What’s That Anxiety? An interview with the hosts of the What’s That Smell podcast!

This week on the show, Nikki takes to the mic to interview Pete and Tommy Metz III about their anxiety podcast, ‘What’s That Smell?’

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This week on the show, Nikki takes to the mic to interview Pete and Tommy Metz III about their podcast, ‘What’s That Smell?’ Over the last three seasons of WTS, Pete and Tommy have learned a lot about sharing their anxieties with the world through the podcast, and about helping others to laugh in the face of their own fears. Today on the show, we’re going to hear what that journey has done for them in dealing with their own anxieties, and how Pete’s ADHD journey parallels his anxieties on the way.

Links & Notes

Episode Transcript

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Nikki: Hello, everybody, and welcome to “Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast,”. I’m Nikki Kinzer, and today is a very special episode. But before I tell you what it is, please head over to takecontroladhd.com and get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website, or subscribe to our mailing list and get an email with the latest episode each week. Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook at Take Control ADHD. And if this show has ever touched you or helped you make a change in your life for the better, we invite you to consider supporting the show directly through Patreon. With a few dollars a month, you can help guarantee that we continue to grow the show, add new features, and invest more heavily in our community. Visit patreon.com/theadhdpodcast to learn more. Hey, I think I did okay.

Pete: You should do it all the time.

Tommy: That was really great. You should really do it all the time.

Nikki: That’s right. Awesome. Well, it is a special episode today and I have two very special guests today. I am interviewing the co-hosts of “What’s That Smell?” podcast. Yay. Applause. This is a sometimes funny podcast. But I have to say that the shows that I listen to are pretty darn funny, about humans and their anxieties, which aren’t always so funny. They’re kind of weird sometimes. Every week, these hosts each drag one of their deepest, darkest anxieties into the light, to share it, to learn about it, and hopefully laugh about it with all of you. So those guests, those hosts, our guests on our show and the host of “What’s that Smell?” is our very own, Pete Wright. Welcome, Pete.

Pete: Well, thanks, Nikki. It’s really great to be here.

Nikki: Welcome to “The ADHD Podcast.”

Pete: I feel like I should have worn a different hat, maybe that would do it.

Nikki: That’s right. And his co-host, Tommy Metz III. Hi, Tommy.

Tommy: Hi. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.

Nikki: Oh, absolutely. I’m very excited to be interviewing both of you. So last week, this is where the idea came. We had a show about being optimistic. And Pete actually brought up “What’s That Smell?” podcast a couple different times and different areas around the topic, and talking about how optimism can help ease some of our anxieties. And I have anxiety myself, so I’m also in your club. Yes. And I know that many of our listeners do, too. So I thought this would be a great time to have you two on our show to talk about your show. What do you guys think? Are you ready for this?

Pete: Well, it gives me a great deal of anxiety, frankly.

Nikki: Right?

Pete: I think the answer is categorically no, I’m not ready for this, but I’m excited to do it anyway. I’m really excited that Tommy’s here because I could not do it alone.

Nikki: No.

Tommy: I also feel like you both are better lit than me. So I’m already like not at a 10, but that’s okay. I just have this one creepy light from the top that’s making me look like the Crypt Keeper. But that’s cool.

Pete: It’s [inaudible 00:03:13]. That’s right.

Nikki: Fantastic. All right. Well, before we get started, I want to tell our audience who you are. And Pete, you know, our audience knows who you are, but maybe there’s, you know, something in addition that you would like to add to our audience that maybe they don’t know about you and this other podcast that you do.

Pete: Yikes. Okay. Yes, that I do? Well, I do other podcasts. And I do “What’s That Smell?” the sometimes funny podcast about humans and their anxieties. I’ve been doing that now…we’re about to wrap up our third season, which is very exciting. And, you know, for those who don’t know, I also do “The Next Reel Film Podcast,” and Tommy is a regular contributor on that as well because of his deep, deep insider connections to the entertainment industry, which I can’t wait for him to talk about. And, you know, so through RashPixel.FM, I run a number of other podcasts. And everybody knows that this is my favorite one, is “The ADHD Podcast.” Everything else is just slightly subservient to that.

Nikki: How does Tommy feel about that?

Tommy: I don’t care for it.

Nikki: I bet you don’t.

Tommy: I don’t like very much at all.

Pete: He says the same thing on every episode of ours, so it’s slightly subservient every show.

