Because of some heart palpitations, caused by stress and anxiety, I’m not drinking at the moment. So I can’t even blame it on a good night, dropping my phone in the toilet.
It was in my back pocket after watching Ocean’s Eleven, tidying up the living room and the kitchen, and when brushing my teeth. Then it was no longer in the back pocket when I pulled down my jeans for the final wee of the day.
It was working just fine at first, so I went to bed and thought nothing more of it. In the morning it was dead, so I took it to a repair shop where they confirmed it’s beyond help.
Lost are apps, notes, photos, messages and data from the last three and a half years. It’s like I’m back at my 30th birthday, when I got the new phone as a present, and the growth and changes and memories I’ve made since then are erased. I have to get used to the old screen, with the old Passcode, the old buttons and old look and feel of it. Heavier and smaller and older, and I didn’t ask for it. I was just clumsy, stupid, and not thinking.
I tell myself how in the great scheme of things, it’s not that bad. I’ve got the old replacement phone that works, that it’s just material and I have my health and my loved ones intact. But I’m also starting to feel like this “optimism” is also what gave me the anxiety in the first place. By focusing on the the good things, I haven’t acknowledged what is making me feel scared, angry or sad, and those feelings are still there. Building up. boiling over. Causing strange that heartbeat.
Lost messages and pictures from people I’m still in touch with is extremely annoying, but not the end of the world. If I wanted to, I could always ask them to resend something. What really hurts me are the lost messages and photos and memories from people that are no longer in my life; the former colleague, the friend who moved, the ex-boyfriend. I’m embarrassed by how gutted I am to have lost the last few months of our relationship down the toilet. The last messages from a man who will never message me again are gone for good.
Now all that’s left are messages from us deep into a relationship, in the middle of an argument. My last message to him on this phone was an apology for doing something that made him angry. Everything else since then, is gone.
It makes me want to drown myself in wet concrete, never to emerge. Which feels a bit excessive. Maybe going back to drinking is better. But no, I’ll at least wait until I’ve seen the doctor next week. So I sit down and write, with cakes and biscuits from IKEA, that are currently the closest thing I have to a hug from home.
The phone actually just holds bits of digital memory, not the actual memory and growth itself. That is all still here, within me. Right next to the irregular heartbeat which makes me lose my phone in the toilet, and lose my shit over the phone.