Former WWE superstar AJ Lee (now known as AJ Brooks) took to her official website today and revealed that she had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when she was younger. The National Institute of Mental Health notes that bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults.
When I harnessed its seemingly uncontrollable might, I realized Bipolar disorder's powers could be used for good. My diagnosis didn't have to be an affliction. It could simply be the gift of extraordinary emotions. When a loved one hurt, I could feel their pain with every inch of my skin through my super human ability of empathy. When I witnessed injustice, my anger was transformed into righteous indignation, and nothing could stop me from raising my voice. My passion-fueled soul convinced me to jump into life headfirst, without overthinking. When I was scared, my super-sized heart reminded me I could be invincible. When I doubted myself, my overachieving mind made me believe I was capable of flying. And when I desired something, there was not a person on earth who could hold me back. I could walk through fire if it meant making my dreams come true.
That is the gift being bipolar gave me. It blessed me with a lofty imagination, an iron will, and an unbreakable belief in the impossible. I used my gift to take myself from being homeless to being an athlete and entertainer on international television. I became a woman with a mission.
But what good is a secret weapon if it only serves me? Now it is time to reveal my secret identity. I am Bipolar and I am proud.
And that is why I wanted to write a book. To shine a light on mental illness, to be vulnerable about the days I let it take control and paid dearly for it, and to tell anyone fighting a similar battle: You are not alone. You are not broken.
Putting my past on the pages of Crazy is My Superpower was beyond terrifying. But I promised myself I would break the tradition of silence. No mission has ever felt this personal. This book is my raw, uncomfortable truth. Each word, my blood and bone. I am so grateful to be able to tell my story.
I hope to be a resource for those fighting similar battles against mental illness. Even if your battle is a different one, my message to you is the same: Embrace your crazy, your imperfection, your weakness--whatever it may be--because it is the most special thing about you.
I have been labeled a lot of things in life; Nerdy, loud, short, stubborn, impulsive, freak, crazy- everything I was told should be my greatest insecurities, weaknesses, my biggest roadblocks- turned out to be my greatest strengths. I didn't become successful in spite of them, I became successful because of them.
I am no longer afraid to be called crazy. Crazy is my superpower. What will yours be?
AJ's book, "Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules," will be released on April 4th.
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