Tess Holliday
Cosmopolitan/Ben Watts
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August 30, 2018 12:28 PM

Tess Holliday is feeling like herself again — but for more than a year after her son Bowie was born, she was in “the worst mental health state of my life.”

The model, 33, opened up about her difficult experience with postpartum depression, which lasted from Jan. 2017 to this spring, long after Bowie’s birth in June 2016.

“It felt like the water was boiling over and things were coming to the top again,” Holliday tells Cosmopolitan UK for their October cover, on sale Friday. “I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie and I thought to myself, ‘I wish I could just disappear. I wish I could vanish.’ “

Tess Holliday
Cosmopolitan/Ben Watts

Holliday said that she felt like a burden to her family and friends.

“It felt at that point like I was causing everyone around me so much pain,” she said. “It felt like a never-ending black hole. I was so tired of hurting … I just didn’t want to be here any more.”

But, as she wrote in an Instagram post in May, Holliday’s family and friends ended up being the ones who helped her through her postpartum depression, along with antidepressants.

“Ask for help, talk to someone, find a support group or hell, message me. You aren’t alone and you don’t need to suffer alone,” she wrote.

And while Holliday struggled with her mental health in the last year, her body confidence is now stronger than ever.

“I’m at the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life now and it took me being the heaviest to finally love myself,” she said. “I was a US size 16 to 18 my entire life before I had Rylee [her first son, who she had at age 20]. I look back on those photos now and I don’t wish I was that size, but what I wish is that I loved myself 120 pounds ago.”

RELATED VIDEO: Model & Body Activist Tess Holliday Gets Real Motherhood: ‘The Worst Thing Is All the Body Fluids’

Holliday knows she’s found success as her body positivity campaign, #effyourbeautystandards, continues to spread around the world. But she’s going to keep pushing to help other people.

Tess Holliday
Cosmopolitan/Ben Watts

“I have had people say to me: ‘Shut up already with your diversity. You’ve already made it,’ ” she said. “But I’m not talking about me and my career. I’m talking about the ton of models out there who don’t have the opportunity because they don’t have three million followers on social media.”

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