The day after The Royal Interview aired this week, I was in my local cafe buying coffee beans when I witnessed something that had me feel sad and a little bit angry. An older man, perhaps in his seventies, picked up the newspaper with Meghan Markle on the front cover under the headline: I just want to be left alone and proceeded to wah like a baby to his mate.
Do you ever experience such times when you wish your brain and mouth would collaborate quicker? This was one of those times for me.
I wish I’d said to him:
Gee…aren’t you lucky….to have never known what it’s like to feel depressed?
Because that’s what it’s like isn’t it?
Feeling depressed I mean.
For Meghan Markle to share her experience of depression and then have numb nuts like this one the world over making fun of that very Human experience had me feeling sad and angry.
Sad that there is still stigma around being vulnerable, about sharing your heart and your feelings.
And angry that someone who is brave and courageous to do so in a very public way gets lambasted and made fun of by another, who in doing so only reinforced the stereotype of his gender and vintage.
You are NOT weak and helpless to speak about how you are feeling and to ask for help when, not if, you need it.
I feel angry this narrow and archaic attitude still exists for men in Australia.
According to Lifeline, 65 000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year.
75% of those who do take their own life are male.
And that’s a hell of a lot of kids without fathers, wives without husbands, lovers without partners, brothers without brothers, mates without mates isn’t it?
According to Lifeline, for each life lost to suicide, the impacts are felt by up to 135 people, including family members, work colleagues, friends, first responders at the time of death.
It is a step in the right direction for support groups like Lifeline to now be quantifying the wide reaching impact of one person choosing to take their own life.
I witnessed this impact first hand in a small Queensland town and would suggest the numbers of people impacted by one person’s choice to end their life impacts even more than 135 others. If only more people considering suicide would consider the impact their choice has on those they LOVE. Often they are not in a headspace to do this and very mistakenly believe everyone would be better off without them around.
No – it’s not what your depressed head is thinking – everyone is definitely much worse off without you on the planet or in their life. Especially the person who finds your body.
I did watch The Royal Interview.
I’ve always been curious about the whole concept of royalty.
I loved Princess Diana and have deep admiration and respect for The Queen. Affectionately referred to as Queenie in our house. As a strong woman myself, I admire her mettle.
I admire both women for living life, a tough and constrained life by all accounts, with personality and dignity.
And yes – The Royal Interview does smack of a PR exercise prior to Oprah and Harry’s (I guess we don’t call him Prince anymore?) new tv show about Mental Health.
But who cares?
I for one am super pleased to have Mental Health front and centre and being talked about in the public domain by such prominent people.
I thought there were lots of healthy take aways from The Royal Interview.
Here are some of them:
It does feel hard to say you need help.
- That’s exactly what makes it so courageous when you do.
Feeling ashamed to admit you are struggling, even to those you LOVE, is common and perfectly okay.
Nothing is just “how it is and always has been”.
- Everything can change.
- Everything IS changing whether we are active participants in that or not. May as well be part of directing and choosing that change right?
Great pain can be very well hidden and disguised.
- That’s why it’s so important to check in with our loved ones regularly and slow ourselves down enough to BE fully present to notice if little things aren’t quite right.
Stopping communication with loved ones is not viable as a solution to the problem.
- If you don’t know what to say or how to say it, say exactly that.
- And consider learning about Mental Health and how to speak about it confidently and comfortably.
Challenges are opportunities!
It is possible and okay to feel two different feelings at once.
There are three sides to every story: yours, mine and The Truth.
It’s okay to take time and make space for yourself.
And it’s perfectly okay to not know what to do.
- And that goes doubly for all the men reading this!
- You guys often relate and communicate from a problem solving perspective and sometimes fixing stuff is not what’s needed.
- Just stop and hold the space for your mate.
Don’t know what I mean by ‘holding the space‘?
I liken it to just sitting there, keeping your mate company, like a good dog would – just don’t lick their face!
There is always a way. You can find a way.
- Life IS most definitely worth living!
If you or anyone you know is struggling, get qualified help now.
Your Opening Life Changing Coaching session is a gift from me.
So why wait until the house is flooded and you need to call a plumber?
Go buy that 20 cent washer and replace it.
Call me: 0435 826 096 and together we’ll work it out.
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