DHL is the Worst Company in the World

Sometime back in September I went to my Square dashboard and ordered a pack of stickers and a small cardboard table stand to take to conventions to get the point across that I take credit cards. It’s free so I figured why not. The delivery date turns out to be two days after the convention so I figure “Ah well. I’ve got it for next time.”

Cut to a few days later when it ships. The shipping method is DHL. I break out in a cold sweat. I know where this is going. I’ve ordered multiple things and had them shipped via DHL. I have never received those items. Part of it is our local DHL is literally some guy with a van that delivers when he gets around to it. The other problem is that DHL is the most inept company I’ve ever dealt with in my life. We have issues when I worked for GreenTree Properties and I knew I’d have them now.

So the first package started in Texas. It traveled to Jackson, Mississippi which is more or less where I live. It then traveled to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and went out for delivery. Since I don’t LIVE in Truth or Consequences it went back to Texas where it stayed.
I contacted Square about this and they were very apologetic. They shipped me another one right away. This one shipped from Florida, traveled through Jackson again and went straight to the same town in Texas where it promptly vanished from tracking. I contacted square again and this time received no response. That was by the end of October. The package had originally be ordered in mid September. A small envelope of stickers.

After this I decided to try an experiment. SURELY this was somehow because I was an individual. If I ordered one for a business they’d use a real shipping company. So I bop my way up to the gallery since we use Square there, log into the console, and order another package. This shipped via DHL from Florida, passed through Jackson BACK to Florida and was delivered somewhere. I don’t know where, but it was delivered according to tracking. It was at this point I gave up. Again, the end of October.

About a week ago I received a package in the mail that looked like it had been devoured by Satan’s asshole and sure enough, there inside were what was left of my stickers and stand. This was the first package. A week later I received the second package. This one partially damaged but the contents were fine.

This week, near the end of November, I received our package from Square at the gallery. The one that had been delivered. “Well” I thought, “at least this is over”.

Today I received a second package at work with more stickers. I’m now expecting to never stop receiving them.

So yeah. Don’t deal with DHL. I don’t know what the hell’s going on with those guys but they suck. Hard.

Advertisements

Changes From the Move

So a lot has changed since the move. The following is a list of things I can think of right off.

  • I can now take hot showers for the first time in nine years.
  • The wireless internet is as fast as the old wired internet and the wired internet is amazing.
  • When it rains I can flush the toilet without it flooding the bathroom.
  • When it rains I can take a shower without it stopping up. (also, a hot shower as previously stated)
  • When it rains I can get to my car without having to take a change of socks due to flooding.
  • Speaking of, the yard doesn’t flood. The old yard completely submerged after any amount of rain.
  • We don’t have bookcase that is important to the structural integrity of the house.
  • The house is larger than a third world shanty.
  • It’s REALLY quiet at night.
  • Did I mention the showers are hot and the toilet flushes?
  • Domino’s Pizza will actually deliver pizza to our neighborhood.
  •  The neighbors are friendly.
  • SHOWERS. HOT ONES.

So yeah. That’s all I can think of right now. Thanks for listening!
HOT SHOWERS!

Hey Kids! Remember Me?!

Yeah. Me neither.

There’s been a lot happening in my life since the last update. First, I spiraled into a world of hurt and depression and anxiety to the point where I wanted to end my life. The dark times were longer, the up times were shorter and dimmer, and I honestly thought that this was it.
Then I saw Dr. Patel. He’s the psychologist at the clinic where I see my therapist. My friend works there and arranged a meeting. Dr. Patel was very thorough with his questions about me and my depression. He asked me if I’d taken anything before and I replied yes and it nearly killed me. He prescribed venlafaxine and I’ve been taking it since April.

That first two weeks was, well, I didn’t know life could be like that. I had no idea how many thoughts, negative thoughts, were going through my head at all hours until they stopped. For the first time in my life there was silence. Blissful, long sought silence. I still got depressed, but instead of lasting weeks or a month or more, it was about two days of sadness and self pity. Then I pulled myself out of it.

The next meeting with Dr. Patel went well. He asked about the depression and I explained how short the bouts were now.
“That’s fantastic! What if I told you we could get rid of those two days?”
I jumped at it.
We upped my dosage from 37.5 to 75. I haven’t been depressed in a month and it’s been amazing. I haven’t had anxiety in a month and it’s wonderful. Sadness? REAL sadness? Like the sadness of losing my father? Yeah. That’s still there, but that’s legitimate sadness. That huge lump of self hatred I’ve been carrying my whole life? Mostly gone. All that’s left are habits and old thought patterns to be disrupted.