Nikki: Well, Tommy, tell the audience a little bit about who you are.

Tommy: I live in Los Angeles with my dog, Foster. I am a filmmaker. I’m a writer, director. I moved out to Los Angeles in ’98. And I’ve been making short films, and I just made my first feature, I guess, last year. And that’s it.

Nikki: How do you guys know each other?

Tommy: Oh, I made a really loud noise. That means I should say something.

Pete: Yeah, you did. That was [inaudible 00:04:55].

Nikki: You need to talk, yeah.

Pete: You picked up the phone.

Tommy: We were in an a cappella group, ladies. We were in an a cappella group in college, at CU Boulder, called “In The Buff” because of the CU Buffaloes, and a cappella loves wordplay.

Nikki: Right. Okay, I did not realize that that was the connection. So at the end of this podcast, are you guys gonna, like, sing?

Tommy: Absolutely.

Pete: You know, always and every chance we get. But I did post a while back that the group is still going on. And so the current members actually finally got around to posting the entire “In The Buff” CD catalog into all of the digital streaming services. So you can actually go find it and you can hear Tommy’s sweet, sweet tones.

Nikki: Nice.

Pete: He’s amazing. And your songs were, Tom?

Tommy: “Southern Cross” and “Windmills,” and then a bunch of just nonsense.

Pete: So show up for “Windmills,” but stick around for the nonsense.

Nikki: Right. That’s right. All right. Okay, so I’m going to go back to “What’s That Smell?” this podcast. Tell us a little bit about it. How would you describe it?

Pete: You know, who doesn’t have anxiety? I live with anxiety in addition to ADHD and struggle with, you know, predominantly just sort of generalized anxiety and social anxiety, and really it’s just sort of a potpourri of the specialized anxieties that we talk about every week. And I was sitting in a conference some years back and I heard…it was a live show of another podcast that I love very, very much. And they told this story. The specific story was they were taking question from an audience member or a listener that said, you know…who worked in a wedding shop, like fittings for tuxedos and dresses and things.

And occasionally, customers would come in and they would smell really good. How do you tell someone who smells good that they smell good when you’re like a proprietor at a shop, and without it looking really weird? Like, how do you do that? And the final like laugh line, and they came up with…their general advice was you can’t. You can’t. Please don’t open your mouth. It’s gonna be weird no matter what you do. And the final like laugh line on that was that you just stand next to them as you’re staring in the window and you just go, “What’s that smell?” And I thought, “Oh, my God, that is exactly my experience.” That’s still weird. It’s horrible. And I think I immediately thought about this podcast, and there is no one else that I would rather talk about anxiety with than Tommy.

Tommy: Wait, I don’t know if that’s a sort of mixed bag thing. Yeah.

Nikki: Yeah, well, because, actually, one of our listeners, Tommy, has a specific question for you. Because they say that Pete has explained where the idea for the podcast came from but it’s never been very clear why Tommy wanted to do “What’s That Smell?” “What made you want to explore the world of all things? Yikes,” she says.

Pete: It’s still not clear why Tommy said yes to this project.

Tommy: I’m a really big fan of the email address? No. That’s for longtime listeners. Good stuff. First and foremost, it was absolutely a chance to work with Pete. Pete and I, ever since college, we just knew that we were sort of kindred spirits in a lot of different ways and have always been looking for more and more ways to work together. So when he asked, he sort of said, “I have a podcast idea for both of us,” and I, if I didn’t say it out loud, in my head, I said, “Okay.” And then he explained what it was. I don’t know how much…did you know that I really truck and anxiety, Pete? I can’t remember. Leading up to this or was it just…

Pete: Yeah.

Tommy: You did? And we’ve talked. I don’t remember.

Pete: Yeah, yeah, we’ve talked about that.

Tommy: Okay, yeah. So then it was a perfect fit. Because over the last few years, I’ve really been trying to be more open about my anxiety. I kept it a secret for a very long time. And that really compounds it. And so I was talking to people about…I mean, hopefully not incessantly, but like, that I am going to therapy, that I was on medication. You know, just demystifying it and getting it out there. And what a great way to do it, is to do this sort of thing because one of the biggest points that the podcast tries to put forward is that you’re not alone. And one of the ways to know you’re not alone is to talk about it and to share in the community. So I don’t remember the original question.

Nikki: You got it.

Tommy: How long have I been talking?

Nikki: You’re good, you’re good.

Tommy: Okay, good.

