If you have chronic anxiety, you’ll understand that it’s more than just worrying. It actually feels like there’s someone constantly worrying for you. Just sitting on your shoulder trembling, scanning for any possible threat every hour of the day.
When I first started getting chronic anxiety, I was in 6th grade. It was quickly debilitating and has been my worried little sidekick throughout life… kinda like an intern. Josh pointed this out in one of our first meetings. My anxiety is like a dorky, smurfy intern that I hired when I was in 6th grade to watch for threats and make sure I’m safe. We named him Verne. Verne works really hard to ensure my safety. He’s the most thorough and shitty intern that has ever lived. He runs around with papers flying everywhere, giving me the shittiest advice and warning me of things that are not even close to a real threat, just incase I miss it and it results in my death. I shouldn’t fire Verne because he really is just trying to do his best work, saving me from a few things along the way. But like many interns, you can’t let them roam the halls doing whatever they want, and you certainly can’t let them call the big shots. You need to train them. You need to help them understand the best ways to work with and for you.
This metaphor has been super helpful in looking at anxiety. Verne is my little fumbly intern, scared shitless of missing something, so he alerts the media (aka me) whenever he senses any possible issue. He’s trying his best, but I know I can’t fully trust him. Try naming your intern, and understanding that he’s not all that trustworthy, but he’s trying.