Needing my own medicine…

Here is something I know to be true;

I am very good at giving advice.

This is because I’ve done a lot of work (emotionally, mentally and physically) over the past two years trying to change my life for the better. Something else I know to be true? Some days I need to really listen to what I’m saying because the one person that needs to hear it the most is me.

When I sit down to write a blog post I’m mostly thinking about what people want to hear. What’s going to motivate them to keep moving forward, to keep pushing themselves to reach farther than they think they can and go after the life they deserve?  I get easily frustrated with how my posts are going because while I want people to pump their fists in the air and proclaim from this very moment that “This is my life and I deserve to live”, I’m also trying to keep my own emotions in check. I’m am in desperate need of my own medicine. I feel like I am standing firmly in the life I want to lead when all of a sudden the ground opens up under my feet and my emotions come rushing up at me and I don’t know how to contain them.

If someone says to me “Tara, I don’t know how to feel my emotions” I usually respond with “Just feel. Sit with them. It’s only when we stop bottling them up or sugar coating them with food, that the emotions truly leave us and we are free to live.” And yet, here I am this week with some deep emotions and instead of taking my own advice of just sitting with them,  I’m looking for ways to bottle them up, dip them in chocolate, top them with whip cream, nuts and a cherry and pretend that everything is okay.

The truth is:

Everything is not okay.

I am feeling a severe amount of guilt over the choices and decisions that I made back in April to leave my husband Mitch when I found myself falling for Meegan after meeting in person for the first time. Don’t take this post as a “I never should have” with Meegan. I should have and don’t regret anything we’ve done together over the last eight months. I knew my relationship with Mitch was heading in another direction before meeting Meegan, I just didn’t have the courage to say / do something before hand. I should have and that’s part of where the guilt is coming.

I still have some contact with him because we share the financial responsibility for the dogs that we have. I can’t bring them to Nova Scotia with me and he has the house so it just made sense to leave them there in his care. This means that we need to communicate about what the dogs need and I need to find ways to make sure they are taken care of to the best of my ability from way over here.

This also means it opens the door to emotional upheavals every few weeks as we hash and re-hash hurt feelings of betrayal, lies thought told and accusations of ruining one life while trying to find happiness in another. It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions and with the holiday season here in full regalia I am struck to my core with feelings of guilt and not liking what I see when I look in the mirror. I am in the middle of a full blown attack of my emotions and I am unsure how to get control of them.

It’s hard to tell someone “You deserve to feel your emotions and you deserve to have the life you want” when I am in the mind frame that I am undeserving of anything because I caused someone else so much pain. What should be a joyous time preparing for Christmas is quickly becoming like a knife in my side because it reminds me that for the first time in ten years he probably won’t do anything to celebrate. No tree. No lights. No frantically searching for that perfect gift.

I am constantly thinking about what his life is like and how lonely he must feel. What should be a quick text about making sure the dogs have enough food turns into hours of finger pointing and “how could you(s)”. I can’t get rid of the feeling that I did something awful and he won’t recover emotionally. I took the leap of finding happiness and now feel like I landed in a big pile of “Way to go Tara, you fucked things up again”.

It’s hard to be in my own skin. To shut down the voices. To keep the tears from coming. I try to tell myself to feel the guilt, to feel the sadness for him. That without feeling those things I can’t truly get back to feeling good about myself. It’s affecting the way I eat (not eating enough because I don’t deserve to feed my body), it’s affecting the way I am around Meegan (I don’t deserve to be loved) and it’s affecting my moving forward (I’m unmotivated because of feelings of I don’t deserve to physically take care of my body).

I try to talk to myself like I’m talking to a friend;

“You deserve to be happy”

“You can’t control some one else’s emotions”

“Meegan loves you very much”

“You know it was the right decision”

“He will be okay”

“You need to let go of the things you can’t control”

Nothing is working. I’m trying to be patient with myself. I have lots of time these days to work through these feelings of inadequacies. Too much time in fact. Nothing like being unemployed, unable to work and having to spend day in and day out in your own mind. At a time with everything should be new, exciting and full of promise, I’m stuck with my face in my palms, tears streaming down my face and feeling more desperate to eat my way through all these emotions.

