Gauge Check: Winning the Battle, Losing the War

So this week has been… it’s been a week.

On the upside, I have been doing my very, very best to be good at taking criticism at work. It’s that time where files get reviewed and need to be corrected, and everyone keeps telling me that the things I need to correct are very normal and at least they’re usually different mistakes so clearly I’m learning. And I’ve actually surprised myself at how well I’ve done at taking constructive criticism. Aside from one particular situation last week, it hasn’t really bothered me.

The other side of this is that I’m flailing in other directions. I have no real reason to worry about money at this moment – things could be better, but they’re not bad right now. Maybe this is a manifestation of anxiety in other areas as a specific kind of checking compulsion, but in the latter part of this week, I’ve found myself falling back on checking behaviors – checking my bank account repeatedly, or triple-checking that I’ve paid a given bill, or re-adding the numbers for the budget over and over to make sure they’re still what they’re supposed to be.

Figuring out how to deal with compulsions is always a battle unto itself. On the one hand, just checking the damn bill is easier than ever thanks to websites and aps on my phone. I can literally take care of it in about two minutes, which is a hell of a lot faster than trying to ignore it and laying awake for an hour the anxiety of not checking. In the long run, does that help me? Probably not, but sometimes I just want to go to sleep.

Overall, I think I’m less anxious than I used to be. I check less often. Three years ago I wouldn’t have been able to handle the corrections this job requires. (It’s a lot less rote than my last one, and for the most part, I enjoy that.)

I’m not sure if it’s strange or not, but anxiety is not really an area where I ask for help from deities (or really from anyone). Part of that is because it’s taken me a long time to be comfortable asking for pretty much anything from my deities.

The other half is more complicated. In my teens, when I was slowly falling away from Catholicism and first seriously wrestling with neuroatypicality (I was always kinda crazy, but it didn’t become actively detrimental to my well-being until then) I begged Jesus and the angels to take away the nagging voice in my head that was driving me crazy. I got zero response from the saints and angels, and I said fuck it, any deity who saw fit to help me could have dibs on me.

The goddess who answered was the first Dark Lady I had the pleasure of working with (though obviously not the last). In the long run, it worked out for me, but it’s really not an experience I want to repeat in terms of putting myself in hock to anyone, even to a deity I trust. (And I mean… I work with Odin and Loki, so “trust” is a word with a pretty broad definition around here.) I’m afraid of what is asked of me in return for what I ask, so I just don’t ask.

Both of these philosophies are probably kneecapping me in the long run. I need to push myself out of my comfort zone more often. Do you have any tips for doing that?

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