The following content may contain information about mental health and/or other related material which may be triggering. Reader discretion is advised.
Story Submission by Glynn, Age 28
Growing up I always knew something wasn’t 100% right.
As a child moving into my teen years I believed I felt more stressed and anxious than most of my friends at the time but I wasn’t able to put my finger on what the problem was. I would often fall into downward spirals triggered by the slightest of things.
As I got older, I believed I was getting better and moved on with my life. After a hiccup in my late teens I fell back into my old ways. At the age of 19 I had moved out of home craving independence but at the same time this was also my undoing. By the end of that year I had unsuccessfully attempted to take my own life on at least 2 occasions I can remember and was in a pit of depression.
Growing up around cars with both my Grandfather being an avid car restorer and my Father having a keen passion for cars and bodywork/paint I grew up watching how working on cars can take you into a completely different head space. Something as simple as going out to the garage and completing some small projects could completely change my outlook on the world by the time you walked back out.
I had always worked on my own cars since I had my license but didn’t have the time or money (or space) to do anything extreme.
One evening in the summer of 2011 I was browsing the internet and found a car group based in SA that had similar passions to myself. A good friend of mine and I cruised down to this event and met an amazing bunch of people (who after all these years are still my closest and dearest friends).
Meeting such an amazing group of people completely changed my outlook on life. I was no longer a recluse who worked all day and then felt miserable and alone at night. This group opened up the whole car community to me, and for years now I’ve attended as many cruises and car events as possible (both in SA and nationally) and met some amazing people that share similar values and passions as myself.
With the ability to have my own garage full of tools and workspace I set about doing some major projects on my own vehicles; things I never thought I was capable of doing.
There’s something so therapeutic about working on vehicles at your own pace and learning as you go. Unlike depression and anxiety this is something you are in 100% control over – you know what the outcome is going to be and you have a goal to strive towards. When I’m in my garage the world around me disappears, the anxiety goes away, and the depression subsides. It is truly my sanctuary.
I live and breathe cars, they are my passion and they take up most of my time.
Today I am happily engaged to a fiancé who appreciates my passion and encourages it; she is my world. Together with her and the support I need by my doctor and my family, I am living the life I always dreamed of but never thought I would have.
I look back on my life so far and wonder if I would still be around today if it wasn’t for finding my true calling and passion. The car scene in Australia is so vast and supportive of it’s community and I am so proud to be surrounded with such amazing people.
I hope that my story can help other car guys who are struggling to reach out to the car community. Get involved in some events and surround yourself with positive vibes. It will change your life for the better!
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm or addiction, please reach out. Call 13 11 14 for Lifeline’s 24hr Telephone Crisis Support or contact a mental health professional. If you are looking for other mental health resources, browse our Find Help page.
If a life is in danger call 000 immediately.