Sometimes I feel suffocated by my mobile phone.

For ‘safety reasons’ I should really have my phone on me at all times. My health can change in a instant. I need to be able to call or message for help, as I have had to do so many times oer the years now. I don’t have my emergency call button alarm anymore. The local council had to increase the cost of having one because our government is atrocious. So now I rely on my mobile phone instead.

If I call someone rather than text them, they panic. There must be something wrong with Anna. She must need help now. In the past, I have written a disclaimer at the beginning of text messages to my parents if I’m texting them while they’re at work: “This is not an emergency and there is no need to panic!”

If I read a WhatsApp but don’t reply, people panic. Once I had started typing a reply only for the doorbell to ring. So I left my WhatsApp open and the recipient could see I was ‘Typing’. After I’d closed the door I went about making myself a drink, completely forgetting I was mid message on WhatsApp. The next thing I knew, my husband had burst through the front door in a panic thinking I had fallen and was in the midst of an episode of paralysis. I was fine! But I understand the worry. It must be awful for them. I’m incredibly grateful for their care and concern. But sometimes I feel suffocated.

I’d love to leave my phone on the side for the day just to feel a little more free. But if a message goes unread for too long, then people worry that I’m not okay. In the past, my silence has meant something is very wrong healthwise and that I need help. So of course people are going to be concerned. But sometimes I don’t want to be glued to my phone all the time or have to reply to messages immediately. I guess I just wish they could read my mind.

If I am having one of my rare solo drives to my parents for example, I have to text everyone as I’m leaving, and as I’m arrive, and then as I’m leaving again. Aaaaaargh. That actually takes up energy! But I know I need to stay safe. Maybe we need a code. I could simply reply with a certain symbol.

Turning off WhatsApp notifications at the beginning of this year was such a good thing to do. Now when I look at my locked phone screen, I cannot see the unopened messages I have because I was starting to feel overwhelmed by them all. What a problem to have hey. But I am incredibly susceptible to stress and stress to me is very different to stress to a healthy human being.

I don’t have any social media apps on my phone anymore, and haven’t for a long time. I also try to only use my phone for messaging and the rare phonecall. It’s lovely to have people check in on me. And I do need them to. But the weight of it all can become heavy. Sometimes I just wish I could have the odd day where I was safely able to be uncontactable for a little while. That’s true freedom and independence to me…

Published by Anna Redshaw

Blogging about life in the slow lane with an invisible, chronic illness. I wasn't always a sick chick so this is somewhat of a life changing experience!

3 thoughts on “Suffocated

  1. I totally get what you’re saying. I despise the phone, maybe that’s too strong a word. I turned notifications off on most apps because I would look and I’d have 10 notifications on WhatsApp and I would panic but it would turn out that they were photos. I have replied to a message but forgot to hit the send button on quite a few occasions.


  2. I frequently wish I could just go back to pre-cell phones. There’s this tether now that I don’t really care for. I’m thankful for it, but I also feel like having it increases the expectation that I’m ALWAYS available. It’s like there’s no break. Hoping you have a lovely Thanksgiving.


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