‘I was gone’: Lambie’s darkest moment
Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has relived her battle with depression, addiction to painkillers, and attempted suicide in a new podcast.
In a message to Australians struggling with their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Lambie has encouraged people to reach out for support.
"It is empty, it is dark and it is cold and it's a very lonely place to be," she said.
In a new episode of Bounce Back, sponsored by DrinkWise, the former military police officer has delved into some of her darkest moments after sustaining a back injury during her service.
Senator Lambie admits to chowing down on painkillers like Australians were with "toilet paper during COVID", drinking up to six bottles of wine a week and having panic attacks, as she struggled to get support from Veteran's Affairs.
"I used to look at myself and I was this little charcoal thing in a corner, there was nothing left of me, I
was gone," she said.
Senator Lambie, who had two young sons at the time, recalled feeling of no use to them.
"I would just be staring up at the sky saying to God: 'Look c'mon mate, I don't get it, look just take me'," she said.
"There's no point me being here on earth."
After walking out in front of a car in a suicide attempt in 2009, Senator Lambie received more support from Veteran's Affairs and spent the next two years in and out of a psychiatric ward.
A bout of cold turkey from drugs prescribed to "numb the brain" caused chronic fatigue and hair loss.
But the medicine also had side effects.
"I was on it for a very long period of time, 10 years I think, on very high doses and I do struggle with memory problems," Senator Lambie said.
"Nothing too bad but I've got to get people to go over things."
She encouraged Australians struggling through pandemic to get up in the morning and "try to smile".
"Have your shower and get moving on with your day because we could be in this pandemic for a very, very long time," Senator Lambie said.
"Try and keep yourselves active so you're talking to people, try not to let yourself get into a corner where you are living at home by yourself and you're not having any visitor.
"If you can, possibly get yourself an animal, a budgie, a fish, anything."
She also called on Australians to be kind to each other, including on social media.
As for what the future has in store for the 49-year-old who was re-elected to parliament last year - Senator Lambie has her sights set on veteran's affairs.
"If you want change just pass the bloody portfolio over to me and let me get in there and clean it up," she said.
Senator Lambie's story on Bounce Back joins interviews with Bill Shorten, Rosie Batty, and Nathan Buckley who shared how they suffered through hardships and recovered.
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Originally published as 'I was gone': Lambie's darkest moment