Aussie tennis icon Jelena Dokic has received an outpouring of support after admitting that her gruelling work schedule has left her feeling “overwhelmed and exhausted". Dokic has been praised for having the courage to speak up about her personal struggles and helping to remove the stigma around mental health.
Dokic found herself at the centre of a shocking controversy during the Australian Open after calling out trolls for fat-shaming her during the host broadcaster's coverage. The former World No.4 and Channel Nine commentator revealed that she nearly took her own life last year, and says one particularly shocking post read in Serbian: "Now that the Australian Open is starting will Jelena Dokic try to kill herself like she does every year."
Dokic's courage in calling out trolls and openly discussing her problems has served as an inspiration for countless fans. The former tennis star has also poured her heart into a best-selling book titled 'Unbreakable' and speaks frequently at media events and functions around the country.
Touching on her hectic recent work schedule, Dokic admitted on Instagram that she couldn't even bring herself to get off the couch after a particularly busy week. “Overwhelmed and exhausted. Hairspray in my hair, makeup on my face, my dress is still on from the day’s events and I have no energy to even get up off the couch and get myself to bed," she said in the post.
“Haven’t stopped working and I love it but I am not good at saying no when I should and I always say yes to all requests. Also, sometimes I am not great at putting myself first. It gets me into trouble more with myself than anything else.”
Dokic revealed that she often puts on a brave face for the rest of the world, even at times when she is struggling internally. The 39-year-old said she "hit the wall" after cramming eight working events into four days and that her mind and body had simply "had enough".
“My work will never suffer, you will never know it and I will never show it. Because I have the ability to push myself way past my limits and work under extreme circumstances,” she added. “But behind closed doors I get overwhelmed, more from fatigue and lack of sleep than anything else. So of course I have hit the wall.
“Doing eight events in four days and four in one day alone was where my mind and body had enough and I, all of a sudden, couldn’t get off the couch to even have a shower and wash my hair. That’s how exhausted I was.
“So, while this was all because of lack of sleep, it accumulated in me crying and having anxiety. The good thing was that I knew exactly what and why it was happening. I didn’t beat myself up about it or give myself a hard time but instead I looked at it as a good lesson to learn from.
“Sleep and self-care is so important. While we talk about it all the time, sometimes putting it into practice is harder than we think. I slept 15 hours that night - that’s how tired I was (after having a shower and washing my hair of course). I am good now and even though the work continues, I am learning more about how to reset, rest and take time off.”
Fans hail 'inspirational' message from Jelena Dokic
Dokic's confronting and poignant self-assessment has been hailed by fans on social media, with the comments section flooded with responses to the 39-year-old's post. Many users have described Dokic as an "inspiration" and encouraged her to keep shining the spotlight on personal battles that many others suffer, but are perhaps hesitant to discuss.
"You are one incredible woman," one user told Dokic in response to the post. "Such an inspiration. I'm currently reading your book (mind you I don't read haha) and what you have been through in your life is profound, yet you are no victim. You instead use it to help yourself and others now too. I have no words except thank you so much for sharing all that you do. You are one hell of an inspiring woman."
Another added: "Your post is so timely. I am feeling exactly the same way. The problem is that our minds are conditioned to just work through it and that things will get better. But things don’t get better and you run the risk of burn out. We need to take stock and the ability to say no is so important. Thanks Jelena. You’re such an inspiration."
A third wrote: "Please put your precious self first and be kind to yourself. You’re such an amazing person. Be kind to you."
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