Thunder Rosa on Her Mental Health Struggles While Sidelined from Wrestling Due to Back Injury

A recent special episode of the Busted Open Radio podcast featured Thunder Rosa as the guest. One of the topics discussed included Rosa’s thoughts about her struggles with mental health while she was out of action for AEW due to her back and spinal-related injury.

“It’s a process, you have no control over it. When it comes with health, you have no control over it. For so many nights, I really kicked myself in the head and I was like, I should’ve just had one more match and just let it all out. If I got hurt more, whatever. But it was that one time and when I decided to do something because of my health and I decided to make that decision and I didn’t know what the consequences were gonna be and how people were gonna react. I was just thinking about my own physical health and at the time everything was happening, I was not in a good mental state too. I was trying to hide a lot of stuff because I was having some personal issues and being on top just exacerbates everything else that is happening in your life so I just feel like no matter what you do, you are always being criticized and you are always — nothing is good enough. You’re always doing something wrong and I feel like you put a loop over it and it’s just like it magnifies everything and being under that kind of pressure was very difficult and not having the time to just really let it go, because sometimes when people get injured, they take some time off and people are cool and they’re not saying anything, they’re not feeling attacked but I feel like when that happened, not only knowing I would have to relinquish something that I worked really hard for, it was hard enough but adding all the other levels of things on social media, the constant asking, ‘What’s going on?’ Like if you’re really injured or not, that really hurt even more. It made things much more difficult than they were mentally for me. There were days that I — I’m gonna be honest and I’ve said it on my YouTube channel, I wanted to kill myself. Everything stopped and there’s nothing you can do and I’m so thankful that I have a really good team and a really good family. My son, I think he’s the one who’s helped me the most and he helped me many times many nights, just telling me everything’s gonna be okay and I was lucky enough to have some resources and I was able to be in therapy. There were not good sessions at times. There was a lot of crying, there’s a lot of letting things go and accepting things that you cannot change and you’re just moving forward.

You know, it happened and going back and looking at things, it was very hard. Again, I think it would have been a lot easier just to relinquish the title and get the feedback that I got because people were gonna be upset no matter what because I think a lot of people thought I was making it up because they didn’t really see the injury happen in a match. Like some people break their legs or the knee gives up, the ankle gives up and it’s actually you can see it. This is something that happened and I start feeling the pain and then when you get MRIs and you get all the studies that you need to get done, that’s when they tell you that you are really injured, right? So, yeah, it was very unfortunate and I really didn’t want it to affect me and my psyche but it did, because like you (Dave LaGreca) mentioned, even when I was at home, it was constant text messaging or people asking me if I was okay and I didn’t know because I got off social media big time and people were just sending me links, people would send me articles, it was tough. I think that’s probably one of the toughest things that I have to go through because not only of what I was going (through) physically but I was mentioning, I was having some other personal issues that were pretty latent right there and I had to deal with that at the same time along with all the change that was happening, right? And I dealt with (it to) the best of my ability, I used my resources. I was in therapy with a regular therapist and a psychiatrist. I’m very open and I said it before, I started using medication because I didn’t want to medicate myself with alcohol or drugs and I did not use painkillers on purpose because I think that’s another way that you can go really down the rabbit hole or on the dark hole and you can’t get out of that because you become addicted to those things so, I became really well aware of that. Meditation was one of the things that I tried. I usually do it at night more than anything else because that’s when a lot of intrusive thoughts come in and at points and you know, people go through a lot of things in different aspects of their life. I think the best advice that I got was taking it, at points, minute by minute because one minute I was okay and then the next minute, I was just crying and being angry and having outbursts and it’s hard because there are certain things that are fulfilled in your life and you feel like you should be thankful but there’s other things and we’re just like, questioning why this is happening to you? Why is this disruption of your life happening? And knowing that you have to adapt and live in another reality and I think that’s the hardest part and so people can never really get out of that.”

Rosa also stated that she is currently uncertain about the future of her in-ring career and if she will eventually need to have surgery for her back injury. Rosa also stated that her mental wellbeing has gotten better in recent weeks.

“It’s hard to talk about it because there’s certain wounds that you can never really heal and I’m still in the healing process. Some days, especially in the last couple of weeks have been much better because I was able to find my voice and I was able to find myself again. But there is some days when I talk about it and right now, I don’t even know why I’m crying. I feel like I’m having therapy and it’s still hard because I’m not back in the ring and I still have to change a lot of stuff and I still feel like I’m in limbo because I don’t know what’s gonna happen, I don’t know if I need surgery, I don’t know if I’m gonna get back and I have to work extra harder to get back and not doing something that I love to do that I’ve been doing for 10 years, and this one thing that got me where I’m at right now is wrestling and all the hard work that I did outside of wrestling and right now, I’m not letting that affect me anymore because I think people said what they needed to say about me and they’re gonna believe whatever they’re gonna believe. They are gonna do that and I’m just gonna keep living my life and bettering myself and bettering my environment. But again, I told you, there’s certain wounds that you’re never gonna be able to heal, because I really let it hurt me so much and it hurt more because I’ve always been so caring for other people and I always tried to take my sweater and my jacket when somebody needs it because I want them to be successful because of X, Y and Z and then just feeling how I felt for that period of time, it really hurt, because I never tried to hurt anybody. I never tried to take advantage of anybody and it was painted like that and again, when I’m trying to heal physically, I was not able to heal mentally and that takes a big toll on everything in your life, completely.”

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