Prince Harry was a special guest on a podcast and he had a lot to say. His mother’s death seriously affected him and like many who don’t know how to deal with grief, particularly at a young age, he bottled it up and let it simmer until it eventually boiled over a few years ago. That’s when he knew he had to do something, admitting that after two years of “total chaos” in his late 20s, he decided to seek help.
“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 my work as well,” he told The Daily Telegraph‘s Bryony Gordon in the first episode of her podcast, Mad World. “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.”
When Gordon asked if he’s been to see a “shrink,” Harry admitted, “I’ve done that a couple of times, more than a couple of times, but it’s great.” He also said he turned to boxing as an outlet for his frustration.
“During those years I took up boxing, because everyone was saying boxing is good for you and it’s a really good way of letting out aggression,” he said. “And that really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier.”
It was also easier to just deny. “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?” he said. “[I thought] it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back, so from an emotional side, I was like, ‘Right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything.'”
He continued: “I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going ‘life is great,’ or ‘life is fine,'” even thought it so obviously wasn’t. But he soon began to realize “all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.”
It was the support from his loved ones, particularly brother William, that encouraged him to deal with his issues. “It’s all about timing. And for me personally, my brother, you know, bless him, he was a huge support to me. He kept saying this is not right, this is not normal, you need to talk to [someone] about stuff, it’s OK.”
Now that he knows how to speak honestly about his feelings and is in a “good place,” he feels he’s able to put “blood, sweat and tears” into making a difference for others. Just like his mom.
Aw, Harry. His admission goes hand in hand with his, Will’s and Kate‘s mental health campaign, Heads Together, trying to break the stigma surrounding it and normalizing the conversation to the point where people feel free to talk about whatever’s bothering them or on their mind without worrying what others will think. Every little bit helps but Harry’s life story should make a huge impact and encourage others to open up.