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#70 You Can't Hide From Yourself

As a former pediatrician turned life coach, I remember seeing kids who showed physical manifestations of an underlying psychological challenge, and this made me think about how we as adults keep on pretending that everything is okay.

In this episode, I will talk about how society sometimes makes it seem normal to overwork or for moms to drink to cope with stress.

We're also going to look at how being vulnerable and kind to ourselves is much better for healing and to encourage you to look inside and deal with your pain in a healthy way to find your favorite you.

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about working with me as your coach.

"The meaning of life is to get to know ourselves on the deepest level possible, which, of course, in the process, confronts our attempts to hide from ourselves."

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • Why honesty is key for healing in all areas of life

  • How pretending to be perfect can lead to bad habits

  • The dangers of self-deception and common coping mechanisms

  • Negative impacts of societal norms like overworking and "mommy drinking culture"

"It's not your fault what you're addicted to, but once you know what it is, it is your responsibility to take the time to get to know yourself on a deep level and to do the work to heal yourself."

Mentioned in this episode:

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if coaching with me is the right fit for you. Join me on a powerful journey to become your favorite you.

Listen to the full episode:

Read the full episode transcript

Hey, this is Melissa Parsons and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intentions. My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend.

If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around. 

Hi there. Welcome back to Your Favorite You. I just got home from a baby shower from one of the incredible nurses that I used to work for in my private practice. It was so fun to see many of my former colleagues and friends. So many of them told me that they're listening to the podcast, which is such an honor.

So, hi, former Emerald Pete's colleagues. One of the women, Mallory, told me she wanted to rebut something that I said on the shitty advice I gave you as a pediatrician episode. Initially, I was like, oh no, what does she have a beef with? And then she said that I completely underplayed how often I pointed out that kiddo's physical symptoms, their headaches and tummy aches and the like, were more likely physical manifestations of an underlying psychological challenge.

I was like, yeah, you're right. I did often discuss the somatic nature of the headaches and belly aches with families, but knowing what I know now, I would do it even more. I would at least double down on it. So, thank you for the call out, Mallory. And yeah, I kind of stand by what I said, and I would just do it more.

Today, I wanted to talk about something that I have known for a really long time, but I didn't know exactly how to put it into words or to explain it. So, I'm going to attempt to explain it in a way that makes sense to you all today. Many adults are conditioned to pretend that their life is perfect.

We're conditioned not to complain, to never let them see you sweat, to put your best face forward, to fake it till you make it. Hopefully, you get the idea. Unfortunately, this pretending leads to not so many great things at best. You're not being honest with yourself or others. And at worst, you actually start to believe some of the lies and fibs that you're telling.

And often this pretending leads to us buffering in order to tolerate our life. Every one of us has something that we do when we're trying to hide from ourselves. For me, it is eating when I'm not hungry. And scrolling social media to avoid my feelings. It used to be drinking Pinot Noir or Rosé. A French 75 or three or a few gins and tonics, perhaps it is overworking or gossiping or gambling, watching TV, using drugs, sex addiction, whatever.

We are all addicted to something. I was listening to the, we can do hard things podcast where they had Laura McCowan, the author of the book. We are the luckiest talking about how sober life is the best life. I agree with her, Laura was saying that she wishes that every person was able to go through a recovery program as it teaches you so much about yourself and why you do what you do to cope with life, to tolerate life.

When you're attempting to hide from yourself, I have said before, and I will say again that I truly think the meaning of life is to get to know ourselves on the deepest level possible, which of course, in the process, confronts our attempts to hide from ourselves. The funny thing is before we start being completely honest with ourselves, we think we are fooling everyone, including ourselves.

The truth is that deep down, we already know the truth and this pretending leads us to feel so terrible about living out of integrity with ourselves. I absolutely love it when my clients start a conversation with me with some version of, I'm going to be completely honest with you. Yes, please. If you cannot be a hundred percent honest with your life coach, who can you be honest with?

I know it is going to be a great call when my client utters those words. We can really get somewhere when we go deep like this, as this is usually not something they have discussed with anyone else. Anything that you have shame about, we want to question. Shame never leads you to your favorite version of yourself.

