Thank you Prince Harry – that’s my story too

It’s not every day that your life experience is the same as a member of the Royal Family, but I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I listened to Prince Harry’s recent interview with Bryony Gordon in the Daily Telegraph.

In the interview the Prince says that he ‘shut down all his emotions’ for almost twenty years, then went through two years of ‘total chaos’ before seeing a professional about his mental health.

That’s my story too.

Don’t cry out loud

I grew up in Yorkshire where expressing emotions was viewed as a sign of weakness and in the words of the Elkie Brooks song I learned that ‘we don’t cry out loud, we keep it inside; leam how to hide our feelings’.

So hide them I did. Prince Harry talks about ‘burying his head in the sand,’ but for me it was more about hiding everything I didn’t want to feel in a box and closing the lid. After going through six unsuccessful rounds of IVF and losing both parents my box was full to the brim.

And of course it burst open when I wasn’t expecting it, putting my life, not quite into the ‘total chaos’ the Prince talks about, but making everything very hard.

That was eighteen months ago and here’s me at The Story Party telling the story of what happened next (it’s just 9 mins).

What I didn’t say

What I didn’t say in my story, and have only hinted at previously is that I too have been seeing a therapist.

Until now it felt too vulnerable, I mean ‘we don’t do that in Yorkshire’. And now thanks to Prince Harry being open, I feel that I can be too.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make though, not at all. When a good friend suggested it would help me, I resisted big time. In the end I decided to give it a go and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. Working with a therapist I’ve processed the grief and other emotions that were hidden in the box and I now feel more in touch with my feelings than ever. I also feel calmer, more relaxed and grounded.

It’s Okay to ask for help

I’m telling you this because I want you to know that it’s okay to ask for help. We all struggle from time to time and as Prince Harry says “I know there is huge merit in talking about your issues and the only thing about keeping it quiet is that it’s only ever going to make it worse.’

I’ve written recently about owning my story and writing my own ending and if that means asking for help I’m in – what about you?

You can listen to Prince Harry’s interview and read more articles   here.

What do you think?

If you’d like to leave a comment (you don’t have to use your real name), I’d love to hear what you think.

Thank you

8 thoughts on “Thank you Prince Harry – that’s my story too

  1. Lesley thank you for this. Brave, honest and so helpful hearing your words. I agree, Prince Harry has really in one day raised awareness and got everyone talking about feelings. How we can express our inner thoughts to benefit ourselves and those around. You have helped too . I find your newsletter and blog a huge support when it comes to coping with those difficult times & feelings of childlessness but it has been hard times for you also. So we all have to find our ways but it is clear talking about it helps????

    • Thank you for your lovely & supportive comment Lorna, knowing that what I write helps others is what keeps me going so thank you for letting me know.

  2. A brilliant and wonderful speech Lesley. So honest. Prince Harry, a long with so many others like yourself will hopefully bring a change and awareness to mental illnesses that is very much needed on our world. I enjoy reading your posts.

    Thanks

    Debbie

  3. Now it feels that people are becoming more open and able to say “this happened and this is how I am dealing with it”. It has been brilliant to see the support for Prince Harry and Prince William since they opened up and it takes courage and vulnerability to so as you’ve shared Lesley. In sharing your story it opens the path for others, including me to follow. Thank you for sharing xxx

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