39. What Can You Do When Your Core Beliefs Get Shaken? (With Dr. Kali Cyrus)
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By the time we’re adults, most of us have a good sense of how the world works and how we fit into it. But what are you supposed to do if something happens that shakes all you thought you knew to the ground? Psychiatrist Kali Cyrus is a Black, queer, cis woman who all of a sudden felt incredibly unsafe in the world with the rise of Donald Trump and the societal shifts that followed. Kali tells Claire about the moment it all became too painful for her to bear, how she retreated from the world as a result, and how she pulled herself out of the safe but small bubble she created for herself.
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Dr. Kali Cyrus, Claire Bidwell-Smith
Claire Bidwell-Smith 00:09
Hi, I’m Claire Bidwell-Smith. Welcome to NEW DAY. Identity. There is a lot tied up in that word. Identity can refer to seemingly benign things like your age, where you live, what hobbies you enjoy, but it can also encompass some of the most central and vulnerable parts of who you are, like your sexuality, race, gender identity, cultural and ethnic background. And for a lot of people, especially people in marginalized communities, those core parts of their identity can come with a lot of inherent pain, intergenerational trauma, structural and systemic racism, bigotry. For my guest today, a lot of that identity based pain came bubbling up all at once. Dr. Kali Cyrus is a psychiatrist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She also identifies as a Black, queer, cisgendered woman. And the pain she was carrying inside of her around those parts of her identity became too much for her to bear with the rise of Donald Trump and the societal shifts that followed. She felt unsafe as a Black person, as a queer person, as a woman. So Dr. Kali retreated into those parts of herself and surrounded herself with people who share those identities with her. But she knew that wasn’t sustainable. Dr. Kali’s journey out of that safe but narrow world has lessons for all of us trying to navigate where we fit into society. She’s so smart, self-reflective, and insightful. I love that her go to when she’s struggling with some kind of emotion is to read as much as she can about whatever she’s experiencing. So today, you’ll hear her throw around references to Freud, and Jung. And it turns out she even prepped for our conversation, which ended up being rescheduled a couple of times by reading books and articles on grief. So of course, she has some really incredible things to say about what she’s learned about processing grief, both her own and other people’s. I can’t wait for you to hear our conversation.
Claire Bidwell-Smith 02:13
Hi, Dr. Kali, nice to meet you, finally, Third time’s a charm. Right?
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Nice to meet you too.
Well, I started every episode of this podcast asking my guests How are you doing today? But how are you really doing?
Dr. Kali Cyrus
You caught me in kind of like a sweet spot. It’s like, I still have my back to back with patients since like, 9:30ish. And right before that, you know, I go walk the dog or break from sort of like psychiatrists mode and let down my hair. I’m still kind of in work mode. So I would say I’m a little out of touch with my feelings right now. But I feel energized and alert and hopeful, which is how I usually feel at first.
Yeah, that’s a nice thing.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
It is. It dissipates quicker than I would like it to but.
it’s weird. I always feel interesting sense of hope and like renewal when I sit with clients too. And even though I’m doing this heavy grief work, it’s surprisingly like, inspiring and just makes me feel better, usually.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Yeah. Yeah, I’m sure you get that how do you do this all day? How do you like tolerate it? And it’s I mean, I guess that’s what we’re made to do it because it’s like, oddly energizing or does the opposite for us in this way.
Yeah. I want to talk to you today about mental health, anxiety, burnout, all that jazz. So what do you know now? How old are you now? Do you mind me asking?
Dr. Kali Cyrus
38 and you’re a psychiatrist. And you have a busy practice and a life What do you know now about mental health in this country? And what you know what could have been different when you were growing up? Or what the people around you needed that they didn’t get? You know, what have you seen? What, how has this changed for you?
Dr. Kali Cyrus 04:05
Yeah, I think I would have liked to know that I think there’s this this core narrative that I see in so many of my patients and even I’m still working on today on my own psychoanalysis is that there’s not some inherent thing wrong with me that it’s not like I’m you’re broken, you’re flawed, something is wrong with you. And I think and going through the world feeling closeted feeling other and these other spaces where you’re trying to be a certain standard, which is not specific just to black people, it’s like to even straight white dudes, I’m sure have these moments occasionally. But I think what ends up happening when you’re having an internal reaction to that that is anxious or is not, you know, you’re not comfortably doing this thing. You think something’s wrong with you and that there is not a language that I mean, I’m not sure I think things are a little bit different now. But how publicly do we talk about everyone else’s experience of being anxious or doing something new and that discomfort and what it’s like, it’s not often shared. And I’ve been really excited to see, especially with Gen Z folks, more public about going through this. But I really wish that all those years of holding this in, like, Why do I feel this way about women? Why don’t I want to do this thing, like my parents are telling me, I need to be doing? Why do I not fit in with this group, even though they look like me? That my conclusion somehow was it, that there’s something wrong with me? And so it’s a little confusing about like, how could that have been different? Like, that’s a major, major paradigm shift? Yeah. But I wish that somehow happened.
