Finally just standing up in the middle of it…

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I have been waiting … to write a new post … until I felt better.

I feel worse.

The new medication, which makes a total of 5, is kicking me in the keester. I went, as directed, from 1/4 dose to 1/2 to 1. I was okay with the first 2 steps, other than the usual headaches and exhaustion and interrupted sleep and so on, but when I went from 1/2 to 1 some great big cowboy boot in the sky came along and kicked me into the back 40.

I mostly don’t want to write this because I feel like my beloved readers are going to think, “Jeez Louise, is she EVER going to have a good day? Same song, second verse, a little bit louder and a little bit worse.”

Uh-huh, yeah, pretty much.

But if I don’t tell the truth what happens to all of those readers that I adore, that have supported me for 8  years with this blog, who have commented and written to me personally to tell me that I saved them that day with that post, that they appreciated my honesty. What about all of the people with mental health challenges who have cried and sent me gifts but mostly just said “Thank you,” because their days are so hard, and they want to hold on, they want to keep trying. What I write, they say, makes them feel less alone.

That is absolutely exactly why I am writing this, why I continue to write these things. If you’re out there stop, hold my hand, let’s look into one another’s eyes and say, “You’re okay, you’re going to be okay, you’ll get through this.”

I need to hear it too. So I’m writing this for you, and for anyone for whom it resonates and might help. I’m writing to share my journey, and I’m writing to hold on.

I am leaning back into the heating pad as hard as I can. I don’t just have a headache, everything hurts all over, like I was beaten.

Everything hurts because yesterday I had to go out. I go out to Sam’s once a month to get all of my meds. I can’t afford insurance and I am on their special plan to get them pretty cheaply. But I had to get a lot of groceries too. I waited until the last minute but when I ran out of my Effexor ER the day before I could no longer wait.

The 10 minute drive took me an hour and I was about to come right out of my skin. I have been hugely agoraphobic, more than ever, since the house burned down and I thought it would get better but now over a year later and with raised doses and an added medication it was harder than ever. I went at 3 in the afternoon which I hate to do, in the middle of the day with people and bright lights, to avoid the end of the day traffic but to my horror that 10 minute drive kept expanding into space, an endless line of cars that had to often sit through 2 traffic lights and inched along in between. By the time I was almost all the way there I saw there was a bad accident, it was down to one lane on the busiest street in town, police cars, ambulances, etc. This did nothing for my peace of mind but I prayed for all involved as I inched past.

I went in and got the meds. It is in a separate part of the store. Waited through that line. Inched around the crowded store and stopped at the water fountain to take the pill I had hoped not to have to take. Silly me. I will never not take it first again. One of the pluses about Sams is that since they sell everything under the sun and this is gardening season there are little gazebos with outdoor furniture. Quiet oases in what felt like the maelstroms of the day. I don’t remember how often I sought shelter there but in the end I was in the store over 2 hours because I kept retreating to one to try to get my breath and I watched the people go by until it looked like it was quieter and there were fewer humans milling about and I would jump up and, clutching my list in a death grip, head down another section of long aisles until the cart was filling, thousands more people seemed to have enter the store, and I headed back to a gazebo.

When I finally made it to the checkout lane the cashier must have been new, poor soul, because the line was held up forever, it was the theme of the day, and soon tears were rolling down my cheeks and I couldn’t breathe and I was bent over my cart trying not to faint. This is more than embarrassing but that was the least of my worries at that point. I felt a gentle tug on my arm. A sweet woman who worked there opened an aisle to take me. She checked me out, got me a cold drink, and walked outside with me to my car. I thanked her and hugged her and cried. I sat in the car for 20 minutes thinking again that one of the gifts of this illness is that you get to experience the kindness of strangers in a way many don’t. I laid against the steering wheel wondering if I might ever be able to start the car but finally felt very anxious about getting home to the dogs. They were okay but I needed them. They are tremendous healers for me.

I carried in only the things that needed to be refrigerated — it often takes me days to unload the car — got the dogs out and literally fell on the couch with them. When I say they are healers I am not being facetious, it is like going to holistic practitioners. As I lie on my side sweet little senior Laverne climbed up on my hip and went to sleep. My tiny Delilah who is glued to me at all times but especially when I am doing poorly crawled up above my head and planted herself there, and I slept with them for an hour and a half. When I woke up I felt almost, a little bit, human.



