I have a question regarding mistakes in the amida – I suffer from a postpartum anxiety disorder, and I find that many times while davening the amida, I begin to doubt myself as to whether or not I’ve said a previous Bracha, skipped a part of a Bracha or made a mistake.
I’ve tried many different tactics to try to help keep myself focused (following with my finger, saying each word audibly to myself so that I can hear myself say it, focusing on the words and meanings, counting out the brachot as I say them, etc) and I still find myself anxious that I made mistakes and that my amida will be invalid.
Though I know it’s Assur to say a Bracha levatala, I struggle to find a balance between avoiding a levatala and ensuring I know I said each Bracha, which usually is only helped by going back and repeating brachot, sometimes more than once.
Knowing that this is that state of my davening, i find myself wondering if it is better to not daven than to daven knowing I will most likely be saying many brachot levatalot. Something I used to find to be the highlight of my day, and a beautiful way to connect to Hashem, now fills me with anxiety, and I spend the whole day worried about having to daven again since the experience is so stressful.
I have taken it upon myself to daven 3 times a day, something I have been doing for many years, and don’t want to totally abandon this, but knowing that for women davening the amida is the most important part of davening, I struggle to see how I can continue to daven if I were to not say the amida.
Any help or guidance of how to carry on in the best way according to halacha would be greatly appreciated.
It is wonderful that you are so concientious about your davening and making a relationship with H-shem, and that this used to be the highlight of your day. On the other hand we have to deal with this new yetzer hora that is trying to ruin your davening with thoughts and worries that are not needed. It seems that your yetzer hora is making you nervous for nothing, and giving you things to worry about, to the degree that he almost has you thinking that you should stop davening! If you are doing any one of the tactics that you are doing, you can be assured that it is only your yetzer hora that is trying to make you nervous, and you are not allowed to listen to it! Therefore just continue davening, without worrying about it, and halachically you should assune that you DID say everything, and therfore you should NOT go back.
Now that you understand this, you can again concentrate on the important part of your davening- connecting to H-shem and developing your relationship with HIm.