At first glance, Gisele Bundchen seems like she’s living her best life. Yet, as she reveals in her new memoir, the supermodel once suffered from anxiety that was so bad that she thought about killing herself!
“Things can be looking perfect on the outside, but you have no idea what’s really going on,” Gisele Bundchen, 38, said in an interview with PEOPLE, ahead of the release of her memoir, Lessons: My Path To A Meaningful Life. The notoriously private Gisele spoke about her struggles with anxiety, which started after suffering her first panic attack during a bumpy flight in a small plane in 2003. That resulted in a fear of tunnels, elevators and cramped places. “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 said.
“But I felt powerless. Your world becomes smaller and smaller, and you can’t breathe, which is the worst feeling I’ve ever had,” she added. When the panic attacks started happening while she was in her own home, Gisele said she considered suicide. “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.’ ” Thankfully, Tom Brady’s better half sought out medication, but when she realized she didn’t want to rely on Xanax, she overhauled her life. She changed her diet, split from Leo DiCaprio in 2005, and started dating Tom, 41, in 2006. The two would start a family and give Gisele the “happily ever after” she always wanted.
“I felt like maybe it was time to share some of my vulnerabilities,” Gisele told PEOPLE about this new memoir, “ 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.” Those experiences, it turns out, include suffering a brutal entry into the fashion world.
“They told me, ‘Your nose is too big and your eyes are too small and you’re never going to be on the cover of a magazine,’ ” she recalls. Who on earth would say that to Gisele? Clearly, these fools were proven wrong when she experienced her big break in 1997. After walking topless in Alexander McQueen’s runway show (and appeared on the cover of Vogue the next year) she heralded in “the return of the curve.” Since then, she has been synonymous with “beauty,” and is considered one of the most gorgeous women in the world. Not bad for a young girl from Horizontina, Brazil.