'All Too Much': Farmer's Viral Post Reveals Heartbreaking Reality Of Drought
The drought gripping the nation is an "overwhelming crisis of epic proportions", a farmer has told The Project, urging those struggling to cope to reach out for help.
Lucy Gallagher, a farmer and registered nurse from Tamworth, shared her gut-wrenching story on Facebook this week to raise awareness about reaching out during Mental Health Awareness Month.
In the post -- which has gone viral on Facebook -- Gallagher described her personal struggle dealing with the physical, mental and emotional tolls of living on drought-ravaged land.
On Friday, Gallagher shared her emotional story with The Project, where she detailed how having a "meltdown about the silliest thing" led to her reaching out for help.
In the post, Gallagher described how little things had started going wrong in her day but she "adapted, as she always does."
She spoke of a typical day for a farmer, including preparing food, doing paperwork, fixing a fence and feeding all of her family's animals including sheep, calves, lambs and horses.
"While she was thinking, how the hell are we going to keep going, the dust blew in from the West and half the washing she'd done flew off the clothesline and landed on the ground where there used to be grass but now there's just dirt," she said.
But the final straw came when she went in to have a shower at the end of the day, and discovered the house's water had run out.
"I hugged the towel around me and I cried myself to sleep," she said.
Despite being more optimistic the next day, Gallagher said her heart still felt "jumpy" at the thought of the dust coming in again and of all the animals that "pleaded to be fed".
It was then that Gallagher made the decision to call Beyond Blue.
She said the person on the other end of the line asked her a simple question -- why she was calling -- which led to her breaking down and crying on the phone, revealing the depths of her struggles for the first time.
I told her: I'm tired. I'm just so tired.
Gallagher said she has a strong support network around her, including her husband and best friend -- "but everyone is busy and everyone is stressed".
"Busier than ever, and stressed more than ever."
Gallagher decided to share her story of asking for help, in order to raise awareness during Mental Health Awareness Month.
"I don't feel shame for struggling, for crying, for reaching out -- and not should you," she said.
"These are the things that make us human."
Gallagher urged anyone who felt they needed to speak to someone to reach out.
"You can't pour from an empty cup, and you can't feed from an empty bucket."
The Project panel praised Gallagher for sharing a positive message about mental health.
"It really stood out to me that she said everyone's busy, everyone's stressed because I think that's a thing everyone worries that their worries will be too much for everyone else," Susie Youssef said.
You can read Lucy Gallagher's poem in full here.
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.
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