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So doing a show about numbing is something that’s been on our radar for a long time. We’ve been wanting to talk about it and share some ideas, And I know for a fact that we’re not alone, because the other day I was talking with a friend and I said I gotta go home, We’re going to work on this show. And she’s like go home now. I was like what happened? And she’s like, no, I need you to write that show because I need to live. I’ll listen to it Because I think we all understand the concept at least of wanting to numb ourselves.
0:01:04 – Speaker 1
Really came from a personal experience that you and I walked through together. And then we’ve kind of processed that now and come out of that from several months And it’s like, okay, we’re ready to circle back and talk about it and discuss what we’ve learned. So at the beginning of this year, kim and I were on a nextTalk trip together at a conference where I was speaking and something happened And I could see in Kim’s eyes that it was important, even though I thought it was kind of silly actually, because I know her and I know what a great wife and mom and how, on top of everything, she is super organized and all that sort of stuff. And so I’m going to just let you take it from here, kim. I feel like this is your story to share. But what you told me at that conference- Well, we can rewind a little bit.
0:01:56 – Speaker 2
We all know, before COVID life was crazy. I mean, that’s just the life of being a mom and working and just existing in this world today And I feel like things were going a million miles per hour. And then COVID hit. And in the middle of that or near the end of that, we decided to pack up our house and sell it in two weeks and move in with my mom. And so all of the daily living stuff compiled with this new reality of, at 43 years old, moving back in with my mom, all the animals, homeschooling, quarantine, just life was piling up And my to-do list started to cloud my brain and I felt exhausted and overwhelmed and I wasn’t talking through it.
So most of my adult life I have enjoyed a glass of wine here and there. It’s never really been a big deal. But I found myself at this point early in the year as the stress was building. I was looking forward to a glass of wine every day. And then there was this point where I would wake up in the morning and I would be thinking immediately about that glass of wine at night, so I could just go back to bed And there was this red light kind of moment for me that I was like this can’t be good.
So I talked to a trusted friend and it was just kind of in passing and I mentioned it and she was like, oh, it’s fine, even two or three glasses, like that’s totally normal, just a good way to relax at the end of a day and kind of allow yourself to let go.
And so, even though I felt like the Holy Spirit was nudging me, like hey, this isn’t healthy, we’re not going down the right track, i took that advice And I just rolled with it for a week or two And I was like, okay, you know, it is okay to have this glass of wine and be thinking about wanting to relax most of the day. And then we left on this trip for work and, stepping out of my circumstances and having a chance to be quiet and look from the outside in, it was as if the Holy Spirit voice was getting louder and louder and reminding me this is not who you are and this is not good for you or your family. And I just kind of broke down and I was like I can’t do this, this isn’t healthy. And that’s kind of where you stepped in and you saw my puddle in the corner.
0:04:19 – Speaker 1
Well, we’re at this conference meeting parents and pastors, and there was this moment that I looked over at Kim and she’s just welling up with tears And it was literally like a Holy Spirit moment. She was like I have to tell you something And, quite honestly, when she told me, look, i’m, i want a glass of wine every night, just because of everything going on In my mind, i was like that’s, i was like your other friend. I was like that’s fine, like it’s fine, there’s no big deal with that, as long as you’re not getting drunk every night, that’s no big deal, right. But what was different is I know Kim and I saw her face and I knew immediately. I didn’t say any of that, i wasn’t dismissive, i wasn’t like oh, that’s fine, you go do that.
I knew that God was trying to tell her something and I know that God knows better than me, and so I just zipped it. You know, and I think that was a moment that I learned as a friend Sometimes I don’t have the best advice, i don’t know the situation Like God was having a moment with your heart and that needed to happen And I didn’t need to say, oh, no, it’s no big deal.
0:05:34 – Speaker 2
And that was critical for me in that moment, because I needed an ally in you and I needed an ally in my husband to say if God is speaking to you, then we’re on board, we’re going to do anything that we can to help you move forward out of this situation.
0:05:51 – Speaker 1
And one of the things that I want. I think that we need to say here a disclaimer We are not saying a glass of wine every night is bad for everyone. That is absolutely not what we’re saying. I think everybody’s threshold is different here, and what they can balance and how they can handle it is all different For me.
I drink in college and it was a bad situation, really bad decisions, and so as an adult I’ve just made that choice Like I can’t handle it. I can’t handle a balance, i can’t handle just having a glass of wine, and so I know that is a threshold for me. That does not mean that I am judgmental or think less of than anyone who can. I wish I could handle that, i wish I could have a good balance with alcohol, but I have just a proven track record that I can’t, and so I think that’s why it’s important to recognize if God is speaking to your friend or your spouse or somebody and we think it’s no big deal, i think we have to really be careful with that, because it could be a big deal for them and we need to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to their heart.
