By #ExtremeRadLifer

Day 86 – Clean and sober

The last 86 days have been an emotional rollercoaster. Having numbed my emotions for the better part of 45 years, I am not used to feeling so much about everything. As an addict and alcoholic in recovery, sitting with my emotions is probably one of the hardest things that I must face now.

Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong, has become my new favourite book next to my Bible. A definite must-read for any spiritual adventurist! It is not only brilliantly written, but it is giving me the practical tools to wade through decades of emotional pain and trauma.

Rising Strong is about the process of how you choose to rise after falling, and if you are in the arena of life, the one thing I can guarantee you is that if you are showing up, then there are times you are most certainly getting your ass handed to you. The important thing though is, how you rise after falling – or in my case how strong you rise after working through emotional pain and trauma.

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The way I am personally applying Brene’s teachings in my life is not totally in sync with the brilliantly written prose. I have taken the Rising Strong process and adapted it for me. Finding what works for me – and how – has been important.

It’s very definitely a ‘me-process’ and if this inspires you, you might want to craft and create something that works and suits just you – and that’s great because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing and dealing with emotional pain and trauma. The point is that we all need to discover what works for us as individuals.

Back to my individualised rising-strong-process

Naturally, I don’t purposely set out each day to self-flagellate by asking the universe “What pain can I work through today?” and then tackle it head-on. I’m not that stupid, and besides, emotional pain and trauma don’t seem to work in a logically organised fashion at all. But I am in early recovery and my emotions are slowly (mostly not slowly) coming back to life and even the smallest spark can trigger deep historical pain and memories. What I am struggling with is, now that I have the pain and the memories, what on earth do I do with them, how do I move forward?

Here’s how I am overcoming the hurdles presented by facing emotional pain and trauma

I Rumble. It’s taken from Brene’s book and it’s the name of my personal process. When something or someone triggers a certain uncomfortable emotion, which I call a Spark, I get curious about why I am feeling what I am feeling. I’ll turn my focus inwards and explore my emotions with the avid curiosity of a child.

Usually, my first response would be like that of a child having a temper tantrum and I often find myself shifting into victim mode, blaming someone or something else for the cause of my pain.

Brene calls this first response your Shitty First Draft or SFD. I love it. It’s the first story we tell ourselves after initially engaging with our pain. I sit with this a little and I let my little girl feel it. She sulks sometimes, and sometimes she lets it go sooner than I think.

Then as I get a little braver I dig a little deeper into my emotions, and little by little peel back the various layers until I get to the very core issue. The deep heart issues. The root cause of the pain. Nine times out of ten I find that the root pain stems from two primary places. My feeling that I am not enough (my own inner self-worth) or from feeling a lack of belonging.

If you are extremely blessed you may have someone close to you that you can openly rumble with through your emotional pain and trauma – it may be a best friend, sister, brother, husband, aunt or sometimes your counsellor or therapist.

Make sure the person you choose to rumble with has earned the right to hear your story

You don’t want to be sharing your innermost heartache with just anyone. Having someone as a sounding board helps you work through the pain. It’s easier to process it. It’s easier to let go. I have learnt that secrets keep you sick, so if there is some deep dark emotional pain that’s keeping you buried alive, then find someone you trust and share your burden. You’ll be so relieved and free after you’ve done so.

This is my journey of becoming. This is me finding a new way to live

I hope this helps you on your own journey of becoming! You’re welcome to journey with me and together we’ll discover our New World. It’s raw and real. It’s time. Change the world. Love wins.

I would love to hear about what works for you, your stories of victory and overcoming, to hear about how you take this and create your very own rumble process. Please feel free to share your journey with me by emailing me at

Melissa Harris

Rebirth date: 21.04.2020

Just for today.

Narcotics Anonymous Helpline: 083 900 6962

Alcoholics Anonymous Helpline: 086 143 5722

Daydreamer Nightwalker: Diary of a recovering addict


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