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Feb. 14, 2023

24: Lessons Learned From My Costa Rican Jealous Meltdown

24: Lessons Learned From My Costa Rican Jealous Meltdown

Recently, my husband and I traveled to Costa Rica for a conference.  We stayed in a beautiful hotel overlooking the beach and had a ton of fun experiences BUT day 4 would send me into a tailspin I haven't been in for a very, very long time.

In today's episode, I'm sharing lessons learned and why my mini meltdown is important to you.

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[00:00:00] Shanenn Bryant: I originally had a different topic slated to release this week, but recently I was in Costa Rica with my husband at his work conference, and we stayed in a beautiful resort on the beach and half naked people running around did of course, bring up so many topics and thoughts of old insecurities 

[00:00:26] Shanenn Bryant: that I felt inspired to just grab my mic and share some of our experiences we had and how different this trip was compared to many of the annual trips that we take and while the experience was very different than in years past when my jealousy was taking over my life, I'm also sharing what could have been a major setback in my own recovery journey, what I learned from it 

[00:01:00] Shanenn Bryant: and why it's important for you. 

[00:01:03] Shanenn Bryant: First, I wanna say, I'm not some jet setter traveling the world with some dream fantasy life. No, that's not me at all, and that's definitely not my life in the moment. It just so happens that my husband has a conference every year for work, and they typically have it somewhere warm and tropical and outside of the US.

[00:01:25] Shanenn Bryant: So, we have been going to these conferences year after year after year, and I'd say more than half of them were always pretty miserable for the both of us because of my jealousy. I think when most people hear that they're taking a vacation, staying at a beautiful resort with big, huge pools and a swim up bar, an oceanfront hotel view with yoga and volleyball on the beach, an itinerary for the trip that includes, you know, ATV excursions and boat tours and horseback riding.

[00:02:05] Shanenn Bryant: I think most people would get really excited and look forward to it and think, this sounds like the best vacation ever This to me, in the past, sounds like a nightmare. An absolute hell on earth situation. My husband in line at the breakfast buffet behind a tall blonde from Australia and a bikini top. Um, no thank you. Walking behind girls and butt showing bikinis while I'm trying to have a romantic sunset walk with him. No, not enjoyable to me whatsoever, which happened by the way, and part of what led to my hiccup. So stay tuned for that.

[00:02:55] Shanenn Bryant: In the past, I would've played out every possible horrifying scenario in my head for weeks, even months leading up to the trip. I would've started beating myself up about my own body. Probably spent too much money on clothes for the trip to try to make myself feel better, and I would've been in a bad mood just randomly for days or weeks leading up to the trip because of all the things that I had going on in my mind and already be pissed about what was gonna happen or what I thought was gonna happen, you know, before we even packed our bags.

[00:03:33] Shanenn Bryant: When I started this podcast, I made the decision that if I were gonna do it, if I were going to try to support other people who suffered from extreme jealousy like me, that I would have to be very vulnerable and put myself out there in the most embarrassing, brutally honest way. I feel like I've done that.

[00:03:57] Shanenn Bryant: While I don't share everything about my personal life, I did decide I would share the highs and the lows of my jealousy, my wins, and my failures along the way. And today I'm gonna share. An experience I had in Costa Rica that could have been a major setback to my own healing journey.

[00:04:19] Shanenn Bryant: It happened on the fourth evening of our trip, but leading up to that, I was feeling so good and having so much fun. We'd had different excursions planned for each day. So, the first day we went on a ATV excursion with like 12 other people, and during the ride you stop at two separate beaches to just take a break, get a drink, and really enjoy the scenery. In the past, even the shuttle bus with 12 other people stopping at the two beaches, any of those things would have led to most likely a jealous meltdown or three and a huge argument, and that's what we would've remembered.

[00:05:07] Shanenn Bryant: This time. It was so much fun. I just let myself enjoy what was happening and be in the moment, and I had such a blast, and I can't wait to go back and do it again. The next day we were scheduled for a boat tour to see some wildlife in Costa Rica. Again, in years past, I would've worried about this for days, about who was gonna be on the tour, who was gonna be on the boat, were they gonna be in bikini tops?

[00:05:37] Shanenn Bryant: And usually that would come true, almost as if I willed it to happen because I was obsessing over it. This time, I didn't. Yes, I'm human and it crossed my mind.  But I quickly distracted myself with another thought. I didn't allow myself to ruminate about the details that could possibly happen that would set me into a tailspin.

[00:06:02] Shanenn Bryant: I had the thought. I distracted and moved on. I had the thought again, I distracted to something positive, and I moved on and the boat ride turned out amazing. We had the best tour guide named Christian who at one point he stopped the boat and showed us the Costa Rican fancy way of cutting and serving a pineapple so that you could share it with other people and eat it without ever having to touch where someone else's mouth would be.

[00:06:31] Shanenn Bryant: I will now forever cut my pineapple this way. I'll put up a video on how to cut your pineapple this way on the website, so if you wanna see it, you can go to www.jealousyjunkie.com. 

