Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 16 Getting a grip on the 50-lb. phone

One of the first things they encourage you to do in AA meetings is to get a phone list of other members and use it. Call your sponsor, call your buddies, call relative strangers on the list. Get used to picking up the phone when you're doing well and chances are you'll pick up the phone and call for some help when you're not. More than 23 years in AA and I never learned to do this. Indeed, some of us have a joke in the program about the 50# phone.

I've never liked the phone. When I was a teenager, I used the phone to talk to my best friend Susan for a few minutes every night. But my parents didn't approve of much phone use (we only had one in the house back in the Dark Ages), and I didn't really like it all that much. When I got older and started dating, I hated waiting for the phone to ring, for some guy to want to spend time with me. It wasn't kosher yet for women to do the calling. Later in relationships, I found phone calls difficult, unsatisfying. I wanted to be with my partner, not on the phone with him. I associate the phone too with arguments and misunderstandings and with cold calls for business. All bad associations.

Email has been a great blessing to this introvert. I can do business and maintain friendships without having to call people. But I'm realizing that this has to change in the light of my new food program and what may be turning into a new way of being. For one of the things I know I will need to give up is isolating and one of the things I want is to be more deeply connected to the people I care about. So I've made a commitment to make two phone calls a week to friends. It's a small step but it's in the right direction.

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