I’m not sure there is a point to this post. This was definitely about me just letting some stuff out. Letting it go to the universe the best that I can. I am not in a good place today but that doesn’t mean I have to stay here. I won’t turn off my emotions because I am scared to feel them. I won’t turn them off because I feel like I don’t deserve to be happy. I will do my best to make food choices about nutrition and not about covering up something I am afraid to feel and I will try to be mindful that I’m not eating enough. I will try to be patient and remind myself that this is how I feel right now but it may or may not be how I feel an hour from now, a day from now, or a week from now.

I will try to take my own medicine

And hope it works.

12 comments to Needing my own medicine…

  • I can completely relate to this post. I feel hypocritical sometimes because I try to be motivating about finding balance in life through my blog posts, yet I do not think I myself have found balance, and I have a hard time taking my own advice too. Whenever a close friend points out to me that I am giving him/her advice I should be taking myself, it’s always a bit like a slap in the face. I try to tuck those moments away and remember them for times when I need, as you say, my “own medicine”. The fact that you recognize this is a big step in itself – I hope writing this post was therapeutic and helpful as well. I don’t know what more advice I can offer because I still am trying to learn to take my own medicine, but just know that you’re not alone!

  • Kyle

    (failure is not fatal)

    (success is not final)

    but also

    (failure is not final)

    (success is not fatal)

  • Kyle

    I tried to delete that because I feared it might come off as a shot but It wont let me. I hope it’s not taken that way.

    Take care,


  • Bobbie

    I am going to be blunt with you because you have always done the same for me.

    1. Why are you still having contact with Mitch because of the dogs? If you agreed to have him keep them they are his, end of story. You don’t need to txt him about feeding them, etc. I know you probably think of the dogs as children, but the relationship is over. You need to cut communication so you can move on with your life. If you can’t do that because of the animals then have one of them or both shipped to you so you can move on.

    2. I’ve always enjoyed your writing best when you WEREN’T writing for an audience and rah, rah, rahing the crowds. I like you best when you really tell what you are going thru. Fuck all that other shit.

    3. You and Meegan are both beautiful women. Thank you for sharing what you are going through so selfishly. But seriously, end the relationship with Mitch NOW or it won’t get better. You can’t help him he needs to help himself.


  • I totally get where you are at right now. I have made so many mistakes these past few years and the holidays only seem to bring them right back into focus. I am working on things though and I know you can too. It might not be tomorrow but I will recover from my past mistakes. You can recover/let go of your past mistakes. just know that things will work themselves out and along with Meegan a lot of people love you. Now its time to start loving yourself again and take a dose of self forgiveness. (note to self …take own advice)

  • I haven’t been reading your blog but since May but I identify so much with everything you write and I get so much out of it. So when I read this post I couldn’t help but want to comment. Something I’ve told my husband often is “I’m not responsible for your happiness” just as you’re not responsible for Mitch’s. He has to be happy with himself and his life just as you do. I know he wants to have his time to vent but I think the time for him to vent to you is over. I think it’s wrong that he is using the dogs to keep that door open to vent to you about something that is not going to change at this point, you have moved on. You do have a right to be happy and you have made your choices and you have moved forward you don’t need to dwell in the past. We all make mistakes, we’ve all hurt people at times in our lives as people have hurt us. I know you love and miss your dogs and even care for Mitch but I think maybe you need to just deal with your financial obligation through means that you don’t have to talk with Mitch because it’s clear he’s not in a good place and he can’t help but want to bring you down to where he is because he’s hurting. I hope you can get past this and so true that you have to take some of your own medicine because your medicine is good for ya 🙂

  • Tina

    Tara: Hugs! This made me sad. My only thoughts are this: Guilt is the past coming back to haunt and screw up our present. It is one of the emotions I hate the most and believe me, I live in the southern US where we are schooled very early about how to feel guilty ABOUT EVERYTHING! We are great at fried chicken, casseroles and guilt.

