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Story Submission by Dennis, Age 36

I am not too good with words, but here is how cars saved my life and brought me to where I am today.

It all started in 2001 with a little movie called The Fast and the Furious. I had always loved cars: I read Car and Driver, Super Street, Sport Compact Car and Road and Track, and I played Need for Speed, but I never knew that a movie about street racing would set me on a path to figuring out who I am and what my passion would be.

The movie changed my life but I wouldn’t realise it until 5 years later when I was in a dark, dark place.

I was in a crappy job that I hated and was actively trying to get fired from. I was on a local forum one day and saw that there was going to be a car meet pretty close to where I lived. Mind you, at the time I pretty much just went to work and slept. I barely took care of myself and had tried (and failed) on two occasions to take my life.

I drove 20 minutes to the parking lot of a grocery store. I didn’t really talk to anyone; I just watched. This went on for a few weeks until one person came up to me and asked me about my car. It was like a switch went off and I did something I never would have done: I talked to them. And wouldn’t you know it, we both started quoting that stupid street racing movie.

That day saved me, and that person saved me simply by talking to me.

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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