Returned A Phone Call - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Returned A Phone Call

I have high anxiety with using the phone - with calling someone AND answering it. I haven't phoned anybody in YEARS. I rarely if ever use my home phone or my cellphone for calling purposes - it's mostly for text purposes. I've always preferred to contact people through text or email.

Yesterday I had received a phone call from a social worker that had help run this group therapy for the 'transitional' age range(15-24) I had attended. I went to every single session, as this was the first time running a group for this age group here. They have a feedback session coming up soon and I was expected to get a call from them about it as a reminder for it. So, yesterday this lady had phoned me and left a message, then another message since she forgot to give me her email address if I had wanted to contact her back that way.

I never answered it, even though I was here the entire time listening to the messages. I felt guilty for a short time and I had about 4hrs to call her back before she would leave her office. After many tears of frustration and anxiety, spoke to a friend about it. I decided to call her back(about 3hrs later). I had talked to my parents as well, did some pacing back and forth with the phone in my hand, deep breathing, then pretending to press the buttons on the phone multiple times. Going through the whole phone number to practice my swift button pressing skills haha

And then... I just closed my eyes, took one last deep breath and just started dialing the number. It was an extension number so I had to dial a few numbers afterwards to get to her office phone. Then... anxiety struck me because nobody answered the phone. She was not there! I had to leave a message I've never left someone a message before and since I was unprepared for that outcome, I left a trainwreck of a message. Sounded very incoherent in it, she does know about my phone phobia and I did mention I was really nervous in it. After ending my message, I was trembling SO much and tired. I almost wanted to nap, but instead I continued to talk to my friend via texts(had been almost the entire time).

However despite how horrible my message sounded, I felt really proud of myself for doing that, especially when I had the choice to email her instead. I will probably be hearing from her on Monday or Tuesday and I will hope someone is here to answer it for me because I am not doing that again for awhile. LOL! I need time to recover from this experience.

"Life is waiting for you, it's all messed up but we'll survive." - Life by Our Lady Peace
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:57 PM
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Hey hun, well done - I too HATE the phone, slowly getting there, very slow. Go you, I also hate leaving message - I speak really fast and unclear as I just want to get off as soon as possible.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 07:37 PM
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i have also had a hard time with the phone in many periods of my life. I am completely honest in saying, you did a tremendous thing!

I have found that if you keep practicing the terrible things you hate to do, they become easier.

I am not a pro by any means, but I have been way better about getting out to the store and other things, even tho I still create imaginary obstacles i have been better at wiping them away and getting out of the house!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you to both of your responses, it is appreciated.

This phone anxiety has been a real problem for me for many years, pretty much ever since SA began for me. I've often said to myself and others, that I feel like if I were to tackle this issue, it take away half my SA. Most things you need/want to do for yourself require using the phone. I've avoided it for such a long time until this past year, I am sick of feeling like this about it. It is still a work in progress, but I am proud of myself for calling back AND leaving a message. Two things I've never done before.

Also, the lady had phoned me back earlier today and I answered the phone when she called. I have caller ID so I knew who it was, it was just a matter of being brave to answer it and I did. She just wanted to briefly talk to me about what the possible things we'd talk about at the feedback session which will be this Wednesday. I am actually pretty excited about it since I have a lot of things I want to mention about the group therapy.

I do find that I tremble after every time I accomplish something like this lol

"Life is waiting for you, it's all messed up but we'll survive." - Life by Our Lady Peace
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