Australian tennis great Jelena Dokic has revealed she almost took her own life in April, saying she is now “definitely on the road to recovery”.
The 39-year-old shared an open letter on Instagram on Monday night in the hope that she can help others.
It comes six months after she announced her separation from long-time partner Tin Bikic. They were together for 19 years.
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Dokic says the period since has been “tough” but “getting professional help saved my life”.
“I almost jumped off my 26th floor balcony and took my own life,” Dokic wrote.
“Will never forget the day. Everything is blurry. Everything is dark.
“No tone, no picture, nothing makes sense… just tears, sadness, depression, anxiety and pain.
“The last six months have been tough.”
The former Australian tennis starlet shared a deep insight into the troubling months following the breakdown in her relationship.
“It’s been constant crying everywhere,” the post continued.
“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.
“Constant feelings of sadness and pain are just not going away and my life has been shattered.
“I blame myself, I don’t think I am worthy of loving and I am scared.”
Dokic has become one of Australia’s most popular TV identities since re-emerging on the scene in the years after retiring from tennis.
She debuted as a teenager and famously upset then world No.1 Martina Hingis at Wimbledon in 1999, but her life and career were beset by troubles with her father and coach Damir.
Dokic laid low in retirement before publishing an autobiography, which went in depth about her father’s behaviour, and taking up roles as a commentator.
She said in her Instagram post she still had “so many things to be grateful for”.
“I also know that I still have so many things to be grateful for and then I start to hate myself because by feeling this way I feel like I am not grateful because I mustn’t be since I want to end it all,” Dokic said.
“Such a vicious cycle in my head. The result: almost jumping off my 26th floor balcony on April 28th.
“Will never forget the day, I just wanted the pain and the suffering to stop.
“I pulled myself of the edge, don’t even know how I managed to do it. Getting professional help, saved my life.”
Dokic decided to speak out because she ‘deeply believes in the power of sharing our stories’.
“I am writing this because I know I am not the only one struggling,” she said.
“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.
She shared a poignant message to her followers to end her Instagram post.
“It’s OK to feel what I am feeling. It’s OK to feel sad just keep fighting and come back,” she said.
“That’s what I am trying to do and that’s what keeps me going.
“Don’t be ashamed of what you are feeling. 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.”
Friends rally around Dokic
Dokic’s Instagram post filled with messages of support from followers, colleagues and friends.
“You are enough. You are worthy. Your pain will heal. Be kind to yourself and if you can’t lean on those who can for now,” Australian Olympic champion Anna Meares said.
“We need you. We love you. You’re not alone. You will find peace, hang in there.”
TV personality Jacqui Felgate said: “You are an inspiration jelena. All my love xx.”
Australian entrepreneur and model Steph Claire Smith added: “Sending you so much love.”
Dokic’s post comes a month after Australian tennis player Destanee Aiava opened up on an attempt to take her own life on Easter Sunday.
Three passersby stopped to save the 22-year-old, who has since sought out professional help herself.
“I remember one of them said ‘whatever you’re going through I can relate’ and ‘there’s always another way out, there’s a way to happiness’,” Aiava told 7NEWS.com.au.
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.