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Story Submission by Anonymous, Age 29

Cars have always been a huge part of my life. Growing up around the Aussie V8 I was hooked. Mum said I used to stand there watching the mechanic work on our Holden HQ and say I’m going to be a mechanic one day, which I achieved just before my 21st birthday.

As I got older my love for cars became stronger. I appreciated a nice car no matter the make or model after growing up around Holdens. Driving was my everything; my escape. Naturally, going fast was a part of that, making me appreciate cars for their handling, plus the mixed emotions of selling a car to get something else that might feed my hunger just right.

A few years down the track my job became a problem and I found myself getting drunk every night until I passed out to escape my life. Driving like I had nothing to lose, with very low self esteem or care for anything, but I didn’t know what it was. This was putting a lot of pressure on my new marriage and I didn’t want to or know how to deal with it all. I was going for long drives through the hills at high speeds and felt great. I felt on top of the world, I felt untouchable. Then the next day at work I was back to feeling the way I was.

I can’t tell you how many kilometres or how much fuel or how many tyres I went through, but to me it was priceless. I felt it was the only thing keeping me alive. That driving was the release I needed at the time to clear my head and go back and deal with it all for another day. That driving, that car, saved me.

Fast forward 3 years to my divorce and that demon returned. I had never felt so lonely and isolated from the world. Mates were around and I had family there for me, but I didn’t want their help. I didn’t want them to know so I had a lot of lonely nights at home alone drinking. Video games became a good friend as I didn’t have a car at the time, so I would play for hours just locked away in my own world.

I seeked help after trying to battle depression on my own. I got some antidepressants and they help a little but ultimately I felt that it had beaten me. I skipped my pills trying to beat it until the day I found the car that brought me back.

It was a Holden Astra I bought when it got traded-in at work. I fixed it up and spent time driving it, and I instantly felt better about being me.

The one night that I will forever remember was a lonely Saturday night. I had bought some silicone hoses and a pod air filter to redo my air intake, and after 30 minutes of playing around it was all done. Feeling pretty stoked with my finished project I went for a test drive. The noise it made made me feel something I hadn’t felt for a while. So I washed up and fuelled up, and drove and drove and drove.

I went everywhere with no real destination. Just me, my car and the road ahead.

That night I drove for 4 or 5 hours. I was feeling great with the radio playing good tunes, and it never felt so good to be me again.

I felt like I was home.

I got though my darkest days and I have my car to thank for that. I’ve unfortunately had to sell her to work towards a house deposit, but I’ll never forget that car or those days.

My cars are who I am. My cars are a living creature to me. I will talk to them and curse at them, but they will always be my escape from life. I will always be grateful for them and the people that they have brought into my life.

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.

Stories written by members of the Cars For Hope community. Find out how you can submit your story today.

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2 Responses
  1. Josh

    This was an awesome read… and I’ve found myself in a similar situation. And thanks to social media… being able to connect with others all over the world in online car communities, I now understand that no matter where you are in the world that people share the same passion for their cars. A car is more than just that means of transportation, it’s an escape, it’s therapy, it’s a way of life. as someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression for the past seven to eight years there’s nothing that brings me out of a funk like getting out by myself and driving around. Especially on curvy Mountain Roads then I’m so thankful for here where I live. Here being Northeastern Tennessee in the US.

  2. Natalie

    Wow, what a touching story. I’m glad you found your safe haven in cars, just like I did. I went through severe depression and mild anxiety after a relationship fell apart, i moved back to my mum’s and I lost my job a few weeks later. While unemployed I’d drag myself out of my fouton bed chuck something on and then drive. I had a silver 2010 mazda 3 hatchback and I loved that car. I drove it through the Blue Mountains which led me to Bathurst then out to Blayney. I drove for 8 hours and had Nickelback blasting with my window down and I’d imagine myself driving off the road. Driving through the country side was my escape, it helped me clear my head. Then my mum called. I was in a very dark place and I knew that if I did something to myself my mum would follow suit. I spoke to a counsellor who understood my love and escape in cars. Through my love for cars, it’s how I bonded with my best friend who is now my fiancè. Never give up hope, it’s ok to not be ok.

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