    I think that letting someone go in your life (Mitch) to be free to find someone else who will love them the way they deserve is a good thing. Your ex will see that in time. You know you did the right thing. I can tell from the history in your blog, so ditch the guilt! 🙂

  • Heather

    Had to click over to comment: as a CHRONIC enabler, your words stuck out at me strongly as enabling. You are not in charge of Mitch’s happiness, only your own. And I know it’s hard to separate/delineate where your happiness begins and his ends, but this is part of extricating yourself from the relationship, which I know is so hard. You made the choices you did for YOU. Own it. It’s not about him and really, do you think he would want you to have not made those choices if it meant for him to celebrate with Christmas tree? Own your choices — I KNOW it’s uncomfortable, but just realize that it will pass. Making my own happiness and sitting with the discomfort of what that means for other people is a HUGE issue I’ve worked with this past year — the more practice you get, the easier it gets. Hang in there. Stay strong.

  • Chloe

    I have to echo what Bobbi said because I have been thinking the same thing since you changed your domain name and started writing like you were a motivational speaker. I became a fan of you, your blog and your journey since 263andcounting and your whole tone has changed since you switched over. The “You can do it because I did it!” blog posts are most likely written with good intentions but it really comes across as trite, impersonal and slightly condescending.

    I don’t think people come here for that. At least not people that have been with you from the beginning. People follow you because they respect your struggles and appreciate the grace and dignity you use to work out your own issues. You can be an inspiration without telling everyone what to do. Everyone’s journey is their own, especially yours.

    I really hope you don’t take offense on my observation and comment. I just noticed an entire shift in tone when you started this blog and it seemed very inauthentic and impersonal. Your ability to keep it real with true humility while keeping the focus on yourself and your journey is what made me read every post on 263andcounting. You can (and do) inspire others just by being yourself. When you are writing about yourself, your struggles, your successes and your life your blog is more authentic and more importantly, inspiring.

  • I understand this posts in ways I’m not going to explain here, but I do just get it.
    Until a few months ago, I would have told you I don’t do guilt.
    But I do. I do do guilt. I get it.

    So. No magic words for you my beautiful friend. I don’t know what to say. Except that I understand.

    And the first one to figure out how to let it go tells the other one how to do it. And there must be wine.

  • I know when it hits me, that guilt has this funny ability to come crashing down like shit ton of bricks and flatten my mental abilities like a GD pancake. I get myself in this little obsession spiral of shame sometimes after a flash of a memory, or following an awkward conversation. I’m sorry that this week had some of that in it for you.
    You and I both know we can get stuck on the merry-go-round of shame and its up to us to get the fuck off the damn thing. Somedays that’s easier than others. Now we are fortunate enough to be able to have each other shorten the ride. We just have to find the strength to open our mouths and talk to each other about just what is going on inside. (easier written than said I know).
    You are doing everything you can. You are the strongest person I know.
    And you always have a warm hug waiting for you whenever you need it.

    When it comes to your blog, I have always felt that I’m reading a piece of where you are and who you are no matter the format of your posts. Neither your motivational posts nor your reflective posts strike me as more Tara than the other. Both are part of the Tara I know and love.

  • Oh my dear, dear Tara….
    Guilt is just another way for us to beat ourselves up…
    Everything you explain…describe…etc..matches up to how I felt when I chose to leave my kids DAD.

    I left him to take care of me…because I made the choice NOT to take care of him and two little kids plus me…to deal with my emotional issues, my past, etc…That guilt took on a whole life of its own and here I am a little over 20 years later still dealing with the emotional crap…

    My step-dad made a comment when I left my husband way back then — he is a good man. He works hard, doesn’t beat you, and loves you your stupid to leave. *don’t judge — step daddy was his own piece of work*

    When we leave a relationship for reasons that only a few can understand, not because it was bad..but because it didn’t support us anymore, we are met with the emotions that strangled the life out of us in the first place.

    When someone else becomes more important than ourselves…we have given away our power and our own WORTH! We are re-creating the myths we believe so it emotionally feels the same….CHANGE the story, Tara…..

    This became a little long winded so I will stop now..You got this girl…

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