NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - A.J. Mendez Brooks was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at the age of 19. Despite her mental illness, the New Jersey native reached super-stardom as a professional wrestler.
In her new book, 'Crazy Is My Superpower,' Mendez Brooks, who went by the name A.J. Lee during her run in the WWE, writes that she overcame poverty, family instability and a mental health disorder to reach her dreams.
"I loved wrestling growing up. It was an escape for me. At 12 years old I said, I'm going to do that and I stuck with that promise," said Mendez Brooks.
The three-time WWE Diva's champion has a family history of mental health disorders.
"My mother was bi-polar. My brother has gone through severe PTSD. He's a soldier," said Mendez Brooks.
Her message to readers is these struggles can be turned around to help you.
"Being bi-polar made me someone who just does whatever is on my mind. I think nothing is impossible. I can be a little abrasive. But that makes me more honest and more genuine... I wouldn't be that if I wasn't bi-polar," said Mendez Brooks.
The petite former wrestler says mental illness is manageable. You just have to not be afraid to tackle it head on.
"People need to find the right combination for them. For me it's going to talk to someone, being on the right medication. It is controlling what I can, meditating and working out," said Mendez Brooks.