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The Holiday Blues...

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble
The Truth Network Radio
December 14, 2022 9:32 pm

The Holiday Blues...

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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December 14, 2022 9:32 pm

The Holiday Blues...

Steve talks to Dr. Tate Cockrell about the Christmas blues. Why are people sad and gloomy during Christmas?

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. And even in politics, Steve is an ordinary man who believes in an extraordinary God. And on his show, there's plenty of grace and lots of truth, but no sacred cows. Call Steve now at 866-34-TRUTH.

That's 866-34-TRUTH. Or check him out online at And now, here's your host, Steve Noble. Hey it's Steve Noble, welcome back.

Good to be here. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Well, one of the challenges this time of year is that it's not necessarily great for a lot of people. A lot of people are actually not excited. They weren't excited about Thanksgiving. They're not excited about Christmas. They're not excited about the New Year's. They're just not excited.

And as a matter of fact, it could be that this time of year is actually worse for you. And we saw this, an example, sad to know, I found out about this earlier today. Our youngest daughter is very involved in the dance world. She's been dancing for years and somebody really well known in the dance world, a guy named Steven Twitch Boss committed suicide yesterday. He was 40 years old. He had a huge following on TikTok. He left behind a wife and two kids.

And he had it all, right? He's only 40 and he committed suicide. And a lot of people, and it might be you, this time of year are just really struggling because this just heightens the fact that you're not feeling good, that you're not in a good place. Perhaps that you've got a family member for the first time is not going to be there this Christmas.

So the holiday blues can be very, very real for people. And so for years, we've had the good fortune, I praise the Lord for this, a good friend, Mr. Tate Cockrell, who's the associate professor of counseling out at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest has been on the show many, many times. It's been a great blessing to our family personally. Tate, great to have you on, buddy. How are you? Merry Christmas. I'm great. Merry Christmas, Steve. Great to be with you again today.

Thank you, pal. And we'll keep trying to figure out, we had all kinds of issues showing up here in the studio. So we'll try to jump back on Zoom here at the break, but I appreciate you being on today. And we've had this conversation many times in the past. And I don't know that we fully grasp just how difficult this time of year can be for people.

And we're going to talk, like we always do, Tate, we're going to talk to two different audiences today. I want to talk specifically to the people that are really struggling right now with the holiday blues, and then talk to the rest of us that aren't in terms of being on the lookout for that. And how do we help?

Is there anything we can do to be an assistant, to be a blessing to people that are really struggling? But how big of a problem is this? And why is it maybe a particular problem this time of year when it's not quite as bad another time of year? Yeah, Steve, it really is a difficult problem this time of year for a lot of folks. And it's a problem because for many of them, this will be the first holiday that they celebrate without somebody, or maybe not the first time, but this time of year when normally families would be gathering and getting together and celebrating the holiday season and Christmas and giving gifts, there's somebody that's missing around the table or somebody that's missing from the picture. And that could be death. It could be divorce.

It could be deployment. I mean, there's any number of reasons why individuals won't be able to be around the people that they would normally be around during the holidays. And the holidays just accentuate that person that's not going to be there. Yeah. And so there's all those different things, situational things like that, Tate, but also people that struggle with anxiety and depression, can that sometimes kind of spike this time of year as well?

Yeah, no doubt. I mean, you think about all the pressure that goes into the holiday season, gift buying, and we just tend to be more busy with events and parties, and it's the end of the year, so you're trying to close the year out. And so particularly if you struggle with anxiety, the holidays can be incredibly anxiety-invoking. The holidays, of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas happen during the winter, so you've got individuals who they tend to get more depressed during the winter. Personal affective disorder kicks in, and depression tends to be worse during the winter months than it does during the summer months. I get very few cancellations around the holidays. People want to come into counseling during the holidays.

When the summer rolls around, the sun comes out, they get to go to the beach or they get to go for walks and do those sorts of things. My cancellations, they tend to rise because people just, they feel better during that time of the year. Yeah. And just the overall state of just what it's like outside will contribute to that. Are there a number of people, Tate, and even people listening?

We're talking to Dr. Tate Cockrell, who's an incredible counselor and also one of the counseling professors at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Are there some people, Tate, that maybe just can't quite put their finger on it this time of year where people are like, yeah, I just, I don't know what it is, I just kind of feel off? Yeah. I mean, that can certainly happen to folks. I mean, it could be a combination of all the things that we're talking about today. It could be the loss of a loved one or just a change in circumstances and the busyness.

