My colleague, Sister Luo, apprised me of the recent affliction befalling the venerable Mr. Wu—insomnia. He has been ensnared in the throes of restless nights, tormented by an elusive embrace of slumber. Concurrently, his cognitive faculties have waned, rendering him feeble and despondent, a melancholy disposition pervading his waking hours.
Upon inquiring of Sister Luo concerning Mr. Wu’s travail, I sought elucidation on potential tribulations within his professional sphere. To this, Sister Luo disclosed that Mr. Wu has perennially languished in occupational disfavor. Once brimming with hubris, he espoused the belief that diligence would inevitably unveil his latent talents to discerning superiors. Alas, at 55 years of age, he now confides in Sister Luo, lamenting a lifetime steeped in despondency. His discourse, a symphony of regret, expresses remorse for the shared journey with Sister Luo, bespeaking hardship and weariness.
Positing that Mr. Wu grapples with profound mental duress compounded by the vicissitudes of midlife, I proffered counsel to Sister Luo. The prescription entailed consoling Mr. Wu, uncovering his latent virtues, and redirecting focus from life’s dissatisfactions. A sanctuary for the mind, when established, fosters an organic tranquility of spirit.
Sister Luo, junior by five years to Mr. Wu, commenced her menopausal odyssey last year, grappling with insomnia, irritability, and a pervasive sense of malaise. Despite recourse to various pharmacological and folk remedies, somnolence remained elusive. Conversations with Mr. Wu, once perturbed by Sister Luo’s nocturnal loquacity, now yield a paradoxical clarity in his ruminations on past miseries.
Observing Sister Luo’s concern for Mr. Wu’s mental state, I advocated for a proactive change in discourse. Embracing the mantle of a psychological counselor, Sister Luo inundated Mr. Wu with daily “chicken soup” of life’s insights, alleviating his burdens.
Harkening back to their early years as neighbors, Sister Luo and Mr. Wu, in a concerted effort to recapture youthful exuberance, engage in nightly reveries over letters and photographs. Abjuring the tyranny of sleep, they peruse epistles, engaging in protracted conversations. An accord is struck—to eschew enforced repose, replacing it with the mellifluous cadence of an audiobook, inducing tranquil slumber.
A lunar cycle hence, Sister Luo, adorned with a smile, attests to the efficacy of redirecting Mr. Wu’s narrative from despondence to optimism. His mental equipoise has notably improved, and insomnia, once a relentless tormentor, has been assuaged. Mr. Wu, expressing gratitude, deems the redirection as a course correction, steering Sister Luo onto the “right path.”
In Sister Luo’s endeavor to “cure” Mr. Wu, a reciprocal transformation unfurls. As she refrains from censure and engages in appreciative discourse, Mr. Wu’s reluctance dissipates. The marital dyad undergoes a mutual redemption. The crucible of this shared tribulation prompts Mr. Wu to introspect, transforming from passivity to an active participant, enriching their nocturnal dialogues.
“Fear not the specter of insomnia, for companionship shall grace my wakeful hours.” Such is the new narrative of Sister Luo’s social circle—a testament to care, where menopause intertwines with happiness and sweetness.