Prince Harry recently discovered his membership to a big club. While your first assumption may be that this club must be an upscale and exclusive club fit only for royalty, you would be incorrect.
The big club is a figurative illustration that Prince Harry used to describe a humbling realization he has had over the last few years. Anybody who has suffered from crippling grief over the loss of a loved one is part of the same club as Prince Harry.
It was not until he was 28 years old that he finally accepted the fact that he did not have to suffer in silence over the grief of losing his mother, Princess Diana, at the age of 12. Once he opened up about his feelings, he realized he was part of “this big club” and certainly not alone.
Prince Harry decided to boldly open up about his own mental health struggles on the podcast “Mad World” hosted by Bryony Gordon. Prince Harry’s surprising honesty as a guest on the podcast has touched many who would have never guessed that they could relate to somebody like Prince Harry on such a deep level.
That is, in fact, exactly what Prince Harry hoped would happen as he shared his struggles and need for counseling. His appearance was made in efforts to help end the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
Prince Harry told Gordon, “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well.” Until three years ago, Prince Harry would “stick his head in the sand” and avoid ever thinking about his mother.
He thought that the sadness that came with reflecting on his mother’s life and death would only bring him pain so he stuffed those emotions away completely. However, not processing his grief in a healthy way eventually had damaging effects to his health, relationships, and work both in and out of the public eye.
He admitted, “I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.” Thankfully, Prince William pointed out to his brother in a concerned manner that he cannot go through difficult life experiences, such as the tragic loss of their mother, and act as if there are no effects on him that need to be processed.
His brother’s concern convinced him to get help. Talking to a professional about his feelings has been a necessary and therapeutic release of all of the emotions he had been ignoring for so long.
Prince Harry also needed a positive outlet for his aggression so he took up boxing. He used to feel he was always on the verge of punching someone, but now he knows how to turn that aggression into energy while boxing.
Prince Harry has expressed his hope that those who have had a hard time dealing with grief seek out a conversation with someone. There is likely more support available than you realize and more people who have been waiting for you to open up than you could imagine.