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    Old 06-06-2004, 05:13 PM   #1
    simplyj
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    Feelings of uncertainty

    Lately I've been feeling so uncertain about everything and it's really exhausting me. I can't seem to make up my mind about anything anymore and I always feel that something "bad" is going to occur at any minute. I know it's a symptom of OCD because I've dealt with it before but now it seems that it takes longer for me to work through it. For example, whenever my husband leaves the house I always have to say I love him (and that's a good thing) and then I pray for him to be safe (that's also a good thing) but then I start to worry about him getting into an accident or getting a heart attack etc.

    Another example is, if I am shopping, I am aware that I am on survellience cameras at all times so I get distracted from what I've gone there to buy. When I finally get home I have to think about my whole trip from the time I entered the store, shopped, paid for the items and drove off, to the time I get back home to make sure I haven't done anything that might resemble shoplifting (which I would never do). If I pass a shopping cart that has someone's purse in it, I have to look away immediately because I think that the person might think I want to take their handbag. I went shopping 5 days ago and I am still trying to retrace every moment. I can't shake the anxiety until I've convinced myself that I've done nothing wrong. Can anyone relate or have any suggestions?

    thanks,

    simplyj

     
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    Old 06-12-2004, 07:39 PM   #2
    amyocd
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    my ocd deals with uncertainty. I have been there, done that and bought the teeshirt about having to say i love you and so on before people leave. I always had the sense that soemthing bad was going to happen.

    I didnt deal with it then, b/c i didnt know that it was ocd. and my symtoms got worse. Now my thoughts are perverted sexual ones, and my brain tells me that i did bad perverted things and its hard to make my self understand that it was ocd.

    Good luck, and maybe seek perfessional help. Deal with it before it gets worse. reply and let me know whats going on? i have tons of advice.

     
    Old 07-11-2004, 05:43 PM   #3
    Jennifer272
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    I can totally relate. Whenever I drink too much I have such a fe3ar that I could have cheated on my boyfriend. I love him very much but when you mix alcohol anfd ocd there can be some serious uncertainty. I end up calling my friends and ask them to help me remember every detail about the night so that I know I didn't cheat. I hate this fear. It feels so real like I can picture that it really did happen.

     
    Old 07-11-2004, 06:45 PM   #4
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    Thank you both for your replies. It's been over a month since my post and the feelings of uncertainty continues. I've had to regress to my old coping mechanism of telling myself it's OCD not me everytime I start to doubt. I'm not able to automatically refocus like I had learned to through books I read on the subject. As for professional help, I see a general doctor who prescribes Zoloft to me but I haven't had any luck finding an OCD therapy group in my area.I've called several places and they have groups for bipolar, depression etc... but not OCD. I've thought about starting my own OCD group that could be managed by a local hospital or clinic but since I've recently moved here, I have more research to do. Also, as for drinking, I don;t allow myself even the smallest beverage that contains alcohol. For one thing, alcoholism runs in my family, but secondly I just cannot deal with the "what if's?".

    Thanks again for the replies. It helps to know others can relate. Hope you both are doing well.

    J.

     
    Old 07-12-2004, 04:27 AM   #5
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    I've been there, with the the uncertainty and running things over in my mind to gain reassurance. I've done the technique of labeling it as OCD, and/or refocussing. And it's worked sometimes.
    But other times I have gotten so flabbergasted with all the intense feelings of anxiety and not being able to let go of my thoughts, that I have tried a new strategy: I simply say to myself (or more accurately, the OCD) "Go ahead and LET the worst thing imaginable happen!" I just convince myself to accept it----if it happens it happens.
    In your case then, I would say "Go ahead and let the security guards, or the woman with the purse think that I am indeed a crook. I know I'm not, but let them ALL think I am."
    And then just say "yup, they DO think I'm a crook, and I DID do something to make them think that."
    Stare the OCD in the face, stare the uncertainty down and let it go about worrying if it wants to.
    Treat it as an entity all its own. It's like a bratty child who's struggling to keep your attention on him.
    Trying to refocus on something else or seeking more "reassurance" by telling yourself it's OCD will only allow the OCD to get stronger.
    If you fight it, it fights back harder.
    Let it have its way---but in the background. Condescend it like you would a bratty kid, while going about whatever else you should be doing instead of paying it attention.
    It will continue to fight and maybe increasingly harder for awhile, while it has a temper tantrum....but it will subside.

