wings and things

Paperwork phobia

on June 7, 2015

I have a bit of a paperwork phobia.

I don’t go to the post office anymore because it is too scary. Ming usually collects the mail on his way home and brings it to me in my writing room. I politely thank him or else say:


I don’t quite know why I have this phobia because most of these letters are relatively harmless, even innocuous, and I pay most of the bills online because I don’t have an email phobia (luckily). It would be good to admit that my paperwork phobia was due to my objection to so many trees being cut down to create all of this mail but, even though I agree with myself here, it’s not that. It’s more to do with the envelopes and what might be inside them.

So the letter(s) sit on my desk briefly, threateningly, until I throw carefully place them, unopened, into the box of things-to-do.

Once the box is full, I take it to the nursing home and place it on Anthony’s bed. We hug and I explain it is a ‘paperwork day’ and that I need his moral support. It is only then that I have the courage to open all of the envelopes, file anything important and trash the rest. This usually takes about 10 minutes.

Okay so this is a bit tongue-in-cheek but also very true. I literally can’t seem to do the paperwork unless Anthony is by my side and, once it’s done, I am so happy that I get a bit frolicky and this gets a smile.

I also have a bit of a phone phobia ….

26 responses to “Paperwork phobia

  1. artfulanxiety says:

    Ugh, I hate having to make those phone calls. The ones you wish you had a clone for. Hahaha. Love this post 🙂

  2. janeslog says:

    As nearly everything is done on-line now the amount of letters received should be low. Is it not mainly junk mail?

    For junk mail I don’t even open it but cover my address with a felt pen then write on it to return to the return address on the envelope.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Good idea – thanks Jane!

      • janeslog says:

        I was getting bombarded with letters from Virgin Media telling me about their great internet packages and TV deals.

        With the amount of drivel on TV I’m was not really interested, and their packages were too expensive. So I started scoring my name and address from the unopened envelopes and returned them to Virgin.

        After a month or so they finally got the message and stopped sending me their rubbish.

  3. Terry says:

    Did you used to get overwhelmed by bills? You are a strong woman in all areas of life. Look what you have pulled off in life since Ants has been in the nursing home. It’s alright to lean on Ants to help open those envelopes. You may consider opting Ming in on this adventure a little at a time. It may be of help later down the road. Big hugs!

  4. Oh Julie, this post made me giggle. *HUGS* ❤
    Diana xo

  5. I don’t get off on relating with paper either. And phone conversations can be a drain. Rather do what I like. But alas the don’t likes are unavoidable. Poop!

  6. Amy says:

    I suffer from the same phobia – maybe I should come for a visit. I could use a paperwork muse 🙂

  7. ksbeth says:

    i’m not a fan of paperwork or phone conversations either, i can really identify )

  8. susanpoozan says:

    You can make most boring tasks amusing, I smiled as I read the post.

  9. Judith Post says:

    I’m all right with mail. Don’t enjoy it, but it’s impersonal. But I have a horrible time working up the courage to make business calls. I always feel like I stumble and sound a bit unprepared, maybe annoyingly dimwitted. I’ve given myself pep talks, but I don’t listen to myself very often:)

  10. tootlepedal says:

    I can sympathise with you, I have acute form filling phobia and usually require Mrs Tootlepedal to stand by me when I do it.

  11. I can relate to this. I HATE paperwork.

  12. I have a phone phobia I HATE making phone calls

  13. I sort of share your paperwork phobia, my stomach clenches with the arrival of letters. I hate the mail, when I was young and fancy free I loved the mail because only good things came, now stress comes and I hate it. Thank goodness for email. lol

  14. Tiny says:

    I call my paperwork phobia procrastination…

  15. I totally get the phone phobia. All the years of my life with my father he would NEVER answer the phone. He despised it. THe older I get….I think I understand why. I do not like the telephone. But send me a text or an email and I’m on it!

  16. Vicki says:

    I have a filing phobia, Julie (and a phone phobia too).
    I’m ok doing the ‘opening’ and the ‘paying bills’, but it seems such an enormous effort to do any more. Must be something to do with all the filing I did in my working life.

    …..and the phone, well, I eventually had my landline cut off (under the pretext that I got fed up with the ‘call centre’ and ‘charity request’ calls), but the reality is that my phobia goes to back when I was a teenager and my Mother would listen to all my conversations from boyfriends and when I hung up, would proceed to criticise every word I spoke. Gosh that was over 40 years ago.

    I think we all have our phobias so you’re amongst friends on that note.

    I suspect your current mail opening phobia is merely that it was a task you and Anthony might have done together? Or doing it with Anthony now is something you can share (in the absence of other more difficult activities that are too taxing for Ants)?

  17. I share your phone and mail phobias.

  18. we will be moving in a couple of weeks and i have bags of papers to go through! unfortunately there are bags since my lovely man either has a phobia or is a plain old hoarder:) as for me it, it will all be off to the trash! although my sister will be here and she is almost as ruthless as i with all this clutter:)

  19. Lisa Rest says:

    I can relate to this entirely! If I am already inundated with email why must I have to deal with so much paper? It’s particularly annoying from organizations that solicit me for donations related to environmental matters. 🙂

  20. Trisha says:

    I seem to go from being fearful of what terrible news could be in the envelopes to hoping there’s an unexpected check in them. You just never know what those envelopes might contain!

  21. Paperwork and phone calls are not my favorites either. I understand. I am happy that you can do the paperwork with Anthony and that it helps bring you peace. It is hard to deal with everything that you are going through and being strong. Know that I’m sending you hugs xo

  22. amazing to read that this is common. I thought it was just me. It piles up around me…some envelopes that are ‘official’ make me spin – I can’t read it or take it in! It’ll come as no surprise that I’m often behind in tax for this reason !! As for the phone…no one in our house answers it ha ha!!

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