Editor’s Note: If you are in the USA and you or your loved one have thought about suicide, call the National Suicide and Crisis Rescue Service at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to contact a qualified consultant.
To enlist support outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention provides a global directory of resources and international hotlines. You can also contact Befrienders Worldwide.
Mixed martial artist Angela Lee wrote about her attempt to commit suicide six years ago in a personal essay for The Players Tribune, confirming that her sister Victoria committed suicide last year.
My car accident in November 2017 was not an accident. It was a suicide attempt, Lee wrote in an essay published on The Players Tribune website.
For a long time, I blocked this reality from my consciousness in order to protect myself.
The reigning world bantamweight champion ONE Atom said that she had strained [her] mind and body too much because of the expectations associated with her career, as well as because she gained weight for the upcoming fight.
According to Lee, with the ONE Championship hydration tests, you should gradually reduce your weight with a diet. But I started this combat campaign with more weight than ever, and the weight did not decrease anymore. My body was fighting me and my time was up.
I got to the point where gaining weight for this fight was the most important thing in the world for me… I couldn’t stop thinking about the shame that would arise if I couldn’t attend the fight.
In the end, I got to the point where I would rather get out of the equation than deal with what might happen.
Then, at the age of 20, Lee tried to get injured at home before driving onto a nearby road on a mountainside and intentionally crashing.
He didn’t know where he was going: either he fell off a cliff, or in the air, or something else. I just closed my eyes and let it happen. At that time, everything was moving in slow motion for me, she added in her essay.
Lee says she was rescued and taken to the hospital. He recovered physically, but says that the mental scars remained for a long time.
Her husband, another MMA fighter Bruno Pucci, was the only person she initially told about her suicide attempt.
According to her, I still felt very lonely, trying to cope and make sense of what had happened.
As much as Bruno loved me and wanted to help me, I just didn’t understand what I was going through.
I felt fragile, broken. I was shattered, and I needed to heal and put everything back together myself.
The 27-year-old said she focused on her breathing to recover from the incident and found happiness spending time in nature.
Lee, who founded Fightstory earlier this year, a nonprofit organization advocating for a global movement for physical and mental well-being in martial arts, also revealed in her essay in the Players Tribune that her sister Victoria committed suicide in December.
Victoria, a rising MMA star, was only 18 years old when she died.
His sister’s suicide is what made Lee create Fightstory and tell his story publicly for the first time.
We want people to know that although a person feels lonely in their struggle with mental health, they are not alone, he said.
If you’re struggling right now, if you’re in a dark place, if you’re thinking about taking your own life, let’s be the ones to say: we understand. We know how you feel.
Talking and asking for help is the first step to truly living life.