AJ Mendez Brooks channels mental illness to certain ends
April 5, 2017 - WWE
Just over dual years ago, Apr Mendez Brooks wrestled her final compare for a WWE a night after WrestleMania 31. She did a lot of things during her time with a WWE, including 3 championship runs and dozens of noted moments in and out of a ring.
Brooks’ character, mostly portrayed as crazy and a bit unhinged during times, became an present hit, though what fans and viewers all over a universe never unequivocally got to learn was a genuine elements of her life that she integrated into her character. Her struggles with mental illness eventually brought Brooks to a place where she embraced it as a pivotal component to who she was as a chairman and an item in all that she does.
Her book, “Crazy Is My Superpower,” strike bookshelves and online retailers Tuesday afternoon. It covers all that finished Brooks what she is today, from her family traffic with poverty, mental illness and drug obsession during her childhood, to her struggles and ultimate delight in wrestling, to her initial lick with father Phil “CM Punk” Brooks, after that AJ pushed him by a table.
ESPN.com sat down with Brooks a few days before a recover of her book.
ESPN.com: we consider a healthy place to start is what was your impulse for essay this book? Was there a moment, or a person, or a specific eventuality that helped we make adult your mind?
AJ Mendez Brooks: Yeah. we consider as a child my sister and we had an ongoing fun to get us by a tough times, and that was, “One day this will make for a unequivocally good territory in your book.” We went by a lot, and a lot of it is in a book (a lot of it isn’t, and that’ll be for a subsequent chapter). It was only a approach to get ourselves out of whatever conditions we were in by perplexing to channel it into something positive, “One day this’ll be value it.”
It was this guarantee we had to my sister for so long, and [after] reaching a finish of my wrestling career, we felt like that was a time for me to [make it happen]. … There are a lot of people profitable courtesy with amicable media and all these days, so we consider it’s critical to contend something worthwhile.
Was it something where we unequivocally had to consider behind on your life, or rather something like a using list of “OK, these are a moments in my life that are going into a book”?
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AJ: Definitely. It was a duty to revise down what was going to fit into this in a moment. If we die tomorrow, what would we wish a universe to know about all we experienced? What could we put on a page to assistance people? It was kind of cherry-picking what we suspicion would be a many profitable lessons, essentially, for immature people who were struggling and feel opposite and feel like they don’t belong.
The humorous thing is that everybody feels that way, and in that approach we all go together, we know? We all have that common experience, and it was critical for me to kind of uncover that can request to only feeling like an outsider, that can go into carrying health issues or mental health issues, or problems during work or problems with friends. It goes into so many opposite areas of your life and tour by a many opposite struggles that we go by in life from childhood to adulthood.
Toward a finish of a book, we consider in a afterword, we report how romantic an knowledge it was to revisit some of these moments and practice in your life. Can we speak to me a small bit about how formidable a routine this was for we only to finish adult this book?
AJ: Oh gosh, yeah. It, honesty, it was therapy in many ways, given there’s a lot of memories we hadn’t revisited in a prolonged time. we wrote a skeleton of a book and we thought, “OK, these are all a things I’m gonna grow a bravery to write about,” and afterwards we would lay during a computer, and it would be a time to write that chapter, and we would roughly duck out given it was so tough to put myself in that space.
There were a lot of chapters that we only heavily sobbed while essay and would have to step divided from a mechanism for a few days. we fun that it took a lot of years off my life only kind of vouchsafing all of these stories out and putting them into a world. That approach they were no longer only these things that were my secrets or my crosses to bear. They were now hopefully going to assistance even only one chairman [know] that they’re not alone, that there is someone who is also experiencing these things.
“I had to consider bigger design and who we could assistance with these stories. Yeah, it was a small traumatic, though value it. we would do it again. It was a hardest thing I’ve ever finished in my life, and we would gladly do it again.”
Obviously a lot of your assembly for this book is going to be people who followed we from your wrestling career. I’m curious, has it been engaging to see how many people have continued to support we notwithstanding we no longer being an active wrestler, only by amicable media and other ways?
AJ: Yeah, it’s unequivocally engaging given we feel like, before we finished it to a radio program, when we was only in training and developmental, there’s always been this core organisation of people who only bond with me and have championed my climb by wrestling. Then they stranded around, and that’s unequivocally cool.
I consider that was a motivating cause to say, “OK, these people have stranded with me by everything. Let me share some-more of who we am,” given we have kind of been a sealed book many of a time, so this was my adore minute to those that stranded around.
When we speak about wrestling and a “women’s revolution,” does it move we any fun or compensation that things that we competence have pronounced or competence have finished finished it so that possibly women now in wrestling or destiny women in wrestling competence be improved off?
