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 Eleanor, Age 22

They say depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer. It’s like you can see everyone around you breathing when you’re drowning.

I believe that to be an understatement. I can find myself in a room full of people and still feel utterly alone. I’m the girl who hides behind a smile and laughter but cries herself to sleep every night. I am extremely exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally.

A few weeks ago, I found myself in the emergency room with low pulse, low blood pressure, internal bleeding, dehydrated and in and out of consciousness. My body was slowly shutting down on itself.

I’ve dealt with the day-by-day debilitations of depression since I was 11 years old. My mum was the one who realised something was going on only after I had a mental breakdown I when I was 18. This was around the time of my graduation and my father leaving – all within a period of two weeks. I have been medicated and working on and off with a counselor ever since.

I am constantly at war with myself. Nothing seems worth putting effort into, but that’s only how half of me feels. The way my mind is constantly going and going is draining. On my good days, I find myself working on my car, hanging around cars or taking pictures of cars.

I still find myself struggling with anxiety and cutting – and it’s been the worst it’s ever been. But thanks to the people I’ve met through the car world, I have found support through my friends who help me through the low times and dark thoughts. All I need are some tight corners, boost and my boyfriend. He (and the car world) has literally saved my life. I’ve found something worth living for.

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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