Nikki: So the podcast, obviously, you guys do a lot of research because it’s very clear. You’ll talk about a particular anxiety, you’re doing the research. Do you also offer strategies and ideas on how to deal with a particular anxiety? I mean, I know that talking about it and making sure people don’t feel alone is a big part of that. But anything in addition that you actually…because we’re a very how-to show, right, Pete? Like, we definitely talk about a lot of strategies. I’m just curious where you guys fall in that.

Pete: Well, it’s a fine line, because neither…Tommy and I are experts in anxiety in so far as we have it, right? And we don’t have all of it, we have some of it. And so it’s really hard…

Tommy: We’re working on having all of it.

Pete: We’re working on it. That’s a collection that you build over the years. And so we talk a lot about our experiences, but we really do try to offer some strategies for how you might consider thinking about different things. And there’s one that is a great example, for me, that was in one of our listener submissions that neither Tommy nor I have, and we just recorded the show on it. It’s coming out late in season three, which is a listener who wrote in saying, you know, “I’m retiring on Friday, and I’m terrified of it.” And Tommy and I are not retiring soon, but also we kind of live a life of as if we’ve already retired. So it’s [inaudible 00:11:10]. We’re pretty [inaudible 00:11:11].

But it’s that idea, is to just dive into discussion boards and dive into research and other therapy resources, therapeutic resources that have talked about it and just try to present a landscape of information that might help a listener going through this to actually deal with it and to maybe pivot the way they think about it to try to come to terms with it. Because it’s terrifying. And that’s is, I think, and, Tommy, I don’t wanna speak for you, but that’s, I think, one of the things that we’ve gotten better at over the last three seasons, is putting ourselves in the sort of frame of somebody living with a specific anxiety, even if it’s not one that we have, and trying to present a way forward just based on our love of laughing about our own anxieties.

Nikki: Well, that’s one of the things that I really enjoy about the show. Because I think that when you start talking about anxiety or things that you fear, it can easily take people into a dark place, right? It could easily take you there. But you guys don’t do that. Every single episode I’ve listened to, I smile out loud, I laugh out loud. It’s very entertaining along as being really informational. I have to ask, how do you do that? How do you take some of these, like, dark issues and make them feel lighter?

Tommy: I think there is room to always laugh about everything. That a lot of the worries that we have or anxiety that we have is actually not necessary. It’s just sort of these prisons that we’re putting ourselves in. So it kind of feels like that’s our job, because we don’t want to just revel in it. But there’s always something…I mean, thanks, internet, there’s always a way to find something weird or interesting about everything. And even when it does get really dark, like Pete’s buried alive episode, which I often reference as the least listened to episode. Because I know a lot of people were like, “Great, I loved the first half,” then click, because there was no way for us to make that. It was just too foreboding of a topic.

Nikki: Right. So there was a question from the listeners about the research that you guys do. So how do you go about finding your research? Do you just Google it or do you have like an actual, like, go-to anxiety, you know, informational place that you find this information?

Tommy: Have you heard of Bing?

Nikki: Bing? Kind of like Google?

Tommy: You go to Bing and then you type in google.com and then…

Nikki: There you go.

Pete: You know, we don’t actually talk about it. Because part of the premise of the show is that we surprise each other each week. Like we don’t know what the other person is bringing to the table that week. And we have run into scenarios in the past where we’ve sort of collided and we tried to kind of share one topic over both halves of the episode and it just did not work and took hours to just rerecord the entire episode because it just didn’t fly. I have this set of resources, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Health and Human Services, to look for research to sort of act as a foundational kind of element for what I bring to the show.

And so there’s a set of kind of base research oriented organizations and associations that do that. But specific phobias is a major category of the stuff that we get questions on. And specific phobias are kind of hard sometimes to nail down because there’s no like one master list that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual actually only says, “Here are the big five kind of categories of specific phobias.” And therapists are just kind of run into them, you know, occasionally, and might have to make up words for them. And so we end up with these funny terms that are kind of fun to talk about. So it’s hard to do research on some of the things that we run into. And so we just kind of do our best. But…

Nikki: So I just want to be clear because that was one of the questions that came up, kind of the behind the scenes prep. So you two each come up with your own phobia or your own kind of anxiety. And you guys, you have no idea what the other person is going to talk about, and you just start talking.

