Supermodel Gisele Bundchen says that though her life might seem perfect to outsiders, she has struggled in the past with anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
Bundchen, who’s married to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, opened up on her mental health struggles in her new book, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life.
“Things can be looking perfect on the outside, but you have no idea what’s really going on,” the supermodel, 38, said in an interview with People. “I felt like maybe it was time to share some of my vulnerabilities and it made me realize, everything I’ve lived through, I would never change because I think I am who I am because of those experiences.”
After experiencing a panic attack on a small plane 15 years ago, Bundchen said she began to fear tunnels, elevators and other tight spaces.
“I had a wonderful position in my career, I was very close to my family, and I always considered myself a positive person, so I was really beating myself up,” she told People. “Like, ‘Why should I be feeling this?’ I felt like I wasn’t allowed to feel bad, but I felt powerless. Your world feels smaller and smaller and you can’t breathe, which is the worst feeling I’ve ever had.”
Bündchen wed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2009, later welcoming son Benjamin, 8, and daughter Vivian, 5.
“When I became a mom, I kind of lost myself. It was like part of me died,” the model said. “I’d been this very independent person. It was all about me. But now I had this little being, and I suddenly felt I couldn’t do other things, and that was very hard for me.”
With her husband’s unyielding support, Bündchen and Brady remained focused on family, which also includes the quarterback’s son John, 11, with ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan.
“They are really flourishing to be the beautiful angels that they are,” she gushed.
Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, is out Oct. 2.