Former tennis player Jelena Dokic has revealed she nearly took her own life six week ago in the midst of mental health struggles.
Dokic is a former world No 4 and reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2000. On Monday, the 39-year-old Australian uploaded a lengthy Instagram post describing how she felt in April accompanied by a photo of herself in tears.
“28.04.2022 – I almost jumped off my 26th floor balcony and took my own life. Will never forget the day. Everything is blurry. Everything is dark,” she wrote. “No tone, no picture, nothing makes sense…..just tears, sadness, depression, anxiety and pain. The last six months have been tough. It’s been constant crying everywhere. From hiding in the bathroom when at work to wipe away my tears so that nobody sees it to the unstoppable crying at home within my four walls has been unbearable.”
In her post, Dokic said that she had been struggling for six months and those feelings culminated in her attempting to take her own life. However, she has since sought professional help and says she believes she is on the road to recovery.
“I pulled myself off the edge, don’t even know how I managed to do it,” Dokic said. “Getting professional help saved my life. This is not easy to write but I have always been open, honest and vulnerable with you all and I deeply believe in the power of sharing our stories to help us get through things and to help each other.”
She continued: “I am writing this because I know I am not the only one struggling. Just know that you are not alone. I am not going to say that I am doing great now but I am definitely on the road to recovery. Some days are better than others and sometimes I take a step forward and then a step back but I’m fighting and I believe I can get through this.”
Dokic has been open about her mental health and depression in the past and she chronicled the physical and emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, Damir, in her autobiography, Unbreakable, which was released in 2017.
“I believe in the following: it’s ok to feel what I am feeling. It’s ok to feel sad just keep fighting and come back. That’s what I am trying to do and that’s what keeps me going,” Dokic wrote.
Dokic retired from professional tennis in 2014 and is currently a tennis commentator and pundit for various Australia television networks. At the Australian Open in January, Dokic conducted the post-match on-court interviews.
In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.