My Name is Nathan and I am a Phone-Pacer

Telephone

The bane of my existence. (Photo credit: plenty.r.)

As long as I can remember, I have suffered through this problem. Because of this, I have alienated friends and hurt those that love me. Now, after years of suffering, I am ready to admit it. I am powerless against this. I have a serious problem.

My name is Nathan and I am a phone-pacer.

I wish I could remember how it all started. I would imagine it stems from my deep-seated hatred for talking on the phone. Whenever I picked up the phone, I would feel a great deal of anxiety and nervousness. Or maybe it was boredom. Either way, the next thing I knew, I would be walking around the room, the phone held up to my ear.

For years, I thought that I had the power to stop. I mean, it was just so simple. All I would have to do is sit down on the couch and not move. I am very good at sitting on the couch and not moving. How difficult could that be?

Unfortunately, way more difficult than I realized.

Next thing I knew, I was on a phone at work, wrapped up in the cord (yes, some phones still have cords). My coworker was making fun of me as I continued to try to pace, only being able to move three feet away from the phone. Yet there I was, my feet shuffling back and forth in my three-foot phone radius. I had hit rock bottom and hit it in a major way.

When I think back to all the people I’ve hurt, it makes me shudder. My wife who was forced to hear floorboards squeak with every step. My dog who would follow me, expecting to get a trip outside, then expecting a trip to the kitchen, then expecting a trip outside, then expecting a trip to the kitchen, etc. She was very slow to catch on. The people on the other end who were no doubt wondering why the phone would occasionally jostle against my face. My phones who would have no doubt been victims of motion sickness if phones were living creatures.

I would like to make amends to these people. I am sorry I have hurt you with my inability to sit still on the phone. I now know that what I have done was not just detrimental to me, but to all those around me. I am deeply sorry and I hope that my apology does not fall on deaf ears or, in the case of the phones I am apologizing to, deaf sound receiver areas.

I promise that, in the future, I will do my best to stay stationary. It will not be an easy transition. I know that I will be tempted to slowly meander about a room while I am on the phone. There will be times when the temptation is so great, I may start shaking. There may even be a bit of crying as this is a very emotional time for me.

To those out there that have a problem with phone-pacing, I’m here to say you can change. Sure, it may seem hopeless now. You may feel jittery at the thought of talking on the phone. With just a little bit of focus, though, you too can escape the clutches of phone-pacing.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my phone is ringing and I can’t be distracted. I’m going to have to concentrate really hard on not moving.

Maybe I’ll just skip answering it this time. It seems like the safest bet.

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13 thoughts on “My Name is Nathan and I am a Phone-Pacer

  1. Wow Nathan. I never would have thought. You, of all people. You seemed so…normal…nice. I guess you can never really tell who has a problem.

    Don’t worry though. I won’t judge. I have a few of my own addictions. Nothing that serious, of course. Well, the first step is admitting you have a problem, and recognizing that it has hurt others is another huge part of recovery.

    Good luck with your sobriety, and thank you for coming forward.

    Like

  2. I HAVE to doodle and draw when I’m on the phone, it’s my replacement for pacing. It actually works quite nicely! When I get off of a rather long phone call, I will usually have a whole page full of random swirls and words written. Try it! 😀

    Like

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