"I woke up on New Years Day and knew I needed to get help and surround myself with good people if I was going to make it," Olivia Plath said

By Natalie Stone
January 07, 2021 08:30 PM
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Credit: Janelle Putrich

One year ago, Olivia Plath was in a dark place.

On Dec. 31, 2019, the Welcome to Plathville star thought about taking her own life.

"I spent last New Year’s Eve feeling scared, alone, sobbing and contemplating suicide," she revealed in an Instagram post on New Year's Eve 2020.

The following morning, Olivia knew she "needed to get help."

"I woke up on New Years Day and knew I needed to get help and surround myself with good people if I was going to make it. I decided to claim 2020 as my year - I had poured everything of me into other people, and I decided to focus on my happiness in 2020," she continued. "Turns out that was a joke and a half 😂 ."

Although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has impacted and changed lives around the globe, the TLC star said that in 2020, she did "start to feel seen, heard and understood."

"Sometimes it was easy to feel overwhelmed with criticism and hard choices, but I also gained some close confidants who cheered me on and brought me countless smiles, laughs and thoughtful conversations," she continued.

Throughout the past year, she also "did some deep inner reflection, recognized unhealthy patterns, and started to lean into the discomfort 😅."

Olivia Plath
| Credit: Janelle Putrich Photography

For the travel photographer, "2020 ended up being a year of learning instead of fun," she said. "And I underestimated how much I actually needed that." 

At the end of December, Olivia opened up to PEOPLE about going to therapy again — a decision she said came to after realizing she "was not in a healthy place."

"I’m currently in therapy. I started again last month, just realizing that I was not in a healthy place and I needed to work through things," Olivia said.

Though she and husband Ethan Plath — to whom she has been married for two years — hope to have children one day, "I also know that in many ways, we’re not ready for kids," she said, "and the fact that we need to heal and process our own childhoods before we bring another child into the world."

Olivia and Ethan Plath
| Credit: olivia plath/ instagram

In fall 2019, audiences met Olivia's in-laws Kim and Barry Plath, who chose to raise their nine children on a 55-acre farm in a rural part of south Georgia and have largely abstained from technology in the 21st-century world — all with the goal of instilling their traditional values and beliefs.

They are parents to Ethan, Micah, 19, Moriah, 18, Lydia, 16, Isaac, 14, Amber, 11, Cassia, 9, and Mercy, 7. There’s also daughter Hosanna, 21, a violinist who tours full-time with her pianist husband Timothy Nobel. They were married in the spring of 2019 and live in Ohio.

As seen throughout season 2 of the TLC reality series, the conservative Plath family was at odds and had split into three households — Ethan and Olivia, Micah and Moriah, and Kim and Barry with their youngest children — though they only all live blocks apart.

Ethan, 22, also revealed on the show that he and Olivia "needed space as a couple, so we decided that that meant no contact with my parents," which he began after he and his wife were no longer allowed to see his youngest siblings.

Currently, "we are still on a no-contact basis with his parents ," Olivia told PEOPLE.

Welcome to Plathville's Plath family
| Credit: TLC

Coming to the decision to distance themselves, "it was the healthiest and best thing for us when Ethan decided that and just focusing on us, focusing on moving and growing," she explained. "And I’m focusing on the rebrand and my business and just trying to do everything I can to make sure I’m in a healthy and happy spot."

And while she's uncertain about "how different 2021 will be," she kicked off the New Year "with people who love me instead of being alone," she wrote in her Dec. 31, 2020 Instagram post.

Olivia Plath
| Credit: Janelle Putrich

"And I have another therapy appointment next week," she said. "Instead of claiming this year for my happiness, I want to continue to learn and grow for the benefit of myself and others." 

Olivia concluded: "After all, a better me would make for a better year. So here’s to 2021 🥂 May this year be what you need, whether you know that now or find it in the months to come."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.