And so it's really not even exactly one thing that's doing it. It may be a combination of a whole lot of little bitty things that's causing them to feel the way that they're feeling. And honestly, Steve, sometimes what happens is they don't even realize that they're, I like your term, you call it the holiday blues.

They don't even recognize that they're experiencing the holiday blues until they're already down in that hole. You know, and then they look up and they're like, wow, like why do I feel the way that I feel? Like what's going on with me? Yeah. And I think that's one of the things that as we kind of break the audience apart and talk directly to people that are struggling it if they don't know they are, is kind of what are those signs? We want to talk about that because obviously you've been at this for a long time, tens of thousand hours of counseling and years and years and years of counseling. Oftentimes I think there's some, there's probably some pressure on us that we maybe place on ourselves Tate or like, ah, you know, it's not that big a deal.

I'll get over it. Is there some pressure to not, to kind of suppress these things and hide them because we don't want to be like a Scrooge this time of year? Yeah. Well, you know, you don't want to be the odd man out. You know, everybody's talking about, you know, isn't it, isn't it exciting?

We've got the, you know, Christmas carols and Christmas food and you know, we're visiting with our relatives and I can't wait to travel. And you don't want to be the one guy that's like, yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm not really into that. Like, I'm, I'm not really feeling that. You know, you don't want to be the odd man out who feels like you're throwing a wet blanket on everybody. So a lot of times people just kind of grin and bear it and they try to move through it. And of course, usually what ends up happening if they, if they don't talk to a friend or admit what's going on is they begin to isolate because they don't want to be the Scrooge. So they just think, well, I'll just remove myself from the entire situation.

Yeah. And then you isolate and that tends to make things even worse. We're going to continue to unpack this conversation about the holiday blues with Dr. Tate Cockrell today on the show. And we come back, Tate, we're up against a commercial break, but when we come back, I'd love to talk about directly to people that are struggling, like how do you know you're struggling and what can you do about it? And then at some point in the rest of the show, we'll turn the tables and talk to those of us that maybe aren't struggling. How can we help people? A neighbor, a loved one, a coworker, a friend, a spouse, a son, a daughter, whatever the case may be. How do we approach that?

How can we be a blessing to them? Coming to Dr. Tate Cockrell today about the holiday blues, this is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. We'll be right back. Yeah, I'm like, hey, I'll be there at 4.02. It'll be fine. Loud at 4.06.

He's like, what are you kidding me? Come on. Let's go.

And it'll be fine. All right. Here we go.

We got about three seconds. Welcome back at Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show. Merry Christmas.

However, a little asterisk on that. You might not be feeling too merry this Christmas and you hear carols and you see the decorations and you see all the stuff around and all the smiles and all the gold and all the silver and everything else. And the last thing you want is to invest in the holiday season and you might be struggling with the holiday blues. So we're thankful for Dr. Tate Cockrell, who's been a friend of the program for years and a great blessing to my family personally, just like 25 plus thousand hours of counseling experience and one of the professors at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. So this is a topic that I feel obligated to talk about every year at this time.

So we appreciate you Tate taking the time to help us down this road. So for people that are struggling with the holiday blues, I guess asking generally, what should they be looking for in themselves? And then what can they do about it? Yeah. So let's just talk about the warning signs first. If they're overly tired, if they kind of lack motivation, they don't want to get out of bed, maybe even sometimes they're sleeping more, but they're resting less. So they don't want to get out of bed, so it seems like they sleep a lot. You would think they would wake up, they feel energized, but they're not. So they just kind of lack motivation. When we talked about before the break, they tend to avoid their friends and family. They don't want to be around people.

They're easily distracted. Sometimes they start to even get physically ill, it's easier for them if they're depressed and they're down, then they'll get physically sicker, they'll get headaches and stomach aches and pains and those sorts of things. They maybe just have a general sense of irritability all the time. They don't really know what they're angry at, they don't really know what they're frustrated by, but they tend to be angry and frustrated at different things. All of those could be signs at a time of year when we would expect they would be happy and joyful and jovial and all of that. If they're experiencing those other things you were just talking about, then those are pretty dead giveaways that something's going on and it's likely around this time of year, it's going to be the holiday blues.