    There's no reasoning with OCD and no fighting with it either......Accept the thoughts and doubt and whatever the worst possible outcome is that they promise. Over time, you'll be able to witness the evidence that is contrary to what the OCD is telling you, and then you'll find that when the doubt comes back, it will be less and less overpowering.

    It's all about belittling the OCD and weakening the validity of it.
    And it all begins by accepting the garbage it tosses at you.
    Even the worst scenario that OCD tells you will come to be, is not half as bad as the turmoil, angst and anxiety that you go through because of the OCD.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 06:12 PM   #6
    LOANOFFICER
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    Great reply. That is soooo true with OCD. The more you fight it, the more it consumes you. I am reading a book that puts it in this same perspective. When I get the doubt feeling that I have touched some yuk stuff and that I am contaminated, I let the feeling come on and then tell my OCD that if I am contaminated, I am going to be very rich after taking whatever/whoever it was to court. Believe it or not, it is working and I am getting better at this everyday.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 06:54 PM   #7
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice. I thought I had gotten to the point where I could just ignore the obsessions and fears but as soon as my stress level goes up, it's like I have to start again with the basics. It's an up and down struggle. I also get angry at my OCD and want to fight back but then for some reason I feel that God is going to punish me for challenging my thoughts and so I back away in fear. Does that make any sense? I don't want to be defiant to God but I just want to face my OCD head on. It doesn't help that lately a lot of things have been happening that I was fearing and so now I'm convinced that what I fear may come to pass. I'll give a brief example; For some reason I started to worry that my central A/C would go bad because my sister offered to mow the lawn and I was afraid she would run over the main cables. Of course she was careful and the unit was fine but that same night we have an electric storm and the air conditioner took a power hit and it cost $2500.00 to replace. The same week I was relieved that the storm had spared our televisions from blowing out but the very next morning the entire cable box had to be taken to the store to be repaired. I then thought, well at least the computer is working, then of course when I tried to log on, it wouldn't. After inquiring about it at several places it turned out that the modem had to be replaced. I have more examples but I think I've made my point. It's like whatever I've been fearing has occurred. I know they are only material things but then I think what if the same comes true with the OCD fears? I'm afraid the pray and I'm afraid to fight. You all have been so helpful so far, I'm hoping for more advice.

    Thanks again so much.

    simply j

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 06:56 PM   #8
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice. I thought I had gotten to the point where I could just ignore the obsessions and fears but as soon as my stress level goes up, it's like I have to start again with the basics. It's an up and down struggle. I also get angry at my OCD and want to fight back but then for some reason I feel that God is going to punish me for challenging my thoughts and so I back away in fear. Does that make any sense? I don't want to be defiant to God but I just want to face my OCD head on. It doesn't help that lately a lot of things have been happening that I was fearing and so now I'm convinced that what I fear may come to pass. I'll give some brief examples; For some reason I started to worry that my central A/C would go bad because my sister offered to mow the lawn and I was afraid she would run over the main cables. Of course she was careful and the unit was fine but that same night we had an electrical storm and the air conditioner took a power hit and it cost $2500.00 to replace. The same week I was relieved that the storm had spared our televisions from blowing out but the very next morning the entire cable box had to be taken to the store to be repaired. I then thought, well at least the computer is working, then of course when I tried to log on, it wouldn't. After inquiring about it at several places it turned out that the modem had to be replaced. I have more examples but I think I've made my point. It's like whatever I've been fearing has occurred. I know they are only material things but then I think what if the same comes true with the OCD fears? I'm afraid to pray and I'm afraid to fight. You all have been so helpful so far, I'm hoping for more advice.