So all that being said, I guess I’m back to blogging to chronicle the process of healing and about the things I fill my life with now.

It’s good to be back.

General thoughts and rambling.

Life has been. . . hectic.
First off, the convention back in June went great. I had a fantastic time, met some new folks, and caught up with friends I don’t see often. Since then I’ve started working three jobs. It’s not been easy. The last three weeks have been double crazy as I’ve been working full days at one job for six days a week. I haven’t had much of a chance for art because of that. I haven’t had much time for ANYTHING lately. Now things are calming down a bit and I wanted to get some thoughts down before things get crazy again.

Funnily enough, I’m going to another convention this weekend. I’ll be at the River City Comic Expo in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 29th in artists alley, table 1617 with Kit. Should be fun and I may get to meet Gail Simone. I’m still getting the mental con crud, but I’m holding myself together better this time.

In other news. . .

The sun is shining, the temperature has dropped to tolerable levels and it’s been really pleasant outside. Naturally, I’ve been miserable. It was this time last year that my dad was heading into his final days. I remember the constant trips to the emergency room, tailing an ambulance as they rush him to CMMC in a desperate attempt to prolong his life for just a little longer. This is actually the anniversary of home hospice starting their service with us. In less than a month he’d be in the facility and within a week he’d be gone. Now when the long light comes through the trees in the afternoon as I drive home I can feel myself start to tear up and come apart. I remember trying to reassure him that things were going to be ok. Those long periods of holding his hand and just trying to be there.
Yesterday, on the way home, I was passed by a white 1977 Ford F100 just like he used to have. I won’t lie. I broke down right then and there and had to wait till I could hold it together to drive home.

So yeah. That’s where I am right now. I’ll most more frequently and try to get back in the habit of being around. You guys stay safe and try not to get horribly burned to death by dragons or anything.

Preemptive Mental Con Crud

So tomorrow I’ll be at the Mississippi Comic Con for two days which means today I’m more depressed than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m sad, grumpy, and angry, and well, way too many emotions to list including angrosity and sadination. I don’t really know why this happens before comic related events but it does. Let’s take a look at it together and maybe I can start to figure this thing out.

First.
I’m going to be surrounded by some terribly talented artist like Steve Scott, Steve Butler, Geoffrey Gwin, and Mitch Bird. Then there’s me. My goofy, angular and round characters that aren’t quite anime and aren’t quite western. My stories about metaphysical drama around a guy on a scooter. My high school comic about the personifications of abstract concepts. The guy trying to push long form story surrounded by pin-ups and amazing professionals. It’s a little bit of jealousy. It’s mostly feeling less. I feel out of place and like someone threw me a bone by letting me be there. I keep expecting the con people to come up and say “I’m sorry, Mr. Hayman. There was a terribly mistake. You’re not really SUPPOSED to be here. We need you to pack up and go home. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
I know they’re not, but on some level I’d feel this massive relief if they did. I could just pack up and go home and stop embarrassing myself.

Second.
I know, not think, but KNOW that I’m not going to make any sales at any event I go to and if I do, my mind will turn those sales into pity and make me resent them. I realize that this makes about as much sense as covering a mountain in Nutella and then roller skating down it, but there we are. That’s the way my mind works and that’s how depression works in a nutshell. All of your little victories become meaningless and are just veiled insults. In the end you find yourself wanting to crawl under something and crying.  You can’t win. Not because of other people or fate or the Universe or God.
I can’t win because I won’t let myself win. I will always be the guy that came in last no matter what reallly happened.

Third.
No one actually wants to see me. People act like they’re please to see me but it’s a thin layer of nicety over a mountain of “Oh GOD. THIS guy again. Maybe they’ll move me.” My evidence for this, and every other point on this list, is nonexistent. This isn’t confined to events either though. This is how I think people see me most of the time. I don’t get out of the house much any more and see people because I’ve convinced myself that they don’t WANT to see me. Why would they? It’s me. I’m the guy who shows up, tells the same stories and joke over and over and then makes everyone feel bad by the end of the night. Who’d want to hang out with that guy?
Am I really like this? I don’t honestly know. I can’t see outside of myself like I used to. I’m stuck riding around in this truck and there’s no mirrors.