[00:06:46] Shanenn Bryant: Christian, the tour guide also at one point stopped the boat. He wanted to make sure that we saw Howler monkeys on the tour. So he pulled the boat to shore and walked us down this trail. The whole time he was making these calls to the Howler Monkey, which are amazing.

[00:07:05] Shanenn Bryant: I have no idea how that sound came out of him, but he was making the call as we were walking through the trails and we finally, found a family of monkeys sleeping up in the tree. Since they weren't really reacting to his call, he took a stick and started tapping on the tree.

[00:07:27] Shanenn Bryant: This male monkey comes running out down the branch and making the meanest, sounding like grunts back to our tour guide, and he was shaking the branches of the tree. I mean, he was ticked. It was so much fun. It was so interesting to watch and hear the tour guide explain that when he was howling for the monkeys, they were kind of ignoring him.

[00:07:52] Shanenn Bryant: They weren't really paying too much attention to him, and that that was really equivalent to maybe just somebody walking by your house or walking down the street in front of your house. But when he tapped on that tree, It was like walking into the monkey's front door, which is why he came running out to defend his territory and his family, which is something I think we can all appreciate.

[00:08:17] Shanenn Bryant: The last excursion, the day before my near disaster was the one that I picked; horseback riding on the beach. Now I am like many jealousy junkies. I can be a control freak, certainly something that I struggle with. In the past, I used to need to know every single detail, everything. And I would envision how things should go in my head, and if that plan changed or it didn't work out that way, I'd get upset.

[00:08:50] Shanenn Bryant: So of course, I envisioned what this horseback riding on the beach was gonna look like. You know, I was picturing me and my husband on these beautiful horses and we're galloping along the white sand. My hair flowing in the wind, my husband and I holding hands across the horses and riding off into the sunset.

[00:09:12] Shanenn Bryant: Um, no, none of that happened. not even close. It was more like a bumpy ride right out into the streets of Tamarindo traffic to cross over to the Beachside. I was so scared the tour guide had to tie my horse to his horse, and for the next hour and 40 minutes of the two-hour ride,

 it was more like riding between where people drive into park to go to the beach and where people lay out on the beach. Not that much riding on the beach. We did finally come to the beach part and of course there were two girls from another horseback riding tour, both in bikini tops, both young, both in short shorts, and of course they were phenomenal horseback riders. They were with their guide and we're going on the same path as us for the last 20 minutes of the ride.

[00:10:18] Shanenn Bryant: They were obviously more experienced riding horses, and they were galloping along in front of us on their horses, their beautiful hair blowing in the wind, what I had envisioned, except it was them and not me, and immediately my two thoughts were, one, how much I'm sure my husband is enjoying his view, 

[00:10:38] Shanenn Bryant: And two, how bad my ass was starting to hurt from this horrific horse ride. And then I just started to laugh. I don't know why I found it so funny, but just the whole scenario of it being an absolute disaster, something that I picked, had this whole vision and it was completely the opposite of that, and I just started laughing to myself inside.

[00:11:06] Shanenn Bryant: I let go of the fact that this wasn't the romantic adventure that I had planned and took it for what it was. It was still a memorable experience and a reminder that even when things don't go our way or like we thought they were going to, you can still appreciate the experience.

[00:11:25] Shanenn Bryant: However, day four would not go so smooth.

[00:11:32] Shanenn Bryant: The evening of day 4 my husband and I went for a walk on the beach. We wanted to see the sunset. We had done it a couple nights previously and just after the sunset we finished up our walk. So we turned around and started to head back the other direction, back to the hotel. 

[00:11:49] Shanenn Bryant: And as we turned around, of course, suddenly we were behind a woman wearing the type of bikini that showed her whole entire butt, like everything. The kind of thong type bikini. And she of course had two daughters that came running up in the very same style bikini bottoms. 

[00:12:12] Shanenn Bryant: I could feel my breathing start to speed up and the anger starting to boil up in me. M y husband could obviously sense it and said, "Do you wanna walk the other way?" As soon as he said that, I immediately started to break, like I felt like a failure. I couldn't believe that I was feeling this way. It has been such a long time since I had that type of feeling or that type of reaction.

[00:12:45] Shanenn Bryant: I immediately started to question my work as a coach, this podcast, my marriage. More importantly, my own healing. I was so upset that we just went back to the hotel room, and I cried, and I cried, and I cried. And after about the hundredth time, blowing my nose, I went to bed feeling super defeated, 

[00:13:14] Shanenn Bryant: But. I woke up the next day with more confidence than ever. I know, what? But I'm a big believer in the idea of mastery by mistakes. I knew I needed to investigate into what happened and see if there was any learning opportunity in it, and man oh man was there First, I knew that I was ignoring some pre meltdown signs. I hadn't eaten all day and was really hungry when we went for our sunset walk. If you haven't heard of HALT before, it's the acronym and it stands for hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. These are four stressors to check in with yourself because when you're experiencing one or more of them, it, it can lead to some self-destructive behaviors.

[00:14:09] Shanenn Bryant: So one, I was already hungry. I was also feeling not so great about my body that day. 