    Thanks again so much.

    simply j

     
    Old 07-15-2004, 01:15 AM   #9
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    "I also get angry at my OCD and want to fight back but then for some reason I feel that God is going to punish me for challenging my thoughts and so I back away in fear. Does that make any sense? I don't want to be defiant to God but I just want to face my OCD head on."

    Simplyj, This is an excellent question. Perfect for making a really good point.
    OCD is doubt and OCD is very tricky and conniving. This doubt about challenging OCD for fear that God will punish you, IS OCD. This is a prime example of why one must be as aware as possible to recognize OCD in its cloaked forms. The very doubt introduced about battling OCD is OCD's way of retaining its grip over you.....do you see?

    OCD will hide behind all sorts of reasoning (or at least what appears to be reasonable) in order to keep its power. That's the nature of OCD: It will create an endless cycle of doubt upon doubt.

    The BEST way to recognize when something is OCD is to measure how much stress/anxiety/worry a doubtful thought is causing you. Stop and pay attention to what is going on: Are you becoming very anxious and fearful over a thought? Then chances are it IS OCD.
    Of course, there are times when certain reasonable thoughts will produce anxiety, but you yourself have to gauge what is and what isn't OCD. And it's better to play it safe and assume that it's OCD (especially if you're only beginning this type of awareness technique).

    Furthermore, I would advise reading up on "mindfulness" techniques. There are lots of books on the subject. Some are from Buddhist points of view, some from psychiatrists' points of view, etc, etc.......but they are all valid and excellent for training your mind.
    I think that anyone can benefit greatly from "mindfulness." Not just OCD afflicted people.......but it's especially great for those of us with OCD.

    It requires some dedication and effort to try out these "mindfulness" techniques and slowly make them a habit, but they're really useful.



    In response to all of your bouts of bad luck about things you feared happening actually happening, I don't know why it worked out this way but
    trust me, it ISN'T because you simply thought about it.
    Again, you are falling into doubt and fear BECAUSE of OCD.
    OCD is using those coincidences to yet again convince you to listen it-----remember, OCD is a dumb bratty kid struggling for attention!
    It will try ANYTHING to get your attention and KEEP your attention.
    Label this doubt as OCD.

    And another thing: If you for any reason find yourself under a particularly bad episode of OCD, don't beat yourself up over it. You will fall back a few steps before leaping forward (this is true of many things in life). But TRY your best to observe what is going on and then reflect upon it when your mind is more at ease. In other words, try to learn from each OCD incident. Pay attention to what may have triggered it; pay attention to how you felt; pay attention to how you responded. This goes a long way in being prepared in the future. You will learn to anticipate ocd triggers, and you will learn how to recognize the feelings that are unequivocally associated with OCD (this wil help you to recognize those moments when OCD is trying to cloak itself in what seems to be a shroud of reason).




    "When I get the doubt feeling that I have touched some yuk stuff and that I am contaminated, I let the feeling come on and then tell my OCD that if I am contaminated, I am going to be very rich after taking whatever/whoever it was to court. Believe it or not, it is working and I am getting better at this everyday."

    Loanofficer, that's exactly it!
    Great to see you're having success. As time goes on and you get more and more desensitized to OCD thoughts, the thoughts actually become funny and ridiculous to you-----hard to believe that something that once gripped you with fear and anxiety (and seemed SO REAL and VALID) could actually become recognized as the trivial and ridiculous thing it is,....but it does.
    Of course, in my experience anyways, there always seems to be something to replace a worn out obsession..........but that's where learning to recognize and deal OCD comes into play. We have to just learn to cope with it as best we can.

