"The Boss" Sasha Banks recently returned to RAW after months of being away from WWE TV. During the WWE Chronicle documentary, on the WWE Network, Banks spoke in-depth and at length about her love for the wrestling business dying and her happiness in WWE waning.
"[Wrestling] really broke me," Banks said. "It broke my spirit and made me question my mind. It made me question who I was as a person, and the path that I was going scared me so I'm very proud in myself that I took that step to walk away from something that I love very much.
"Coming back now after having that time off means I am coming back better than I've ever been before because I know who I am and I know what I want.
"For me, it's really weird how everything in life works. I didn't have a game plan when I decided to take my leave and I didn't know it was going to happen, so to come back with a whole new outlook on life and being a different person, it's been quite incredible how these last few weeks have felt so freeing and completely different than the past five years have been."
During the documentary, Banks cites one of the main reasons for leaving was being blamed for the injury suffered to Paige in a tag team match on December 27, 2017, which subsequently led to her retiring from in-ring competition. This led to Banks beginning a period of unhappiness, with her depression spiraling out of control - stating that she felt she had lost her true identity behind the persona of Sasha Banks.
"I forgot how to have fun while doing this," said Banks. "My love is back and I have found Mercedes again. I feel like I don't have to put up a wall or a character to try and hide who I was. A lot of times we get judged for who we truly are but I'm not afraid to be embarrassed or laugh at myself and I have self-love which I didn't have myself before.
"I think the hair, the makeup, the clothes, the jewelry, everything that Sasha Banks the character was, protected Mercedes and hid her deep within. But now she's coming out. And I feel at peace and I feel whole, not angry and without a cloud over my head. I've found my smile."
Banks recently returned to RAW in August attacking Natalya marking her first appearance in months after she disappeared from WWE TV following her and partner Bayley losing the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 35. Recalling that day, Banks says she had no emotion, which no one should feel, especially at a WrestleMania.
"I feel shame in saying this, but I had zero feelings at WrestleMania when going out there," Banks said. "That's everybody's dream, to be on WrestleMania, I mean like what the hell I had no feeling? I was in gorilla trying to pump myself up like I normally do and in my heart and in my head I was just so far gone. I had no feeling. I walked out there and looked out to the crowd and thought this is it, I'm done.
"I told my husband first [about leaving] he was like yeah if you want to leave I am 100% behind you. He could see how much I had changed. He saw how sad I was. How depressed I was. Telling Pam [Bayley] and her not stopping me I knew I was in a bad place.
"I knew I needed to get help and help myself. No one knows me better than she does. When I told her she knew it. I knew that it was time to go and they say if you're not having fun you need to go and I wasn't having fun anymore. I wasn't myself I turned into someone I hated. I couldn't even look in the mirror because I lost all the light in my eyes.
"I lost all the love I had for wrestling. It's the only thing I've ever known and loved, but I knew I had to go."
Since returning in August, Banks says she has felt at peace and has a new lease of life. Stating that her love for wrestling is now back.
"I feel like I'm at peace with myself," Banks explained. "I feel like this is the most-clear my mind has ever been.
"I took the last few months to discover myself and figure out what makes me happy without wrestling, even though I've missed it. Wrestling saved my life but it was also destroying it.
"Therapy helped. I went to meditation classes, crystal healing class, visited psychics. I did things that made me happy and when I got the call to come back I felt in a good place and ready."