After opening up about her battle with depression last year, Zee is moving forward and embracing her past.

By Joelle Goldstein
September 06, 2018 11:25 PM
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Credit: Allison Michael Orenstein

Ginger Zee is opening up about her battle with depression.

The Good Morning America chief meteorologist, who previously revealed to PEOPLE that she was diagnosed with depression at 21, candidly spoke about her decision to reach out for help seven years ago in an emotional Instagram post Thursday.

“It’s been seven years since I finally took the critical step of taking myself to an inpatient facility,” Zee said on Club Mental’s Instagram page. “My mom had been urging me to do this since I struggled with anorexia in my early teens.”

Zee, now 37, explained that getting professional help took longer than expected because she couldn’t find a therapist who was a “good fit” and she “wasn’t ready to improve.”

Upon being offered her “dream job” at GMA in 2011, Zee realized she “needed to get to the bottom of the depression” that was affecting her for over 20 years.

“I was flirting with suicidal thoughts just before I moved to New York and just knew with the pressure of a new job and the transition I always struggled with that it was time to commit to getting healthy,” she explained.

Credit: Philosophy

Although scary at first, Zee says her short time in the mental health facility became a “reality check” and helped her find a regular therapist who she’s comfortable with.

“I was so fragile,” she admitted. “…but the work we did and the demons I was able to get out were so healing.”

And since working with the professional, the GMA meteorologist says her life has been changed for the better.

“He was the first person who was ready to help me overhaul my relationship with myself and with other people,” she revealed. “…Life has never been the same in the best way thanks to the simple exercises he taught me and I am committed to practicing.”

RELATED VIDEO: Ginger Zee Reveals Crippling Battle with Depression That Once Left Her Suicidal

Still, Zee admits this process, though rewarding, continues to also be challenging.

“I don’t think depression ever goes away. I think we learn new ways to live with it and identify with it before it spirals,” she explained, noting how nervous she was the night before her book, Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One released. The book, which discusses her suicide attempt, was released in 2017.

“I’ve had my healthiest seven years in my life, and so many great life experiences have come from being a mentally healthy person,” she said.

Part of those “great life experiences” include Zee’s marriage to Pickler & Ben host Ben Aaron in 2014 and the birth of their two sons Adrian Benjamin in 2016 and Miles Macklin in February.

Credit: Karen Morneau

After welcoming her first son, Zee told PEOPLE how motherhood has given her new strength and perspective.

“I’m now focused on not just myself, but on keeping my family happy and healthy,” she said. “You have bigger things than [your own problems]. That has helped a lot — being a mother has helped incredibly.”

The mother-of-two has also been vocal about her husband’s unwavering support throughout this process, noting how fortunate she is to be married to someone who doesn’t judge her past.

But even with the peaks that Zee has experienced in her life, she still remembers the valleys she has overcome and is embracing it as she moves forward.

“Just because I’ve had an unbelievable career and life stretch doesn’t mean I haven’t had low moments,” she said. “Now I know how to deal and who to go to if I don’t think I can overcome it alone. It is so empowering, that self-control is like a buoy that keeps me up.”