     
    Old 07-15-2004, 01:28 AM   #10
    Wallcrawling
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention:

    Simplyj, I'm not of any particular religion per say, so I can't give you any specific advice regarding the whole God concept that worries you.
    But there is one definite aspect that shows up in alot of OCD sufferers: people who come from a very religious background.
    Strict religions that teach of a god figure that punishes people for all sorts of things can definitely hamper one's progress in fighting OCD (seems to me like such a thing would foster OCD that's already present in a person).

    Everyone has their own beliefs and is entitled to them.
    But I honestly don't think that god would want to punish you for challenging your thoughts.
    If you have a strong faith in something, then maybe if you talked to someone at church about your religion a little more, it would go along way in easing some of your fears with regards to God.

    Geez, this can be a touchy subject indeed...........
    and I certainly don't want to get into a religious debate or anything, so I'll leave it at that.

     
    Old 07-15-2004, 07:06 PM   #11
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    Wallcrawling, I am soooo very thankful for your thoughtful reply. So much of it really put things in perspective for me. This "doubting disease" known as OCD has wreaked havoc on my life. It's like the minute I begin to feel confident that I will have some kind of a normal life despite having OCD, something happens that spins it out of control again. You're right, I do need to recognize OCD thoughts from other thoughts. Part of the exhaustion I feel is always have to rethink things over and over to figure it all out. I get so distracted from every day life cause I'm always in my own head. Last December I suffered a relapse with my OCD. As a result, I felt that God was punishing me because during the period when my OCD got really bad, I prayed and prayed. Once I started to feel better (with the help of meds) I continued with every day life and didn't pray as much so when the relapse occurred I thought it was punishment. I started attending church, giving money to charities, watching religious programs on tv etc... Now it just feels like I'm being punished all over again cause I'm not turning to "religion" as much to help me through this. I've been relying more on books and web sites to learn more. I'm not by any means an overly religious person. I've always believed in God, and have respect for all people and their religious beliefs. I'm just trying to do the right thing every day and trying to help myself get better. Today was one of those days where I just shook my head in disbelief about how chaotic my life is right now because of the worries, fears and obsessions. I will certainly think about your helpful advice. Once again, thank you.

    j.

     
    Old 07-15-2004, 09:48 PM   #12
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simplyj
    Wallcrawling, I am soooo very thankful for your thoughtful reply. So much of it really put things in perspective for me. This "doubting disease" known as OCD has wreaked havoc on my life. It's like the minute I begin to feel confident that I will have some kind of a normal life despite having OCD, something happens that spins it out of control again. You're right, I do need to recognize OCD thoughts from other thoughts. Part of the exhaustion I feel is always have to rethink things over and over to figure it all out. I get so distracted from every day life cause I'm always in my own head. Last December I suffered a relapse with my OCD. As a result, I felt that God was punishing me because during the period when my OCD got really bad, I prayed and prayed. Once I started to feel better (with the help of meds) I continued with every day life and didn't pray as much so when the relapse occurred I thought it was punishment. I started attending church, giving money to charities, watching religious programs on tv etc... Now it just feels like I'm being punished all over again cause I'm not turning to "religion" as much to help me through this. I've been relying more on books and web sites to learn more. I'm not by any means an overly religious person. I've always believed in God, and have respect for all people and their religious beliefs. I'm just trying to do the right thing every day and trying to help myself get better. Today was one of those days where I just shook my head in disbelief about how chaotic my life is right now because of the worries, fears and obsessions. I will certainly think about your helpful advice. Once again, thank you.

    j.