Yeah. And then for other folks, when you mentioned this at the beginning of the show, Tate, that this will be the first Christmas, maybe it was just the first Thanksgiving where somebody's not at the table, somebody is out of their lives, whether they were somebody that's older. So for example, my mother died at the end of January, she was 90. That's not a tragic death because she lived for so long, but this is the first Christmas that I can't call either one of my parents. And so for me, I'll be okay with that. It's a little bit of a downer, but it's not a huge issue.

But for other people, especially like I mentioned, Steven Twitch Boss, who took his own life yesterday, he has a wife and two kids, he was only 40. I mean, situationally, if you've had a huge loss, a big problem, a big challenge in the last several months, or even sometime this year, you kind of should see this coming a little bit, shouldn't you, in terms of the holidays? Yeah. Yeah.

No question about it. In fact, we talk in counseling when folks, after they experience a loss, let's say that the loss even happened much earlier in the year. When I do grief counseling, I often tell my clients, we need to prepare for, even though this is six, eight, nine months away, we need to prepare for the eventuality of how are you going to respond when you have to do that first Thanksgiving, when you have to do that first Christmas? Because it's going to happen. I mean, it is unbelievably rare that individuals, when they lose someone, when they celebrate kind of that first holiday without that person, it's going to affect them.

I've rarely seen, if ever seen, they did not do that. Yeah. So what are some things, some practical steps that they can take? And I want to do this in kind of a graded fashion in terms of kind of some normal, pretty easy things to do, all the way up to the point, and I'd like to get to the point where for some people, and this will rub some people wrong listening, for some people, maybe they need, maybe they need to consider medication. I think, I mean, my assumption is you can get to that level where you actually need some help at that, at that juncture, but, but kind of the simpler things. Let's start there. Okay. So let's just start with Steve. The reality that for folks who are going through this first, they just need to be given permission to be able to grieve.

Like it, let's just say like you, you use the example of Twitch. We would not expect that his family would be happy right now. They just experienced a significant loss. So let's give, let's give people permission to be able to do that. Let's give them permission to be able to grieve and to do that healthily.

So that's, that's a good starting place, not to get stuck in that place, but to give themselves permission just to be able to experience the depth of the loss, whatever that loss is. Another thing that they can do is just kind of force themselves to do the small things, not, not big grand gestures, not, not going to the party that they, you know, that they, that they don't want to go to, but let's at least start with, let's get out of bed. You know, let's, let's take a shower. The miracle of a shower in the morning for a depressed person is a big deal. And so, you know, let's get them out of bed. Let's take a shower.

Let's try to eat something and let's try to eat decently. Let's answer the phone or a text when family members call us or hang out with us. Uh, if, if, if we can go to church, if we're church goers, if we can go to church, read our Bible, have some form of community, all of those things are going to be good for that person who's experiencing the holiday blues. And for many people, if they catch it early enough on the front end before they get down in the hole, maybe they won't fall all the way into the hole and they won't feel like their whole holiday is ruined.

Maybe even they can prevent from getting to that point if they catch it early enough. Well, I want to, I'm going to go back to that first point right quick, because I think that's so important is, is to give yourself permission to grieve and to mourn, uh, where you're like, I don't, you don't have to play the game. You don't have to put on the emoji smiley face and, and act like everything's fine when in fact everything isn't. So I think, all right, this Christmas is going to be different because I'm just struggling with some things.

And so, uh, I'm not going to force myself to play through all the different games that we play at Christmas and all the different events and all the smiles and all the sweaters and all the other stuff. I think that's really important to give yourself some breathing room, even if other people don't understand it. And we'll get to that, but I think it, I think that was really important. Yeah, and the other thing that I would say too about that, Steve is sometimes when people are anticipating that it is going to be bad, here's what they do.

They don't give themselves permission to do, to, to, to think about it. And here's what happens. And I use this example with my clients all the time. If I were to say to you right now, Steve, don't think about a pink elephant, right? That's the first thing that popped into my head.

It's the first thing that pops into your mind, right? So if I, if, if I'm grieving and all I can think about is, I don't want to think about that person. I don't want to think about the grief. I don't want to think about that person.

