My name is Shanenn Bryant, and I'm am a certified life coach and one of the few to focus on overcoming jealousy in relationships.
For many years, I was extremely insecure and jealous in my relationships and thought it was just the way I am and the way I would always be. I also thought I was the only one who struggled with this.
Until one day I was handed a piece of paper from a therapist as she invited me to "not come back" (more about that story later). The paper was what the ACA (Adult children of an alcoholics) calls the Laundry List. And there it was, a whole list of my behavior characteristics all typed out in black and white.
Not that all women who are jealousy had parents or a parent who was an alcoholic, but seeing my behaviors on a list let me know that I must not be alone in my struggles AND if there's a list, there's a solution.
So, I committed to tackling this once and for all and I want the same thing for you too. I hope my long troubled journey becomes your short, clear path to overcoming your insecurities and jealousy.
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[00:00:00] Jealousy Junkie Intro: There's just no other way to say it. Jealousy sucks. And I know you do anything to not be jealous, but you just can't shake it. Obsessive thoughts, lots of anxiety in your stomach, disastrous nights out and even ruined relationships. I've been there. Welcome to jealousy, junkies the podcast to help you go from jealous and fearful, to calm and confident.
[00:00:29] Jealousy Junkie Intro: My name is Shanenn Bryant and as one of the few who focus on overcoming jealousy, I'll be right here to support you through the painful range of emotions, tackle your jealous reactions, and bring your sanity check questions to the table.
[00:00:51] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Hey, Jealousy, Junkies. Turn up your volume. Seriously. I really want you to hear this. You are not alone. You're not crazy. You're not psycho. You're not nuts. You're not a mean person. You simply struggle with feelings of jealousy in your relationship. And I get it.
[00:01:07] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If somebody would've told me years ago that I'd be helping other people overcome jealousy. I would've said no way. No way!
[00:01:16] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: For two reasons. One, I thought it's just the way that I am. Like, it's just the way that I'm wired. It's who I am. It's how I'm always gonna be. This is how my life is going to be. And for two, I thought I was the only one. I mean, I felt really alone in it. I felt like I was the only one who thought that way, who had reactions the way that I did, that let jealousy really lead my life and change my life the way that it did.
[00:01:47] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I grew up in a very violent and chaotic family. My dad was an alcoholic and that brought a ton of challenges to my adult life. Of course, I didn't realize it for many, many years, but my father and I didn't speak for more than 13 years. When my parents got divorced, I was about 12. And I told my dad at the time, like, I don't wanna have anything to do with you as long as you're drinking, I don't wanna see you. I don't wanna speak to you. If you're drinking, I want nothing to do with you.
[00:02:18] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And he took that to heart. Even though he had a relationship with my other two brothers, we didn't speak. I didn't talk to him again until I was about 25. I really never thought his absence bothered me.
[00:02:30] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Like it didn't affect me. He just, wasn't a part of my life. Like my friends didn't know his name. He just wasn't a factor. Because I really thought, well, after all, like he missed all the big, important stuff, like teaching me how to drive a car and being there when I started to date. All of that stuff had come and gone and he wasn't around for it. And I was just fine.
[00:02:53] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: But of course I wasn't fine. I struggled in every relationship I had. My feelings of self worth were absolute garbage. I felt like, well, if my own dad doesn't love me, I'm certainly not worth being loved by anyone else. And even though I'm the one that told him that I didn't wanna speak to him, I never really imagined that his choice would be to adhere to it.
[00:03:19] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So I carried these thoughts of being unworthy of love and fear of abandonment into every relationship that I had. It was really hard for me to trust people. And I lived my life waiting for the other shoe to fall. It didn't matter if I was in a relationship with a good guy or a bad guy, it, it didn't work. I got bored in relationships with good guys because I was so used to that chaos in my life. So then the absence of it seemed really foreign to me. Like what's going on? Why is this not chaotic?
[00:03:53] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So I'd make it chaotic. I'd be jealous. I'd worry about stuff. I'd accuse them of things. And then I'd stay in bad relationships with bad men for way too long. I'm sure some of you have certainly been there before, but I just felt like that's what I deserved in either situation.
[00:04:12] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I was completely insecure and my jealous habits and my thoughts just continued to grow. I mean, the more I was with bad men and they cheated on me or they did whatever, the more that continued to grow. By the time I started dating my husband, my jealousy was explosive. I mean, after all this one was really important to me. My obsessive thoughts, the anxiety, the accusations were so consuming.
