More Telephone Anxiety

My good feelings from finding our location have not lasted long.  My stupid telephone phobia is going to hold me back for the rest of my life.  I don’t know how to fix this.  I’ve struggled with it for years.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a great opportunity.  A writer/actor with solid connections wanted to give me a paying gig punching up the comedic dialogue in his scripts.  He has a short he is working on right now.  He also showed interest in my feature screenplay, SOUL MATE, the best thing I’ve ever written and a story I very much want to see on the screen.  This is the kind of thing that could move my career forward considerably.  Except it’s never going to happen.

He tried to call me four different times and I never answered the phone.  I never even considered it.  I just rejected the calls without a thought.  What is wrong with me?  He was very patient in the messages he left.  I explained the problem to him in an e-mail.  He was much more understanding than I would have expected, but he did say we have to speak to each other at some point.

I tried to call back, but I just couldn’t.  I blew another opportunity.  It’s so self-destructive.  I may not get a chance like this again.  I really don’t know what to do.  And it scares me.  A lot.

How am I going to make this film if I can’t make a simple phone call?  I have a million things to do to prepare for the shoot.  Many of them will involve speaking to people on the phone.  I’m incapable of it.  When I hired the line producer to do our schedule and budget, I did it all through e-mail.  I told the music clearance service that I couldn’t talk on the phone and could only communicate through e-mails.  Somewhere along the line, I won’t be able to get away with that, just like in my ghost writing opportunity.

I’m doomed to a life of failure because of a completely ridiculous phobia.  I am such an idiot.  This just confirms to me that if there is a God, he has a cruel sense of humor.  Why give me all this talent and all these neuroses that block my use of it?

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4 thoughts on “More Telephone Anxiety

  1. I thought I was the only person to hate a telephone so much! I’m comfortable with talking to someone face-to-face, but phone conversations are awkward to me, too. I feel ridiculous for this, but I hate leaving someone a message and will do it only when it’s absolutely necessary. I guess the best thing to do is to keep pushing yourself to talk over the phone, even when you don’t want to. Avoiding these things tends to make the problem worse.

  2. I feel the same way. I prefer a face-to-face conversation because so much communication is non-verbal and you lose all of it on the phone. When making a call, I always worry that the person I’m calling s busy and I am interrupting something important.

    As a result of my blown opportunity, I’m forcing myself to make at least one phone call a day. I’ve dealt with this for far too long, time to push it aside. I’m doing okay so far. I have so many more people to talk to with the film.

  3. Wow, it’s refreshing to hear people talking honestly about their phobias. I start thinking everyone else is coping just fine and not panicking about things like a phobia, then I hear something like this post, and it’s just.. refreshing. Sorry to find some relief in your anxiety. I do empathise hugely. I avoid myriads of phobias multiple times every single day. Thank you for being honest.
    Rach.

  4. Rach, I’m glad you found relief. I too, find that learning that I’m not alone in having what I consider strange phobias, is very comforting. It’s always been instinctive for me to open up and deal with my issues honestly in my writing. It’s cathartic and it makes me feel good when someone can relate.

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