    oh man i can relate I suffer from religious thoughts all the time , sometimes i would think God keeps me having OCD to keep me in check but God is of love not of hate he loves us so much and he knows our hearts he knows all about this illness and he does not want us to suffer but to enjoy our lifes I know having OCD makes it hard to have a great relationship with the Lord but he is there he said he would never leave you and he won't these bad intrusive thoughts invaid my mind all the time just about and cause me great distress im so tired mentally i really am if you don't talk to God everyday or turn to religion to help you thru it God is still there he does not sit up in heaven looking for you to make mistake so he can flick anger on you he is of pure love and kindness he knows uur going thru a hard time i personally do not resort to religion to help me anymore because most people dont understand it and feed into my obsessive thoughts and with having religious thoughts already that i obsess on i ratter just focus upon therapy but with someone that is a beliver but i go to a therapist she is christian and say this has nothing to do with good and evil its just the mind and its problems it just seems to focus on things of the world such has germs, God etc and it blows it way out of control You are strong inside and God knows u are not perfect thats why he sent Jesus i can say dont worry but I know an OCD mind will continue its just how OCD does its the doubting diease the mind can play so many tricks on us even thought I understand OCD i get another thought that makes me worry and it feels like a never ending battle I know this can be overcome its all about fear and God said we do not have to fear please hang in there do you go to therapy ? or take medicine that can help ALOT God bless u always (( hugs )) although its good tot ake with God everyday but dont worry God understands this more then u and even said his understanding is infinite he understand everything and all things some people can turn to religion to help i pray to God everyday part of the ocd ritual but I have to be careful with the whole religion thing because i do get so confused simply because of OCD and God knows that and he can help you thru this have faith and know he loves u and u can turn to him for anything and he knoows ur heart when ur feeling good or bad God bless

    Last edited by ontheway; 07-15-2004 at 09:53 PM.

     
    Old 07-16-2004, 01:54 AM   #13
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    Yeah simplyj, the whole belief you hold about God punishing you, is yet another example of OCD's reign of absolution.
    It's almost weird how people who believe in a Christian God seem to attribute ocd and it's many faces with God-------I would think that they would attribute that to the devil! It would make more sense and probably help them out more..........you know what I mean?
    But enough about that. That whole statement about the devil could easily bring up MANY more obsessions and doubts -----so please don't even pay attention to that....I was just thinking about the irony of it all.

    Anyways, to relate something else to you, I am not a dogmatic religious person (I have beliefs and am still figuring out those beliefs/ searching etc)
    and being of no dogmatic faith, I get the same feeling of "being punished."
    Alot of OCDers feel that------and even WITHOUT holding specific religious beliefs.
    So that should tell you a little something more about OCD. You dont even have to be religious to feel or fear that you are being punished by something or someone.

    This is why I can pretty much assure you that God isn't going to punish you either for your thoughts or for challenging them.
    I think that if you're praying, you should be praying with a sense a peace and happiness and belief. IT should be a positive practice.
    If it becomes something you feel that you MUST do in order to ward off punishment from God, or to "appease" God, then you have crossed the line into the realm of OCD.
    Ocd will take anything at its disposal to infuse more and more doubt and ritual into you-----------So if you're religious, then that little schizm in your mind, known as OCD, will use that against you (trick your mind) to help ensure it's control and survival. OCd will turn simple and maybe perfectly reasonable things and twist them around so that you will doubt, feel anxiey and/or guilt and ultimately be "afraid." Then the nonsensical OCD will DEMAND something of you (a ritual,...washing or repeating phrases, or praying alot) with the promise of security and protection against your thoughts.

    And remember that ANYTHING, absolutely ANYTHING you do from a perspective of fear in an attempt to bring about relief, is most definitely OCD controlling you. Try to recognize this. The warning signs are an overwhelming sense of guilt/anxiety and then a compulsion (of any sort) to alleviate that anxiety by making things 'right.'

    OCD is a bully.