After we all had our dinner I was able to paint a little and that was good. I have not been able to paint today. This is the day after when my body experiences the brunt of all things hard the day before. I don’t have the energy to lift the paint brush today. But last night it helped a lot…

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I have been planning all week long to write to you all of the exciting news about my art project that is going so well but that will come next. You can see many new things in my shop at Society 6, prints and the images on a lot of different types of merchandise. There is a link at the top of this page and a widget showing rotating images in the right column. Lots of new fun things. There you will see 3 images from my new 3 pronged project – The Book: Latte Life Lessons; A deck of 60 cards of the same time; and as prints and merchandise at Society 6. I’d love for you to visit the shop and tell me what you think.

I must go lie down for awhile. My darling daughter Rachel is coming over tonight to watch a movie, and I need a nap first.

Blessings and Love to one and all, and take very tender care of your gentle selves. Self care and being true about what the reality is so those around you can help as well is so important. You are in my heart and prayers. Always.


Make this the year your resolutions come true!

Make this the year your resolutions come true!


  1. Please please please never be embarrassed to write exactly what’s going on in your world. So often you hit me right where I am and I know others feel the same way. I went through a period in the 80s when I was very nervous leaving the house and could not drive for nearly a year and drank quite heavily. The panic attacks were terrifying. I got through it but it was rough. I felt so alone. I am so glad that those suffering now have you to help them not feel so alone. Never stop sister….

  2. You are brave in your going out and you are brave in your writing. Your adventure sounds harrowing. I’m glad there was a kind person there to help and I’m glad the pugs make such a difference.

  3. Never be afraid to tell people how things really happen. Nobody’s world is all sunshine and daisies; sometimes there’s a whole lot of muck and we barely get by just slogging through it. Your honesty is refreshing and a reminder that we’re all human, days aren’t perfect, and sometimes a boatload of tender self-care is what we really need. It’s great to see that strangers are kind and available to help you, like unknown angels in your time of need.

  4. Thanks for sharing this experience, Maitri. Your courage in facing your fears and feelings helps me muddle through and continue on, when I’m afraid and anxious — about whatever.

  5. I so love your honesty and transparency, Maitri-not something we see a lot of in this world these days and something we sorely need more of! I did something dumb last week-let myself run out of my Effexor because I didn’t want to go to the clinic…for a while it was fine, until it wasn’t-then it got ugly. I learned a lesson about what I can and can’t do without there-ugh! So glad someone was kind enough to help you out at the store-hugs, and hope tomorrow is a better day for you 🙂

  6. Maitri, your beloved readers myself included are not judging you in any way – you seem like you have it pretty well together. I only hope that you do get the medication and dosage right and until you so, please don’t hesitate to share your trials and errors. I think you are handling your challenges so gracefully and I am so deeply inspired by seeing how you navigate through them. I am also super inspired my your artwork and every time I’m on Facebook I’m looking forward to seeing your latest creation. I absolutely love your Latte project and will most definitely be buying the deck when they come out. I feel like I can so deeply relate to your particular style of creativity. I admire and respect you for living every day as an artist. Even when you think you might be having a bad day you are still inspiring countess individuals. My warmest regards to you and wishing you the best with your medication exploration. 🙂

  7. You’re okay.
    You’re going to be okay.
    You will get through this.

    Just following instructions… 🙂

  8. The instant you hit “send”, your loving followers all around the world zap you with healing hugs.

  9. Sorry to hear that you are not doing well. I hope that the sun will shine for you soon enough.
    Sending you huggs from rainy Switzerland, Corinna

  10. Congratulations on the new projects! Even when feeling ill and in pain, you are inspiring. I hope the medications get sorted out soon and that you will soon be feeling better.

  11. ooh that traffic jam really got to me, and i’m not even agraphobic! not to mention the hordes of shoppers in a huge store. ack. thank god for the garden gazebos. thank god for that woman who opened a checkout for you. thank god for the pugs. thank god for your amazing artistic creations that keep coming and coming and coming. thank god you always live to write another day!!!

    hugs and eye beams


  12. I absolutely love that you share so honestly. I have felt for the past 15-20 years that one of the biggest problems with our society is that we cover up our struggles, put them in the closet, sweep them under the rug. I believe that by sharing our true journeys we not only help others to realize they are not alone, we, too, find that we are not alone. True connections develop. I am new to your blog, but was drawn to your honesty in SARK’s Facebook group. I see the beauty of your soul in the few blog posts I have read. I send love and warmth to you. Namaste.

  13. Olive Appleby says:

    Hi Maitri
    What can you say about your day…..that is worse than any horror movie!!!! But you got through it, which is awesome. See how much you have achieved and be proud. I love reading your post, you give us all hope, which is what I need at the moment as my life is particularly trying, positivity is being sorely tested and then some!!!
    We are here to support you as best we can and support each other. Just keep rockin’ it Maitri. Much love to you and your furry family….. Olive xxxxx

  14. David Macauley says:

    Love. You. 🙂

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