers it a “gift.”

Earlier this month, the former Bachelorette star enjoyed a trip to Europe with her husband Ryan, and their two children — son Maxwell ‘Max’ Alston, 9, and daughter Blakesley Grace, 8 — before she was hospitalized due to the violent seizure that she suffered in Croatia.

But in the weeks since the life-threatening incident occurred, the former ABC leading lady has had time to reflect on and process what happened to her. Although the episode emotionally shook the mother of two and her family who witnessed the health emergency, she has a positive outlook on the life that she’s been given.

“Behind the lens of a camera, I look to capture joy in a precious moment and hold onto it. It’s one of my favorite things,” Trista, 44, captioned an Instagram photo of her two children shared Thursday evening.

“In Europe, I was given a gift. It certainly didn’t feel like a gift at the time, but I’ve since come to realize that with my seizure brought the gift of awareness and perspective,” she continued. “Just as I look to find joy through a camera lens, I need to remind myself to find joy through the lens of my everyday life, and lately it’s been tough. With the pain of a brutal sinus infection to contend with, I’ve allowed fear to lessen that gift and turn my focus to the negativity and pain.”

The inaugural Bachelorette then proceeded to apologize to her husband, children, friends and herself.

“Let this be a reminder, @tristasutter, that you are blessed with each breath and heartbeat. You are allowed to be sad and scared. You’re human,” she wrote.

“You are not allowed, however, to wallow and waste away your days on the worst case scenarios. Life is beautiful. Enjoy it and those who make it worth living, while you have the chance,” Trista continued.

She concluded: “One day, chances will run out. Just do your best to make sure that when they do, the smiles outweigh the sadness. #aremindertomyself #lifeisprecious #begrateful #lovethesefaces #theirsmilesgivemelife.”

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After witnessing his wife “seize violently” on board the bus that their family was on, Ryan also took to social media to reflect on the moment.

“I’ve had this picture to post for a few days. I just haven’t been sure what to say? Like my mind, the photo has sat as a ‘draft.’ In limbo,” Ryan began his post, which accompanied a photo of Trista holding a camera on board a boat.

Although Trista’s medical emergency was unexpected to both Ryan and his family members, he has been encouraged by the positive messages and comments from friends, family and members of Bachelor nation who have extended their support.

“What has helped is the outpouring of kindness received from our friends, family and even those that we’ve never personally met. Without a doubt, you have been instrumental in the healing process and a humbling source of strength for @tristasutter and I,” he wrote.

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Ryan, 42, concluded: “So, with that message, I post this simple picture. It’s my wife – at her best- capturing life as she always has, though now through a more meaningful lens…”

Trista was the first Bachelorette to star on the ABC reality series in January 2003 and later married Ryan in December 2003.

The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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