It started in the car.
Having willed herself out of bed that morning, Lilly sat paralysed by tears, watching a rush of creased uniforms and scuffed leather shoes pass by the window.
She snuck into the crowd and went about her day before it confronted her again.
The signs were there in her homeroom class - a tapping foot, echoed by fingers beating across the desk.
It didn't stop - doubts sung louder. The 16-year-old's mind raced.
Something had to give.
"I went down to the office, and I just started crying. I didn't even register it, but I was bawling," Lilly recounted.
"I was hyperventilating. My body went numb. I was shaking violently, and I had no idea what I was going through.
"I couldn't talk. I couldn't open my eyes. All I could do was cry, and I just lay in this big mess on the couch.
"No one at school was aware of what I was dealing with, which made it hard because I couldn't say anything.
"Eventually I calmed down, it must have been half-an-hour or an hour later. I passed out because I was so exhausted from what my body was dealing with.
"That was probably one of the scariest moments of my life. I had no idea what was happening to me. That moment was what really told me I need to get help with what I'm dealing with."
Lilly lives with anxiety. It doesn't define her, and it doesn't control her.
Instead, it is a tool through which she hopes to start conversations about mental health.
Lilly's mental health journey didn't start with a defining moment. Sometimes, there just isn't one.
Her parents' divorce a few years ago was understandably tough, but she otherwise admits she's had a good childhood.
Schoolwork wasn't a problem, and the little mundanities of teenage life would pass by as quickly as they came.
Though over time, those small things began to stay, until they were questioned once, twice, or however many it times it took to find a worst possible outcome and whatever lay in between.
The hypotheticals suffocated her until she felt she couldn't escape.
"It became really unhealthy for me to the point where I wouldn't be able to make it through a week of school because my body would be so physically rundown that I would get sick," Lilly said.
"I never ever talked about how I felt. I have four younger sisters, so I felt I was keeping it together for everyone.
"I just pushed my feelings down, continued on, and this fuelled my perfectionism even more because I was unrealistically trying to avoid my feelings because it was easier than dealing with them.
"I had support around me, but I never recognised it as that. I never went to someone.
"I just took it all on myself, and that was as destructive as it sounds. I was a burden on myself, because I felt I would be a burden on other people."
Lilly batted her feelings away as standard course for a teenager who just had to manage confusion and worry as unfortunate parts of growing up.
But, there was never any relief.
"What started to raise concerns for me and the people around me was that is started to put me in a dark place," Lilly said.
"I went through phases of my life where I didn't want to be here.
"As hard as it is for me to admit I felt like that, so many other people have experienced times like this.
"That stigma needs to be removed. This is becoming a normal thing people have to deal with."
With the help of her mother, and what she says is an "awesome" team at headspace Horsham, Lilly began to open up and see her mental health journey as a catalyst for good.
"It was like a big balloon had popped, and all the tears came out because I had nearly seven years of emotions bottled up that I never dealt with," she said.
"My feelings just kept getting worse, they weren't validated and then (all of a sudden) it just felt like such a relief.
"It was like a load had been lifted and it was so empowering."
One in seven people aged 4 to 17 years old will experience a mental health condition in any given year, Beyond Blue states.
Half of all mental health problems a person may experience in their life would have started by age 14.
Only 13 per cent of young men and 31 per cent of young women with mental health problems seek professional support, on average.
When they do speak out, so often they're shut down.
Lilly wants her generation to be heard.
"Young people have to justify their mental health issues because it can be put down to just (being a teenager) and what is most irritating when you feel like this is that you know it's not normal," she said.
"You're saying 'this isn't normal, I don't feel right, I need to talk to someone', and your parents or the people around you just say 'no you'll be okay, it's just a phase'.
"That's when it gets worse because you don't have support from people around you.
"It becomes debilitating because you feel like your opinion is not validated, and the way you're feeling is not validated."
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There is no 'magic fix' for anxiety and mental health problems. Lily admits that.
But, by speaking out, she hopes to prove there is no weakness in not being okay.
To her, and a growing majority, it's a strength.
"People who talk about their mental health issues should be viewed as warriors. Dealing with your mind every day is one of the most difficult things people have to face," she said.
"I don't want it to sound like 'oh pity me, poor me'. That's not what I'm saying.
"So many people go through this and if I can try and make someone feel like its okay and it's normal to deal with mental health issues, then it's so important."
If you or someone you know has been impacted by this story, help and support is available.
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