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I have, sadly, relapsed! (Moral Scrupulosity)

For those out there who care about my background and my original thread and are willing to share some kind words with me, please review my original thread below and note that this post is a long one so please bear with me...


So as the title says and after a relatively calm period of 6 months, I have sadly relapsed and big time this time it was!

[B][U]Good News[/U][/B]

*Right after I got replies on my original entry, I sat alone, thought deeply and was really able to pull myself out of all this chaotic state of mind, yes I was able to solve most (if not all) of my issues by logic only, by communicating with my thoughts and rationalizing with them, I really felt like reborn again and therefore, some of the motivation and joy came back to my life...

*I have just finished my first master year with very very high grades; an average of 16.75/20, which is considered a great achievement compared to the high level of my university's educational system. I really studied and worked hard the entire academic year.

*I am currently working in a part time job (mostly during college time) to fund some of my expenses, which is good anyway.

[U]Note[/U]: the contents of my obsessions were never gone, however I was able to calm them down with the same logic I applied before and simply move on.

[B][U]Bad News[/U][/B]

I have relapsed while studying for my finals when my brother (who also had finals himself) told me that [B]he is going[/B] to cheat in his exams in order to get a high average. I was stunned right away and out of nowhere, all of my previous obsessions, along with new ones, came to my mind and left me in a very chaotic state, I had to "manually" postpone all of the remuneration of thoughts just to focus on studying and finishing my exams (which I was able to do so, gladly!).

The contents of my new obsessions:

1. I have cheated on  some exams when I was a kid all the way to high school only (pre-17), however I don't think that cheating had any significant effect to make me pass or fail, it was only some tiny cheating. This is what I remember but WHAT IF cheating back then had any major effect on whether I'd pass or not? => high school certificate is not valid => university certificate is not valid => work is not valid => my entire life is not valid!

2. Back to the connection that I used to enter the university, most if not all the clues around me (from the director's words to the friend's words who spoke to the connection person) would say that the connection had NO effect on me getting the admission, passing the entrance test itself without the connection instead got me into the uni. This alone I was able to logically solve and rationalize with it. The new added issue now however is what is causing the extreme distress: I [B]DO NOT[/B] remember if I had cheated on the entrance exams or not, I can assume that, most likely, I have not cheated since the last time I remember cheating was back in high school exams. However I am not sure. So now it's all about the uncertainty that I cannot bear, WHAT IF I had cheated to succeed and then got accepted? WHAT IF I had cheated to succeed and then got pushed by the connection and then got accepted (a lethal combination)? In both cases, it will lead to the usual cycle of: invalid university degree which I don't deserve (even though that passing the uni itself was mostly by myself with hard studies but since it is all based on that entrance test) => work is not valid => my entire life is not valid!

3. The usual issue of the doctor who helped me to get an extra mark to get 50 (and again, even if I stayed at 49 only, I'd have passed it anyway due to a special average system). The new obsession is now: I should be punished for violating the system by stripping me from my degree! I know that this is only 1 course out of like 36 courses and I am exaggerating... but believe me people, this is how I feel. And to simply go and confess to the director of what happened is totally illogical since I'd be seen like a complete idiot who after 3 years coming to tell something and it would put my teacher in a bad position... I can manage to logically think my way out of this but it is still annoying with the thought of "I should be punished"!

4. Another course issue which, according to my calculation, I have to get a minimum of 40/100 to pass it (again thanks to the special average system at my faculty), I was expecting to get a mark between 40 and 44 or 45, I spoke with the doctor just to tell him that, in case I got 39, please re-correct my exam and push me with an extra mark just to get 40... end result is that I got 43 which, logically, means that I got it by myself as the doctor would not give me 4 extra marks if I got 39 anyway... issue now: WHAT IF he actually did that? WHAT IF I had passed the course thanks to him by adding 4 extra marks and not by myself? => university degree is not valid => work is not valid => my entire life is not valid!

5. During 2 courses in this master year, the exams would usually come as a form of MCQs, True or False and some essay questions and/or case studies. When studying for the exams and trying to solve the previous exams multiple choice questions by myself, I was smart enough to discover, by googling a few MCQs to know the answer, that the instructors of these 2 courses simply go to the publisher's website and copy the same MCQs and true/false questions without even changing them, I noticed the trend by looking at past exams. So I told my colleagues about them and solved them online many times in order to study and memorize the answers pretty well [B]hoping that the doctors would bring the same questions this year without changing[/B]... and they did! Is this some kind of an unethical behavior? Is this even cheating? Or I am just smart enough and the doctors think that we are dumb enough not to notice so? I didn't know what was coming but I expected them to prepare the same MCQs/ToF questions so I studied them... and I was right!

etc... etc...
etc... etc... (uncertainly can fuel any new thought at anytime!)


Sorry if I had caused any headache with my worthless obsessions but I am really struggling. So as you can see, my core issue is uncertainty, it is fueling itself by itself, it is making me doubt whatever I had passed through in my entire 25 years. It is always about what if, what if, what if... The thing is, I know that no human is going to judge me and only God would do so, so I should not worry and just live my life. I know that, logically, the ONLY thing that seems legit and real out of ALL my obsessions is only that 49 VS 50 /100 extra mark that I got to pass the test and I was going to pass it in both cases anyway (e.g. whether I got the help or not), this is the only obsession that seems real to an outsider (who doesn't suffer from moral scrupulosity). I have set my moral standards too high and I cannot simply change, I am trying so hard to forgive myself but it's not possible, it's really hard. I am currently working hard on my masters degree (and it's paying off!), I have TOTALLY stopped cheating since I passed high school, that was like 8 or 9 years ago. How would a non-scrupulous non-OCD person feel/act about this?

I just want to believe and accept that, even though some things went wrong (according to my own standards) in the past, it doesn't mean that the current or the future situations are not real or legit or that I don't deserve them or that I have to drop my degrees to feel "legal" or "ethical" or "legit" again.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading and have a great day/night,
1 Responses
1699033 tn?1514113133
Hi there.  So this happened during your exams correct, or shortly before them?  That is a very stressful time and anything people say can be fodder for us to latch on to and run the gamut with it.  So my suggestion is this.  Use that past positive experience, those 6 months where you felt good, and know that you can achieve that state again.  There are always going to be bumps in the road.  You just need to learn that, fall back on past positive experiences, practice what you did the first time, and you will achieve it again.  If it worked once, it will work again.  

It is not uncommon to have something that you thought you got closure on to come back and bite you especially during high stress times.  
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