Tommy: Yes. And that was what…I mean, now we’re doing one…one of us does a personal and the other does a listener submission. Because we’ve been getting enough of those. But, yeah, that was always the idea that Pete pitched, and I loved it because I think that’s what makes it sound like a conversation and it’s actually a conversation. There’s a lot of podcasts out there already where they’re like, “That’s a good point, Karen.” And you’re like, “They’re not. This is all written out.”

Pete: Karen didn’t make a good point. And John also doesn’t think that was a great point.

Tommy: Exactly. And so, I mean, the fact that we’re honestly interested and engaged because we have no idea where ever things are going.

Nikki: Yes.

Pete: Well, and Tommy, I mean, that’s one of the things that made it such a natural fit. I think for Tommy, he’s such an exceptional improviser compared to me that being reactive and responsive to those kinds of conversations and being a generous kind of comedy writer himself makes it just kind of easy to have those conversations and make them feel natural and authentic. We go a long way to try to make them sound authentic. And he’s mugging that camera now.

Tommy: Go on.

Pete: It’s really hard to take.

Tommy: I just hit the microphone.

Nikki: You see, that’s what I enjoy. I think that’s why I laugh so hard when I’m listening to you two. And Tommy, it is. It’s these little, like, you don’t even say much, but it’s just the way you comment is hilarious. Like just even at the beginning.

Pete: You hear that, Tom? You don’t say much.

Nikki: Yeah. Well, no. It’s just like I don’t like that. Like it’s just so plain. It’s like nope, I don’t like it. And that doesn’t work for me. I remember you saying that at one of the episodes too, “It just doesn’t work for me.”

Tommy: We can just shorten it to nope.

Nikki: That’s great. So, okay, now you’re getting listener feedback, right? So now you’re splitting the show, or it’s one of your anxieties and then somebody else from the listener. So has there ever been a submission that you have gotten that you’re like, “We just can’t talk about this”? Like this is just so off limits that we can’t do it? This is from a listener. This is a listener question from our show.

Pete: So off limits we can’t do it. I don’t know. Tom, have we had one of those?

Tommy: From a listener submission?

Pete: Yeah.

Nikki: Yeah.

Tommy: No, I mean, because we have…they’re allowed to be as anonymous as they want to be and we’ve used some fake names. We’ve just used anonymous. So I think that that frees up a lot of that.

Pete: People are getting better, I think, at coming up with better fake, anonymous profiles as they set us up pretty easily now. Used to be just, “Don’t use my name.” Now, it’s, “You can call me Bilbo of the Shire.” You know, I mean…

Tommy: That guy is a mess. Yeah, I don’t think so. There are some that are still in the waiting pile only because we haven’t found like an angle on it. Pete gets them all at the world’s worst email address, and then just separates them unread and give some to me. And I have some that I just I feel like I need some sort of a take, or do I have a connection to it? And until I do, I don’t want to force it. But I know that’s not exactly undoable. I don’t think I’ve had one where it’s like, “Oh, I can’t touch that.” I have those for myself. I have a couple anxieties in my own life that I’m not comfortable sharing, of course, because I’m not a sociopath. I think everyone would be like that. So that’s as far as I can go with that.

Pete: There are some that were like, for example, the one where Tom ran into road kill, immediately thought about eating it and then threw up on the street. That may have been an example of one where he should have probably not talked about it.

Nikki: Right.

Tommy: That’s the thing, is I go too far the other way. I actually just went to lunch with a friend who listens to the show. And he asked, “Do you ever worry about putting this kind of stuff out there about yourself?” And I went, “Well….” and I realized that it never occurred to me.

Nikki: It’s just you didn’t worry about it. You just added another anxiety to my life. Thanks.

Tommy: Yeah. Like I incessantly talk about how I don’t trust technology. I don’t trust the internet. I don’t trust anything, and yet I’m on here being like, “You ever looked at a squirrel and puked?” So I’ve got a real unfirm grasp about repercussions and all of that.

Nikki: And so a question for both of you guys. You have talked about a lot of anxieties. Do you feel like your anxiety level has decreased or increased by doing the show?

Tommy: We’ve had some listeners tell us, like write it and say, “Thanks for the new anxiety.”

Nikki: Right. Yeah.

Pete: Yeah. That’s true.

Tommy: That’s the collateral damage that comes with our podcast.

