“I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect," she said. "It was terrible."
When your mind isn't in the right place, you can try your best to do everything right and still see yourself as an absolute failure. Feeling like a zombie who was out of touch with her emotions, Gwyneth Paltrow, too, felt like a failure when it came to motherhood, filled with its own highs and lows.
She was euphoric when her first child, Apple was born. But when she gave birth to her second child, Moses, with her ex-husband and singer, Chris Martin, things were starkly different.
"When my son, Moses, came into the world in 2006, I expected to have another period of euphoria following his birth, much the way I had when my daughter was born two years earlier," Paltrow wrote for Goop."Instead I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life. For about five months I had, what I can see in hindsight as postnatal depression..."
In some ways, she blamed herself and thought she wasn't cut out for motherhood. “I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect,” Paltrow told Good Housekeeping, as reported by People. "It was terrible, it was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the same. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person."
The one who realized that Paltrow might be suffering from postpartum depression was Chris Martin. The Oscar-winning had been married to the lead from the Grammy-award winning band Colplay for about three years at the time. "About four months into it, Chris came to me and said, ‘Something’s wrong. Something’s wrong.’ I kept saying, ‘No, no, I’m fine.’ But Chris identified it, and that sort of burst the bubble,” Paltrow recalled.
She also admitted, "I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child. But there are different shades of it and depths of it, which is why I think it’s so important for women to talk about it. It was a trying time. I felt like a failure."
Paltrow even remembers the time when she felt completely exhausted and drained as she pushed herself in her acting career. “When I was acting I really burned myself out. When the flywheel kicked in, I was doing three to five movies a year," Paltrow told Harper's Bazaar. "I really got to the point where even the little things, like sitting in the van going to set, getting your makeup touch-ups, and everything—I really don’t know that I can bear it."
"The last movie I starred in, I was pregnant with my daughter. It was a movie called Proof, an adaptation of a play I did in London, and I was like, ‘I’ve had it. I can’t do this anymore.’ I had morning sickness and I was dying, and I had these five-page monologues," said the actress.
When she gave birth to her daughter, Paltrow wanted to take it easy on herself rather than push herself and feel completely depleted. "So when I had her, I knew I was going to take a big chunk of time off. And I’ve never starred in anything again.”
Giving herself a much-needed break helped her make the recovery she needed, and today, the actress seems happier than ever. Today, the 47-year-old is content raising her kids whilst also being married to her husband, Brad Falchuk, who is completely in awe of her.
"She’s stunning and she’s charming and she’s completely disarming,” Falchuk said about his wife.
He also admits that the Paltrow the world sees is a little different from the one he married. “There’s a public Gwyneth Paltrow, and there are all these ideas about who that is,” he shared. “And the reality is, the real Gwyneth Paltrow is so much more amazing, so much more than that, and that’s the one that I keep getting struck by and can’t believe I’m married to."