0:06:55 – Speaker 2
I’m so glad you said that. This new phrase that kind of resonates in my head now when I’m having a conversation with someone is just because something is good doesn’t mean it’s good for me, or just because something is good doesn’t mean it’s good for you, and I have to process through that when I’m talking with someone or thinking about my own struggles. Because it doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just may be something, like you said, i can’t handle and that’s okay, and we need to learn to respect other people and what God is speaking into their heart.
0:07:24 – Speaker 1
I think, since this happened, one thing that we’ve really noticed is this kind of this mommy wine culture. I see it more with moms than I do anything else And it’s funny and there’s some cute shirts and sayings and all the things you know, and I think for a lot of people it’s no big deal, but I do think for some it’s not an addiction but it’s a step into that area where they need to take note and be careful because it could spiral into something very unhealthy. And we also we’ve seen research come out on this People are saying that it has spiked because of the pandemic. Here’s a quote from an article and it’s showing increased alcohol consumption as the pandemic has gone on. But this is a quote from that article.
Women are more likely to use alcohol to cope with stress, depression and anxiety, and all of these are a natural response to the pandemic. Alcohol consumption among women has been on the uptick for the past two decades And our study suggests the pandemic may have only exasperated the trend. And so you know, we’re walking through this on a friendship level and we’re seeing all these posts and these articles come out about all of this, and it was almost confirmation that maybe we need to do this show and maybe we just need to talk about it, because you know what we do over here.
0:08:45 – Speaker 2
We bring it into the locker, as awkward as it can be. I think it’s important, when we talk about this, though, to kind of identify the difference between relaxing, and I think this will help with. If you have a glass of wine like fine, that’s okay, relaxing is okay, but that’s different than numbing, and identifying that difference, i think, will help all of us settle into where we’re at on that scale. So we all need to relax, right? I mean, you have a long day, whatever. Maybe you watch a Netflix show, maybe you eat a cookie, i don’t know. Whatever it is, that’s fine.
We’re not saying that relaxing is a bad thing, but, using myself as an example, the way that I knew that I had started numbing is that I was waking up in the morning thinking about this glass of wine at night. Instead of waking up excited for what God was going to show me that day, or how I was going to get to see what was going on with my kids, or pour into my relationships or all the things that I’m usually passionate about, it was just gone. I was focused on ending the day at the beginning of the day, and that was such a wake up call for me. I knew that’s not who I was.
0:09:49 – Speaker 1
Well, and we can all numb ourselves in different ways. I mean, i think for me a big one is, you know, social media. I’m on it a lot for work And sometimes I’ll just keep scrolling just to tune out, even though I’m not doing work anymore. You know, i think that’s a big red alert for us If we wake up and that’s the first thing we want to check And the last thing before we go to bed. It’s a red flag for us And I’ve been there many times. Too much alcohol, you know that we can’t handle in moderation. Prescription pills, that’s another big one, i think, especially among parents. Food diet, you know just, i mean we all.
I feel like especially during COVID and everybody gaining weight. We all can kind of relate to this one right. Yes, unfortunately, Maybe it’s excessive shopping. You know you just can’t get enough. Maybe it’s just keeping busy all the time. You never want to be still. You know you always have to be going 100 miles an hour. It could be gambling. There are so many ways we could numb ourselves.
0:10:52 – Speaker 2
Absolutely, and I think we can all relate to that. I think you just have to know when you’ve crossed over that line where the numbing is taking away from solving the problem. It’s not just relaxing for a little bit, then you wake up and you tackle life again When you are looking forward to it, or you get stuck in it, or it makes it worse, like for me. I was sleepy, i wasn’t engaged, i was disconnected. That’s really a sign that you’ve moved from relaxing to numbing.
0:11:18 – Speaker 1
I think another thing you pointed out, Kim, in the beginning of the show was one thing that you noticed from relaxing to numbing was when you stepped out of your circumstances and you realized something’s off here.
0:11:29 – Speaker 2
Yeah, that’s exactly right. That’s how it felt, and so when I started to realize what was going on, i had to figure out all right, lord, help me here. What am I running from? And I think that’s a really important step when you feel the urge to engage in one of those numbing behaviors that we listed, or whatever it is that you identify in your life. Who or what am I avoiding?
And for me it was a lot of hard conversations coming out of merging back into my childhood home. It was the stress of COVID, it was doing full-time homeschools, all of these things that I was putting up on a shelf to talk about later or deal with later, because I was just too tired And it was beginning to weigh so heavily on me that I just wanted to avoid it. And so to stop those thoughts and to slow down the hamster wheel in my head, i was like, well, instead of talking about it, i’m just going to have a glass of wine”, and then that was just making it worse. So I think that’s just such an important step that sometimes we don’t want to deal with because it’s hard. But that’s how we start to get out of. The numbing behavior is by identifying what it is we’re avoiding and facing it head on.
0:12:35 – Speaker 1
I mean we got to talk about the hard stuff And it’s not easy. Being a parent today is really difficult. I mean, we have social media, we have the pandemic, we have all these things, and so I think the more we can identify. How are we numbing ourselves? How are you trying to avoid the hard?
