Former WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee has done a good job of staying out of the spotlight since leaving the wrestling business. Lee retired from in-ring competition shortly after criticising WWE's treatment of female performers in February 2015, and wrestled her last match for the company one day after WrestleMania 31.
AJ was recently featured in the UFC's "Evolution of Punk" documentary, charting her husband CM Punk's journey into mixed martial arts, but that's about the extent of her public appearances. She has drawn major attention this week, however, by revealing on her official website that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was younger:-
"I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when I was barely out of my teens. When I was diagnosed I believed my illness would be my great, lifelong weakness. Bipolar Disorder was to be my impenetrable prison, and I would be locked up with it in a castle Princess Toadstool style. Thinking there was no way out, I let it consume me. After witnessing how powerfully it had ravished those I loved, I had assumed that was my only choice. To give in. To give up. I used it as a patsy for embarrassingly bad behavior and dangerous decision-making. I let it take everything until I had almost nothing left to give. I let it be my fatal flaw."
Lee is set to release her first book - "Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules" - on April 4th, and says that her affliction inspired her to write in the first place:-
"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."
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adults across the United States. AJ is determined to use her condition to help others:-
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.
AJ's full statement can be read here as a blog post on her website.
A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.