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Story Submission by Aaron, Age 30
As a teenager I was never happy. These unhappy feelings started fairly young, with my mum constantly asking why I always walked around looking at the ground. I really didn’t like myself and found that my love of cars was the best distraction from my anxieties. I say anxiety now and I know what it is, however, at that time it was just the way things were.
Coming out at the age of 21 was hard, as can be expected, however the way I am doesn’t seem to fit with the stereotypes, so it blindsided most people in my life. Other than who I’m attracted to I may as well be straight.
Fighting with myself for so long, when I was finally able to accept myself it was a huge relief. I finally stopped hating myself, but unfortunately depression doesn’t give up that easily. My relationship was effected by the black dog and I was lucky to have survived. Finally at the age of 23 I walked into my doctor’s office and told him about my struggles. I told him I was lucky to be here and there had been times I considered ending it all.
Since then I have gotten a better grip on things, making some big changes and have found a career that I enjoy and am fairly successful in. I have a 2004 Mazda MX-5 SE which I bought as a present to myself for getting to the point where I am happy. I bought it despite the stereotypes, because I’m confident enough in myself, and I tuned it to make around 170 rear-wheel kilowatts – it is enough of a surprise to silence most haters, anyway.
I am now a member of the local sporting car club and the state MX-5 club. Over the last few years I have dipped my toes in the amateur motorsports pool. While I have run the MX-5 in a few, my specialty seems to be buying inappropriate cars for $500 and rocking up to race in them (an AU Falcon wagon, or a Mitsubishi Challenger 4×4 for example). 2017 will be the year I take it a bit more seriously.
Cars and the car community have saved me so many times. I have met so many genuine people that share my passion and enthusiasm. While I may still have rough times, things are OK. And OK feels pretty good to me.
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