I have always had a love for Japanese culture, being there already twice in my life. Something that really caught my eye was the paper cranes. The symbol of the paper crane is hope and if you make 1000 the tradition grants you a wish.
But in May of 2014 I was diagnosed with severe depressive disorder and anxiety and was admitted to hospital for 2 and 1/2 months. I struggled severely with self-harm and my one wish was to just get better.
Since I had nothing else to do and had lots of free time, instead of self-harming I would make paper cranes, all the time! To keep my hands and mind busy. When I got discharged I had made over 3000 and I have just continued on ever since.
The last time I was in hospital was July 2015, just after my 18th birthday. I had tried to take my own life. It was honestly the worst experience of my life. After having that happen to myself and my family, I knew something had to change. Without the knowledge of Lifeline, I don’t know where I’d be today. Even though I was in hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses I felt completely alone. Calling Lifeline and knowing that they’d listen and respect me was all I had hoped for. Knowing that the person on the other end of the line genuinely wanted to help me got me through those horrible days after my attempt, and made me realise just how much I actually wanted to recover.
It was so good to speak to someone who didn’t have any existing opinions about me, and was able to offer guidance without judgement. It gave me a lot of hope, and made me realise there were people out there going through the same thing I was. Without the lady from Lifeline there to listen without judging – I wouldn’t be here right now.
Since all that, I have been on the road to recovery. I am now happy and more healthy than ever. Having someone there through that experience whilst in hospital is what prompted me to recover. Knowing that I wasn’t alone and I never will be. Now I have made over 16,000 cranes. Making paper cranes was the one thing I would always do to help myself, wherever I was, whatever I was doing – no matter what headspace I was in. It kept my hands busy and helped me distract myself. I can definitely say that without them I wouldn’t be here today. They remind me of the hope I needed when I was sick and the hope I will have forever in my life!