    But it's not all negative. OCD offers us a chance to learn to retrain/train our minds. That in turn makes us stronger and gives us a certain skill and advantage (yes, an advantage!) over other people who have no experience with OCD.
    While I advocate getting angry at OCD and belittling it, that's really only 'half' of the whole equation. If you've got OCD, you might as well see the aspects of it that are positive.
    Yes, this sounds like a contradiction, but I think you know what I'm trying to say.
    Just look at the fact that you have survived through OCD. That in and of itself is evidence that you are ALREADY strong....and obviously you have determination to beat it already too. Everything you have done to cope with OCD thus far has already helped you even if you can't see it, or even if it may not have been the best thing to do to effectively fight ocd.
    I think you just need more access to new strategies (along with the experience of using them) to begin getting over the plateau you face.

    You feel stuck right now and aren't too sure what to do or how it will all work out. I've been there too. I get to that point at different times still. But that's when you find out what the next step is.

    If meds helped you out before, maybe you should talk to your doc about trying them again. But also don't neglect the mental side of fighting OCD.
    There's nothing wrong with meds, but they are only an additonal 'tool' in your arsenal.


    I'm curious though,....have you ever gotten to the point where the chaos of you mind has run so deep and has gotten so loud that it actually invokes your mind to shut down? I mean 'shut down' as in the thoughts stop bothering you or you find it easy to suddenly dispel them and think about something else?
    Just wondering.......I've come to those points before where I was just so fed up and such a mess that my attitude made the OCD go away for awhile....and it allowed me to reflect on what utter nonsense it all was.

    Anyways, I think it would be a good idea for you to talk with more people like "ontheway" about the whole God concept. Don't focus on those sects that tout the "fire and brimstone" image of God. I don't believe that they represent what God really stands for. Look towards the people who see God as loving-------that makes much more sense to me.
    Anything that turns your beliefs into a source of hope and power over OCD is great.

     
    Old 07-16-2004, 11:41 AM   #14
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    I also forgot to add that God does want you to overcome your thoughts so if you like to face them go for it don't let OCD stop u with more thoughts to kept you held down in its place OCD is a bully will use anything to keep u having to deal with it but be strong because u are and u can face the thought slike u want and God is behide u all the way God bless

     
    Old 07-17-2004, 05:45 PM   #15
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    Re: Feelings of uncertainty

    Ontheway & Wallcrawling: thank you both for taking the time express the kind words you have. My battle with OCD is still and uphill one. I always thought I would be a strong person since that was my personality before OCD set in (at age 21) After that, my confidence began to dwindle down and now I'm at the point where I feel like a complete wimp. When you refer to OCD as the "bully" it really made sense. That's exactly how I feel, completely bullied by my own thoughts and fears. I find myself constantly apologizing, stepping aside to let others go before me (so to speak) Not feeling worthy of happiness sometimes and always feeling a sense of guilt even though I haven't done anything. I don't keep in contact with friends because I feel judged. I also feel like a fraud because on the outside, I am perceived as a smart, competent person yet on the inside I am an obsessive bundle of insecurities. I do agree with your comment wallcrawling, that I am stronger due to all the pain OCD has put me through. I also have this thing of being hyper moral. In other words, I can clearly differentiate right from wrong with no gray area but it can be a pain in the neck too. For example, the other day I went to buy a soda from the vending machine and it gave me the soda plus my change so it was basically free. Most people would have taken the change and walked away but I had to leave it there because it was "stealing". Even though it was only 75 cents. That kind of hyper morality can be exhausting. And most people would deem it as weird but OCDer's know what it feels like. Even the free flyers they give out when you walk into a store I have to put on the counter when I'm about to pay for my things just in case they are not free even though they are on a display rack clearly marked "free". I'm trying to put my life back together but it feels like everything has just branched out in so many directions it's hard to know even where to begin. I'm also trying to find a therapy group in my area so I can do some CBT therapy but I am having no luck. I really want to try to get off the meds soon. For one thing, my weight is out of control, and for another thing, the meds are only a quick fix, without CBT I'm afraid OCD will continue to bully me throughout my life.

    Well again, thank you for taking the time to read my post and reply in such a helpful way. It's helped tremendously. I hope you are all doing well.

    simplyj

     
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