fear of not being able to feel something, fear comes true

26 March 2020 - 1:43

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Hi everyone. I want to share something that has been happening to me because of my OCD. In 2016, near the end of eleventh grade, I had a fear that I would stop being able to feel compassion for others. Somehow this resulted in me sometimes not feeling compassion for others when I should’ve. And every time this happened, it made me scared because I wanted to feel compassion so much.

There was someone who was about to graduate, and she was leaving the school early. I wanted to feel sad that she was leaving, but I couldn’t, even though I tried. And then on the last day of school, I had to say bye to so many people, and I was able to feel sad then, which made me relieved. But I still had the problem. From that time (which was in May 2016) to March 2018, every time there was a situation in which I should’ve felt compassion, sometimes I did, and sometimes I didn’t. When I didn’t, it made me stressed, and then I tried to feel it, which didn’t always work. Eventually I started waiting to feel compassion before doing compassionate actions.

I went to a party in December 2017, and when someone asked me “How are you?”, I said “I’m good”, and I also wanted to ask them how they were, but I was waiting to feel the compassion, and I ended up not asking them back because it would’ve made me feel fake if I had asked it without feeling it. This and things similar to this happened a lot. It happened with saying thank you to people, for example.

In February 2018, there was an event at the high school that I went to (I didn’t go there anymore), and I knew that I was going to see a lot of people that I hadn’t seen in a long time (like students in lower grades and teachers). For the first person I saw there, I was kind of happy to see her, but I didn’t feel it completely (which made me kind of stressed). And then for everyone else, I didn’t feel it. It made me stressed, and I had to go in the bathroom and try to make myself start feeling it. The next month, I told my therapist about all of it, and she said that the reason why I didn’t feel compassion is that I was stressed about wanting to feel it, which made me not feel it because you can’t feel it when you’re stressed. This might be true, but I don’t know. She told me that I needed to stop waiting to feel it before doing actions.

So I followed that advice, and then I didn’t feel any compassion until I felt it multiple times in May 2018. I was always doing compassionate actions, but I wasn’t trying to feel compassion before doing them. After May 2018, I continued this but didn’t ever feel any compassion until late 2019. Now, once in a while, I feel it, but usually I don’t. I wish I felt it every time.

A similar thing has happened with music. Multiple times recently, I have gotten a fear that I couldn’t like music anymore, and that resulted in me not liking it. This has also happened with liking food.

I don’t have problems with either of those things anymore, but now it has happened with thinking people are attractive. This is very stressful to me because I can’t like someone or be in a relationship if I’m not able to think people are attractive. If I see someone who would be attractive, I’m not able to think they are, even if I try. This problem has come and gone away before, and the way it went away before is whenever I saw someone, I didn’t worry about thinking they weren’t attractive, and I didn’t try to make myself think they were. But now I’ve been trying this for about two days, and it hasn’t worked. My ability to think people are attractive hasn’t come back. This problem of “fear of not being able to like something or feel a certain thing - the fear comes true” might happen with other things too. Maybe I should just keep on doing the same thing that I did before (When you see someone, don’t worry about not being able to think they’re attractive and don’t try to make yourself think they’re attractive), but I’m scared that it’s not going to work, and I don’t know how long it’ll take for it work if it does. I feel like this is ruining my life. Have you experienced this problem too? With feeling compassion, liking music, or anything else? And do you have any advice? Thank you