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The Journey Through Inner Healing: A Path to Self-Discovery and Wellness

The Journey Through Inner Healing: A Path to Self-Discovery and Wellness is a process that requires a long hard look at self. And a decision to do the work that hasn't been done.


The year didn't start well , and there are definitely some ongoing challenges, but I have taken the opportunity to do some powerful inner process work and stretch myself in my personal and recovery process. I spent a good deal of the first 5 months of the year caught in uncertainty and overwhelm, and my phenomenal therapist assured me, trauma, around some of the situations that I have had to work with and through over the last few years. Well that I thought I had worked through anyway.


Along with the death of my dear friend and business partner, came a few months later, the shutting down of the project we'd been working on together. Alchemy Africa was going to be an incredible wellness centre and substance use treatment centre, a dream and a vision for helping, supporting and empowering people, for making a little magic. Maybe this one wasn't meant to and and it was still an unexpected turn in my professional space. Since then I have been trying to figure out what's next...of which I am nowhere near certain at the moment.


I just kept thinking "Kyk noord! Fok foord!" but I was completely burned out by loss, grief, death, and financial uncertainty. Instead of pulling away from the hard work, I went even deeper, immersing myself in intense and incredible process work that has been unsettling and upsetting, extraordinary and wondrous, and totally worth the stretch. I have found a connection to myself and the work that I do again, the people around me, and a deep degree of acceptance in where I am and what has happened.


Even with 16 years of sobriety at the beginning of this year, I had to double down in my recovery to stay connected myself and not pick up. I have sat with incredibly difficult emotions at emotions at times that I thought were going to undo me and rip me apart. And nothing brings up the past, especially the unhealed wounds thereof, like death and loss. When I thought I was ready to finally leave my trauma around my father behind me, what have been some of the main themes of my journey? Yup, you guessed it.


So I continue to learn, and experience, and explore with much curiosity as to what it is I am invigorated and excited by. What it is that drives and inspires me, and what my ever-evolving meaning and purpose are. And at the some time I continue to do the healing work around grief and trauma, self-love and just being able to navigate the trickiness of being human. Just because I have stayed sober over these last six months, doesn't mean I have always been well. In fact, there have been more than a few times when my behaviour was crappy, self-indulgent, and detached, with my victim mentality taking centre stage and my regard for others almost non-existent. There was, however, enough noticing and awareness, and a push towards wanting to move through that very difficult experience, that I was able to find a way through. And it has taken as long as it has taken. It has also taken therapy, coaching, mentorship, somatic work, process work, self-reflection and study, friendship, partnership and 12-step meetings, and some very long overnight stretches in my bed.


I am not saying I am "cured" or even completely through. I am saying that I am much weller, have more acceptance, and am feeling lighter and more more excited about what's next. I have grappled with themes of betrayal, abandonment, anxiety, and fear of death over the last while, and I continue to dig deep around these experiences and my relationship to them. I feel an emergence though, and an expansion into the possibility of growth and transformation. I feel a moving towards and a reaching out again. I don't want to sit alone and disconnected and fester in the "What ifs" and the "How comes?" anymore. I want to explore and adventure into the next phase of my life, with curiosity, openness, wonder and love.


I feel alive to learning and growing, even though there continue to be some really hard and painful days, experiences, and emotions. This hasn't been an overnight shift, it's the hard work on top of the hard work on top of the hard work of healing, growth, and acceptance. Healing from childhood and adolescence. Healing from addiction and dysfunction. Healing from betrayal and disappointment. Healing from the pain I have caused myself. I also recognise, and am extremely grateful for, how blessed I am compared to so many billions of people in the world who are experiencing extreme trauma, heartbreak, cruelty, illness, violence, dislocation, abuse, and war at any given moment, as I sit here in my warm home on a cold winter morning sipping on my coffee, and sharing my thoughts. I am also extremely grateful to have the resources and the support to be able to do the work I am doing.


Most days I feel a little weller, except for the days when I feel like I am right back where I started. I have gone back to meditating, learning, and self-reflection. I have started journaling and went to my first yoga class. I am being kinder to myself and the people around me, and leaning into connection and community. It's not always easy, but it is worth it. I want to be a well person, who is able to embrace life in all its dimensions, and respond to the way the earth is constantly moving under my feet. I believe I am learning to enjoy the universal dance that we are in.


There are still plenty of challenges going on in my life, I am just feeling better able to respond to them at the moment, rather than react. I am having to dig deep at times and hook into the strong connection to self, soul, and source that I have been experiencing recently. Again, it hasn't been a natural experience for me... I'm an Eight on the Enneagram, and I want to be "strong" and in control, because our greatest fear is being vulnerable and powerless, controlled by others. If the lessons of the past few years have shown and taught me anything, it's that I am definitely not in control of what is happening around me, to me, and in me. I can however, control how I choose to respond to these emotions and experiences. My innate personality has wanted a plan to move through this, a timeline to work with, and a schedule to determine the best allocation of time. I know that it just doesn't work like that.


I've had to get vulnerable and open, talk about my greatest fears and resentments, look into myself and take ownership of what's mine, and remember that in order to get to a place closer to where I want to be (still trying to figure out where that is), I need to stay connected, open, curious, courageous and authentic and always be in my personal and professional integrity. I'm also giving myself permission to just be...and not always do, which is a pretty big shift for me. To take time to move, meditate, and reflect. To be gentle in the process of figuring out where I go now that there has been an unexpected fork in the road. Which is interesting, because at the tender age of 18/19 whilst I was living in Australia as an exchange student, I would often recite "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost when I did talks, and I did quite a lot of them that year.

BTCC - Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken

I believe I have been given a wonderful opportunity to continue to deepen my growth, both personally and professionally. To work with certain parts of self that I have still to work with. To learn more about what fascinates and inspires me about personal growth. And to remember that, "The only way out is through" as Robert Frost says, and what I have learned over the past six months is:

  • Being vulnerable completely aligns with my values of courage and authenticity.

  • Death, loss, betrayal, and and grief are hard. Recovery is both painful and liberating.

  • Addiction Recovery is not a solo sport. I need connection and community to be well.

  • It's completely okay to not be okay, and then to heal.

  • Moving outside my comfort zone has been a game changer and I plan to keep stretching myself.

BTCC - The only way out is through

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