During an interview with the New York Post promoting her newly released book, Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules, April Mendez Brooks (a/k/a AJ Lee) revealed that at one point in her WWE career, she was punished for refusing to go along with a storyline company higher-ups had planned for her.
In 2012, Brooks was “due to take part in a series of goofy skits in which her character hallucinated, kissed a leprechaun and danced with dinosaurs from outer space.” But, as a real-life secret sufferer of bipolar II disorder, and the daughter of a mom with the same condition, she couldn’t go through with it.
“It felt like it disrespected both me and my mother,” says Brooks, who at the time was only public about her mother’s mental illness. “It was a joke, but, to me, it wasn’t something to laugh at.”
As punishment for her refusal to do the skit, she was taken off television for two months.
Now, with her new book, Brooks is opening up about her own struggles with bipolar II and challenging the stigma of depression and other mental health issues.
“It’s hard to not think you’re alone in the world, so it’s good to connect with other people who’ve faced the same issues,” she says. “I want to show that they’re not something that’s going to stop you.”