I don't want to think about that degree. They just get locked in their mind into this rehearsal of that over and over and over again. You know, some of the best things that happen to my clients around this time of year is whenever they get to sit down with me and they get to have a conversation about their loved one that's no longer here. And I, and I encourage them to do that and I listen to that and we laugh and maybe we cry a little bit together. So like to reminisce almost.

That's exactly right. And when they leave, they say, how is it that I've been trying to avoid this because I didn't want to feel bad. We talk about it and now I don't feel bad.

I actually feel better because we talked about it well, because you gave yourself permission to be able to do that. And that's, that's normal and natural. One of the things often that happens with people, especially if it's a death is when you have individuals that they even their fear is my loved one's going to be forgotten, you know? And so sometimes when we allow them to talk about their grief, we allow them to talk about that person. It really helps them because they think, okay, well, you know, my son, my mom, my dad, whoever it is, like they are gone.

They're no longer here, but they're not forgotten by the other people who are in my life. And that's a big deal. Yeah. And I think that's a, I mean, I've been down that road myself and you're like, that's the last thing I want to talk about. And there may be a time and a place for that. But ultimately, I mean, it's a reality. You need to engage the reality in it. And that is probably is a surprise sometimes when all of a sudden it'll turn to, there'll be some laughter there and there'll be some smiles there. And that's when you realize, okay. And from a Christian perspective, I'm like, listen, I'm going to praise the Lord that I had this person in my life for as long as I did. And there's all kinds of blessings there, which obviously we should take the time to count our blessings. We're talking to Dr. Tate Cockrell about the holiday blues, how to get through that, what you can do to help yourself. And then we'll turn the corner at some point.

What can we do to help the people in our lives that might not be so merry this Christmas? This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. We'll be right back. We live in an on-demand world, time, weather, meals, and content. That's why the Truth Network has the Truth Podcast Network. Some of your favorite Truth Network programs, plus some that are podcast only.

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Buy smart. Brought to you by the National Crime Prevention Council and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A buddy of mine, but also a brother in Christ, a great Christian counselor, Dr. Tate Cockrell, who's out on staff at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary out there in beautiful Wake Forest. That's where I happen to have gotten my master's degree, which seemed like it took about 130 years.

And I think Jesus had ascended by the time that I finished somewhere in between the flood and Jesus's ascension. I was able to finish my master's degree. But that's where I met Tate and they've done the show many, many times and been a huge blessing to our family personally as a Christian counselor. And so it's always just wonderful to have you on. I really appreciate you. And thanks for your time, man. It's always just great to be with you, Steve. Appreciate the work that you do and and appreciate your sensitivity in particular to this topic this time of year, because not a lot of people talk about it.

Yeah. So I'm just going to grin and bear it, kind of push through. But for us as Christians and again, we'll turn the corner here in a minute between talking to folks who are struggling with the holiday blues themselves. And for those of us that aren't, how can we be helpful in that situation? But we kind of started in the last segment talking to folks that are struggling with this right now, whether it be depression, anxiety, situational things. They lost a loved one, a job, financial situation, something like that that's happened recently or even earlier in the year. And then, you know, giving yourself permission to struggle that and to grieve and to mourn.

That's OK. You don't have to put on a pretty face and the smiley emoji all the time. And then the basics that was so good for me to hear and to be reminded, get out of bed, get a shower, get something to eat, answer the phone, return a text, just normal things. But as we go up from there, what's kind of next, just in terms of people that are struggling, how they can kind of work this work this out? Well, you know, the old saying, Steve, the first the real first step in addressing a problem is admitting that you got a problem.

Right. And so one of the one of the next things they can do is just admitting, hey, you know, this is not just the holiday blues. This is not just me feeling a little bit down.

This is a little more than that. Like I'm really starting to struggle. And so now maybe it's time for me to reach out and ask for some help, you know, talk to a pastor, a small group leader, a friend, and not just to talk to them, just to be talking, but to talk to them and say, hey, can you pray with me? Can you pray for me? And do you know somebody that I can go talk to then actually taking the step to actually sit down and go talk to somebody, you know, a pastor, a professional counselor, somebody that can engage them in a way that can help them understand what it is that's going on with them.

