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Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
The New York Times Bestseller
Recently retired WWE superstar AJ Mendez Brooks is a powerhouse—strong, quirky, and totally confident. But that wasn’t always the case. With humor and tremendous heart, she opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life.
Everything I was told should be my greatest insecurities and weaknesses, everything that I’ve been labeled—SHORT, NERDY, SKINNY, WEAK, IMPULSIVE, UGLY, TOMBOY, POOR, REBEL, LOUD, FREAK, CRAZY—turned out to be my greatest strengths. I didn’t become successful in spite of them. I became successful because of them.
Growing up AJ was a quiet girl trying to act “normal” when she felt anything but. As her family struggled with drug addiction, poverty, and mental illness, she found escape through comic books and video games, and was inspired by the tough and unconventional female characters. It wasn’t until she discovered pro wrestling that she learned superheroes could be real.
Determined to become the superhero she’d always admired, AJ trained and sacrificed for years to achieve her dream of wrestling professionally. Yet she quickly faced industry pressure to play the role of the damsel in distress and to dress more provocatively to cater to male fans. But she fought back and created an ass-kicking alter ego that was a genuine representation of herself: nerdy, enthusiastic, and a little bit crazy.
With humor and tremendous heart, AJ opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the mental illness diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life. What most people view as a hardship, AJ embraced as inspiration for her superhero persona, shattering the stigma attached to mental illness.
Charting her journey from a scrappy girl in an unstable home to an empowered wrestling champion, Crazy Is My Superpower is an unflinchingly honest story and brave confessional about her long road to self-acceptance.
About the Author
AJ MENDEZ BROOKS is a former WWE wrestler and three-time Diva champion under the ring name AJ Lee. She is an animal rescue ambassador for several organizations including the ASPCA, and works with Girls Make Games, a program encouraging young women to pursue science and tech-based careers. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Phil 'CM Punk' Brooks.
"This book is for every young woman who couldn't find a seat at the lunch table. AJ Mendez Brooks writes about loneliness, mental illness and finding her place in the world with genuine vulnerability and perhaps more importantly, genuine strength."
—Amy Koppelman, author of A Mouthful of Air, Hesitation Wounds and I Smile Back
" A.J. Mendez Brooks is a stunningly gifted writer. Crazy Is My Superpower is at once breathtakingly honest, hilariously funny , self-deprecating and incredibly inspiring. I absolutely loved every page of this book.”
—Julie Klam, New York Times bestselling author of Friendkeeping and You Had Me at Woof
“This woman is 5’2” of raw talent, heroic honesty, and gut-busting humor. AJ’s story left me both breathless and feeling like I should be jumping up and down shouting, “Yes, yes, oh my god, f**k yes!!!!!”
—Deborah Copaken, New York Times bestselling author of Shutterbabe and The Red Book
“AJ Mendez Brooks’ candid account of her struggles and success offer young women a wonderful role model regarding how to be yourself, stand up for what you believe in and embrace the "crazy." AJ's story promotes empowerment, not just through physical strength, but through emotional strength as well.”
—Dr. Jen Hartstein, Family Psychologist and author of Princess Recovery
“This compelling memoir, written with genuine humor and strength, shows how AJ persevered over circumstances that a lesser human would have been destroyed by. She is truly a Super Hero.”
—Caroline Rhea, Actor, TV Host, and Stand-up Comedian
“AJ Mendez Brooks is the role model we desperately need in today’s culture! Authentic and inspiring, AJ embraces her challenges, bravely discusses her past, and shows us all how to turn pain into power."
—Emily Roberts MA, LPC – “The Guidance Girl” Psychotherapist and author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are
“[Brooks] successfully uses her own life story to show how a perceived weakness can be an unstoppable strength.”