When Glamour first told me I was going to be on the cover, I was freaking thrilled. Seriously. As a longtime reader, I couldn’t believe it. I’d always assumed that wearing swimsuits (or half a swimsuit) or having the occasional nip slip (or bit slip) wouldn’t make me the go-to choice for a women’s magazine I not only love but respect.
Yet here I am! Next they asked me to write an essay. I was super into it, but then cringed every time I opened my laptop. Topics? I quickly realized I have truly talked about everything possible. I guess that’s the dilemma one faces when they…well…can’t shut up. I’ve been a chronic oversharer since birth. So I decided I’d talk about something no one really knows about me, mainly because I just learned about it myself. What is it? I’ll get there.
Let me start here: To a lot of you, I think, I seem like the happiest person on the planet. I have an incredible husband—John and I have been together for over 10 years. He has seen my successes and failures; I’ve seen his. He has seen me at my worst, but I will say I don’t think I have ever seen him at his. He’s exactly as compassionate, patient, loving, and understanding as he seems. And I hate it. OK, I don’t hate it. But it can certainly drive you nuts sometimes when you’re as cynical as I am. If I weren’t me, I would politely excuse myself to make the most epic eye roll of all time if a woman talked to me about her significant other the way I just did to you.
When John and I got together, I found my love for cooking. On one of our earliest dates, I took him to Daniel (four dollar signs on Yelp, ahhh!). I drank a $40 margarita, ate salmon rillettes (fancy salmon spread), and prayed my card wouldn’t be declined. I couldn’t afford to take him out to more dinners like that, so I started cooking more and more at home for us. I started with my own version of that salmon spread, then roasted whole branzino, osso buco, chipotle BBQ chicken. When my first cookbook came out, I finally felt proud of my work. I feel that same pride in Lip Sync Battle, where I get to work with LL Cool J and watch Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan go head-to-head as Beyoncé and motherf-cking Paula Abdul. My job, essentially, is to have the best time humanly possible.
And a year ago, in April, John and I started our family together. We had our daughter, Luna, who is perfect. She is somehow exactly me, exactly John, and exactly herself. I adore her.
I had everything I needed to be happy. And yet, for much of the last year, I felt unhappy. What basically everyone around me—but me—knew up until December was this: I have postpartum depression. How can I feel this way when everything is so great? I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with that, and I hesitated to even talk about this, as everything becomes such a “thing.” During pregnancy, what I thought were casual comments about IVF turned into headlines about me choosing the sex of my daughter. And I can already envision what will be said about me after this admission. But it’s such a major part of my life and so, so many other women’s lives. It would feel wrong to write anything else. So here goes.