A half-gallon of ice cream versus connecting – it’s a hard choice.

Friday, May 11th, 2018

About a month ago now, I had one of the most painfully awkward sessions with my life coach to date.  I could have thought of a million things to do besides chat with her for fifty minutes.  I was in such a terrible funk – the LAST thing I wanted to do was to TALK.

I don’t know if any of you can relate to this – but when I’m feeling not just down but in the dumps – it is incredibly difficult for me to reach out.  Tillamook chocolate chip ice cream and my bed covers sound much more appealing.

However – this is quite the opposite of what I “preach” to the ladies that come along side me via support groups or at speaking events.  This journey of healing from betrayal has shown me that it’s being fully known (intimacy) with those that I feel safe with that will actually help me move through the down-dumps with grace; not isolating under the covers with a half-gallon of ice cream. {Although seriously?!  That sounds really nice in the moment!  Can we call that some self-care or what?!  All kidding aside – the problem is – after the ice cream is downed – and I come out from under the covers – I’ve done nothing to move through the feelings.  I’m back at square one.}

And yet, the default setting is broken and my flesh will always want to hide and isolate more than the desire to reach out, connect and share it like it is.  Yes, I point to Adam and Eve for part of the explanation – because what did they do in the Garden of Eden?  They hid.

There is a residual level of this desire to hide in all of us.

But why else might it be so hard for me to reach out when I’m in the spiral?  A couple of other reasons come to mind –

The fear of not being loved or accepted if I’m not happy.  Not sure when or where this fear developed but in a world where we put on a mask when we walk out the door – it’s no surprise that I fear I won’t be accepted if I’m down.

Lack of control.  I talk to so many women that say they have control issues.  Me too!  It’s just I like to put a different spin on it – I’m a control enthusiast!  Being down and sharing it with others – the ugly cry, the darkness, the hopelessness – it’s pretty out of control.  And that’s not a comfortable place for me.

The fear that if I actually allow myself to go there – I’ll stay there forever.  Oftentimes I believe if I can just stay on the edge of a complete melt-down, I’m doing myself a favor.  Because if I do melt – there is no turning back and who knows HOW long it will take to climb back out of the hole.  Taps into the powerlessness mentioned above.

The list goes on and on – the point is – there are some real reasons that I move toward complete isolation and withdrawal when I’m starting to spiral.

Back to my session with my life coach – I realized I’d never truly allowed anyone (except Jason) to see me the way I presented to her that Thursday afternoon in April.  I was convinced by the end of the session that she’d fire me.  And if she didn’t fire me on the spot – certainly when we met again – she’d give me the axe.

But girls – two weeks later when our next session came around – she started our session by saying this – “I have more admiration and respect for you because of how you came onto the call and sat with me on the call two weeks ago.”

I wanted to fall out of my chair (but thankfully was firmly planted in it).  She didn’t fire me.  In fact, she did quite the opposite.  She loved me even more.

The TRUTH is – when we show our brokenness to others – they love us more.  When we confess our shortcomings, when we share our fears, when we look up with tears in our eyes and say – I’m a mess – that’s when love comes a-pouring in.

I KNOW this because I see it happen in my groups, I’ve seen it happen with Jason, and I experienced this big time one month ago with Dale.

AND… I also know, that there will probably never be a day when this comes easy.

So I’m closing with this – I’m begging you to show up by being you.  If you are down, say it.  If you feel hopeless – express it.  If you feel angry – get it out.  Let’s all commit to bringing our full selves to the table.  Not what we think others want to see, but how we actually feel.  Right now.  Today.  And every day.


8 thoughts on “A half-gallon of ice cream versus connecting – it’s a hard choice.

  1. Lisa Taylor

    May 12, 2018  |  07:34 pm

    I just love this, Shelley. I love your transparency now and always. Thank you: very well timed too as Mother’s Day can be a really hard day for many of us.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      May 14, 2018  |  11:09 am

      Thank you friend! I miss you and am grateful for your encouragement! xo

  2. Cyndi Saunders

    May 14, 2018  |  09:13 am

    Thank you
    I’m hoping to be be on the I weekly phone call
    Reading books and kitchen convo now

    • Shelley Martinkus

      May 14, 2018  |  11:10 am

      Wonderful Cyndi! I’ll be in touch! xo

  3. Lori

    May 14, 2018  |  09:22 am

    Thank you Shelley. This is an encouragement on my journey to becoming a “real” person. It comes at a time when I am trying to get up the courage to share ( with a “real” person as my husband’s counselor put it) my story of the past few months since discovery. I meed to become fully known by some one I trust, to contunue my healing. I can say, aside from my husband, I don’t think there is anyone that fully knows me.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      May 14, 2018  |  11:12 am

      I hear you – and I think starting with someone you trust and feel safe with is key. We must use discretion. And – my experience has proven that most often, when I take the mask off and reveal who I really am – people don’t run – in fact, they pour out love and reveal who they really are! (Sure – this isn’t 100% fail proof but more often than not, it’s the case!) You can do it Lori! xo

  4. Denise Caldwell

    May 14, 2018  |  11:03 am

    Being transparent can bring us such fears,
    Especially when it’s followed with big wet tears.
    Being vulnerable is the hardest by far….
    But REAL people love you just as you are!

    In the same boat we all paddle away
    (We ladies who struggle when our husband’s stray)
    It’s especially important when our lives do shatter
    To remember that to each of us we all do matter!

    • Shelley Martinkus

      May 14, 2018  |  11:13 am

      Beautiful Denise! Thank you for sharing your heart! xo

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