Former WWE star AJ Lee (AJ Brooks) took to her official website today and revealed that she was 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?
Check out the full blog post on AJ's website at this link. 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.