What’s a *Purse Dump*? Well This Is One, Right Here…

Today I decided to use Effy’s *nudge* to get going with a blog post because I’m all nerves and anxious and more than a little scared today. Her September Blogging Challenge With Effy is saving me right now because it is keeping me going when I am having a terrible time keeping focus, having any sense of purpose, and am worried about everything. These are rough bipolar days. But she gave us this exercise to do today and I think it might just help me. She says, “Dump Your Mental & Emotional Purse all over the table that is your blog. Don’t sort it. Don’t apologize for any of it. Just take an inventory, in list form, and let the old tissues & twenty year old mints fall where they may.” And further she writes, “A Purse Dump is a list form blog that lets you just get all the crap that’s in your head out on the page.” This is a perfect exercise for me today, you might try it too, just every once in awhile, to do a “brain dump” and get all those thoughts that are weighing you down out of your head and onto the page. It really does help. Here goes… (And my apologies in advance even though Effy said not to apologize. Once I got going I just kind of went on! But it was good for me, and truly, surprised me no end. Of course I’ve always carried big purses!)

  • I am scared today. I have this terrible toothache that makes my whole jaw hurt and the dentist is getting me in at 4 and I don’t know what in the world they will be doing. In December 2014, not long after I moved back into the house after it was rebuilt after the fire and I had to live elsewhere for 8 months, I got a bad toothache. It was the back molar on the bottom right side. They could have done a root canal which both terrified me and which I couldn’t afford but the dentist even said that the tooth was so bad it could be iffy anyway. I had it pulled rather than do extensive, expensive dental work that might not really do well in the long run anyway. It seems that the tooth that is the problem now is the one that is currently the remaining back molar on the right bottom side which was right next to the molar that was removed. I did okay last time after it healed although for a long time it felt as though it had left a space the size of the Grand Canyon and it healed well but felt very funny for a long time. My tongue still goes back there to just to check things out and it seems strange to have such a space back there but the gum healed so well you can’t even tell a tooth was ever back there. But what if they have to take this tooth out too? I will have a large gaping hole on that side in the back. Will I be destined for a lifetime of mashed potatoes and smoothies? I’m 63 and my teeth were filled back in the day when they made holes so big you barely had any tooth left and then filled it with a massive silver (what do they call that stuff?) filling. I’m grateful that I still have all my own teeth (except that one that got pulled in 2014), they’ve held up for decades, and I try to take good care of them but I think things don’t bode well for this tooth, and I mean it’s not just the tooth that hurts, it has hurt all the way from under my lip, through my jaw, up into my ear. That doesn’t sound good to me. So anyway I go to the dentist at 4 and I am shaking like a leaf!
  • Take a breath Maitri, go on…
  • I feel sad because I kind of felt maybe this mental illness business would have run it’s course by now. The nuns had my mother take me to a psychiatrist at 10 years old, knowing that something was very wrong with me but they didn’t know what. My mother didn’t want to but did and the psychaitrist (I mean, it was 1964, sexual abuse was not on the table then in therapeutic circles) had me do a bunch of tests like ink blot tests and such and just told my mother I was a very sensitive child and I would grow out of it. She took me home, the abuse continued, but it wasn’t until I was 18 and had my first nervous breakdown that I was put into therapy. I had dissociated through most of the abuse so that my memories were sketchy, I didn’t remember much, and we didn’t really talk about it. It wasn’t until I was 22 and had another breakdown after attempting suicide that I spent a month in the hospital and there saw my psychotherapist and a psychiatrist every day and under daily hypnosis memories of the abuse came pouring out. The unfortunate thing was that after I left the hospital on tranquilizers, antidepressants, and sleeping pills I found out that I was pregnant, had to go off of all the medication cold turkey, and was watched very closely by my worried doctors throughout my pregnancy with therapy 3x a week. At 63 I have been more in therapy than out, given several mental health diagnoses — they just kept adding up over the years — and balancing my medications has been like the guy who used to come on the late night talk shows when I was growing up who would spin white plates on top of poles. He’d get one going, go start another one, come back and put more spin on the first one, the second one, start a third one and so on until he had a whole host of white plates spinning. Sometimes a plate dropped. Some of them would slow down and eventually peter out. You get the idea. Well that’s like med management for the mentally ill. Start one drug, add another, raise the dose on the first one, add a third, raise the dose on the second one, discontinue the first, and so on. And it never ends. In the last six months I have been doing really poorly save a couple of weeks somewhere in the middle when a new antidepressant seemed to be working and my mood lifted considerably for a couple of weeks but then I plummeted, down worse than I can remember since having to be hospitalized, and the meds were changed again along with all kinds of other intervention and help. The point that I’m making is I think I’ve paid my dues, seriously, shouldn’t this all have run its course by now? And the thing is that finally, at 63, I realize that it is not miraculously going to go away. Being abused from 4-18 left a mark, a big one, and as I spiralled downward through the years seeing all manner of therapists and collecting all sorts of diagnoses things got worse rather than better. And when I found my biological mother when I was 26 and she threatened to kill me — I am dead serious about this — I found out that she was also suicidal and mentally ill. At the time my husband said, “My God, that woman could have raised you!!!” The thing is in the realm of the nature vs. nurture thing I got screwed on both sides. Oh my, I have gone on! I’m sorry about that. This *purse dump* business might undo you.
  • I think I should go with something lighter!
  • Let me ask you all about this because it is one of the things I am most curious about in the world. You know how lipstick comes kind of slanted at the top, or comes to a peak? Well, I used to be amazed that my mother’s lipstick always wore absolutely flat at the top all the way down to the bottom of the tube? How do you do that? I wear no makeup most of the time but on the rare occasions when I go out I will use a little translucent powder and lipstick. My lipstick always wears down in such a way that one side is tall and almost not there anymore and the rest has disappeared. It kind of has the appearance of a ski slope. Until the tall skinny side just breaks off. It always eventually just breaks off. And then it looks kind of flattish and I get encouraged that now my lipstick might stay flat like my mom’s did but eventually it just wears back down to a ski slope. I think my lips must be deformed. If any of you have lipsticks with a flat top I would really appreciate you leaving a note in the comments about how you get it that way. It might not work, as I said my lips might be — well yes they certainly are because I had Bell’s Palsy that never went away and so my face and especially my mouth are crookedy —  deformed, but it is on my Bucket List — which I prefer to call my Life List — to be able to have my lipsticks wear down flat on the top.  I’d really appreciate any help or advice you can give me!
  • My God I can’t even write about lipstick without going on!

