ONE Champion Angela Lee Opens Up On 2017 Suicide Attempt, Says Sister Victoria Lee Took Her Own Life

Lee gives a message on mental health, following her past car crash and her sister's passing.

Victoria Lee
(via @angelaleemma -Instagram)

Angela Lee has told her story.

Lee Discloses Past Suicide Attempt

The ONE Atomweight Champion has went into detail about the hardships in her life. One of which was in 2017 where Lee crashed her car, weeks before her upcoming title defense.

At the time, Lee said she fell asleep at the wheel but now she reveals her car accident was no accident at all.

“My car crash in November 2017 was not an accident. It was a suicide attempt,” Lee said on The Players’ Tribune. (h/t: MMA Fighting) “I was getting ready for my last title defense of the year, things started to snowball for me. Pressure, stress, and expectations all began to build up. I had tunnel vision and thought that this upcoming fight was the most important thing in my life.

“Looking back now, I had everything I could have wanted at the time, but I didn’t realize it, didn’t fully appreciate it. Because I had gotten to a place where making weight for that fight was the biggest thing in the world to me.”

Lee continued.

“I told myself: If you don’t get this done, you’ll lose everything. And, as an athlete, in all honesty, that mentality can be useful and motivating. But it’s also a double-edged sword. And, with me, I got to a point where I had pushed my mind and body too far. I couldn’t stop thinking about the shame that would result if I wasn’t able to make the fight.

“As someone who had never missed any competition in her entire life, that terrified me. It became all-encompassing. And, ultimately, I got to a point where I would rather take myself out of the equation than deal with what might come. That’s where my head was at: it was all or nothing.”

The Healing Process

Before telling the world, Lee says that only her husband knew the truth regarding her attempted suicide.

Years later, the champion reflects on the incident and her current mental health.

“Everything about this healing process has been a challenge, of course. It has been far from easy,” Lee added. “But with each time that I share my story with another person … I still cry. Tears still fall. My voice still trembles. But, each time, it gets a little bit better.

“At this point, I’m just trying my best each day, and every day that looks different. But I’m OK with that. I realize now that I’m only human, we all are. We aren’t meant to live a perfect, spotless life. I’ve come to learn that this life, it’s life. It’s about growing and learning to accept yourself. Some days are good, some are tough, but each day I choose to keep fighting. There are still many tough days. But how I navigate through those days is a lot better now. A lot healthier. I have tools to use and people I can count on to let them know how I’m feeling.”

Victoria Lee

Angela’s younger sister, Victoria Lee, unfortunately passed away in December 2022. The 18 year-old fighter’s cause of death was unknown, that is until now. 

“On Dec. 26, 2022, my younger sister Victoria took her own life,” Lee revealed. “Fightstory was inspired by Victoria and the remarkable life that she lived at just 18 years old. Fightstory is just as much hers as it is mine. It’s something we created together, to save lives and to try and make the world a better place. We want people to know that although you may feel lonely in your fight with mental health, you are not alone.”

“If you are struggling right now, if you are in a dark place, if you are contemplating ending your life, let us be the ones to say, we understand. We know how you feel… It’s not about being strong all the time. You don’t need to fake it or pretend that everything is OK. There is so much strength in honesty and in asking for help. And we all can be there for each other.”

‘Fightstory’ is Angela Lee’s mental health non-profit organization whose mission is to ‘inspire, heal and unite the world through the stories, struggles and triumphs of fighters from all walks of life.’

Published on September 19, 2023 at 3:22 pm
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