Sleepless Night Insomnia Caused By Unresolved Guilt
Teh Healinghart Centre Clinical Psychologist, Ms. Doreen Teh shares this insightful story.
No one is perfect.
We all have made our fair share of mistakes in life. Nonetheless, there are things we have done that still ‘haunts’ us.
We may not realize how our past can affect us until we experience repeated negative consequences such as disturbed or poor quality sleep.
Many people have trouble falling asleep or get enough rest. They may sleep fitfully, tossing and turning at night and wake up feeling tired and feel like they haven’t slept at all.
Usually, they will see their general physician when they feel fatigued, and the lack of sleep has started to affect their work or other aspects of life.
They may start taking sleeping pills and become dependent on the sleeping pills which eventually lose its effectiveness over time.
As insomnia sets in, the sufferers often start to feel anxious at bedtime when they walk into their bedroom.
Some may have tried many other ways to help themselves relax or sleep but have been unsuccessful. For this group of people, they may become extremely concern about their health.
In fact, a small number of them may become somewhat paranoid and start to believe they have some major health issues or serious illness.
Several years ago, I saw an elderly gentleman who confessed that he had seen many doctors and specialists to no avail. He still could not sleep.
After the First Healing Session
On our 1st session, he shared he could not forget something embarrassing he had done as a curious and cheeky kid. It excited him whenever he successfully took something and did not get caught. It could be a pencil or eraser or small items. He liked the adrenaline rush and over time, he took bigger items.
Now in his twilight years, as he goes down ‘memory lane’, he felt ashamed and guilty for the ‘wrongs’ he had done.
I reminded him, it was never too late to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Even if the person we had wronged is not in front of us, or willing to forgive, so long as we sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness, we can still benefit from this ‘letting go’ of our negative past.
No one is perfect.
We all have done wrong things in our lives. In his case, it was clear he did not intentionally cause pain or harm to anyone or anything. He can start this process by forgiving himself first.
Once he started the process of forgiving himself, he started to call upon those whom he felt he may have hurt and asked for their forgiveness. It is important to remember, it is not as important if the other chooses to forgive us.
What matters most is we do what we can on our part. Leave the response to the other person!
At the next session, he was beaming and told me, he already felt better after our 1st session, and he started to practice the process of forgiveness.
Voila! He could sleep again.
On the 4th session, he gladly informed me, he did not need to return…the guilty culprit was gone!