I’m going to spare you. I won’t go on any further. Because I’ve barely got anything dumped out of my purse and if you’ve read this far you are probably nodding off by now. Please forgive me, come back tomorrow and I’ll try not to prattle on so. But could you send me a few prayers? It’s time to get ready to go to the dentist…

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed going through your purse with you. <3

    My lipstick always wears down in a slope until I get to the bitter and and start digging it out of the tube with a brush. 🙂

    • Ah Effy, I think most of us have the slope, or at least you and I do! 😀 I have to tell you how much I loved this exercise/nudge and I look forward to doing it again. It’s very freeing, I could have gone on and on. You are such an inspiration to me in so many ways, I just can’t thank you enough for getting me blogging again. I wish it would go on past the end of September but I know that you are very busy. I truly appreciate all that you are doing for us… <3

  2. Amalgam is the old-fashioned term for silver fillings…I guess they don’t do that any more since John had a hard time finding some to fix my two broken molars. I, too, have fillings in most of my teeth. My family dentist allowed 15 minutes per appointment no matter how much he had to “fix”. I always had at least two cavities every 6 months even though I brushed (before they suggested flossing). 15 minutes is not enough time for the novacaine to take effect so I usually felt every pulled tooth and filling. He took most of my enamel off trying to fix my uneven bite and he drilled so deeply for cavities, that he nicked a few nerves which hurt like the dickens. I was always terrified to go and would get so sick before every appointment. It still amazes me that I ended up marrying a dentist! John knows about my issues, though, and he sedatives me even for cleanings. When he fixed my molars, he said I demolished and bent the bite guard (metal covered in rubber) that he uses to prop my mouth open to help keep my jaw from hurting. Sedation is good….I look forward to the nap instead of fearing the pain. I hope they figure out what happened to cause you such pain…It is such a drain on a body’s energy to have that constant ache….sending healing thoughts your way!

