Telepho(ne)bia ?

I woke up this morning an hour earlier than I had to and couldn’t go back to sleep because I was nervous. It’s not like I wasn’t still tired because I hadn’t slept well between weird, anxious dreams and laying awake worrying about this morning. I tried to take my mind of it by browsing social media and playing games on my phone, but I was still stressing out about it while I had a shower and got ready. I was strangely aware of my heartbeat, as I watched the fingers on my clock moving closer to 8:00 am. Running the scenario through my head for like the 20th time, I just wished I was already done with it.

Why I was so anxious? One might think I had an important job interview, a presentation infront of a lot of people or anything  else people might find in any way distressing. But all I had to do was make an appointment with my doctor and another one with my gynecologist. I wasn’t nervous about the appointments itself, I never had a problem with that. The thing that made my heart rate fasten was the thought of making a phone call.

I’ve been anxious about phone calls as long as I remember. And it always went further than our generations general disregard of direct human interaction. I still grew up in the olden times when we didn’t have mobile phones as kids and you had to call your friend’s landline to arrange to hang out in the afternoon. I usually tried to make them ring me so I didn’t have to call them and have their mum pick up. I liked all my friend’s mums, but I still saw it as a hard task to say the words “hello it’s Alli, may I speak to xy.” Over time I aditionally got uncomfortable with answering the phone at home. I usually avoided it and let my mum get it hoping and praying nobody was calling to me. It went so far that my heart started racing any time I heard our phone ring. I felt better about it the closer I was to the person. I didn’t have a problem calling my parents or my best friend. With other friends I was way more uncomfortable, but talking to strangers on the phone was my nightmare.

My mum of course didn’t understand that and got pissed off frequently by me refusing to call anyone unless it was inevitable and making a fuss about it. She thought I was being a ridiculous teenager, when in fact the thought of picking up the phone made me feel sick with fear. I forgot how to form sentences just by looking at it.

I can’t even say what it is. I don’t have a problem with talking to strangers in person most of the time. I’m not even scared of public speaking. Maybe it is being judged, not being able to read the persons body language and facial reactions or the fear of not knowing what to say. I don’t know. What I know is it’s not rational.

A few years ago when I became more aware about mental illnesses, I googled it for the first time, because I started to think that maybe it wasn’t just that I’m overly shy and perhaps I wasn’t even the only one with this problem. Turns out I’m not. I found lots of articles about the phenomenon, describing the situation excactly like I experienced it. In this research I found out, that it was in fact a form of social phobia. There are no stats how many people suffer from it, but it’s more common than one would think. You can even find courses or ten step plans to deal with it on the internet. Finding out about it helped me a lot, as to be honest I had always felt like I was weird because of it.

Of course it didn’t get better immediatly, but I found out for myself that it actually got easier the more often you did it. In a journalism course I took we had to call potential interview partners, which totally freaked me out at first. But after I managed to make myself call the first few, it kept getting easier and easier especially as it was always the same conversation. A few months later I had an internship at at radio station, where my main job was to call people and answer the phone. Funnily enough I didn’t struggle with that, because I could kind of “hide” behind the corporate identity. As I read in the articles during my research, a lot of people also get anxious about the phone in the workplace. After I finishing the internship I was convinced I was over my phobia, but I’m still not. I still let my mum make my dentist and hairdresser appointments when she calls them to make ones for herself. I still shake when I have to call my gyn. And I’d still rather write 20 emails than make one quick phone call. I don’t know if that will ever change,but I guess I’ll just have to deal with it. Luckily, the problem about calling friends disppeared by itself by the wonderful invention of the internet and our generation’s preferance for text messages. (Seriously thanks guys)

So I mainly wrote this, that if you read this and if you know the feeling I described, you won’t feel alone anymore or weird about yourself like I did. And so you can show your mum that is in fact an actual phobia. Buuut, so this whole post wasn’t a complete waste of time here are also some coping mechanisms you can try next time you have to use that particular application on your smartphone.

  1. Ask yourself what excactly you are scared of. You will see there is nothing reasonable to be afraid of.
  2. Think about the worst outcome that could happen, which most of the time is nothing that’s actually bad.
  3. Think through what exactly you are going to say. If there are more things you have to adress make a list so you don’t have to be scared to not remember everything. You can also write down important information they give you.
  4. BREATHE. Take a few deep breaths to calm down before you press the call button.
  5. What always helps me as well is playing with a pen or scribbeling on something while talking to the person.
  6. Stand up. Standing up doesn’t only give your lungs more room to breathe but you will also feel taller and more confident.
  7. If being anxious about making calls, really affects your life or job, don’t hesitate to talk to a therapist about it. There is no reason at all to be ashamed!

