'Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I hurt myself'
IT takes strength to admit how you feel.
It takes immense strength to admit to others how you feel.
But to stand before others, publicly, and admit something so raw to the world in the hope it will help someone else?
That is heroic. Selfless. Inspiring.
Telaine Smith is "just another person you walk past in the supermarket, smiling and going about her day with an internal battle raging."
But the Queensland mum-of-four has bravely decided to speak up about it, to let others know they're not alone.
"I feel an urge to share knowing so many people are talking about it. Suicide. Depression. Anxiety," she wrote in a Facebook post that has touched hundreds.
"I have driven away from my family to sit in my car barely able to breath scratching at my veins, talking hatred to myself and building up the courage to 'leave my family better off'.
"I have sat in the shower with only the hot tap running, my skin burning, telling myself everyone hates me and begging 'someone' to make it all end.
"I have felt useless, hated, disgusting, unworthy, misunderstood and lonely to the point I...hoped to not wake up."
Telaine said she has walked away friendships, family and places for good because she "couldn't keep up the 'happy, funny' Telaine" and "didn't want to be 'that person' who makes everyone awkward with their moods and ruining good times".
She would then scratch or bite herself as punishment for not being 'likeable'.
With brutal honesty, she also admits she has tried to kill herself, more than once and has been hospitalised as a result.
"I have done some of the most self destructive behaviours you could imagine in a way to make myself 'stronger'," she said.
And she doesn't want to be like this.
"I have fought it on and off for decades. I have tried to reinvent myself to be 'happy' and 'worthy' but in the end I am just me.
"Sometimes I'm happy, sometimes I hurt myself. Sometimes I look at the sky and feel so amazed at its beauty and sometimes I look at it and beg it to swallow me whole. Sometimes I am a Pinterest mum baking, crafting and singing with my little people. Other days I feed them cereal, put cartoons on and cry in front of them and beg for their forgiveness for not being better, stronger then the women curled up still in PJs loving them passionately while wishing she didn't exist."
It doesn't get much more powerful than that. And yet, she reassures others that it is okay to be "perfectly, beautifully imperfect".
"I am me. And you are you. And that is perfectly, beautifully imperfect. You might not know how to ask for help, I sure as hell never have until I reach rock bottom. But maybe, just maybe sharing your story will let you know you are not alone."
Telaine's post has been received with an outpouring of support.
"It takes immense strength to be able to share something so raw. This shows that you have that one thing you need to get through this .....strength," one Facebook user wrote.
"So happy that you have shared this. If more people shared, more people would be aware and maybe more people would be more understanding and be able to help more by knowing what to do that is most helpful to you," another wrote.
Talking to News Regional Media, Telaine said the responses have made her feel overwhelmed - "overwhelmed and loved though".
"It's hard sometimes, in public, when you can come across quiet or rude when in all honesty you are just struggling to even 'be' in public.
"Today someone approached me when I was out and thanked me. They had shared this with their daughter who has depression and it opened up a conversation for her to share with her mum. Her mum had tears and thanked me for helping her understand her daughter more. That is amazing to me. I would open myself up again and again if I knew it could help someone avoid isolating themselves."
She said it is mind blowing how many people relate to something so personal.
"I had no expectations when I wrote this. I had been reading people's posts in regards to celebrities who had recently taken their lives and I just started to write. It's what I do when I can't express, even to myself, what it is I am feeling. I decided to share it in the hopes someone else could see they weren't alone."
When asked what she was experiencing when she wrote the post, Telaine said "heartbreak."
"Knowing that even those out there that we look up to or we feel 'have everything'. Like celebrities are feeling this isolation and depression. I wanted to be honest in the hope it might help others realise that it doesn't have to be so lonely."
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.