AJ Mendez says she used to “cry in the bathroom a lot” due to mental health struggles during her time with WWE as AJ Lee.
Former WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee, real name AJ Mendez, has become a forceful voice in the world of mental health awareness since leaving WWE. She’s worked closely with NAMI to be a mental health advocate, and in 2017, she opened up about her struggles with bipolar disorder when she wrote her autobiography titled Crazy is my Superpower.
Speaking to Renee Paquette on The Sessions, Mendez admits that the travel schedule took a toll on her when she was on the road with WWE, and her time there was difficult due to her struggles with mental health. In discussing how she dealt with her mental health on the road, the former Divas Champion admitted that she used to “cry in the bathroom a lot,” and noted that even the people closest to her didn’t know what was going on.
“I was just like cry in the bathroom a lot. It was really interesting to see the closest people around me not knowing and be just like, ‘are you okay?’ I remember Celeste, uh Kaitlyn (former Divas Champion) was like ‘uh, it all makes sense now, one time we went to the gym and you were alone in the car crying.'”
The former AJ Lee continued, alluding to a time when she considered ending her life in a hotel room. Thankfully, making a call to 311 (a non-emergent hotline in the United States normally used to report minor issues or get community information) saved her life.
“I talked about going to a hotel, and my plan was ‘that was it,’ and I couldn’t get through to a hotline, and all I could remember was 311. I called 311 and it saved my life.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Mendez discussed her husband CM Punk’s return to wrestling and how, despite being happy for him, it doesn’t make her want to return to the ring.
AJ Lee hasn’t wrestled since leaving the WWE in 2015, but she is once again working within the world of wrestling as she serves as an Executive Producer for WOW.
If you’re in crisis in the US, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or use the Crisis Text Line by texting “NAMI” to 741741.
If you’re in crisis in the UK, please call The Samaritans for free on 116-123 twenty-four hours a day.