The following content may contain information about depression, anxiety, self-harm and/or other related material which may be triggering. Reader discretion is advised.
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.
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