Gabrielle Union Opened Up About Her Scariest “Rock Bottom Moments”
"There's always something that just lands you on your ass."
Warning: This story discusses sexual assault and suicide.
Gabrielle Union has always been someone who tells it as it is. You ask her a question, and you're going to get an honest answer back. An actress, mother, wife, author, and advocate, Union is opening up about her "many rock bottom moments" such as divorce, career setbacks, relationship issues, sexual assault, suicidal ideation, and, more recently, her hormone imbalance brought on by perimenopause. The 48-year-old sat down with Gwyneth Paltrow for a virtual conversation at this past weekend's In Goop Health: The At-Home Summit. It was there that Union laid her mental health out on the table in full display.
"I've had so many rock bottom moments as an adult, starting with being raped at 19 at gunpoint at my job. It just felt like every so many years there was some major catastrophic event that was happening in my life," Union told Paltrow, as reported by E! News.
She went on to say, "There's always something that just lands you on your ass and you're like 'There's no way I can move on from this, I'll never recover, I'll never be the same.'"
Union calls these setbacks or challenges "mini deaths," meaning she has had to "grieve the person [she] was before." This has led to a feeling of being "reborn out of success," a separate area that also presented her with difficulties.
Perimenopause, for example, has been the Bring It On star's greatest challenge lately. While Union has been in this menopause transition since her 30s, she explained her "symptoms reached a fever pitch" in September 2020 and she began experiencing long periods of severe depression.
Her turning point was after a silly argument with her husband, Dwyane Wade, where she developed suicidal thoughts. Rather than trying to work out their conversation like she normally would, Union recalled that "immediately, my brain, that little inner voice said, 'He's never going to get it unless you're dead,'" she continued. "Only because I've been in therapy for half my life that I was like 'No, I don't know who is talking now, it's not my intuition.'"
Additionally, the mom said perimenopause has brought on memory loss, inflammation, and weight gain, all of which have contributed to a crashing wave of anxiety.
Likewise, Union explained in an interview with Women's Health magazine, her PTSD has been on a level 10 with the pandemic "and this racial reckoning, alongside being inundated with (images of) the brutalization of Black bodies."
Thankfully, Union was able to alert her loved ones, regulate her hormones, and get help through talk therapy.
"Separating the symptoms from who you really are...to say that it's a challenge, I don't think I really have the words, or I lost them, to describe what these last few months have been," she said.