    • Karrie, ah yes, amalgam. I knew it was called something other than “that silver stuff!” And as I said to you the other day, you are SO lucky to have a dentist for a husband that takes such good care of you. I’m so glad he sedates you so you can get through your procedures with ease. I didn’t have good news at the dentist today but I’ll write about that later. I just plain don’t have the energy right now. But it’s so good of you to write. Thank you honey. I’m sending you a big hug… <3

  3. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I felt like I could see a glimpse of your heart, and it felt so big and generous and caring. It made me want to give you a hug. I too am bipolar and have spent so many years struggling to survive, fighting to keep going, battling through the suicidal thoughts and sometimes barely keeping my head above water. I know so well what you are feeling, and I know it can feel like an endless challenge. Someone I love mentioned to me recently the idea of dying my hair. I can’t remember how it came up, but I do remember surprising myself by saying that I intended to let my hair go grey, that I intended to celebrate my grey hairs instead of covering them up. The reason is this: there were so many times when I could have died. There was the emergency hospitalization and the overdose and various other suicidal battles that I fought. I figure that I have earned these grey hairs. I could have been a young suicide death. I could have not made it this far, but I did…and so did you. We can both be proud of that, proud of our strength and the fight we have in us that keeps us going. So much love to you!! xo.

    • Oh Sarah honey, thank you so much for writing in, it meant so much to me. And oh my dear, we are kindreds for sure. And I do understand about not coloring your hair. I have a very unusual situation in that at 63 my hair hasn’t yet really turned grey but kind of a drab color. If my hair was coming in white I’d celebrate it and I hope it someday does! I was a little towhead blonde as a child and as I’ve gotten older it has just gotten a drabber and drabber color. I literally only color my hair every few months or so and you never really see dark roots. It just goes from the light blond color that I use to gradually going back to a drabbish blond. It lifts my spirits to color it (I use a $3 kit from the Dollar Store.) every once in awhile to brighten it up but as soon as I see grey coming in, that pretty grey that is all white, I will never color it again. I know it is a badge of honor. I am sending you love and a gentle, warm hug. I hope you’ll be back. You are very dear indeed…

  4. My moms used to always be perfect till the last too. I never wear my lipstick long enough to run out. I cant answer that question. But i am willing to read others advice on this!

    • I know Liv, right? It’s like the 8th wonder of the world, women who accomplish that! Surely a mystery to me. I hope someone writes in with an answer! 😀

  5. Oh, man, do I ever relate to the filling thing. My mouth was so carved up in my youth it’s a wonder there’s anything left. As for the lipstick, I so seldom wear it (though my face could use the color!) my tubes mostly look pretty pristine. No advice to give there.

    But when it comes to the mental illness and writing about it, well, darn it, anyone with hooks sunk deeply into their psyche who writes about it as compellingly as you do is a gift to the millions of others struggling to make it through their days. Writing is a lifeline. It is healing. It is life affirming. But it is not a miracle cure, alas. If it were, all your days of struggle would be behind you, and you’d be making millions on the speaker circuit. That doesn’t stop me from waving my magic wand and doing incantations and wishing I had strong enough powers to ease your life. Since I don’t, I’ll read what you write, marvel at your writing prowess, and send love your way.

