I lost my phone four days ago. I left it in an Uber in Paris on the way to the airport and have now been living four days completely without a phone. Since it has been quite destabilizing I wanted to ramble on what has come up for me during this experience – and in case you’re wondering, no I still do not have a phone, lol.
It has been a strange and eye-opening experience. From my complete helplessness in being able to get it back (it was either getting on my flight or trying to find the phone), to having to surrender to being without it, to losing communication with the outside world (emails have been my main form of communication), and then dealing with how to get a new phone without having a phone to make phone calls with — it has been a serious practice in surrender and patience.
You don’t realize how much you rely on something until you do not have it, and our phones pretty much contain our lives nowadays.
On top of that, I was sick on my flight back from Paris with a cold and felt depleted when I got home. Then on Saturday I woke up with terrible cramps and got my period. It has felt like one thing after another!
I have felt disoriented and unsure of what to do with myself. Which made me realize: we truly are addicted to our phones. I have not thought of myself as a very phone dependent person, but this experience made me realize how real the addiction is.
I feel like I have gone through stages of withdrawal these past few days: it started with shock and disbelief, then anger and frustration, followed by sadness and isolation, and now finally release.
Friday and Saturday were the worst, but today I woke up and thought: well I have to go on without it.
I went out and did all the things I normally “needed” my phone to do. I went on a hike in complete silence, I drove around LA without google maps, picked up my boyfriend for lunch at the exact time we had agreed upon (no little timing changes or running late), read my New Yorker Magazine when I got a pedicure, took chances by going to places without knowing if they were open or not (and surprise - the library was closed) and then adjusting.
It has been strange, and I do feel like I am missing out in some weird way and was scared as a female doing things alone without any way of being able to reach out to someone if something went wrong, but after pushing through these discomforts, I am seeing the gift in it.
The freedom and space it has given me is lovely. I am not constantly bombarded by messages all throughout my day. When I am with someone, I give them my full attention, having nothing to pull at my thoughts or check on even for a second. When I am out and about, I am fully present. When I am at my apartment I have done things that are more introspective and nourishing - I have read interesting articles, read more of my books, and journaled each day. I have gone to sleep MUCH earlier each night. And I overall just feel calmer.