In her new memoir, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, Gisele Bundchën didn’t hold anything back. In fact, the model revealed some very personal aspects about her life — including the fact that she once contemplated suicide due to a plethora of unwanted panic attacks.
“I actually had the feeling of, ‘If I just jump off my roof, this is going to end, and I never have to worry about this feeling of my world closing in,'” Gisele, 38, sadly writes in the book.
At the time, Gisele’s extremely successful modeling career was taking off and she was dating actor Leonardo DiCaprio, but life in the spotlight came with a lot of anxiety for her. “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. Like, ‘Why should I be feeling this?’ I felt like I wasn’t allowed to feel bad,” she says. “But I felt powerless. Your world becomes smaller and smaller, and you can’t breathe, which is the worst feeling I’ve ever had.”
However, Gisele refused to rely on medication through that difficult time. She adds, “The thought of being dependent on something felt, in my mind, even worse, because I was like, ‘What if I lose that [pill]? Then what? Am I going to die?’ The only thing I knew was, I needed help.”
That said, she made a lifestyle change instead. “I had been smoking cigarettes, drinking a bottle of wine and three mocha frappucinos every day, and I gave up everything in one day,” Gisele shares, adding that she also turned to yoga and meditation. “I thought, if this stuff is in any way the cause of this pain in my life, it’s gotta go.”
Today, Gisele is one of the highest-paid models in the industry, is married to NFL quarterback Tom Brady, and is a proud mom to three kids. But she wants fans to understand that even though it may appear that her life is perfect, that’s not always the case. “Things can be looking perfect on the outside, but you have no idea what’s really going on,” she told People in a new interview. “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.”