0:12:54 – Speaker 2
stuff in life, so kind of using myself as an example. Back at that conference, when I realized I was able to step out of my circumstances and see what was going on and what needed to change And I was finally listening to that Holy Spirit nudge, that was now like a yell. My next step was I knew I needed some accountability, because life is hard And when we keep things in the dark and we don’t bring them into the light, satan is going to pound harder at the door Like he’s going to work harder to be like it’s fine. So for me, i needed to tell my husband right away And I needed to tell you, mandy, because I needed that accountability And I needed to tell people that I knew would hold me to a high standard, a biblical standard, and he wouldn’t judge me but would love me right where I was at and would remind me that listening to the Holy Spirit trumped everything.
0:13:43 – Speaker 1
I think it’s really important to respect your friends’ boundaries and convictions. That can be your spouse, that can be a close, trusted friend, your child, whatever it is. Sometimes we think, oh, these things are harmless, it’s just a glass of wine at night. That, literally, would have been my response, but Kim’s convictions trumped that And I guess what I want to say is the Holy Spirit trumps what we feel about it And I think we need to just be really careful in dismissing it. When something is weighing so heavily on someone’s heart in our life, we need to be very careful and we need to take it seriously.
0:14:23 – Speaker 2
And if you’re struggling with something, be specific. Like for me, the most helpful thing was to say to my husband I need to tell you when I’m really struggling and I feel like going and getting a glass of wine and I need you to not judge me, but help me through that moment. And I was able to be specific with Mandy and say, oh man, this is how this has been affecting me And if you see me kind of off, I want you to ask me how I’m doing. And that’s hard to do, Kim. Feel embarrassing, I’m not going to lie. It was really difficult for me to be honest about that, But it’s been so helpful. It’s like knowing that my people love me no matter what, but will not let me make excuses for behavior that God is calling me to let go of or to walk away from. There’s nothing like that And I’m so thankful that they helped me. Come to the other side of this.
0:15:12 – Speaker 1
Well, and I’m just really proud of Kim’s vulnerability here. Honestly, I’m so proud of her because this isn’t easy And we did a lot of talking through this show. One thing that we were very concerned about was that it would appear judgmental And we want you to hear our hearts here If you are having a glass of wine and it is not affecting you and you are being able to maintain it. That is not what this show is about. This was a little different with Kim. She could see the effects on her And she could see how it changed her And she didn’t like it, And I think that is key when we talk about nextTalk principles, Because if we can’t look in the mirror and say, OK, Lord, show us what we need to change, our kids will never be able to do that. We’re the model here, And so one day, when Kim’s kids are old enough, she’s going to be able to share this experience with them. When they start struggling with something that has a strong hold on them that they feel maybe isn’t right for them, she’s going to be able to share this experience with them, And I think that is what’s key. It goes back again to that iron sharpener’s iron And not a place where Kim is walking around saying, oh my gosh, I’m such a horrible person.
We did a show on shame versus conviction. It’s the conviction of the Holy Spirit to say I have more for you. I mean, Jesus came so we can have a rich and satisfying and abundant life. And if we listen to Him when He speaks to our heart, even when it hurts, even when that conviction stings and it’s embarrassing and it’s like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe that I’m struggling with this, if we can do that and model that for our kids, it’s a game changer in how it can change the culture in our home. So Kim’s getting a little emotional here And she was supposed to speak after that And she’s not speaking but she’s crying. And now I feel horrible because my best friend is crying.
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0:17:14 – Speaker 1
This is when I’m talking about. This is the kind of moment we had at the conference where I knew this was important to her. It was God was speaking to her.
0:17:23 – Speaker 2
It’s really incredible to me how easily we can be tripped up and worry what the world will think or that it shouldn’t happen to us. But on the other side of a struggle, when you see God’s hand and how much he loves you and wants to bring you into the light and walk you through something with no judgment and bring people to surround you and love you right where you’re at, there are a few greater gifts than that, and I’m just so thankful that the things that were most important to me, that were suffering over those few weeks, that I didn’t lose them because I was too afraid to speak up.
0:18:07 – Speaker 1
I heard a pastor say once you’re one step away from ruining everything, and I think this is what you saw. You kind of saw how it could spiral into even worse, and I think that’s what was so scary for you Not the actual place you were in, but the place you were going Exactly. So, no matter what you may be struggling with, however, you may be numbing yourself. If you feel like you have crossed the line from using this as a tool to relax versus I am using this to numb myself. Get help, talk to a trusted friend, go to a counselor if you need to Seek medical attention, whatever you need to do, because this is important for us to be able to be good parents to our kids. We can’t do this job that’s so incredibly hard if we’re falling apart ourselves.
So this is a very important show and we’re here at nextTalk. If you have no one to talk to and you want to reach out to us, you can always email us at admin at nexttalkorg. We love to hear your stories. We’re in this journey with you. I think this show proves just like you. We’re figuring this out step by step and we stumble and we mess up, and then we get back up again, and so we’d love to hear your story Reach out to us. We want you to know you are not alone.
Transcribed by https://podium.page