how to heal from self guilt

The power to heal from guilt and shame lies within and it takes a greater force if not an extraordinary force for one to pull out of the feeling of self-guilt, I was once in that condition, and sharing the same with you can help facilitate your healing from that feeling that is eating you up.

How to handle self guilt

 Around 9:00PM on the 14th Day of December 2020, I woke up from a very long sleep. I slept off around 4:000PM after the stress of the Day. Waking up, I realized that I was still trapped in my misery, every activity in the last twenty-four hours became fresh in my memory, and the desire to end life became apparent. 

The memories of my past relationship became vivid, I could remember everything, the fun, the hugs, the kisses, the get together, the date nights, the dinners we shared, the gifts, and all the lovely memories kept rushing in like the movement of an angry River. My head ached, my heartbeat increased, my temperature rose, my feet suddenly became cold, my hands were trembling, and my eyes blinked a thousand times.

 Life began to play its tricks on me, I started recalling past events, how it all began eight years ago, how I could not manage little crises in our relationship, how I was orchestrating all the issues in my love life, how I still blamed my partner for all my wrongdoings.

Every part of me blamed me, my carelessness was mirrored in me. Gradually I started hearing voices within me. The echoes gradually became louder and it came to a point where I felt I was with thousands of people in my room. The first sweet voice said to me ‘if you were more submissive, you would have been married to me by now. 

The second calm one said ’Annie don't leave this room, the world is waiting for you, they all want to criticize and blame you for being nonchalant’. 

The third voice said’ Relationship is not for you, enjoy celibacy’. the other vice reminded me of the poison I had in my closet and encouraged me to drink it and end all the sorrows and torments of life. 

So many thoughts beclouded my feeble mind, I ran down the staircase screaming my heart out. I shut myself out to the outer world, I withdrew myself from people, and I kept reminding myself how I have failed as a woman, wife, and advocate.

 I had so many contracts I wanted to execute, but I turned them all down, I switched my mobile phone off and informed my friends and my relatives that I had traveled out of the province.

 I had a reasonable supply of food so I had no need to go out looking for what to eat. I had unquenchable guilt, so I punished myself. I did not have my hair done, I neither washed nor combed my hair, and I told myself that I deserved all forms of unfair treatment. I constantly starved myself and punished my body. 

I stayed indoors for Fifty two days. One day I went into my study room and stumbled upon a book. I was reluctant to open the book as I have lost interest in life and all of life’s activities. 

The first page that opened to me read ‘you can actually heal from your self-guilt. Throughout this period I did not know that  I was battling with self-guilt and forgiveness of myself. It didn't occur to me that I could ever forgive myself, dust off my soul, and move on without having that feeling of rejection or depression taking over me.

 See also: How to find happiness in life

The words struck me like lightning, I went back to my room but the words kept sounding in my ears. I hurriedly picked the book and started digesting it. How terrible I felt, I have been punishing myself for over Fifty-two months, I have actually been wallowing in self-guilt, the guilt that almost destroyed my life, and my career, the same guilt that shut me out from people that would have helped me out of my misery. I practiced self-compassion.

 This guilt can not only come from a failure in a relationship, it can come from sexual abuse. It can be linked to one’s upbringing that is if one is raised in an overly strict family, the treatment one received while growing up. Past mistakes can initiate or birth self-guilt, mistakes in marriage or in raising a child, failure in examinations; causing the death or injury of a loved one, facilitating the arrest or detention of a friend, and even sexual assaults can birth guilt.

 The consequences of self-guilt are uncountable ranging from depression to sadness, thoughts of suicide, hatred for one’s self, isolation, low self-esteem, blame, frustration, timidity, and lack of self-confidence. When this feeling set in, it eats deep into the fabric of the soul. It can take weeks, months, and even years to overcome if the required process of healing is not resorted to. 

Most times, victims of this self-guilt find it difficult to forgive themselves as they often perceive that they can never be forgiven by the person they have wronged and remedying a wrong to them becomes impracticable. 

Self-guilt can lead people to quit life, perform poorly in school or in a new relationship, in new projects, or in taking up responsibilities. They move with unresolved feelings and this affects new people that come into their lives, it also affects their colleagues, spouses, and children. 

How to handle guilt feelings:

This feeling can actually go away and the victim can become a brand new person through these processes:

1. Practice self-forgiveness

 This can stabilize your emotions and give you long-lasting peace. You can practice this by engaging in self-understanding, understanding that the traumas were actually meant to come, and that going through the traumas was a part of forgiving yourself and living right.  You can also engage in good health skills as this can also improve your self-forgiveness. You can also go into charity work which can also boost self-forgiveness. 

Self-compassion can also facilitate self-forgiveness. By this, you try to understand that you have actually made a mistake and that humans are infallible, wrong doings are bound to happen as we interact and interrelate with one another. Self-compassion does not absolve you from taking full responsibility for your wrongs but helps you admit your wrongs and reduce some burdens that can be placed on you. Be keen to purge yourself, open up to yourself, admit your wrongs and assure yourself that you deserve to be forgiven and that you can forgive yourself and live well again.

2. Identify the Guilt and find its source

This is the act of acknowledging and accepting your guilt, it might seem temporary but it has a long-lasting effect. When a wrong is acknowledged and its source identified, it is easier to heal from it than trying to ignore or shy away from such wrong.

 You can also keep a record of events that led to the actual wrong by trying to itemize each action as they occurred sequentially. If you can itemize and know its root cause, it cleanses you of self-hatred and gives you an opportunity not to repeat the same sequence.

See also: How to heal from self guilt

3. Seek forgiveness

Wrongs can be righted by seeking forgiveness from people we have wronged. Steps can be taken to seek an apology and amends will be made. This act can show an expression of remorse and genuine apology and acceptance by the wronged person facilitates healing from prolonged guilt. 

4. Be positive about yourself

An effective way to heal is to speak positively about yourself. Cut off every form of negative words and thoughts. Self-guilt can lead one into talking down on himself, reminding one of past failures and how not good enough one have been, but if all these can be replaced with positive and comforting words, it is a booster to self-healing.

 5. Confide in a friend

Most times, it is difficult to speak to a friend during the depression period, but confiding in a close friend has been shown to be one of the quickest processes of self-healing. Friends who have your interest at heart will be quick to offer tender advice and compassion. Some will keep a constant watch on you, and some might even try to facilitate reconciliation between you and the wronged party. 

The presence of a trusted friend can help you feel secure in your depressed state, their presence can help build your self-confidence and give you a quick assurance of your self-worth.

See also: How to find true love

6. Guilt can make you feel better

It can serve as a checkmate for the reoccurrence of the wrong. This can make you quickly make amends as the guilt feeling constantly serves as a reminder that the same wrong is to be repeated. This can also facilitate healing.

7. Visit a therapist

  You can book an appointment with a health therapist. You can also have access to a therapist online by booking a session with him.

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