And then if they continue down that path, like if they don't if they can't turn the corner, they can't kind of, you know, stop the flood. It might be time to consider medication. That medication might be something short term. They might could take something just in the short term just to get them through the holidays. Or it might be something that they might consider long term. Some of my clients, they've had anxiety and depression for a while. And it's something that they would benefit all the time from medication.

But the holidays really accentuate just how bad things are. And so sometimes during the holidays, that's the impetus for them to really reach out to their doctor or to a psychiatrist and say, is there something physiologically that we can do? This is not just something mental. This is not just something emotional. This is also something physiological where from a brain chemistry, brain chemical perspective, I need some help.

And can I reach out and can I get some help from my from my doctor or psychiatrist, psychologist, somebody like that? Is there a danger that that some people will kind of skip the lower level step, so to speak, and kind of jump right to I got to get something? Yeah. I mean, there are people that do that. I mean, there are some people that do it because they don't recognize the smaller steps. There's some people that skip the smaller steps just because as soon as they recognize it, you know, they're just like, I want to nip this in the bud and I want to do it quickly. So, you know, let me just jump immediately to, you know, to the medication. I'm not a big fan of that. I like medication is kind of the, you know, let's try the other steps first.

Yeah. You know, and not because there's anything wrong with medication, but just because, you know, if you don't have to take the meds, if you could do talk therapy, if you could meet with friends, if you know, if you could improve your eating and exercise and those kind of things, then let's go that direction before we go medical route. But if we don't deal with it, then let's go. Let's talk about medicine. I got a buddy on Facebook Live that just is a great thought and a great question is, is this more of an issue at this point?

Like you've been at this for a while, Tate. Do you see this, is this worse now than it was 10 or 15 or 20 years ago? And is it a generational thing? Like younger people under 30 are struggling with this a lot more than old folks like me? What I would say, Steve, is that it probably is a little worse now.

I think COVID helped with or hurt that, like actually accentuated that even more. What I would say, though, is maybe what it is today versus a generation ago is a generation ago, we didn't talk so openly about counseling. We didn't talk so openly about our problems. You know, my kids and their friends, they have no problems that they are struggling emotionally. They have no problem admitting that they go see a counselor. I talk to people my age and if they say they're going to see a counselor, it's almost like they have to whisper the fact that they're going to see a counselor. But man, kids in this generation, it's so much a part of their life.

And they don't have a problem admitting that at all. And so part of it is maybe the problem, I do believe it is worse. I don't want to say it's not worse.

It is worse today. But I do think part of it is it's always been here, but we haven't always been willing to talk about it the way we talk about it now. Yeah, it was part of the iceberg under the water before. That's exactly right.

Now it's out of the water. You can see it and people aren't afraid to talk about it. That's good to know. In terms of just being around people short of getting to a counselor and I want to ask real quick about Christian counselors versus secular counselors. But should somebody struggling with the holiday blues, should they kind of work hard to be around people or at least to be around a friend, somebody that they should trust? Yeah, they need to try to they need to try to have contact with some with some people in some way. In my experience, I think if you talk to any counselor, any psychologist who's out there, they will tell you that isolation is and it is an enemy of depression and anxiety, the holiday blues.

It isn't anything made better by isolating yourself and that's not to say they always have to be around somebody. Certainly there are times when maybe they just need to go, you know, they need to go lay down. They need to go in the room for a little bit. They need a good cry. You know, they don't really feel like being around people. So for a period of time, you know, they're not with them, but they don't need to do that as their primary coping mechanism if their primary coping mechanism is to isolate away from people and to run away from the problem, it almost inevitably is going to become worse and isolation breeds a desire for more isolation and it will actually accentuate the anxiety and the depression.

Yeah, that's such an important point to note. Thank you for that. So in terms of picking a counselor, somebody's never been down that road again. Real quick, just because it came up, what about using a Christian counselor, a biblically based counselor? There's counselors that say, I'm a Christian, but don't necessarily counsel in a biblical way. So a quote unquote secular counselor versus a biblical counselor.

How should we look at that as Christians? Is the one off limits and the other one is a necessity? Yeah, well, I don't think any of them necessarily are off limits. I'm not saying there's no counselors that are off limits. Certainly there are some counselors whose worldview I would just recommend people don't go there. So in the world of what we would call secular humanism of, you know, kind of secular counseling, I call that bait and switch counseling, right? So it's the kind of counseling that says, hey, man, everything that you need, you can find inside of yourself. You know, like, you know, you're your own best counselor. There's just not truth to that.