Pete: Yeah. And the easiest one for me to talk about now is some of my health and heart issues because that’s a repeat, refrain on this show. And, you know, I feel like I had done some of the primer work in past seasons, just bringing it out there, talking about here are the things I’m anxious about. And then my dad had to go in for this bypass surgery some weeks ago. And that was a traumatic, sort of, like I’m going to stand and stare in the face of all of my medical anxieties at once. And it was grim. You know, I mean, it’s a grim experience to have to do that.

But honestly, I feel like the experience of talking about it on the show and then using the show as a platform to talk about that experience of having lived through it, was enormously helpful for me. And it is, it defines… It was just a lucky chance to define the purpose of “What’s That Smell?” for me personally. Like, it was a great opportunity to do that. Occasionally, I’ll run into this where Tommy will bring an anxiety that is important to him. And it’s as if over the years of my life I will have forgotten that I was once anxious about that, and then I can’t stop thinking about it. Then the sort of obsessive compulsive, like, thoughts spiral will spring up and now, “Oh, yeah, right. I forgot.” It’s like old home week for anxiety, you know, and…

Tommy: It’s always fun because we can’t see each other when we’re recording. We can just hear each other. And I’ll be like, “So this is a weird one, lakes. Have you ever been afraid…” And usually Pete will go… And I’m like, “Oh, oh, I think we hit on something.” He’s got this where you’re talking shivering, that I’m like, “Okay, he’s gonna be able to relate.”

Nikki: We got a boat last year and I remember talking to Pete about our boat, and we were going to go out in the lake. And he’s like, “No, that doesn’t sound like fun at all.”

Pete: Not even a little tiny bit.

Nikki: He is like, “No, no, not for me.” That’s great. So, okay. Question from, actually, from a listener. “How many anxieties have you explored on the show that developed into legitimate anxieties for you that you didn’t have before?” So it’s kind of playing off of what you just said. Do you think it happens more often than not or you can listen to Tommy’s anxiety and be like, “Well, that doesn’t bug me”?

Pete: Yeah. For me, it’s either, I either already lived with it. And like it’s hand to glove, or I don’t deal with it. I don’t think I’ve ever had an anxiety on the show that has caused me to go into that obsessive thought spiral mode after we finished the show.

Nikki: So you’re not thinking about it at night?

Pete: Yeah, not a new thing.

Nikki: Not a new thing.

Pete: Not a new…I don’t know. Tommy, am I lying?

Tommy: I don’t know what you do at night, Pete. But as far as me, no, because even if that were to sort of start to happen, for me the podcast itself sort of exorcises that. Because we already brought it out into the light and laughed about it and talked about it and acknowledged that we’re not alone. And so it’s already sort of done a lot of the work. My anxiety likes to live in the dark and to try to keep me in the dark with it. When I have a really bad anxiety, the very first thing that it always does… I personalize it. I know I shouldn’t do that. But that it does is try to tell me, “Don’t reach out for help because you’re a weirdo and people are going to judge you and not like you. And so just stay here and figure it out under the covers.” And that’s not gonna work at all. I don’t have covers. So just the idea of talking it through really helps for me.

Nikki: Well, and I can imagine people listening to you, it helps them too. Because like you said at the very beginning, it’s about not feeling alone and understanding that these thoughts happen. These things are real. And I think that’s a great service in itself. So tell me what lessons have you guys learned over these last several months? You started the podcast in February of 2018? I think I read or saw.

Pete: Yeah, that sounds right.

Nikki: And you do seasons, right? How many episodes are in each season?

Pete: We do 12-episode seasons.

Nikki: Okay. So that…

Pete: So we’re just wrapping our third season and we’ve…

Nikki: Quite a few.

Tommy: Wrapping, recording third season.

Pete: Wrapping and recording, that’s right.

Nikki: All right. So yeah, what have you guys learned?

Tommy: I think for a lot of my life, I took anxiety too seriously. Anxiety is serious. And we’re never trying to say, “Anxiety is stupid, so get over yourself.” Quite the opposite. We’re saying anxiety has a ton of power over you, but it shouldn’t. And one of the ways that you can release that hold or release its strength is because you [inaudible 00:25:16] to the light. How many times have I said that I’ve been up to the light? That is so hard wired in my brain. But it’s just to not hide it. And just to come out and say, “You’re not alone, and we have this. And isn’t this kind of silly?” And then usually find like some person that has gone like way too far. You know, if we have any kind of anecdotes we can find, any of that. That’s just such a good reminder for me.

