Kobii grew up in Broadford, a small town in Victoria, Australia. His early years are described as “never-ending fun and ease. Being a child was easy.”
It was at 11 when Kobbii’s life took a turn and his freedom and carefree childhood was stripped from him. After experiencing a traumatic event, Kobii began to self-harm as a he felt as if it was his only escape. “It was the only way I could know I was alive. Self-harming released all my built up emotions.”
At 12 things only got worse when he was involved in a cyberbully attack. This person harassed him daily telling him “he was only self-harming for attention.” This online bullying continued and soon moved to the school yard. He would find going to school very difficult because he feared how he would be treated. Kobii started to avoid people as the bullying had scarred him so badly. He wasn’t sure who he could trust.
After all he had already been through at a young age Kobii says, “ The bullying is what really tipped me over the edge. I didn’t want to be alive.”
Throughout all of this, Kobii kept a journal and each day wrote down the positive things that happened, no matter how small they were, as a reminder that there was a reason to be here. Poetry was also something he spent a lot of time writing as a way of expressing how he was feeling.
“A party had started to form in the boys mind.
Controlled by an army of depression,
Allied with anxiety and fought with panic
With no food for days
It became the new normal.”
A powerful paragraph from one of Kobii’s poems which was written when he was in his darkest place. “ I wrote that poem when I was at my worst. I now realise there are so many positive things out there that can help with those feelings. Self-harming is not one of them.”
Today Kobii is 15 years old and shares that his life is a lot better now. He moved schools and after that he became a lot happier. He enjoys life now, a feeling that was unfamiliar for so long. To others being bullied he wants you to know that “reaching out for help is the best thing you can do. It can be a scary step but being open and honest with how you feel is important.”
To the bullies, “Just stop! Question why you are doing this. Is being mean to someone going to make you feel better about yourself? Please think about the effect this could have on the individual. Bullying affects people hugely and can change someone’s life. Please stop!”
Kobii is proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. He admits that he still struggles with depression but now has tools to combat the negative thoughts. He feels much stronger. His advice to anyone going through a tough time is to not give up! “ Giving up may seem like the easiest option but holding on is the bravest thing you can do. Focus on the positives of each day and please remember that you are not the only one fighting a battle with your mind.”