There's just not that the evidence is out to sea on that. It does not tend to work when, when we talk about biblical counseling, counseling done from an actual biblical worldview, not just counseling done by a Christian, but someone who their worldview as a Christian impacts the way they're counseling, then what that's going to do is that's going to help that counselor lead that person to the one person who really can help them. And it's not themselves. And it's really not even that counselor. It's Christ, right? I mean, God's going to be the person that ultimately steps into their life and provides true and lasting change. And any good biblical counselor is merely a conduit between that client and the Lord. Like that's ultimately what the best counseling is going to do is that biblical counselor is going to be a conduit between those two.

Yeah. And before we got in, and when I say we, I'd say mostly me, in our family got comfortable with the notion of biblical counseling because God gives some to be teachers and counselors and there's wisdom in a multitude of counselors. So you're really denying some pretty clear teaching of scripture if you say a Christian shouldn't ever need to talk to a counselor.

But you know, before, Tate, I would be like, you know, you just need to love Jesus more. But part of the counseling thing is actually kind of using tools and that wisdom. It's more than just, hey, come in here and let me show you how to do a good Bible study.

There's tools and practicality to it as well. To me, that's what the best biblical counselors do. The best biblical counselors don't just say, love Jesus more, read your Bible more, go to church more. What they do is they help you discover Christ and His Word and the practical application of that. The majority of the time when my clients come to see me and we're talking about the scriptures, they already know the scriptures that I'm going to share with them. What they don't know is what is the practical application of those scriptures? How do I actually convert what the Lord says, what the Word says to me?

How do I convert that into practical tools, techniques, and steps that get me from where I am to where I want to be? To me, the best biblical counseling, this is what we do and it's what we train people to do here at Southeastern, is what we call clinically informed biblical counseling. So it is counseling from a biblical worldview, but it is clinically informed from the best aspects of secular science that is truth and that where we can benefit from that, then we're going to use that.

But it's all going to be consistent with what the Bible teaches. Yeah. It's such an important thing to remember. So if you are like, oh, yeah, I might need to talk to somebody, those are some really important principles to remember.

Okay, Tate, when we come back from the break, let's switch the focus and we'll talk to the remainder of us that are in a decent place right now. But maybe you have somebody in your life that's struggling, somebody that has the holiday blues. What can you do to help? Should you try to help at all?

And if you do try to help, what's the best way to do that? So we're going to continue that conversation with Dr. Tate Cockrell. This is Steve Noble. We'll be right back.

Welcome back. It's Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show, talking to Dr. Tate Cockrell today about the holiday blues. Tate serves out at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is the associate professor of counseling that's right here in town.

I'm in Raleigh. He's up in Wake Forest right outside of town and has been a biblical counselor for years. Incredible gifting in that arena has been a huge blessing to my family. And so when I have Tate on, it's not just I go out and find a Christian counselor.

This is a Christian counselor that I know personally has been a huge blessing. So in that in that regard, I feel like I have an obligation to share great things with people. So that's what I'm doing. I'm sharing Tate with as many people as I possibly can. So Tate, always great to see you. Thanks for carving some time out.

I know how busy you are. No, I mean, it's kind of you to kind of you to have me on and, you know, love talking about love talking about this topic, particularly, you know, as you were talking about before the break, us being able to make the turn and really help people know how do we respond to people as they're going through this? Yeah, because one of my friends on Facebook Live was mentioning, even though that they weren't when they were struggling with the holiday blues, they weren't reaching out, but it sure was nice to have other people reaching out to them. So that's where. But there's a fine line here.

And again, one of my other friends on Facebook was like, hey, you don't necessarily want to be around people that are all happy go lucky. So there's that makes me think of when we're in the scriptures thinking about, well, I should mourn with those who mourn and I should weep with those who weep. So what's our role? First of all, how do we look out for it?

We should have our radar up a little bit here at the holiday season. So what do we look for? And then if we suspect that somebody is having it or if they came right out and said it, I'm really struggling. What do we do?

But how do we notice it first? Well, to your friend on Facebook, I would echo exactly what she was saying about, you know, we need to be proactive. You know, I mean, like we need to be proactive and actually be on the lookout. It's easy to miss the person who's kind of sliding back into the shadows because they're you know, because they're feeling bad.