In the end I also managed to call my doctor. As he told me to make an appointment with a specialist I will have to call in there soon as well. And there are a million of other phone calls to come. And I will have to conquer my fears again and again and again- But even though I’m struggling, in the end I know that I can do it, because I’ve also done it a thousand times before. And so can you. Good luck !

Love Alli xx

(PS: If you have similar experiences and want to share or have questions head to our twitter @castaway_minds or our instagram @castawayminds )

Advertisements

A guide to fellow fangirls for small concerts

Hey,

it’s Alli and Jenny here! This is the first ever cooperative blog post any of us did, so yey! 😀 The reason why we’re writing it together is because we just went to a concert together. If you’re now wondering which concert that was, we gonna tell you now: State Champs. With As It Is and Northbound as supporting acts.

Why are we writing this then? I mean it’s not the first time we went to a concert together but this time it was a smaller punk rock concert. Therefore we want to share our experience and tips with you guys.

Very important is to get into the grove beforehand. This means listening to the act days before on repeat. You could make a playlist on Spotify or make a CD for your car and name it ‘Y/N concert adventure’, well at least that’s what we did.

Then you should chose your outfit and make-up. It should be appropriate for the act. At our concert most people wore dark colours and alternative clothes. You can wear merch if you want, although wearing merch of bands or artists who are friends with the artist is always a good choice as well. Another important aspect is that the clothes should be comfortable and not too warm so you can jump around and enjoy yourself. Still you should consider to bring a warm jacket for waiting outside in the winter. Talking about waiting outside, depending on where you want to stand during the concert, you should come early. This means if you want to be front row you definitely should be at the venue at least 3 hours beforehand because fangirls are crazy and they will be waiting there all day. At this concert we met some girls who had been at the venue for six hours before we were let in. Funny story, Jenny’s mum suggested we should be there even earlier that we’ve planned, so bless her. And she was right, of course. 😉

Some people might still be rude, come late and try to push in front of you. It’s important you stand up for yourself and talk to them. And if that doesn’t help bring out the good old elbow!

Always think about where you want to stand though. If you get anxiety or claustrophobia very easily stand away from the first few rows, because there will be a lot of pushing and squeezing. Try and get rid of most of your stuff and put it somewhere safe. Because otherwise it will get tread on, something will get stolen or it might be in your way whilst jumping up and down. Ask Alli. 😉 Don’t wear many layers, so you don’t have to get undressed during the concert because that’s hella annoying.

Make sure to have something to drink even though it might be expensive at the venue, but you definitely will be needing it! Trust us!

Always be nice and clap and have a good time with the supporting act(s), even though you don’t know them, because anything else would be plain rude!!! You always have to think about every single artist had to start somewhere small.

Don’t get scared with people pushing you around just try and stand your ground. Don’t be one of the annoying people who stand their ground too much and don’t move around with the crowd. Because that’s normal at a concert.

When the act has finished try and ask politely for maybe a guitar pick or the setlist, do anything but don’t scream hysterically.

If any of the artist try to stage dive don’t drop them on the floor! You might think what a stupid advice but that actually happened at our concert. Poor Ryan!!! ❤

After the show you can hang around and buy merch and if you’re lucky you might meet some of the band members. The members are like deer. they get irritated easily, so approach them friendly and careful! No, but just talk to them nicely just like to every normal person because in the end they are normal people like you and me! Don’t just jump at them and take a picture, ask for one first!

Always be nice to the tech guys, security and merch guys because this might help you to get closer to the band, we talk from experience! 🙂

So if you have any more questions don’t hesitate and contact us on out social media!

We’re out! Drop the mic not the guitarist!

Story Time – A Lesson About Self Love

Hey boys and girls,

it’s Sunday Funday and that means it’s story time!! Well, at least this Sunday Funday it is
and I am gonna teach you something about relationships.
Not entirely…maybe…I’m not a date doctor or something, but as I broke up with my boyfriend a couple of months ago and my friend, let’s call her Holly, just got back together with her ex-boyfriend, we’re gonna call him Bennett for the sake of the story, it’s quite the recent topic for me.

