Supermodel Gisele Bundchen once grappled with suicide as she battled anxiety issues.
The Brazilian beauty decided to go public with her private struggles in her new memoir, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, because she wanted fans to see that even her life has been far from perfect at times.
“Things can be looking perfect on the outside, but you have no idea what’s really going on (sic),” she tells People magazine. “I felt like maybe it was time to share some of my vulnerabilities, and it made me realise everything I’ve lived through, I would never change, because I think I am who I am because of those experiences.”
Gisele reveals she experienced her first panic attack on a plane flight in 2003, and the drama left her fearful of enclosed spaces. She also felt her fast-rising career made the world seem smaller.
“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 adds. “I felt like I wasn’t allowed to feel bad, I felt powerless. Your world becomes smaller and smaller, and you can’t breathe, which is the worst feeling I’ve ever had.”
And the 38 year old started to think the best way to deal with the panic attacks was to end her life.
“I actually had the feeling of, ‘If I just jump off my balcony, this is going to end, and I never have to worry about this feeling of my world closing in (again)’,” she explains.
She turned to a doctor who initially prescribed her anxiety medicine, but Bundchen did not want to take the medication and instead decided to change her lifestyle.
“I had been smoking cigarettes, drinking a bottle of wine and three mocha Frappucinos every day, and I gave up everything in one day,” she adds. “I thought, if this stuff is in any way the cause of this pain in my life, it’s gotta go.”
Gisele, who is now married to U.S. football star Tom Brady, also ended her romance with long-time love Leonardo DiCaprio in 2005.
“Everyone who crosses our path is a teacher, they come into our lives to show us something about ourselves,” she says. “And I think that’s what he was… I honour him for what he was.”