It's really and it's easy for us to even buy. Well, you know, they really don't want to get out. So what kind of leave them alone? And I'm not saying how I'm like, don't go show up at their house and like drag them out of bed. But a lot of times if we'll just initiate the contact, if we'll initiate the phone call or the text and, you know, hey, like, I'd love to take you to lunch or look, I'd love just to stop by and have a conversation like you don't have to go to the party if you don't want to go to the party because you don't want to be around everybody who's happy.

Fine. Why don't you just let me come over and just sit with you for a while, you know, we can just have a conversation. It's just me and you. It's not some big party. It's not some big celebration.

I just want to come out and have a conversation. You've heard me say this. Steve, I've said this every time I've ever been on your show, you know, the deal is you show up and you shut up, you know, I mean, you don't you don't have to show up with, you know, streamers and banners and fireworks and you know, hey, I'm trying to make you all happy. I'm going to cheer you up. Right.

You don't have to do that. But look, I care about you. I care about what's going on in your life. I know this is a tough time of year for you. I just want to be here. I just want to be here so that if there is something I can do to help you, I'll be here to help you.

And just having somebody like that care for them could be a huge first step for them. Yeah. Yeah. Just the ministry of presence can be so important that just I just and that's the thing you have to because I do have done radio for such a long time and I'm doing something right now that I'm doing on purpose and what I'm doing right now is pausing. Now the pregnant pause, if I pause too long, Tate, if I go 10 seconds, the computer in the operating world of broadcasting will assume that we have a technical problem and it literally will grab an old show of mine and play it right on top of the live broadcast. So I can't pause for too long. But oftentimes people really struggle with that pregnant pause or with that silence. But oftentimes I think in a situation like that, shouldn't we be willing to say nothing and just wait? Without question, Steve, I told you the first thing was being proactive. The second thing you got to be is you got to be patient. You know, you just got to be patient. People aren't going to whenever you show up to have a conversation with them, you're not going to have that conversation. They're going to be like, oh, you know what? I'm so glad you came by. I'm no longer blue. I'm no longer depressed.

You know, let's go out to the mall and let's go shopping. They're likely not going to do that. Right. And so we're going to need to be patient enough with them to allow them to kind of go at their own pace. There's a great quote out of one of John Piper's books where he says, for most people, for most people who are passing through the dark night of the soul, the turnaround will come because God brings unwavering lovers of Christ into their lives who do not give up on them. Oh, man, that's so powerful. Who do not give up on them. That is so powerful when you think and listen, as a counselor, I would tell you that that's true, that there are times when people have said to me as their counselor, you're the one person that I felt like just didn't wash their hands of me like I was so depressed or I was so down that I felt like I just couldn't go on.

And all my family and friends who didn't understand it, they basically just kind of walked away for me. But you did it. And so we got to be proactive. To your point, the gift of presence, we got to be present. And we got to be patient. Like, we got to allow them to go at their pace, at their speed. Is there a time when so we've been proactive or reaching our patient, we're going at their pace, but is there a time to be on the offensive? That sounds a little too strong, but do you know what I mean?

Yeah. No, I think there is a time to go on the offensive when you see that person in the hole and they can't get out of the hole and you see them getting dangerously close. Like, you know, listen, your example of Twitch is a good example. People get far enough down in that hole, they don't commit suicide because they don't. As a general rule, people don't commit suicide because they want to die. They commit suicide because they don't think they have any options. And they're so far down in that hole, they don't think anything else is going to solve their problem. And so if we leave them to themselves, they will just keep thinking that. So there is a point where if the person's drowning, I can't just let them keep flailing out there in the water.

I got to go in the water after them. Yeah, it's such a powerful point. What about the use of scripture? Because something, you know, you walk into a situation like that and you just bring your big Romans 828 T-shirt with you, try to sneak into the kitchen and slap the Romans 828 magnet on the refrigerator. Do we need to be kind of judicious with that? Oftentimes, we'll treat scripture as a band-aid. Steve, I tell my class when I teach them in the grief lecture, here's what I tell them. And I laugh at it.

I tell them it's funny, but I'm also serious. If I'm ever standing within arms reach of you and someone's grieving or they're suffering and you quote Romans 828 to them, in the love of Jesus, I'm going to slap you upside the head. Yes, thank you.

