As much as I'd like to just drop the topic (and intend to do so), I am thinking that I should clarify the 'cold weather protection' that people assume (as I did) that they have regarding their heat/electric in the winter months. At least in Minnesota, it appears that as long as the Utility Co. follows the proper procedures, they CAN disconnect the flow. They have to give you written notice and suggest places that one can possibly get help. There are forms one can fill out to request emergency assistance. Unfortunately, when my depression kicks in ~ I shut down. I don't fill out forms. I don't make phone calls or answer messages or emails. I withdraw. I don't even open my mail. Which, of course, is the worst thing I could possibly do! So, I missed all the warnings and didn't respond to their repeated attempts to contact me. It was my own fault. It becomes a vicious cycle because I get so angry with myself for not just filling out the stupid forms or making a phone call ~ but I truly can't MAKE myself do it. Of course the company to whom I owe money becomes increasingly demanding in their contact with me (the note delivered by the kind many at the door) which only makes me shut down more and want to 'hide'.
So ~ if you ever (heaven forbid!) find yourself in a similar situation, don't assume that you are protected. Don't try to hide. Face it early on ~ before it gets overwhelming and ask for help if you need to. Above all else, have faith that things will get better. We're not alone.
And that's enough said about that.