“I reached out to Lifeline because I didn’t want to burden my family and friends. I wanted help and felt safe talking to a supportive stranger. Lifeline helped me to feel valued, understood, and to find value in living.”
My name is Tanya Krestchmann. I’m 20 years old. One night I walked outside of my house and called Lifeline’s telephone crisis line from the street. At the time I was completely overwhelmed, having suicidal thoughts, and didn’t know where to turn. It was the first time I acknowledged my struggle and reached out for help.
I had been struggling for years with depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviours and an eating disorder. I felt like I was living a double life; a private one filled with pain and anxiety, and a public one filled with achievement and normalcy.
I was hospitalised at various times and told that unless I changed my behavior, I would not live to see my next birthday. At one of my lowest points, I began to feel the urge to self-harm in an effort to distance myself from my emotional turmoil. On that particular evening I became so overwhelmed and distressed by suicidal thoughts I had to call Lifeline. It was the most important call I ever made.
When Lifeline’s online Crisis Support Chat service became available, I again reached out for help, feeling more comfortable articulating my thoughts and feelings in writing. In the few instances I have used Lifeline, the Chat and phone volunteers have been incredible, patient and understanding. They helped me to brainstorm practical steps to keep me safe
Without Lifeline, I might have acted on my suicidal and self-harm urges. I am sincerely grateful that I have had access to the services and support of Lifeline. They provided the opportunity for me to seek intervention before acting on suicidal urges; they have been the compassionate and non-judgmental ear that I needed in times of crisis.
To anyone seeking help it is OK to ask for help. If you are struggling, Lifeline is an incredible service that offers understanding and compassionate support. Sometimes a listening ear can make a difference.
I’m now 25 and have graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with degrees in both business and dance. I work at the Queensland Ballet and hope to be a teacher one day.
I savour the little things… I love to dance and coach competitive cheerleading, and try new things like ice-skating and rock-climbing, and cuddling Django, my kitten.