Pete: Yeah, I echo that, certainly. And it’s sort of a parallel path to the ADHD experience, right? But things started getting better once I acknowledged it to myself, that this is a thing that’s real. I’ve had other people external to my own brain tell me, “This is the thing that’s real for you and you need to live with this thing and figure out, you know, what those accommodations are going to look like.” And that ADHD experience was transformative. And now it’s been almost 20 years and I’m a different person, categorically a different person.

And so the act for me of going through this with Tommy and putting the words to the things that I fear, putting the categories of anxiety to the thing, to like a home base where I live, you know, and being able to talk more authentically about particularly the social anxiety…giving myself permission to explore that, that’s been huge in my day to day. And so this podcast is very much a conduit for figuring out what 8 a.m. Monday morning is going to look like. And so that’s big. And then we use the off-season, because we start producing the show a couple of months before the season goes live. And so we’ll wrap recording then we have another month or so of production to do.

And so we only get kind of a three or four-month break from each other and then we’re back on it again. And that three or four months, it’s like runway. It’s like you’re trying to test some of the things, some of the ways of thinking that at least, for me, that I’ve learned over the last season. And how am I going to approach health stuff? How am I going to approach aphasia? How am I going to approach all these things that live in my head constantly and give them less power?

Nikki: So what inspires you two to keep doing this?

Pete: Well, I think it’s that we haven’t run out of anxieties yet.

Nikki: Oh, what happens when you do? That’s a good point. What happens if you…?

Tommy: I mean, one of the reasons that we did start doing, I believe, Pete, listener submissions is to give ourselves more time. I mean, at some point we’re going to be like, “Oh, that cup kind of makes me nervous.” I mean, we’re going to be sort of grasping at straws. And we made a promise to each other not to force it. Like if we just out or if we don’t have something, we just don’t have something. The listener’s submissions are really helping with that.

Pete: Well, yeah. And the other piece was that we had this conversation after season one and started feeling that meta anxiety about this is a thing that’s very public and it’s out there and we have just given the world each 12 anxieties that we live with about ourselves. Now they know something about us. And that is a weird kind of power differential, right? And there is part of us that we kind of said collectively, “Maybe we want to slow it down a little bit.” And so, starting to take listener submissions was a great way to kind of help us ease the load. And it really helps ease the load when people are willing to kind of be vulnerable and give us fodder for something else to talk about. And sometimes it’s very serious. You know, sometimes…I don’t know. We’ve dealt with the kind of the spectrum of anxieties.

Nikki: Well, I’m curious about that. Share with the audience some of the anxieties that you guys have covered.

Pete: Tom, do you have your top five list of favorite anxieties?

Nikki: It just sounds weird. But, yeah, go ahead, Tommy.

Tommy: Let’s see. What have we talked about? We’ve talked about bureaucracy, being buried alive, health problems, not knowing what to wear, all the food is killing you.

Pete: Yeah. Food is killing us. That was a favorite. You know, we’ve talked about issues around social anxiety, a bit around sexuality and gender roles and coming to terms with what those things…you know, what those concepts are and how do we…how do you act as an ally? How do you kind of help reduce fear in those kinds of relationships?

Tommy: When your boss takes you out to dinner, do you have to help split the check?

Pete: Yeah. We totally did that, and that was hard.

Nikki: So what was the outcome? What was the decision? Do you or don’t you?

Pete: Don’t go out to dinner with your boss.

Nikki: Just ever?

Pete: Yeah, ever.

Tommy: At the end of every episode, we just say, “Remember, don’t leave your apartment.” That’s always, that’s always the big… No, the answer to that one was be in a situation where… Oh, it was what should you order? Not should you help pay. What should you order? Order after your boss, and if your boss gets a side and a drink and a thing, then those are all free game. If not, if you can’t do that, go ahead and order what you want but then offer to pay for dessert at the end. Because they will almost never take it because the boss wants to be the one but then you get credit for it.

Nikki: Right, right. Okay, so what about being afraid of the dark? Because we had a listener, right, from our show that called in about being afraid of the dark. How did you guys deal with that one? Pete, I’m specifically interested in about what you did with your hamper. Tell the ADHD’ers out there what Pete did as a young child.

Pete: Now, look, I feel hijacked right now. This was a delightful listener submission, and it was a very young listener, the child of one of our ADHD listeners.

Tommy: So cute.