So what have we learned?
We’ve learned that I have some serious issues still confronting me all these years later. We’ve learned that there’s no actual basis for any of this but I still believe it. What we’ve also learned is that despite all this I’m going to the con anyway and I’m going to try and have a good time. Expect an after action report next week and hopefully from a me with a clearer head. See you guys on the flipside.

Fighting Back

I’ve been staring at this text box for about ten minutes now. I’d written most of a blog post once already, but I deleted it. It was a dark, depressing, and negative thing that gave voice to my inner turmoil. The problem is that it was all a lie. Not in the “I’m going to purposely mislead people” kind of way. This was a “This is how I see the world right now and it’s not correct” kind of thing. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system and deleted it, it’s time to fight back.

You see, I’ve had depression knocking on my door a lot in the last few months. It’s been giving me shit-colored glasses to look through and a horrible way to think. The last time I went to therapy, Byron gave me some fantastic tools to use against it. While it hasn’t destroyed my depression, it has allowed me to securely board the door up so it can’t get in as easily.

Case in point. My previous blog post was a negative little rant about how promoting myself at shows never seemed to do any good and my readership actually DROPS after I go to a show. In my mind these were accepted facts and nothing was going to dislodge them. Well, except for actually looking at my numbers on the comics. There’s no downward trend. There’s been a slight increase. You see, the first thing I need to remember is that depression lies. It lies a lot.

All of these thoughts boil down to one thing. A victim mindset. Of course horrible things happen to me. I’m a victim. They’ll always happen to me. Poor me. Look at me getting shit on by the universe. See all the bad things that happen to me. It’ll always happen so pity me.  You know what though? All that’s bull crap. Bad things happen. The point is to deal with it and move beyond it. To be not a victim or a survivor, but a person who can move on. And that’s what I’m trying to do now. I refuse to be a victim.

It’s amazing just how prevalent that mindset is, too. It’s a way to not be responsible for myself. Well this happened because I have “Kota-Powers”. I do this because of my mom and that makes it ok. Depression. All of it is an excuse on some level. I have to be responsible for myself. I may be responsible TO other people, but I’m only responsible FOR myself and I have to get to work on that more. And I am.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to happen over night. It probably isn’t even going to happen in 2015, but I’m going to damn well lay the groundwork and start building a new me.

This is what it looks like when you fight back.

Headaches

When I was a kid I would get these headaches. Today we’d call them migraines. Back then we called them BAD headaches. I don’t remember hearing the word migraine until after they’d stopped. Imagine a kid, doesn’t have to be me, about five years old with a headache so bad they can’t stop crying. I remember waking up with these things and that would be it for the day. I’d lay in a dark room with a cold wet rag on my forehead and every now and then I’d have enough presence of mind to moan like a lost soul at sea. No school. No TV. No noise. Nothing ever seemed to work on them either. No form of painkiller would help.

This continued from my early childhood till I was about ten years old.

After a few doctor’s visits and x-rays all paid for by my dad’s insurance it was discovered that the holes in my sinuses were too small. Basically, they weren’t draining enough and the pressure was making my life miserable. We eventually decided to have an operation done to widen those passages. I remember getting up at 5 in the morning and, fittingly, I had one of those headaches. I was miserable on the ride up to the hospital where my dad worked and the prep for surgery didn’t help. My most vivid memory was of laying on the operating table as they gave me anesthetic.

“I’m going to countdown from ten, Kevn. Talk to me till you can’t.”

“Ok.”

My eyes get super watery at this point.

“I feel sleepy. . . biscuit. . .”

And that’s all she wrote. I woke up some time later with an oxygen mask on and Gomer Pyle on television. I barely remember pulling the mask off as soon as possible because I thought someone was trying to suffocate me. They told me they’d gone ahead and removed my tonsils and adenoids while they were in there and flushed my sinuses after the widening. I think that may have been the first time I’d ever been completely headache free in my life.

So now I’m an adult. I still get headaches and occasionally they’re as bad as the ones I remember. These aren’t nearly as terrible though. An Aleve or Advil or something and I can knock them out. But sometimes, on weekdays when I’m at home and my head starts hurting, I remember those long quiet days in the dark with my parents in the front room worrying for their son and I feel a bit better knowing those days are gone.