A former champion from Harbor Town, CT knew the tournament supported two charities that champion mental wellness. Additionally, the PGA TOUR is announcing several programs and alliances this week to help players and their families deal with mental health issues.

“So I think all of this is going to help people know that it’s okay to not be okay,” Pan says. “We don’t have to be perfect. But the most important thing is that you need to ask for help.

“If you’re anxious, if you’re depressed, if you’re going through a tough time, if you’re in pain, I think it’s best to talk about it. We want to raise awareness that it is normal not to be well.

Taylor wasn’t sure when he and his family would be ready to start making a difference in the lives of struggling people like Brittney. He just knew they wanted to help, and CT’s initiative was an “incredible” opportunity.

For two years before his death, Taylor had essentially dissuaded his wife from a ledge on a daily basis. His family knew. They saw her lying on the couch crying as the pain intensified or in the depths of depression because she felt like she wasn’t the perfect mother she always wanted to be. Social media also didn’t help when friends or relatives posted about their own children and pregnancies.

Taylor knows most of their friends were taken by surprise when Brittney took her own life. She was good at putting on a brave, happy face when they went out to dinner or a party. Michelle recalls her friend sitting quietly in a golf cart with an ice pack slung across her back so she could be part of the group during twilight parties at the club. Pain patches also helped.

“She always told me that the morning was the hardest part for her because she woke up and wished she hadn’t woken up,” Taylor says. “I watch it and believe you can come to a place so dark that there’s no going back because she was always such a positive person.”

But there were signs early in their relationship. When the two were still in college, Brittney told Taylor she was sexually abused at age 12 by a family friend, who at the time was dying of cancer . It was a secret she had kept for eight years.

“She never wanted to do therapy,” Taylor says. “She said she was fine.”

Brittney discovered weightlifting, which Taylor says gave her control over her body, a type of coping mechanism after abuse. She traveled with him the year he played PGA TOUR Latinoamerica with current TOUR pros like Harry Higgs and Nate Lashley.

“A lot of guys still saw her in the gym when they left for their practice round and they saw her there when they came back,” Taylor says. “I remember running into some guys and they were like, man, this chick has been standing there all day. Brittany, when she got into something, she went like head first, all into it.

After Anika was born, however, Brittney began to suffer from postpartum depression which she described to her husband as a “wave of sadness” that swept through her body. She wanted and loved her baby very much, but there was always a lingering cloud. Within 10 days of giving birth she was dead lifting again and soon the back pain started.

Massage therapists and physiotherapists did not help. A neurosurgeon thought he could fix the problem, but the operation only made it worse and soon the pain was “controlling his life,” Taylor says. A woman who once ran triathlons ended up having to use a walker and even a wheelchair at times.

Taylor estimated the couple had seen 50 different doctors last summer to no avail – and her physical restrictions had only exacerbated the depression. The same goes for the fact that the family had to hire a nanny to help Anika because Brittney felt like a failure.

Brittney started a suicide note and told Taylor about it.

“She was scared of herself,” Taylor recalled. “We obviously cried together, talked about it together and found a (mental health facility).”

During the six weeks Brittney was at the clinic, doctors diagnosed her with a psychosomatic pain disorder stemming from postpartum depression combined with abuse when she was younger.

“So in essence, your body finds a weak spot, whether it’s a little injury that happened while she was working out, and it stores stress and anxiety and depression there,” Taylor says. . “And so, it almost exaggerates an injury.

“Every doctor we saw was like, well, your back is fine. It seems good. But his body told him otherwise. It was hot, throbbing, swollen. I mean, there was pain there. You could feel her back when you hugged her.

“It’s hard to tell someone with chronic pain that the source of it is in their head, because it’s almost dismissive to say it’s in their head. And that’s what comes to mind when you say that to him.

Brittney had a panic attack one day last fall when she tried to take Anika to a cheering contest. Soon her arms and legs started shaking and she had trouble walking and sleeping more than 3 or 4 hours a night.

She was eventually diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder that Taylor likened to a software malfunction in the brain that blocks signals that control motor function. Doctors said it could take six months to a year to improve, and even then Brittney might not be 100%.

“It was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Taylor says,

Brittney committed suicide on February 17. Robert Marling believes his daughter felt trapped inside a burning building for a while and that morning she just decided she had to jump rather than endure the pain any longer.

“We are getting stronger day by day, but it had been just devastating,” he says.

Last week Hollis Cavner, a family friend and CEO of ProLinks Sports, invited Taylor, Anika and Robert and Kim to come to the Masters for a few days. The change of scenery was good, and Robert says Sunday was the first day his wife hasn’t cried since Brittney’s death.

Taylor and Robert are coming to Hilton Head on Thursday to watch CT play. He won’t be the only player wearing the ribbons to honor Brittney, and if these gestures can help one person struggling with mental illness know they’re not alone, then laying bare their emotions to tell their story. story will have been worth it for her. husband and father.