The Life Of Royalty Isn’t Always A Fairy Tale

I’m pretty sure that last night’s interview between Oprah, Prince Harry (can I still call him that?) and his beautiful wife Meghan was met with great controversy and so many mixed emotions but I am here “on record” to tell you that I have adored Harry (I’ve even voiced it several times in my blog) and have been rooting for him ever since he was a little boy who tragically lost his mom. 

My adoration for him has only grown stronger and stronger over the years since he began living his true authentic life and even more so once he started opening up about his own mental health struggles and becoming an advocate for change.

I had been really looking forward to watching the 2 hour special with Oprah all week long and it did not disappoint. I thought the interview was both genuine and very real and it further validated for me what I had already felt about the royal family as an institution. I hung onto every word that both Meghan and Harry spoke but of course it will come as no big surprise to anyone which segment of the interview stood out most in my mind for me. 

Last night Meghan so bravely revealed to Oprah that not long after she married Harry she began to contemplate suicide and felt as though she just didn’t want to be alive anymore.

As Meghan’s thoughts of suicide grew stronger and more intense she knew that she couldn’t fight her urges any longer on her own and needed some help. Asking for help when you are feeling suicidal takes great strength and courage, even for a “Princess” but when Meghan reached out to the royal family for help, pleading with them to send her to a hospital she was boldly told NO because “it wouldn’t be good for the institution”. My jaw dropped to the floor. 

No one should ever be made to feel as though they are not worthy of living their best life or that their feelings are not validated and my only hope after watching Meghan tell her story last night is that millions of other people understood her message to the world as well. 

Too many of us are afraid to speak up when we are feeling as though we don’t want to live anymore. Meghan did speak up and although she didn’t get the response she deserved at first, she persevered until she did. 

Asking for help may look different for everyone but it is not a sign of weakness and even though she felt like a burden to her husband she knew he would listen attentively to her and with great compassion and most importantly without judgment. And boy was she right!

Whatever ill feelings some people may have of Harry for seemingly abandoning his duties as royalty he did what any good husband and great father would do for their own family. He did what he felt in his heart was right and what he had longed for someone to have done for his own mother all those years ago when she felt just as unprotected as Meghan did by the same institution who also denied her the help she too so desperately begged for.

No matter what comes next for the couple and their growing family, Meghan has definitely found her Prince Charming, Harry has definitely found his Princess and I have no doubt that their fairy tale will have a happy ending.

*If you or someone you know is in crisis please reach out for help immediately to a trusted friend, confident or loved one. There are also many online resources to help guide you. You are not alone.
 

#youareenough #youarenotalone #endthestigmatogether #itsoktonotbeok #yourmentalhealthmatters #startaconversation #dontsufferinsilence #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate #blogger #author #theroyalfamily #princeharry #meghanmarkel #oprah #suicideprevention #suicideawareness 

I Am Grateful Today For:

Things could always be worse. At least you have your health. You have so much to be grateful for.

These are just a few of the many phrases I’ve heard spoken to me, or about others over the course of my journey these last 6+ years but as a person living with a Major Depressive Disorder like I do, I find myself especially confused as to how much worse I’m actually supposed to feel?

Hearing someone tell you that things could always be worse is belittling their feelings and experiences, it’s shaming them and will leave them exploding with guilt. Hearing these words may also leave someone second guessing their illness and therefore living silently in fear of exposing it which may also lead them to the belief that they don’t matter.

Yes I am blessed that I am both capable and able to walk and talk and breathe and feel and see and smell and hear and taste all the beauty that surrounds me, but as a person who is battling a mental illness, being told that “at least you have your health” hurts very deeply because our Mental Health is just as critical to our well being as our physical health is and those words are also a very disheartening reminder to us all as to how much work is still left to be done to help end the stigma; Mental Health is Health.

But I think what hurts me the most sometimes is when someone who is suffering with depression or anxiety is questioned as to whether or not they feel gratitude. I practice gratitude in my daily life and I am very much aware of all the things for which I am most grateful for. The feelings and behavioural changes though that are associated with a depressed or anxious mind cannot simply be cured by practicing gratitude, but it can definitely help with the process.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada) which is the time of year we set aside to celebrate being thankful and grateful for what we have in our lives and to recognize the genorosity and kindness that has been bestowed upon us since the previous year. Well this year, more than ever before, it may be very difficult to recognize or appreciate those silver linings (no explanation necessary).

I can honestly say that this has truly been the worst year ever for me since my journey began. The Pandemic and my illness have both played a huge role in that forgone conclusion but so have several other personal issues, many of which I have never disclosed to this public forum, but still I am so grateful for so much and wanted to share some of that here with you today.

I am grateful for:

Books

Nature walks and hiking

Bubble baths

My weekly therapy

Arts and Crafts

Television 

Diet Coke and Ice Capps

Flowers

Things that make me laugh 

Romantic comedies that make me cry

My creative soul

A warm and sunny day

My weighted blanket 

Social Media

My Blog that allows me to share my story

Being given a voice

Kindness and empathy

My compassion

My imperfections 

Forgiveness 

Animals 

Being born and raised in Canada 

My undeniable support system

Strangers who have become my friends 

My incredible friends who see me beyond my illness and stand by me no matter what

My large extended family of cousins, aunts and uncles whom I never get to see but who love me just the same 

My big brother who I know will always protect me 

My inlaws and my many beautiful nieces and nephews

My mother in law who is always there to cheer me on

Maggie, for appreciating a good cuddle and belly rub

My 3 beautiful children who have stolen my heart and taught me the true meaning of resilience and unconditional love 

And to my Soulmate and best friend Rich, I am beyond grateful for your protection and for always seeing my inner beauty and who continues to make me feel desired and loved

What are you most grateful for today?

#happythanksgiving #grateful #gratitude #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #youareenough #youarenotalone #endthestigmatogether #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealthishealth #mentalillnessawarenessweek 

World Mental Health Day

Today, October 10th, 2020 is World Mental Health Day. For over 7+ months now our entire world has been met with the most unimaginable challenges and tragic losses and moving forward, probably for many years to come, there is going to be an even greater substantial need to have more and more Psychological and Mental Health supports put in place that are more readily and easily accessible to everyone.

So this year’s goal for World Mental Health Day comes as no big surprise as they turn their focus to ensuring that there is a sizeable investment made in Mental Health programs, Research and Education both on a National and International level which as many of us know firsthand is dangerously underfunded.

But just this past week, right here in Toronto I felt that first glimmer of hope unfolding toward that goal as CAMH (Center For Addictions and Mental Health), together with many community leaders (including the Premier of Ontario) unveiled their two, brand new State of the Art buildings at this historic landmark.

They will be opening to the public next month and it will include 235 inpatient beds and 600,000 square feet of safe space to allow for healing and recovery.

BRAVO to everyone involved for taking this critical step forward in creating this incredible safe and inclusive space for our community and beyond.

I myself have personally benefitted from many of their world renowned community outreach programs and resources and I am hopeful that this redevelopment will help benefit many others in the near future too.

Please remember that you are not alone ❤

#worldmentalhealthday #mentalhealthishealth #camh #mentalillnessawarenessweek #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok @catherinezahn @camhnews @fordnation @celliottability

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