[00:04:42] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I remember one particular day when I was like at my lowest, I mean, it was just, I was so sick of the thoughts in my head and just constantly feeling anxious. I was sick of myself. I don't know if you've ever been in that place where you're like, I, I can't stand me so who else is going to deal with this? Because I can't even stand me at this point.
[00:05:08] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I'd worn out my friends. I'm calling them constantly, giving them the rundown of something that I was worried about. Well, what about this? What do you think that meant? Here's what he did. And I'm so ticked off about it. I would just wear them out. I remember this particular day when I was just at my lowest and I was just crying and crying and wishing so much that just one time in my life, I could lay my head down at night and relax and feel calm and feel secure.
[00:05:37] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So both me and my husband were so desperate at this point that we started to go to couples therapy. And I'll be honest, should he have stayed with me? Probably not. I mean, no, probably not. You know, thank goodness he did, but should he have, I don't know. So we started to go to therapy and it was the day that we got kicked out of therapy that changed my life.
[00:06:02] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Well it was more like that scene from Bridesmaids where the odd brother and sister invite Annie to move out of their apartment. We were invited to not come back to therapy. The problem was, I just wanted somebody to tell me what to do. Like just tell me what to do and I'll do it. As much as I wanted to change though I was still holding on to the solution of jealousy. Like the benefit of it. And the thought that it was protecting me from getting hurt or from being left. And I wasn't open to new explanations and possibilities. But I was given a piece of paper at the end of my therapy. And that was the laundry list, the ACA laundry list that shows 14 behavior characteristics of an adult child of an alcoholic.
[00:06:52] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And it was like, oh my gosh, There it was on paper. I checked off 12 of the 14 characteristics, like check, check, check, check, check. Yep. That's me. That's me. That's me. And seeing that made me realize... if there's a list, then there's a solution and I must not be the only one. And so the list isn't specific to jealousy, but I knew that it was all connected in some way.
[00:07:20] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And so I decided I am going to tackle this once and for all. I'm going to 100% commit to this. I am so sick of myself. I'm so tired of feeling this way. And I knew that I was going to ruin this relationship too. So I started with trying to realize and acknowledge and break what I call now "action habits". Looking at his phone, email, questioning him all the time, looking him up on location services. I mean, seriously, I wish I would've gotten paid for that time because it was like a part-time job for me. Constantly every day doing this entire like routine and habit of checking on him. And so I call those action habits.
[00:08:07] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I started with that and acknowledging those, and trying to just one by one break those habits. And I started uncovering what I call my "thinking habits", the loop in my head, those things that we tell ourselves, all of that negative junk that's in our head that's just been on loop forever. And a lot of it, I didn't even realize I was saying. Some of it, of course, I knew. And a lot of it, I didn't. And so I started to really get to the root cause and work on the root cause of my jealousy.
[00:08:43] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I was later asked to tell my story to an ACA women's group, adult children of alcoholics and just talk about, you know, how I grew up. My experiences, how difficult school was.
[00:08:56] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I mean, it was hard to go from what was happening in my house the night before to then trying to learn multiplication and division in school. The next day it was so difficult. I also mentioned my struggles with jealousy throughout my relationships. And when it came to the question and answer portion, all of these virtual hands went up. What was supposed to be an hour talk, turned into a two and a half hour talk.
[00:09:23] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: So when the host got to like the third woman, um, who had her hand raised, she was crying. And said, you have no idea how you just changed my life. I thought I was the only one who dealt with this. I thought I was the only one that struggled with this and, and felt this way. There were many, many more raised hands that night with that similar feedback.
[00:09:49] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And it was in that moment that I knew I needed to turn my journey into a path for others who struggle with this as well. So my husband and I have now been together 13 years as of the time of this recording. And the difference in our relationship is incredible. I mean, it so different, but more importantly, the way that I think, I feel, I respond, it's, it's like a new life.
[00:10:18] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: My brain isn't filled with constant negative chatter and I never, for one day when I go to lay my head down at night, never once do I take for granted that I can do it calmly and confidently and without fear now? I want the same for you. You're why I started this podcast and I'm so excited, so pumped, so ready to support you on your journey from jealous and fearful to calm and confident.
[00:10:50] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I can't wait. See you next time.
[00:10:52] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If you'd like to work with me for one-on-one coaching, head over to https://www.Jealousy junkie.com/coaching and schedule a quick call to see how I can help until next time. Take care and remember, you're not alone.