Editor's note: If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.
Former tennis star Jelena Dokic opened up in an emotional Instagram post on Monday where she revealed that she’s been battling depression and anxiety, and even nearly attempted suicide earlier this year.
Dokic, who made it as high as No. 4 in the world and reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2000 when she was just 17, said she “almost jumped off my 26th floor balcony and took my own life in April.”
“Will never forget the day. Everything is blurry. Everything is dark … The last six months have been tough,” she wrote. “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.”
Thankfully, though, Dokic said she reached out for help and that she pulled herself out of the “vicious cycle” she was going through.
“I pulled myself off the edge, don’t even know how I managed to do it. Getting professional help saved my life,” she wrote. “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. I am writing this because I know I am not the only one struggling. Just know that you are not alone.”
Dokic won six times in her career, most recently in Kuala Lumpur in 2011. She retired in 2014, and has worked as a tennis commentator in Australia.
Dokic has been open about several struggles she’s dealt with throughout her life in recent years. She wrote in an autobiography in 2017 that her father, who was also her coach, regularly beat, kicked and belittled her.
Dokic finished her post encouraging others who may be dealing with similar things to seek help — something sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, who works with tennis star Iga Swiatek, praised her for on social media.
Every single time when someone decides to share their story and encourage others to seek help means a lot. It takes a lot of courage too.
There is never wrong time to seek help. Remember that everyone experiences mental health issues differently.
Thank you Jelena Dokic. pic.twitter.com/x9noGOIiS0
— Daria Abramowicz (@abramowiczd) June 13, 2022
“Don’t be ashamed of what you are feeling,” Dokic wrote. “It’s ok to feel this way and you can come back from it. It’s possible, just keep believing. Love you all and here is to fighting and surviving to live and see another day.
“I will be back stronger than ever.”