[00:14:17] Shanenn Bryant: I'm not sure what sparked it. I'm not at my ideal weight, but I don't typically stress about it too much, and I really try to avoid letting it get me down, but on that day, I just felt, ugh, for some reason. I just didn't feel good about myself. And in the back of my head, it was almost like I knew that I was headed down an unhealthy path.

[00:14:45] Shanenn Bryant: It actually crossed my mind as we walked through the resort to the beach. Like as we were walking down the sidewalk heading to the beach, I even said to myself like, you're fine. You know it's gonna be okay. Cause I knew that I was having some uncomfortable feelings and some anxiety going on.

[00:15:04] Shanenn Bryant: But I didn't wanna postpone what we were doing. I didn't wanna change the plans or take a few minutes to regroup. So, I just kept telling myself like, you're fine, it's fine. And I just kept blowing it off. But I could feel myself not really present the whole time that we were walking and my anxiety started to grow.

[00:15:27] Shanenn Bryant: All stuff that I ignored, and I didn't take action on. I didn't put my own tools and techniques into practice; none of them, not one. And then all of a sudden, there she is, butt cheeks and all plus two more younger set of butt cheeks to give really that like final punch. 

[00:15:49] Shanenn Bryant: And that was it. My inner child came running out, ready to defend me and protect me and run amuck with her smart mouth all over the beach. It was over. I had a mini meltdown. 

[00:16:02] Shanenn Bryant: So, when I look back on the chain of events, the mistakes that I made and the lessons learned, it reminded me of several things. My goal and the goal for my coaching clients is not to never feel jealousy.

[00:16:24] Shanenn Bryant: Like that is not the goal or the aim is to just never experience that feeling again or expect to never feel it again. And so I wanna make sure that I make a point to remind you of that. Jealousy is actually a normal, perfectly fine feeling and everyone is going to experience it from time to time.

[00:16:49] Shanenn Bryant: My life is completely different today than it was during my days of extreme jealousy, and I can't expect perfection. I am human. I'm not perfect. And since I hadn't had those feelings in so long, I felt like it was just such a good reminder for me when I'm coaching my clients, when I'm talking on this podcast, to be able to go back and touch on those feelings again and remember what it was like. 

[00:17:20] Shanenn Bryant: One thing I learned as an adult child of an alcoholic, something they talk about in AA are called user dreams. These are basically what can happen as people become sober for a while, they've stopped drinking, they have what are called user dreams, and in the dreams they're drinking again. They are experiencing the feeling of being drunk again and all the disastrous stuff. that they did when they were drinking and how that felt to kind of mess things up over and over and really reliving those experiences through their dreams. They're there, as much as they suck, they're there with intention. They have a purpose. 

[00:18:08] Shanenn Bryant: They help to remind those in recovery of how bad it was, how the hangovers felt, and the destruction that they caused as a way to aid them in staying on track. and so, I took this experience as very similar to that. Like it was a good reminder of how quick it comes on and how when you ignore your body and the signs and you don't implement the tools and techniques and you haven't been doing them on a regular basis, how quickly that can happen. But also, a reminder that we're human and you're gonna have a hiccup from time to time and you're going to experience jealousy.

 It also was a really good learning lesson for me that everyone can use support, and yes, I offer my coaching programs usually at the end of the podcast, but I'm not super vocal about them. That's going to change because I feel like everyone needs support, and it's really important to not let another day go by feeling the way that you feel. Having that experience again just reminded me of how much it hurts, how painful it can be, and how much of life and experiences you're missing out on. 

[00:19:38] Shanenn Bryant: And so I will be more vocal about offering my coaching services in the future, and I just really want you to consider this very, um, it's one of my favorite quotes and it says, One day or day one, you decide.

 So, if you want help changing your habits, changing your mindset, and taming your jealousy, the link to schedule your free Clarity Call with me is in the show notes.

[00:20:08] Shanenn Bryant: I hope this special episode has been valuable to you. I just really felt compelled to be upfront and honest with you, and I wanted to share this experience, not to make you worry that you can't ever tame your jealousy or you're never gonna feel any better, because that is the absolute opposite. I don't want you to feel like you can't lead a normal life because it is a hundred percent possible. I also want to encourage you and use this episode as a reminder to just keep practicing and use your resources, your tools, your techniques that you learn here on the podcast or through others books, the internet, wherever it is that you're getting your resource and information.

[00:20:56] Shanenn Bryant: I. encourage you to continue to keep practicing. Things absolutely can get better. My life is completely different now, even with the short three-hour mini meltdown that I had. That is not what I remember from the trip. It's not the thing that my husband and I brought home. We had so much fun. We had the best experiences, met some great people and had the time of our lives. I'm not gonna remember those three hours. Or if I do, I'm not gonna make them mean anything except for the lessons that I just explained. That's it. That's all I'm taking away from it. So I hope this helps. I hope that today is your day one. You don't continue to wait to get support to start taming your jealousy, to start taming those habits and changing your mindset.

 I know I can help so feel free to reach. Until next time, take care and remember, you're not alone.