AJ: we consider we have, and we consider that it’s all we can ever ask for. we have a lot of friends that wrestle, and to see them happy means a lot to me; to feel like maybe we had even a smallest fragment of a partial of that creates me impossibly proud. All we ever wish to do is leave something improved than how we found it.
Does it feel, in any way, a small bittersweet, like, “Man, we wish that would have been arrange of a approach things were when we was there?”
AJ: we don’t consider so. we consider all happened … we was unequivocally propitious with my career. we got to have a pretension a lot and be a distinguished figure and always have a storyline. we felt appreciated, and we felt used a lot in a unequivocally certain way. we know that that wasn’t a box for everybody that was on a register during a time, so we consider it would be ungrateful for me to in any approach feel like we didn’t have a ideal career.
To me, it was picture-perfect, and we wrote in my book that we felt like it was wrapped adult in a neat bow. we consider this is everybody else’s time now. It’s a evolution, and these girls are wonderful. we wish that they’re happy and removing paid equally as a guys are and removing a shade time as many as a guys are. we wish that a subsequent era is happy.
There’s a cold territory of your book we wish to get into, where we speak about a stress of Madison Square Garden for somebody who spent so many time in New Jersey and New York in that early partial of your life. Can we speak a small bit about some of your memories, and going from being a fan and descending in adore with wrestling, and afterwards being there as partial of a wrestling world?
AJ: My initial wrestling uncover ever was during Madison Square Garden, and even accomplishing that, only going there, was such a outrageous understanding for me given it seemed so out of reach, costly and only unfit [when we was a kid]. There was always this kind of mystique around MSG. Then to go behind … we can’t remember a initial thing we did there, though I’ve had a few [moments ] … we got [to] perform there a integrate times, and once was inside of a enclosure in a categorical eventuality with a guys. It was a residence show, and it was only such a cool, full-circle moment.
Before they did a restoration we indeed got to lay in a chair that me and my father sat in, like these nosebleed seats. We could hardly see any of a matches. we only sat there, and it was like, “Oh, we got myself here.” It took a prolonged time, though we figured out a approach to do it. we consider that one of a coolest full-circle moments for me was saying my initial show, WrestleMania 20, and revelation my father that, “One day I’m going to be in that ring. we promise.”
“Ten years after during Wrestlemania 30, we was a champion.”
It’s always going to reason that kind of special place in my heart, New York, and we consider that it’s unequivocally cold that I’m going to be in New York for a initial week of my book’s birthday, my book’s pub day. I’m unequivocally propitious with these full-circle moments.
So what has your life been like given we finished this book?
AJ: I’ve been doing a lot of writing, and I’m operative on a few opposite projects that we theory that we can’t unequivocally speak about nonetheless that are writing-based. It’s an shun for me, and to take that to a veteran turn is exciting, and that is unequivocally many a subsequent territory of my life. So it’s been a lot of writing, and for someone who didn’t get to finish school, positively sitting during a table a lot is interesting.
I consider it’s critical to speak about one of a core issues that a book is built around: your struggles with mental illness, a approach that it altered your life and a approach that we took it and finished it so that we could make it a positive. Is there a specific kind of chairman that you’re perplexing to strech out to with this book?
AJ: I see it in dual ways. we consider that some-more mostly than not, when mental health is discussed, or when a luminary reveals that they’re struggling with something, it’s after something bad has happened. It has a disastrous connotation. For me, only for a mental health community, we consider it’s critical for somebody to only demeanour during it from a certain light. It’s not only this dim thing that is a flaw. we consider so many of my personality, things that we like a many about myself, by essay a book and by formulation a book, we credited [being means to do it] to struggling with bipolar commotion and kind of carrying no filter and this guileless behavior.
It’s been this thing that got me everywhere in life, and looking behind and realizing that kind of strike me like a ton of bricks. It unequivocally formulated how we wanted to tell my story. I’ve only never been indifferent or aroused of perplexing to get something that would seem so out of reach, like, “Let me go be a veteran wrestler,” when I’m dual pounds and I’m not jaunty during all. Let me go do that. Let me go write a book with one of a biggest edition companies in a world. So I’ve always only finished things and been dauntless given of being bipolar. we credit it for that.
So we do wish to strech out to a mental health community, anyone suffering, and let them know that there is so many that is possible, and that it can be such a blessing. The pretension of a book is “Crazy Is My Superpower,” and we consider a other summary that we wish to put out there is that crazy can be anything. You can reinstate that with anything that we are struggling with in your life or anything that people wish to make we feel is a flaw? You can only take whatever tag people wish to use pejoratively opposite we and use it as something that can commission we and we can be unapproachable of. we consider a summary of my book is only that. You can come from a poorest, weakest credentials and we can make something of your life. You unequivocally only have to have a courage to try.