Harry revealed it was Meghan who encouraged him to seek help for the pain and mental health challenges he was facing.
Losing a parent at a very young age and having to be a part of a family that is constantly on the radar is not easy, even if it comes with a privileged lifestyle. Prince Harry's life is just the right example that reinforces the above statement.
In an interview with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, Harry opened up about the colossal challenges and mental health struggles he faced during his royal life in London. Moreover, he revealed he wanted to leave the royal lifestyle in his early 20s.
Prince Harry Tells Dax Shepard That Therapy Changed Everything for Him: 'It Was Like the Bubble Burst' pic.twitter.com/bYXkv1aL2z— People (@people) May 13, 2021
"It's the job right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was in my early 20s and I was thinking I don't want this job, I don't want to be here. I don't want to be doing this," said the Duke on the episode of the popular Armchair Expert podcast, according to People.
Stating the example of how the royal life impacted his mother Diana, Harry said that he feared having a family of his own as he believed history would repeat itself. "Look what it did to my mum. How am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and family, when I know it's going to happen again?" said Harry. "I've seen behind the curtain, I've seen the business model and seen how this whole thing works and I don't want to be part of this."
When Shepard asked him what it was like to be watched by millions, Harry said it was "a mix between The Truman Show" with cameras focused on him at all times, tracking his every move, and "living in a zoo."
However, Harry's life and his perspective changed after he met his wife, Meghan Markle. He divulged that it was she who first encouraged him to go for therapy. "It was a conversation that I had with my now wife. And she saw it straight away, she could tell that I was hurting and that some of the stuff that was out of my control was making me really angry. It would make my blood boil," said Harry.
Seeking help allowed Harry to pave a new path for himself without branching off from the royal family. He decided to follow in the footsteps of his mother and began focusing on projects that brought about change and awareness.
"I plucked my head out of the sand, gave it a good shake off. And I was like, 'Okay, you're in this position of privilege, stop complaining or stop thinking as though you want something different, make this different, because you can't get out,'" recalled Harry.
The 36-year-old added, "So how are you going to do this differently? How are you going to make your mom proud? How are you going to use this platform to really affect change and be able to give people that confidence to be able to change their own lives?"
Soon, Harry created the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style competition for wounded service personnel and veterans. Shortly after, he realized that his mental and emotional wounds were slowly healing.
"Once I started to see the progress and the impact, I saw like, 'Wow, healing other people heals me,' and I think that's where the compassion comes in for all of us, which is, once you've suffered, you don't want anybody else to suffer," he said.
Further, Harry shared that his decision to give up his royal life was motivated by his ardent desire to break the cycle of genetic pain and suffering. "There's no blame. I don't think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody. But certainly when it comes to parenting, if I've experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I'm going to make sure that I break that cycle so that I don't pass it on," he said.
He added, "There's a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway. We as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say, you know what? That happened to me. I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen to you."
However, Harry said shifting to California was not pre-meditated. Rather, it was the circumstances that pushed him to take the unanticipated step. "And, well, here I am. I've now moved my whole family to the U.S. but that wasn't the plan. But sometimes you've got to make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first."
He added, "We are born into different lives, brought up in different environments, and as a result are exposed to different experiences. But our shared experience is that we are all human. The majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss, or grief, which feels — and is—very personal. Yet the last year has shown us that we are all in this together, and my hope is that this series will show there is power in vulnerability, connection in empathy, and strength in honesty."
Harry's interview comes ahead of the premiere of his new mental health series on AppleTV+. It will be aired on May 21, 2021.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) John Phillips and (R) Hulton Archive