Speaking to Steve Austin on his WWE Network series The Broken Skull Sessions, Banks explained: "At Elimination Chamber (2019), I knew how important that match was for Bayley, but at that time I still was slowly just not happy."
When Austin then asked Banks what was happening to her during that time she replied: "Depression."
"Depression was taking over," she continued. "My mind was taking over, my thoughts were taking over. This place was being bigger than me. And I really, really lost myself because for a good seven years, I didn’t even hear my real name. I didn't hear Mercedes anymore.
"All I heard was Sasha Banks, and travelling on the road, we only get one to two days off. So, I'm home, not even seeing what my real hair looks like.
"All I see is purple hair every single day. There were just so many things that were just — I let it control me. I let it take it in and be like, 'This is too much,' instead of being like, 'You know what? Everything's good. Breathe. Everything's fine.'"
She continued: "I couldn't even look at myself. I didn't even know who the hell I was. How I was going into work, how angry I was going in, how sad I was. It's not the person that I dreamt to be."
Banks then explained that she had decided she needed to step away and find herself, so she asked Vince McMahon for her release from WWE.
"It hit the fan and I wanted to make sure that I didn't lose myself. So I said, 'You know what? I got to take a step away and find myself again and I gotta be brave about that.' And that was probably one of the hardest things I had to do was to ask to leave the WWE," she shared.
"I asked to leave and Vince was like, 'No.' He said no. He said, 'I'm gonna give you 30 days to think about it.' And I took more than 30 days."
Since returning to WWE in August 2019, Banks has captured the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship and the SmackDown Women's Championship, becoming a Grand Slam champion in WWE.
Banks also landed a role in season two of Disney+ series The Mandalorian, playing Koska Reeves.
"I cannot believe that I am in two of the biggest universes in the whole world, with WWE and the Star Wars universe. I'm just like so in shock. I can't believe it."
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov.
Digital Spy's digital magazine is back! Check out issue 6 – including an exclusive chat with Ant & Dec – plus all past issues with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
Interested in Digital Spy's weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox – and don't forget to join our Watch This Facebook Group for daily TV recommendations and discussions with other readers.
You Might Also Like