Praying for Others

During the Covid lock down, I was on some Tehillim chats and would just get names of many Cholim. I kept a list of them in my Siddur and when it was getting so much, I would copy paste them into emails to myself. I would scroll and scroll getting more and more names. Eventually, I got very worn out from it, being that many of the names I wasn’t getting updates on and just the list was going on forever. The ones I did get updates on, I never knew when I should stop Davening for them. The one’s that Rachmana l’tzlan, passed away, I would try to Daven for their Neshemos even if I didn’t get the father’s name. Some names I wouldn’t know how to pronounce being that I wasn’t sure if it was a typo or that’s how they spell or say their name or if it was just uncommon name I didn’t know so I would stand there at the end of my Shemona Esrei before taking steps back and recite all these names and it would take forever long. I ended up dreading saying Shemona Esri because my feet would hurt and I just didn’t have the will to do so. So I went from saying lists of names to not having the will to say the names of even the Cholim I knew of on a personal level. That was a while back, but I still didn’t get over it. My Shemona Esreis shortened significantly and the lists still sit in both of my Siddurs, me extremely occasionally reading them down in my Shemona Esreis. I still have a whole section of emails with the names I collected. I left many of the Tehillim chats and the one that I stayed on, I’m practically scared of. Basically this OCDness led to rock bottom. In addition, during the lock down, I guess I can say I had a rigorous Tehillim “schedule.” I wouldn’t go to sleep until I finished it. Sometimes I would accidentally fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night to say it. Or I would fall asleep in middle and wake up to finish. It contained of the yom l’chodesh, tehillim I was saying for a specific choleh (that at one point, although signed up to finish with others, just got so worn out and stopped, probably leaving the Tehillim unfinished…and that to I still have a reminder on one of my phone screen saver with the number of kapitals I was supposed to say for a period of time and didn’t), I was saying each of my family members and of another family’ childrens kapitals and my own. I would say good kapitals to say, like kuf lamed, kuf chaf alef, chaf…I believe at the beginning and end of my Tehillim cycle. And that is what I remember as of now. If I missed a day, I would do 2 of these cycles the next. Sounds absurd yes, but this is what I did. This made me lose my taste for Tehillim. I also once heard a story of a Rebbi or maybe it was a talmud who asked a shayla if he should take time to say to Tehillim instead of learning and was told as long as he was concentrating on what he was saying and the meaning then say Tehillim instead of learning then for the Choleh. Since I don’t know the meaning, I also stopped. Also, since my kriah isn’t amazing, it would take me longer and if I messed up on a word, I felt the need to say it again so I finished the kapital and then said it again even more slowly. Now, when I say Tehillim, I wish I can say it with desire but all these worries fill my head of not knowing the meaning and having to say it extremely slowly. So when asked to take Tehillim, I used to grab the opportunity and take quite a few, now even one yom is pushing it for me. All the concentration and brain space it takes leaves me with a feeling of not knowing what to do with myself.

Can you please guide me on what I should do with all these names of Tehillim I have on papers and papers and digitally and on chats I ignore? What can I do to re-strengthen this? I feel bad that my Tefillah is so lacking. I heard of all these Rebbetzins that never threw out a name and I can’t bring myself to just forget about them, but it is so hard to bring myself back up to that level when I dropped so low…

Thank you

I apologize for the delay in answering this question, I wanted to think about it first for some time.
To start, your question is really inspiring; instead of giving up on the things that are important to you when faced with difficulties, you are looking for a way to get back on track. It is truly admirable. This answer is a bit general, since I do not know you personally, and therefore cannot give a complete answer. You should consider talking to a Rabbi or Rebbitzen that you can have a relationship with, or a therapist. It will improve your quality of life drastically, and is the greatest gift you can give yourself. OCD, especially religious OCD, can take over your life and really have a negative impact on your quality of life.
It seems you feel that the world rides on your shoulders. That is really hard, never being able to put down your burden, always “on”. I would imagine that tefila isn’t the only place in your life that these tendencies affect you. You should try to seek help from a professional, you have a rich and fulfilling life in front of you, make it happen in a healthy and positive way!
Many people daven for others in their tefillos, and when they say tehilim. It is a beautiful thing, but it is not the main purpose of tefila. It is wonderful to daven for others, but not if it takes a toll on your own spiritual connection to Hashem.
One of the beautiful things about davening for others is that it shows how much we care for each other, that we aren’t thinking about ourselves. You have gone above and beyond your duty to others, and if davening for them is a burden, there is nothing wrong with stopping. You can keep the lists, and have in mind that all the people on those lists should have a refuah sheleima, and that alone is enough to fulfill any obligation you have. Many shuls do this, so as not to drag out the mi shebeirach for sick people. They just say that all those on the list of sick people should have a refuah sheleima. The mere fact that you compile these lists and have such a deep desire to help others shows more than anything else your care and concern for others, and definitely counts as if you said each and every name with concentration.
You should try to go back to basics, daven whichever parts of shemona esrei you feel you can, and say a kapital of tehilim if you feel up to it. Maybe try saying just one bracha of shemona esrei with a nice translation, and enjoy the small experience. When you are ready, feel free to move on to more, but be very careful not to overwhelm yourself.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.
Wishing you much hatzlacha!!
Rabbi Shay Tahan