The thing with my friend and her somehow (!) boyfriend is that they aren’t even officially a thing. They have been on and off for over 4 years and it just makes me mad how he leads her on all the time and gets incredibly jealous whenever she starts going on dates with other guys. Even when they’re relationship is currently off. He has no right to get jealous after all, at least not in an extreme way.
Now I’ve gotten to know him better recently and he seemed like a decent guy if you forget the fact that on New Year’s Eve he cheated on Holly with her best friend and then had a wonderfully happy relationship with that best friend, not anymore best friend, let’s just call her Gigi.
Holly is incredibly sweet, she is actually in general one of the kindest most positive people you’ll ever meet. She is beautiful inside and out, so instead of talking shit about Gigi, they talked about it and everything was fine between them so that she and Bennett could go on with their relationship as if nothing happened.
My friend Holly met a wonderful guy and for the first time, she actually had this sparkle in her eyes when talking about a boy. He treated her like a princess but in the end, they both found out they just don’t fit together in that way. Still, they remained friends.

Somewhere along the way, Bennett decided to call Holly again and let me tell you, it all went downhill from there. I wasn’t too keen on the whole situation, as he had cheated on her with her best friend after all, but hey, forgiveness is important.
But when Holly told me she apologized to Bennet for hanging out with this guy I was about to explode because she did not have any reason to apologize to him. To me, that seemed just ridiculous. They weren’t dating at that time, she was happy, even Bennett had a thing with a totally different girl while still with Gigi but he only just told Holly recently. All these months they’ve been seeing each other again he was mad at her for having something going on with another guy but he just moves on from Gigi with some random girl, never telling Holly about it, although it is basically the same situation.

Time moved on and I felt like they finally got their shit back together until she tells me that he never really calls or texts her and is always seen out and about with some new chick.
For me that was already too much, basically the final straw, but I just cannot get through to her anymore.
Deep down Holly probably knows how naive she is acting but she is also not doing anything, she still tries to get his attention and I thought she’s his girlfriend, after all, it’s only natural for her to want his attention.
But no, I thought wrong, they aren’t official. He is not ready for the commitment. He wants to have a certain freedom in the relationship. Excuse you, Bennett?? You’ve been on and off for 4 years and all of a sudden you decide not to make this official just so you can fool around with other girls?
You can imagine that I don’t even voice my opinion about this topic anymore because she won’t listen to me.
I completely lost my respect for him when he called her a „disgusting bitch“ because she had something going on with this guy when they weren’t dating. THEY WEREN’T DATING FOR F***S SAKE!!! Bennett, what do you expect her to do? Become a nun and wait for you to come back to her? FUCK NO! He told her that this guy wasn’t even that handsome and for the first time I heard Holly talk back to him by saying „Looks aren’t everything.“
Of course, Bennett told her that yes, looks are everything (Seriously?? I hate that guy!).
But I was proud of Holly for kind of talking back.
I just hope she breaks up with him for good or he undergoes a major personality makeover because this cannot go on like this.
It won’t make her happy. It’s a toxic relationship and I wish she would listen to me and our group of friends but then again, it’s her decision to make.
To me, this whole scenario shows that breaking up with my boyfriend was the right thing to do. When I look back at it, I do see a kind of toxic relationship pattern. He made me feel bad and blamed me for everything that happened.
When he couldn’t tell me he loved me after over a year of dating he pointed out how his parents got divorced and he has a hard time expressing feelings, which I understood.
I was always respecting this until it came to the point where he literally couldn’t pay me any compliments and even complained about me not ever saying anything nice to him.
Believe me, this was not the case. But I felt bad so I tried to make things better, to work on this relationship, just like Holly works on hers, trying to fix things.
But sometimes it cannot be fixed and you gotta know when your relationship has reached exactly that point. It doesn’t show you’re the weak one, not at all!
You know you are worth so much more. You are worth a relationship full of respect and mutual love and trust.
I wanted to tell you this story (well maybe it was also kind of a rant) to show you how important it is to love yourself first and to respect and cherish yourself. To know your worth.
Nothing in a relationship is solely your fault. It always takes two to make it function but when the other person in the relationship is blaming everything on you all the time and you feel like you have to prove them that you love them 24/7, without them giving anything back, well then there has to be something wrong.
Sometimes it is good to listen to your friends, who do know you. They will not always be right but most of the time they’ll realize when you’re not entirely happy before you even realize.
So please never think you’re not good enough or that things are supposed to be that way.
If you need someone to talk to, you can always message us on our official and private accounts. You are loved and you are worth it!

Loads and loads of love,
Lili xx

Twitter: @castaway_minds
Instagram: @castawayminds