- Six years ago, Lee had to lose 12 pounds for a fight in MMA’s ONE Championship
- “I decided to get in my car and leave it to fate to see what happens next,” she revealed
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Angela Lee – the current ONE atomweight world champion – has revealed that her 2017 car crash, which saw her vehicle ‘flip about six times’, was a suicide attempt after previously stating that she ‘fell asleep’ at the wheel.
On Tuesday, the 27-year-old MMA fighter detailed her struggles with her mental health, which led her to consider suicide just days before a scheduled fight, in a powerful essay published online.
Lee claims she went through a tough weight loss six years ago when she realized her “body was fighting me and I didn’t have time anymore.” Finally she ‘broke’.
“My car accident in November 2017 was not an accident. It was a suicide attempt,” Lee wrote in an article about it The Players’ Stand.
“I was getting ready for my last title defense of the year, and things started snowballing for me. The pressure, stress and expectations all started to build. I had tunnel vision and thought 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. I didn’t quite appreciate it. Because I was at a point where it was the most important thing in the world for me to arrive for that fight.”
Angela Lee has revealed that her 2017 accident when her car “rolled over” was a suicide attempt
Lee (left, fighting Jenny Huang in 2017) is the current ONE atomweight world champion
Lee said she needed to lose 12 pounds for the fight, but her body did not respond well to the weight loss
“I told myself, if you don’t get this done, you’ll lose everything. And honestly, as an athlete, that mindset can be helpful and motivating. But it is also a double-edged sword. And for me, I got to a point where I had pushed my body and mind too far. I couldn’t stop thinking about the shame that would result if I couldn’t take the fight.
“As someone who has never missed a game in her entire life, it terrified me. It became all-encompassing,” Lee added. “And eventually I got to a point where I would rather leave myself out of the equation than deal with what might come. That’s where my head was at. It was all or nothing.’
Knowing that she had lost 12 pounds, Lee admitted that she tried to hurt herself so she couldn’t fight. She initially tried to break her own arm before giving herself a concussion.
None of these options worked, so Lee took a late night drive near her hometown in the Hawaiian city of Waipahu to commit suicide.
Lee also revealed that she still cries when she opens up about the traumatic life episode in 2017
‘I just put my foot all the way on the accelerator. As far as it could go,” Lee recalled. ‘I don’t know how fast I was going. But it was as fast as my car could go. I wanted to hit the guardrail as hard as I could, and all I remember is turning the wheel, spinning out, and then hitting something, and then it was just… rolling. Rolling and rolling and rolling.
‘When I opened my eyes, I was upside down. There was broken glass everywhere. I remember waiting in that car for a while, hanging upside down, just trying to process everything. Like… Am I still here? Am I still alive?’
In the months and years after her car accident, Lee said only her husband knew the reality of what happened.
The Canadian-born American grappler also recalls the long journey it took her to finally come to terms with what happened while trying to recover from the suicide attempt.
She said sharing her story still makes her cry and makes her voice shake.