Thursday, March 24, 2005

On anger and letting go

One explanation of depression is having one’s limbic system flooded. Anger or other strong emotion can cause a backlash into dullness or absence of feeling, as happened to me after yet another Dell meltdown yesterday afternoon.

So I get a memory error when the system powers down—is that any reason to propose yanking out the hard drive? That would be putting in the fourth hard drive in the second system in eighteen months, all in the futile attempt to get one operational system. We will draw a curtain over the events of the past three months, during which I spent many, many hours to rebuild my system. I was not at all pleased with the idea that I was going to have to start over from the beginning, and got even more agitated when the technical support guy suggested that perhaps he would just send out a system swap. When he couldn’t come up with a better solution, this first tech support guy proposed transferring us to another area, then promptly hung up on us.

Over my tearful protests, the next phone support technician took the onsite technician through one component at a time and discovered that the underlying problem was a wireless card, not even a Dell-installed component, a very easy problem to solve, and one that—thank heaven!—need not require further Dell involvement. I’m sure that Dell is as happy not to deal with me as I am not to deal with them.

But today, I still have the anger hangover. I feel grim and heavy and gray and touchy. And despite taking the precaution of eating carbs for lunch, I took out a couple of bystanders in collateral damage. Everything looks more dire when depression rules, even when you try to compensate for your gray-tinted specs. In truth, I should have called in sick, but it’s hard to get sympathy for an overstimulated limbic system.

I’m thinking now that maybe it is time to say goodbye to Dell, even with two years left on the warranty. The sheer stupidity of proposing a system replacement to solve a problem with a wireless card amazes, shocks and offends. But in the overall scheme of life and death, love and humanity, I can’t afford to waste a particle of energy on Dell. When the next problem with this system occurs—and I feel certain that it is when and not if—I think I will call my local support guys. If there is something that needs to be dealt with under the warranty, then I will pay someone else to call Dell. Or not. Honestly, life is too short for this. There has to be a better way.

Meanwhile, I find myself craving the support of my friends who are put together the same way I am, friends who are known for being difficult, prickly, obnoxious and angry. Today I was all those and worse, and now I want to rest in the company of someone who will say, “There, there. It will be better tomorrow.” I want to hear from someone who says, “I don’t care what other people say about you, I know you’re doing your best.” I want to be with people who aren’t always nice, because they are always trying to push a good cause one more step ahead, even on days when they don’t get the strategy just right. I want someone to make me a cup of tea and ask if I’m okay, then when I say “Well, sort of,” tell me funny stories to make me laugh or read me to sleep. All so that we can all get up and do it again tomorrow without the anger hangover, without the same nonsense, with our reserves rebuilt by the loving care of those who know us best.


Tamara Burke said...

Well bummer kiddo... I'd drop by and have tea with you, but I didn't leave LE until 8:00 (and at that time discovered a dead battery... oh yea.. the joy). My neck is killing me and I just want to go to bed!

My sheep, by the way, look like they can't count and are going to pop 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

Robert said...

I'm sorry I can't make a cup of tea for you, but I can tell a funny story (BTW, you'll like this, do a google on Banksy, if you haven't heard of him. He pulled some good ones in your old stomping grounds this month).

Stop reading if you've heard this:

A police officer was cruising Lover's Lane late one night when he spied a car parked in a deserted spot. He shined his lights on the car, got out, and walked over to the driver's side window. The window comes down, and the officer shines his flashlight into the front seat. He sees a young man reading a computer magazine. In the back seat, he sees a young lady knitting.

"What are you doing?" the officer asks the driver.

"I'm reading a magazine, sir."

"What's she doing in the back seat?"

The young man looks back, and says, "I believe she is knitting, sir."

"Uh huh," says the officer. "How old are you, young man?"

"Twenty-one, sir," he replies.

"And how old is she?" the officer asked.

The young man looks at his wristwatch, and replies, "Well, sir, in eleven minutes she will be eighteen!"