Pete: So cute, sent us an audio submission about being afraid of the dark and afraid of the fire alarm at school because you never know when it’s going to go off. And so we sort of locked in on the dark thing. And in the process of like thinking about this and researching it, I was reintroduced to a story of my own youth where I would do some weird, I don’t know, sleepwalking, whatever. First you go in and you take a big stick and you beat your closet before you go to bed. Always beat the closet, your clothes first. Like just beat them up. And then my thing was…

Tommy: Because that gets rid of the monsters.

Pete: It gets rid of monsters. At least it ensures you that you are not there. And then my thing was is that I deliriously got up in the middle of the night and I walked into my closet and I looked at the clothes hamper and then I peed on it. And…

Nikki: That’s great.

Pete: …that was not now, everybody. That was not now.

Tommy: That was two weeks ago.

Pete: Let’s see. When did this air? Yeah, right. So…

Tommy: Ancient history.

Pete: It’s funny. That’s one of the things about this show, just how resonant these stories of our childhood become when they just meet you headlong in the present.

Tommy: That’s something that I’ve learned very much from the podcast. I’m going to go ahead and say it’s just how natural it is and unfortunate it is that things that you were afraid of way, way back in the day, like in childhood, some of those really stick around. And you let them stick around because you’re just sort of used to them. That’s what I’m trying to work on. It’s like identifying certain things as, “That is an old feeling. You had a purpose back then. You don’t anymore. Goodbye.” That doesn’t work necessarily but that’s just me like walking around the street saying goodbye to my old anxieties. Weird. “Try to get into the light. You’re under arrest.” But, yeah, that they always…you know, therapists have always said, “Tell me about your childhood.” It’s true. I mean…yeah.

Nikki: All right, you guys. Well, so if somebody from our podcasts would like to listen to your podcast and maybe even submit their own anxiety for you guys to talk about, how would they do that?

Tommy: I’m not saying it.

Pete: Tom, do you want to do it?

Tommy: I don’t want to do it.

Pete: Really?

Tommy: You do it.

Pete: You should. You should probably do it. Okay. There are lots of ways to reach us. You can find us on Facebook. We have a Facebook page. There’s Twitter. The thing about me and Tom collectively is that we’re terrible at social media, like genuinely terrible. And so we don’t post a lot. Like, we have some things that just sort of auto post when the show goes live but we’re not very good at interacting on it. And that’s related probably to anxiety.

Nikki: It could be. Sure.

Pete: So we should lock that down. Write that down. But you can also email us, just plain old email at [email protected], [email protected]

Nikki: Yeah. Okay. I don’t think you’re going to forget that.

Tommy: That was a choice that was made.

Pete: Look, it was the lightest weight joke that I could possibly come up with, [email protected] This is before I had no idea that it would be such a trigger for Tom. And so far as we tend to be fairly generous and gracious with one another, I can’t do that on this. Like we are owning that email because this is nonsense, man.

Tommy: I think there has not been an episode where I have not accidentally done some vocal tick of displeasure.

Nikki: Of that email.

Tommy: That one choice that Pete made of the 900 things he does. I just sit here like this. Cover up my dog behind me. I do nothing for the show except my anxiety. And then like we have to get on the computer half an hour before we record because Pete has to remind me how my computer works and how everything works. And then he does one thing without me and I go, “No.” But I don’t care because I just hate it so much. I’m so sorry. But I think you’re right. Because that’s so unfair of me, we have to keep it.

Nikki: Right.

Pete: Oh, yeah.

Tommy: I must. It’s like self-flagellation.

Pete: [inaudible 00:35:40].

Tommy: Exactly.

Nikki: It’s a podcast marriage. Somebody has to compromise. And it looks like it’s you, Tommy.

Tommy: Yeah, that’s right. I always go to bed angry.

Nikki: That’s right. Well, thank you both so much for being here. I appreciate it. I’m sure our listeners appreciate it. I don’t have an ending because I’m so used to you doing it, Pete, that I forgot to actually add an ending to this podcast. So I think you need to do it anyway, even though…

Pete: Oh, you got it. I can take us out for sure. Thank you everybody for downloading and listening to this podcast about that other podcast. We sure appreciate your time and your attention. On behalf of Nikki Kinzer and Tommy Metz III, I’m Pete Wright. We’ll catch you next time, right here on “Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.”

Through Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast, Nikki Kinzer and Pete Wright strive to help listeners with support, life management strategies, and time and technology tips, dedicated to anyone looking to take control of their lives in the face ADHD.