Gymnast Suni Lee Is Glad She Publicized Her Mental Health Struggles: 'It's Important To Express Your Feelings And Ask For Help'
Earlier this month, Suni Lee admitted that her mental health "could be better," as she was going through "a lot of things people don't know about."
It wasn't an easy decision for the Dancing With the Stars alum to share her struggles publicly, but after seeing the reaction, she's more than happy she did.
"When I shared that I was feeling down, so many people reached out and either sent positive messages of encouragement or told me they were feeling similarly and not to feel alone," the gymnast shared with POPSUGAR. "It's OK to feel down sometimes, but what I've realized is that it's important to express your feelings and ask for help. In the past, I might have pushed on and not acknowledged the state of my mental health. But there's so much power in owning your feelings. It's not weakness, it's actually taking control."
"I'm only 18, living in L.A., and I have all of these expectations on me," the athlete explained of her situation. "On top of that, I put a lot of pressure on myself, so it's kind of scary."
Competing on the ABC series was familiar territory for Lee, as she replaced Simone Biles in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
"Nobody expected me to win the gold medal, so when I did, my life turned overnight," she recalled. "I definitely don't see myself as an Olympic gold medalist. It's crazy to think that. I still have a hard time letting it sink in."
While she's obviously proud of her accomplishments, the star admitted that living in the spotlight has been a difficult adjustment.
"I'm getting too caught up in my head that it's taking away the joy from the experience," she said. "I'm surrounded by people every day, and sometimes, I like to just be alone. I haven't really had a day to just chill and do nothing."
Now that her time on DWTS has wrapped — she finished in fifth place alongside partner Sasha Farber — the college student is ready for some normalcy, even though her future is still up in the air.
"I don't know what to do with my life because I've never had nothing to work for," she noted. "I'm still trying to find that one thing that I really want."