Right? Because there are some truths, Steve, that are better discovered instead of kind of dictated to people. So when you read Romans 828 or quote Romans 828 to somebody, it does not tend to bring about comfort. It tends to engender guilt. It tends to make them feel like they're wrong because they're feeling the way that they're feeling.

They're telling them that, and they feel like it's a judgment on them. To me, the better scriptures are the scriptures that normalize their grief. They're the scriptures that talk about, you know, God's going to lift our head up. And at the end of the day, he is with us in those moments. But because he's with us in those moments, that means those moments are okay. It's not, you can't have these moments, it's, listen, you are going to mourn with those who mourn. That means mourning is an okay thing.

Right? Like, blessed are they who mourn. They're blessed if they mourn, not they're sinful if they mourn. And so I try to use scriptures, I use a lot of the Psalms. I try to use scriptures that really normalize their grief. And I love the Psalms where I can read the beginning of the Psalm that really talks about the downcastness of man and where are you, God? And oftentimes I wouldn't even read them the rest of the Psalm in session. I'll say, hey, tonight, whenever you go home, why don't you read the rest of that Psalm?

And just let them discover it for themselves. Such a great word. Last question. We've got just a couple of minutes left. Is there a point, Tate, where we kind of escalate? I got to go get some help. I got to tell a pastor I'm worried that this person might actually hurt themselves.

Yes, absolutely. If you suspect that a person has kind of slipped so far into the hole that you really are worried that they may hurt themselves, they may take their life, you know, it's time to tell somebody, tell their family if their family doesn't already know, tell a pastor, tell the authorities. If it's a serious enough threat that like you're really worried that this person may take their life, people will say, well, I mean, I'm afraid that, you know, that may jeopardize my relationship with them. If they take their life, there is no relationship with them. This is not an area where you want to be wrong. You know what I'm saying? So if you're going to err, I would much rather you err on the side of caution where this person lives than err on the side of caution.

And you worry about what they think about you or the jeopardization of the relationship but when in reality, if you're wrong about that, there will be no relationship because they'll no longer be here. Right. You can recover from doing too much. You can't recover from not doing anything. That is exactly the consequences, Steve, are just too high.

Right. And so anything in particular to look for there, Tate, with somebody that isn't saying they're suicidal, but maybe there's some signs. Well, anytime you hear them talking about, you know, they're not going to come out and outright say I'm suicidal. What they're going to say is, I don't know how much longer I can do this. I don't know how much longer I can live this way.

I don't know how much more of this I can take. Certainly if they start talking about a plan in any way or kind of fantasizing about how their life may end, anything like that that hints at that, we would call that suicidal ideation, we need to move quickly on that kind of stuff. Like I've heard people say, well, I know this person, they always threaten that. Right.

Again, it's one of those things where the consequences are too high if you're wrong. Would we flat out ask them? I would.

Yeah, I absolutely would. And here's what I do, Steve. With my clients, if they're suicidal, I will ask them, you know, have you thought about it?

Do you have a plan? And if they say yes to any of those, I will have them do with what we call in counseling a contract for life. And I will say, listen, I want to write out a document that says, if you get down in this hole where you think about doing something that's going to be a danger to yourself, I would like for you to covenant with me that you will call me or you'll call a friend, you'll call the authorities. I'll have them sign it.

Now, listen, it's not binding. Right. Right. Of course.

Between me and them. But it at least says to them, I care enough about you that I want to give you an option of something that you can do. Right. Other than the thing that you're talking about doing. Yeah. And it pulls it out of the darkness into the light. And you can have a better chance of dealing with it at that point.

Take Cockrell. Always great to have you dealing with the holiday blues. Such a great blessing.

Hold on there. We'll pray together right when we finish up. But it's great to have you on. Thank you, buddy. I certainly appreciate you as always.

Yeah. Thank you, Steve. Thank you.

Merry Christmas to you as well. Okay. This is one of those shows, friend, that I'm going to go ahead and encourage you. Make sure you share this because I guarantee you there's somebody in your life that needs to hear it. Maybe it's you. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. God willing, I'll talk to you again real soon. My dad always used to say, ever forward.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-17 17:12:29 / 2022-12-17 17:32:48 / 20

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