Lana opens up about the toll that the year 2020 has taken on her mental health.
2020 has been a rough year for many. The global pandemic changed the way that society functions overnight without any warning and this is especially true inside the world of professional wrestling. An industry that thrives on audience participation suddenly had no audience. Performers who thrive on playing off the reactions of critics could suddenly only react to social media, where oftentimes the feedback is much more callous and cold.
Outside of these elements, many pro wrestlers have worked significantly less this year due to the pandemic and some have even lost their jobs entirely. For Lana, 2020 encompassed all of these elements and caused her to struggle with depression.
As 2019 came to a close, Lana was seemingly on top of the wrestling world. Her on-screen wedding to Bobby Lashley, where it was revealed that she had a love affair with Liv Morgan, who interrupted the ceremony with Rusev, was the final segment on Monday Night Raw for the entire year.
It appeared that this angle, which had ruled a lot of the last quarter of 2019, would pay off in a major match on pay-per-view. By March, fans were gone from WWE events, which were now being hosted from an empty Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. By April, Rusev, Lana's real-life husband and on-screen ex, would be released from the company, and by July, her on-screen marriage to Bobby Lashley was no longer a part of storylines as Bobby “divorced” Lana and went on to form the Hurt Business with MVP. Fans would also be less-than-kind to Lana on social media, remarking on her wrestling ability and some would even claim that she should be fired.
In her personal life, both of her parents and her husband would be diagnosed with COVID-19, thankfully they all pulled through. All of this took a very strong toll on Lana's mental health as she reveals in a new episode of WWE Chronicle.
“It's been really hard,” Lana began. “Not having 300 days on the road, being at home, then all of a sudden no fans. Then, of course, like being with the person from the very beginning, like traveling with that person, being literally 24/7, being with that person and then that person is not there, it's really hard. I don't even know how sometimes I keep on pushing through.”
Lana would then discuss the difference between being booed in character and facing negativity on social media and how that really affected her when her only means of interaction with large groups of people was via social media.
“For me, what was really, really hard was, usually going to arenas and people boo you, it's something about the energy, you're like, 'oh, I'm in control of this,' right? But then when all of a sudden I don't interact with any people whatsoever and I'm just at home and I post something and everyone is just so mean. I couldn't handle it anymore, because that's like my only interaction with human beings is my Instagram account or Twitter, and now everyone in comments are like, 'you should be fired. Why are you not fired? You suck. You're this. You're that.'
"I remember, texting my parents and being like,' please pray for me, my mental health is doing really bad, I'm really depressed. I just -- I can't take it anymore. I'm just... I'm so sad. Like, I don't want to do anything.' Like, why even try? Why? It doesn't matter. You work hard. You do this like you can't post because everyone is going to tell you to go jump off a cliff and kill yourself and like you're worth nothing. So it's like, well, why?'"
Thankfully, Lana has landed on her feet (when she's not crashing through a table courtesy of Nia Jax). Her husband, Miro, is happily in AEW and streaming on Twitch, and this Sunday at Survivor Series, she will represent team Raw in the Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match.
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