Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fighting Depression

I have a real problem with depression this time of year. I hate the holidays, to begin with. I'm also fully convinced that I am one of those people who react to the reduction of light with the short days of winter. I love light and lots of it. Come spring time when the days begin to lengthen, my mood usually takes a dramatic swing for the better. {sigh, only 2 months to go}

So, I already had my usual post holiday slump in progress. Then I had a small dust-up with an EBAY transaction that turned sour. I purchased two items from a lady back in the early part of December. She only took money orders, so I trudged to the grocery store and got the money order. When I got ready to mail it, I realized that I had not been given an address. I emailed her. No answer. I finally combed through every notification I had received during the process and found an address that was sort of tacked onto a message as an afterthought. I sent the payment and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, a month later, I sent emails asking her if she had received the payment. No answer. I filed a dispute with EBAY.

Well, that got her attention and she finally responded that she had never been paid. So I sent her the details of the money order and the address I had sent it to, only to be told that she had moved from there ages ago. EBAY had not updated her account to her new address. So we settled on my resubmitting payment to her correct address. Thankfully, she had obtained a PayPal account in the interim, so I paid again. (Does anybody know how to cancel an money order? It's floating out there in California somewhere.) And I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more. I finally emailed again to inquire. No answer.

I am not the most patient of persons in these kind of circumstances. None of this was my fault and I had actually paid twice and still had nothing to show for it. And I had stupidly not fully read the instructions for EBAY disputes and had closed the thing after completing the PayPal transaction and you can't reopen a closed dispute. I was hacked and yet I knew that as soon as I lost my temper and posted negative feedback, the package would show up and I would feel even worse. So I finally told myself to forget it and consider myself fortunate that with over 400 successful EBAY transactions in my history, this was the first one that had blown up in my face.

So I had this niggling aggravation in the background for two months. I had more aggravation when I had to make repeated telephone calls trying to get one of Mother's prescriptions renewed. And let's not forget that this was the same time period involving the broken heater, stopped up toilet and flaky sewer alarm.

So then I did something really stupid. I started listening to an audiobook that I knew was a sad story, but I figured I was already depressed so what could it hurt? Let me tell you, if you ever want to sink to suicidal levels, pick up a copy of Angela's Ashes. Good Lord above, this has to be one of the all-time saddest memoirs ever written. I should have stopped after the first CD, but the dratted thing is an enthralling story. I couldn't stop. If I live through the final 2 CDs (a total of 12), maybe the sun will peek through and I'll find a reason to keep going.

Well, let's see. What else has been going on? I arrived at work Monday morning to the most foul, acrid smell imaginable pouring out of my office. The old computer system that is my roommate until we complete the transition to the new system had had a meltdown over the weekend. It was barely limping along and died completely shortly after we had moved the backup unit into place. We spent the better part of Monday and the early part of Tuesday getting all the files moved over to the backup unit so that people could get back to work, then calling the various support numbers to begin the repair process. All day Monday I had people walking by my office holding their noses and the programmers all decided to work at home because it smelled so bad. I SPENT THE ENTIRE DAY IN THE ROOM WITH IT, FOR GOD'S SAKE!! And I'm an old lady. What's wrong with this picture?

Today I decided to eat my lunch in the break room and that was a disaster. I am a Democrat in a sea of Republicans and guess what was the primary topic of conversation on this Super Tuesday? You know, all the Democrats I know respect your right to have a differing opinion. Have you ever known a Republican that can fathom that someone else might not agree with them? I gave up and went back to my office as soon as I had finished eating. If it's not politics, it's religion or it's the new mothers discussing various post-partum issues that this old spinster would just as soon not hear. My kingdom for someone to have a real conversation with.

So my mood is blacker than soot right now. If it weren't for the kindness of strangers, I'm not sure I would have faith that things will get better soon or later. For instance, I picked up some fried chicken this afternoon on the way home and asked for some fried catfish, only to be told there would be a wait for it. I told them to never mind, but then at the window she passed over a sack with the last of the few pieces of catfish they had on hand, no charge.

After beating about the bush, let me finish my EBAY story. I had decided that I would wait another month and then post the negative feedback. Lo and behold, after 3 or 4 days since my last email asking for an update, I finally got a brief note apologizing and assuring me that the items had been sent. Today they arrived and I can finally remove this one item from the pile of things that are irritating me these days. Every little bit helps.

And tomorrow I should finish Angela's Ashes. That will help. I plan to start a Dave Barry book next to get the taste of out my mouth.

And my puppies meet me every day with slobbery kisses. That helps tremendously.

This too, shall pass. Spring isn't far away.


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