One step closer to peace?
In recent months, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I might have a bit of a martyr complex. I mean that I’m often inclined to sacrifice my own comfort for the betterment of someone else, even when it’s not at all necessary. One of the more prominent ways that this manifests itself in my life is through my phone: I’ve always been plagued with an anxiety that if I’m not constantly within arms reach of it, I might miss an important call or text from a loved one who needs help.
For years I’ve slept with my phone next to my pillow, just in case one of my friends had a bad day and wanted to talk or my sister called because she missed me. I bring my phone everywhere I go and used to be so persistent about wearing my Apple Watch with the ringer on high at all items to never miss a notification. In reality, I’ve only ever received a call in the middle of the night once or twice, and I’ve definitely never gotten a text or call from someone who absolutely needed help right this second and couldn’t get it from someone else. All this to say, when I take a step back and look at this obsession with the possibility that someone might need me, I realize I’m being irrationally anxious. There’s a lot to unpack about that particular anxiety as it’s been haunting me for many, many years and has taken on many forms, but on the whole, I’ve started to understand that I need to stop letting my martyr complex take up so much space in my head.
I used to let people know when I was putting my phone on Do Not Disturb for a study session, so they would know to call more than once if they had something time sensitive to talk about and wouldn’t be offended if I didn’t respond for a while. But nothing really time sensitive ever happened, and I eventually stopped letting people know and also stopped turning it off after I was done studying. At first, I felt left out of group chat conversations that I didn’t see until later and sometimes feel panicked if I don’t see a school email until a few hours after. I’m definitely still bitter when I find out several hours later that I missed BeReal. But other than that, I have been feeling so much lighter.
It’s freeing to choose when I want to engage with the world on my phone, instead of being constantly bombarded with “New FLASH-SALE at Urban Outfitters!!” and “So-and-so just liked your Instagram post” and “Assignment Graded: Week 7 Lab” and “Another Celebrity Has Overdosed”. I’m starting to recognize that nothing is really that time sensitive. And no one who needs help needs me.
Living in a constant state of Do Not Disturb has allowed me to get back in touch with everything else. I’m definitely more at peace and feel in control when I don’t respond to anything until I’ve made time to sit and peruse through my notifications.