  6. Oh Cathryn honey you are so dear (And you always look lovely, lipstick or not!) and your kind words to me about my writing mean more to me than you will ever know. I tell you writing is a lifeline and no it doesn’t really cure anything but when I can do it, it helps me so much. And I am loving this blogging challenge because blogging every day is giving me something to look forward to, a sense of purpose, even on the days when it’s so hard to write all I can manage are a few lines, once I get the blog post up it makes me feel so good, and then when comments come it is a deep blessing and feels so good, like I’m connected to the outside world, and that means so much to me. Thank you so much for coming to read these posts, you’ve just no idea how much it means to me. And I am sending you so much love too, and a gentle warm hug. I love you dearly…

  7. I enjoyed your purse dump. ?

    So, I don’t really have any lipstick that has worn down to the bottom, (I only just recently started wearing it) but, mine is wearing down as a ski slope.

    Sending love your way. As someone with dental anxiety… I feel for that trip for you. ?

    • Thank you so much Cristin, and yes, I think most of us are ski slope lipstick users! And I appreciate the love. Today’s dental appt. did not go well. She is suggesting a root canal and crown which I really can’t afford. I will probably have the tooth pulled. Sigh. At 63 I just can’t start paying for a lot of expensive dental care. If this tooth could even be fixed — and it’s possible to go through all of that and pay a fortune and it still not work — I can’t afford ongoing expensive dental care as I age, I just can’t. One more thing to add to the anxiety pile, but I’m trying to have a good attitude about it and get through it all. Onwards and upwards…

  8. I’ve never worn lipstick, but I totally get why blogging every day is a good thing. I loved your “purse dump” piece.

    And, I hope that you’ve had some help with the darn tooth today. Root canals are tolerable, and can help a tooth persist for a long time. I had an aging molar “fail” after a second root canal after ~ 18 years, and boy, I was glad to get rid of it.

    And Cathryn is much more eloquent that I might be about your wonderful writing, and ability to persevere. It’s always an inspiration.

    Thanks, Maitri.

    • Thank you so much Lisa. I am having to make a decision about my tooth but I just really can’t afford the root canal and crown they are recommending and I could go to all that expense and it not work anyway. At 63 it could be just the beginning of issues here and there and I just am not able to afford a lot of expensive dental care. I think I will likely have it pulled. I’m having to make that decision now and the dentist gave me something to help with the pain for a few days.

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my writing. You’ve just no idea how much that means to me. I hope you are well honey…

  9. Thank you for sharing this precious gem. I don’t ever wear lipstick, I tried it a few times but it made me look like my mother…so I hurried and wiped it off. My mother wore a deep red and her lipsticks were always flattened, she used to run it back and forth over her lips many times and I would see it on her teeth, it reminded me of the clown Pennywise in the movie “IT”. I know that sounds terrible but I could never bring myself to wear any….but I’m a chapstickaholic!?

    • Oh gracious me! Deep red… Pennywise! I’m going to have bad dreams tonight! Ha ha ha… I’m not into chapstick but I love Carmex lip balm. I’m glad you liked the post Ellie, I love you dearly and hold you in my heart, always. I hope you are well honey. I still so cherish my doll. You just can’t imagine what she means to me. She has pride of place in my front room. Take care honey, know that you are always in my thoughts…

  10. Dear Maitri, you have such a beautiful way with words. My heart aches for all the pain and fear your younger self had to endure and how it still echos today. Do know that by sharing this you’re helping others with pained pasts, we hold each other up and know that surviving is possible. Your bravery is shining out, thank you. Much love, Mixy xxx

    • Thank you so much dear Mixy, it’s so good to see you here, I appreciate your coming to read my blog so much, and your kind words mean the world to me. My whole purpose with writing what I do is in the hopes that it might help others. When we can write clearly what is true we transform the painful experiences into something that might be of service to others and is also healing for us. I pray that I may find a way both to make income with my writing which I sorely need and to be of service to people by sharing from my heart. I want so much to help others… And you, dearheart, have been on my mind. I have worried about you and wondered how you are doing? I hope you are feeling better now and have come through your ordeal. I was so worried about you. Sending you love and a gentle warm hug… <3

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