What that sticker means


It seems like it was only yesterday when I wrote this short message about how we are human.
About how we wake to the human condition of living with problems of pain.
How we would have encountered battles in the year 2012.
Little or big.
We would all have faced up to a few battles.

And we’ve never really sat down and really reflected upon what we have achieved.
It’s New Year’s Eve, well New Year’s day now as I’m writing this post.
We’re driving back to Sydney from Gosford.
We spot this Nissan on the freeway.
There is a Cars For Hope sticker on the side window.
We don’t know whose car it is or how the sticker got there.
But we know what that sticker means.

It means that millions of people struggle with depression.
It means that there are even more supporters, friends and family of those suffering from depression are also struggling.
It means that what we do with our pain – how we respond to it – matters. Perhaps it is one of the biggest questions we get to answer in this life.
It is still a misunderstood mental illness.

Love and depression are very similar. They can both be turned into awful clichés and so we reject them for their commonness, their fallacy. They are paraded like teenage girl ideals and nothing more. Yet when it truly happens to you, it feels so personal, like it has never happened to anyone else before. Like no one, even someone experiencing the same thing, will ever understand the way you feel at this very moment.

And we know this because we are, in fact, real life, people, human beings.
Deep down we know that you can snap out of being unhappy or a bit down, but you, cannot, snap out of an illness.
We know that nobody wants to be sick and unable to function or enjoy life.

But it is our absolute pleasure and honour to say that hope is real and that recovery is possible.
We have heard stories from all over the world.
From all ages, genders and races.
We have heard from people helping people.
We have heard from those who were once confused with what depression actually is.
We have heard from people taking the brave steps towards help and healing.
We have heard from people sitting across from their doctor or counsellor for the first time,
And we will continue to hear from people pursuing stability and full recovery.

This is what that sticker means.

Happy new year everybody.

With hope,

The Cars For Hope movement is a dream come true. It’s been an amazing ride since 2011 and a privilege to bring my heart to work every day. I get to wake up every day and write things that I really believe and say things that I really believe. I get to be creative trying to encourage people and move people to know that it’s okay to be honest and that it’s okay to ask for help. And the other part of it is I get to hear the best stories and compliments, sometimes even people saying they’re still alive and getting help because of the work that we do. It’s so incredibly humbling and encouraging.

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6 Responses
  1. tom

    This is a heart warming and moving piece. Many well-put points addressing the awful stigma, and ignorance and misunderstanding of metal illness.

    From someone with chronic depression and anxiety.

  2. Steve

    A new friend recently told me about Cars For Hope and I think that ANY avenue to address anxiety and depression is a wonderful thing. As someone who works as a professional entertainer, no one would suspect that behind the smiling, motivating and apparent confident person, lies a man who is crippled and tormented with anxiety, depression and OCD. I take comfort in knowing that there are literal millions of people like me out there who I can share and learn about this illness and coping mechanisms. For those who are all desperately feeling alone, isolated, ashamed or embarrassed – DON’T!! You are not alone. You are loved. You are brilliant in your own way. You are you.

  3. Crissy

    It is absolutely amazing that very few words on one sticker can mean a whole story to someone, this sticker to me means, there is still hope out there not only for myself but for the millions of sufferers. I suffer chronic anxiety and depression and everyday is a struggle for me. I literally look at the sticker everyday and it makes me smile knowing what the organisation is about and what it means to me.

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