I grew up without a phone but when we finally got one when I was 13 I wrote in my diary that it was the BEST DAY IN MY LIFE EVER.
I never got used to the thing though, and when I moved to the US at the age of 17, I hardly ever called home. It was too expensive, the connection was really bad and it was just all too stressful somehow.
Fast forward to the age of mobiles and I don’t use mine for calling.
I don’t know how normal this is or if it actually is a symptom of my anxiety or not (OR I’m just weird) but I only make a phone call if I absolutely have to and I never ever pick up the phone if it’s a ‘nameless’ number. It therefore takes me a reeeeeeeeeeeeally long time to organise things and that makes my anxiety worse because being organised is good but if organisation requires phones, I’m in a no win situation.
For example, my annual dental check-up is 4 months overdue, my annual eye exam is 1 month overdue, my cat’s immunisations are 2 months overdue, a haircut (mine) is a few months overdue and an appointment with a new CBT practitioner is 2 months overdue.
I just cannot make myself to dial a number.
I cannot dial a number that is not associated with the name of my husband, my son or my mother. I put it off for so long that it gets ridiculous and then I’m even more stressed about it.
Often I email to make appointments and sometimes it works but often they CALL me back. WHY the heck do they think I emailed in the first place!
The funny thing is that once I do make a phone call, I’m totally fine. I can talk, I don’t sound stupid, it goes well.
Last week on my day off from work I sucked it up and called up a hospital for an appointment for my oldest son. It’s something that I couldn’t put off and since I HAD to do it, I did it. After that I was on a roll and I quickly called up the dentist and the optometrist but then I was done. The haircut and the CBT will have to wait. I can’t bare to make another phonecall to an unknown person anytime soon. My head hurt and my heart raced.
And the CBT thing is so hilariously ironic – I need to talk to somebody about my anxiety but I cannot call to make an appointment because I have anxiety.
I KNOW I’m not the only person with a phone-phobia. If you’re one of ‘us’, let me know if you have any creative ways of tricking your brain into dealing a number you have to dial!