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Story Submission by Ryan
My name is Ryan and I live on the east coast of the United States. I drive a 98 Honda Civic (EK) and a 2003 Acura CL Type-S with a factory 6 speed manual.
I’ve always had self esteem issues, had an eating disorder at a young age which while now treated still affects me. I’m in my adulthood now, and have had my share of traumatic experiences. My story didn’t truly begin until April of 2021.
What I thought was a ‘quarter life crisis’ turned out to be so much worse. I had a harsh realization that I was approaching 30 years old. I was no where near where I wanted to be, I barely had a place to call home, barely had anyone to call family. I looked in the mirror and hated what looked back. I felt I wasn’t good enough. I felt alone, I felt a burden to others, and scared. I slowly started falling into an uncontrollable spin that would land me in the darkest place I ever been.
My love and passion for cars once was my escape, and my peace. Not even that could stop me from my fall. As time progressed I got worse. I consistently felt I wasn’t enough for anyone. I was not a good person. I felt worthless, alone, and dead on the inside. I would wake up, go to work and not speak a single word. Anyone who knows me knows that’s not who I am.
One night it all came to a terrible turning point. While being told negative things about myself, and with a few drinks in me, everything went black. When I snapped to, I had blood dripping from my left arm and a knife in my right hand. I did what I said I’d never do. I hurt myself. The next day at work, I’d find myself in the bathroom sobbing uncontrollably. I knew then I needed help.
I made calls, but it took close to 4 months to get proper treatment. 1 month for a primary visit, another few weeks to see a shrink, and a month and a half to get medicated finally.
While the medication helped, it didn’t fully cure me. I was still sad and not myself, but slowly began improving. Then one day something amazing happened.
I was picking my Civic from my mechanic, and driving hone, a man and his 2 kids asked me at a red light to do a burnout. I delivered. The car was bouncing off the rev limiter and tires squealing, grabbed second gear and kept it going. At the next light, they were all smiles and giving me thumbs up. With a big event being a month away, I knew then. It was time to get back to what I know and love so very much.
I instantly got into working on my Cl Type S in prep for a Honda/Acura event called Hday. It kept me going thru dark days and dark moments and as much time as I could, I was with that car getting it ready. It’s safe to say when I was in the EK, that moment on that short drive made a world of difference.
The week of Hday, I finished the Acura just in the nick of time. But also, I knew I was going to make it the most special one yet because of what I had overcome. So I had a short message typed out, and I taped to my hood. That short message filled my hood with signatures from those who struggle or know someone struggling with mental health just as I was and still am. I heard so many stories, shared parts of my story. I had my medication on me and showed people that bottle.
The car would end up taking second place in its class. But that wasn’t nearly as much of a win as my hood on the CL and the friendships created. It was that day, I knew my story could be used as inspiration and help to others. Hence, here I am.
To be honest, I still struggle. I still have bad days, I still have problems at home, still have relationship and family issues. I still know deep down, I’m not yet okay. Yet, that’s perfectly fine. Because I know the support I have now, I know I’m not alone, and I know that the greatest part of my story is yet to come.
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.
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