Again, we've been socialized to have shame. And to hide parts of ourselves that might not be palatable to other people. If feeling shame helped you to move your life forward in a direction you want to go, I would be all for it. But it typically does not do that. It takes you away from your favorite you. I can help you see if you work with me, why whatever you did or are doing makes perfect sense.

And then once you start showing yourself some grace and compassion, you can evaluate your choices with a fresh set of eyes. And decide intentionally if that is the direction you want to be heading or if you want to change course. One of my favorite people to learn about trauma and addiction from is Dr. Gabor Mate.

Dr. Mate is an MD who is a family physician. He specializes in addiction. When he is getting to know his patients, he never asks, why do you have this addiction? Because he acknowledges, like I said before, that each and every one of us is addicted to something. Some of the addictions are more socially acceptable.

As an aside, in our Western culture, the most socially acceptable addiction is overworking. This is revered in my country, the United States. People are praised for working 60 hours per week, for working overtime, for never missing a day of work, for answering their phone and their email at all hours, for being available while they're on vacation.

You get the idea, another coping mechanism that is not quite healthy is the quote unquote, mommy drinking culture, where it's almost expected that moms need to drink to get through their week. I definitely was guilty of this. I was talking to the boys about this recently, and I admitted that after a glass of wine or two, I just kind of stopped caring so much that the house was messy or that the boys were bickering or that they weren't listening.

The wine or the gin and tonic or the martini just took the edge off in the moment. It also made me miss so many moments of their lives. It made me sleep like shit. It made me tired and grumpy the next day, but the mommy drinking culture is definitely glamorized here in the US as they were also discussing on the we can do hard things podcast.

The mommy drinking culture is acceptable until it's not. And many women tip over into drinking too much, and then it tips over into being unacceptable. It's kind of interesting and perplexing. And then there are the less socially acceptable addictions, heroin, meth, sex addiction, the like. But the point that Dr. Maté makes over and over again is that there really should not be a hierarchy to addiction.

As he defines it, addiction is, I'm going to quote him right here. A complex psycho physiological process manifested in any behavior in which a person finds pleasure and relief and therefore craves. But suffers negative consequences without being able to give it up.

So, Dr. Maté doesn't ask, why the addiction? Instead, he asks, why the pain? In other words, what pain are you trying to escape from? What pain are you trying to hide from and cover up with your addiction or addictive behavior? This is not to say that everyone who has a glass of wine or binges Bridgerton on Netflix has an addiction, but it is to say that you likely know what your thing is.

And if you don't know what your thing is, it might be a good idea to get quiet with yourself and do some self-reflection. As they say in the We Can Do Hard Things podcast, whatever your thing that you're addicted to is not your fault. But once you know what it is and you're honest with yourself about what it is, it is your responsibility to take the time to get to know yourself on a deep level and to do the work to heal yourself.

If you listened to last week's episode, you know that I propose that your capacity to heal is endless. You don't have to work on this alone. And in fact, McCowan suggests that the work is done with another person. And that it may be best for this work to be done in community. This is one of the things that we work on in my group coaching program, which is also called Your Favorite You.

If you're listening on the day that this episode drops, you're in luck because the group kicks off on February 14th. You still have two weeks to get your consult scheduled with me to figure out if you're a good fit for the group. If you don't delay, you will also be eligible for two bonus calls on the next two Wednesdays before the initial kickoff.

I would love to see you there and to do this work with you. It is an honor. Okay. See you all next week.

Hey, everybody, don't go quite yet. I want to let you know all the ways that you can work with me.

If you've been listening to this podcast and maybe especially you have listened to episodes where I interview my clients, and you are thinking like the older woman in the diner in the classic Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal film, When Harry Met Sally... In the film, Sally is proving a point to Harry by faking an orgasm while in public at a diner. Sally finishes, so to speak, and then takes a bite of her food. The older woman in the next booth says, "I'll have what she's having." If you've been thinking, "I'll have what she's having," this is your sign from the universe to schedule a consult with me.

I have a few spots available for one-on-one coaching with me. This is a space where I am laser focused on you and your brain for six months at a time. I will also be doing consults with women who want to join my next group coaching cohort, which will likely start in the spring of 2024. The way to contact me is to go to my website,, go to the Work With Me page and click book now to schedule your consult. I will look forward to hearing from you. Let's make 2024 your year ever as you become your favorite you.


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