I’ve just finished watching Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah, and I had some thoughts I wanted to share on it.
I’ve said on this blog before that there are two sides to every story. I know this from my own experiences while I was pregnant; I know how words and circumstances can be shifted and spun to victimize or villainize a given party. But what I also know is how important it is to speak your own truth, to give voice to the story as you remember and lived it.
That, to me, is what Meghan did in this interview. I of course cannot speak to whether any of her assertions and allegations are true, but it was clear from how moved and emotional she was that she was speaking the truth of what she endured and what she felt during such difficult and trying times. What that looks like to other people who were there as well is hard to say, but we know now for sure how Meghan felt and I believe it was incredibly powerful that she chose to use her voice and loudly tell her story.
What struck and touched me the most about the interview was when Meghan admitted to having suicidal thoughts before Archie’s birth. She blatantly stated that she no longer wanted to be alive and told Harry so. She admitted to being afraid to be alone and being up at night thinking that everyone would be better off if she wasn’t alive.
I have been in that place myself. My anxiety intensified during my pregnancy (due to several triggers) to the point where, in the days after my son’s birth, I was utterly broken. One day I will never forget, I begged my parents and husband to take me to the hospital and get me help because I just wanted everything to end. I wanted everything I was feeling and had been feeling for almost a year to end, and I could see no way out. I knew I needed help and if I didn’t get it, I would be forced to take drastic action, and I was so terrified of what I was feeling that I literally begged the people around me to rally and get me a solution.
I know this was a dark day for my parents and husband (imagine how much darker it felt for me), and hearing Meghan speak about similar feelings absolutely broke my heart, especially because she didn’t have a wider network of support like I did and had to dig herself out of that darkness alone. It takes immense courage to admit to mental illness and to seek help for it, and for Meghan to proclaim what she was going through in such an open forum will do wonders (at least, I hope) for mental health advocacy and people suffering in the same way. It is because of women like her that I feel inspired to write my own experiences with pride.
Another moment that spoke to me was toward the end of the interview when Harry stated that he is proud of himself and Meghan. That is a feeling that my husband and I feel every day as well. We often speak about the tough days we had during my pregnancy and immediately following Dorian’s birth, and sometimes we are just in awe that we were able to get through it all and come out on the other side. There is a strength and resilience that is necessary when becoming parents and embarking on that journey as a couple, and I can totally understand why Harry and Meghan feel proud of the fact that they were able to endure hardships and bring their little family to a place of peace and happiness. I would be nothing and no one without my husband beside me, gripping my hand, and I am so proud of us every single day that we continue to conquer our demons together.
All this to say that this interview is certainly worth watching. It definitely humanized Meghan and Harry in my eyes, and it also reminded me that so many struggle behind the scenes. We all, as humans, have particular shared experiences, and knowing that Meghan struggled just as I have has made me feel even stronger and more determined to keep myself and my family healthy into the future.
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