Yeah. Talk to me about race and gender and the mental health care world. What are you seeing there? Five books.
Dr. Kali Cyrus 06:05
What I think is, so I’m seeing it similar to whatever the real world is. So I mean, I think when we talk about, my focus has always been race, like the first thing you see much like gender, we are trying to put somebody into a box of labeling what they are. And it just turns out that I think race is just much more easily visible. Yes, there are tons of racially ambiguous folks, just like now we’re having this conversation about gender ambiguous, folks. But the way I have this conversation is not just to focus on race, my I like to zoom out to difference, which is that even internally, all of my identities that I wear that are not race, it might be the fact that I like neon clothes. I’m a Floridian. You know, I like the beach, these kinds of things that are my identities and intersectionalities. That and intersections, and gender is one of those, race is one of those. And so I think that that’s still a thing that is, is seems like socially, we’re still using race, gender. They’re so separate, you’re using this thing to group people without looking at the whole person, because it’s not like every Black person has the same experience. It’s not like every woman has the same experience. Not like every tall blonde woman has the same experience. And so for me in the mental health world, as being the world as a human, who thinks about this stuff, and as a provider, I feel like I do a lot of challenging my patients who come in, who are expecting to be seen by these labels, because that’s how they’ve been seen. And that’s how they think about themselves. And I think that we start to neglect, and ignore these other identities that make us who we are, that make the difference between why I can get along with our mutual friend who doesn’t look like me, even if our socio economic statuses and race and upbringing are very different. Because there are tons of similarities we both having had intense moms like we both you know, have this level of neuroticism, like they’re all these things. And so I think when my patients come, I try to help them establish a more well-rounded view of who they present themselves as and help them bring out some of these other aspects, which are tough to do. I mean, I think in this work, I feel like sometimes it’s just a balance of talking about similarities and differences. Because when you bring up how folks are different from their families, how they’re different from their friends, how their differences might contribute to this isolation, or this other sense of othering, that they may feel, I think it can help give them a reason for why they might feel this stuff that there are these differences. But then what that does is that you have to offset it with how do you let them know that it’s don’t just go into despair, because you’re always going to be different. And I think that’s the part that is sometimes difficult in the mental health world is when you see so much hurt, because that’s what they’re coming with, is that it’s the similarities. It’s those other identities that are what you share with the people around you. Like you have this shared experience with your family, I have this shared experience with our mutual friend. And it’s hard to emphasize that especially in a time, like now, where difference is so divisive.
What did this work look like for you personally, I mean, you can’t have always been able to just be so open to everyone. I know for me; I’ve been in private practice for over a decade. And, you know, very quickly, I realized that every client was never anything what I might expect them to be, you know, maybe have an idea about who this person would be coming in and then very quickly, it would all go out the window and so eventually I’ve kind of stopped assuming anything but it wasn’t like that in the beginning and there was work but what was that like for you?
Dr. Kali Cyrus 10:01
Yeah, so it was definitely something that caught up to me, I never swags, this was a thing. So there was a point where, so growing up the way that I did my mother being like a, you can’t trust anyone, which I understand from her experience. My teenage brain coded this is I’m going to prove you wrong. I’m going to accept everybody. And while I was able to kind of, like their rules, there’s some people you don’t trust as much some you do. Is it because of race, is it because of class, how you gravitate and find me. There’s other sort of identity rules. And I think that’s how I ended up becoming friends with our mutual person who’s just like a straight White lady, I think, for all intensive purposes. So we had these other commonalities around our family structure and things like that. But I think there were so many contradictions to my mom’s warnings that you can’t trust people. So even if I had negative, unsafe, weird experiences with like people, straight people, whatever kind of people, it wasn’t like, I threw the baby out with the bathwater. Somehow, I was able to tolerate this. And I got a lot of strength from being able to connect or see this in people. And this was this is honestly it felt it. I’ve missed these days, I felt so happy, it didn’t, didn’t somehow threaten. Or maybe I was avoiding it, or it came out of anxiety of having to balance everything. But it really wasn’t until Trump got elected, which is I was working at Yale and teaching school like medical students, professors, other doctors and nurses around race and identity. So something I academically very much understood. And even if I had my group of friends who are mostly my color, or my race or some identity, I feel like I had a good grasp on setting my own boundaries of, you know, I can accept that you’re different. But you can be over there. I’ll be over here if I have my option. But then when this happened, wasn’t like a surprise, it was more of a, I realized how vastly different the people that I saw as I had led in how much she didn’t understand, how terrible this was. And that the urge the urgency, I guess, is what I needed to say, the urgency of like, what needs to change now was like, oh, this is terrible. It’s kind of appear. But there was this, like, I was shook of like, to my core of just feeling so unsafe. So so so so, so unsafe, and I retreated. I honestly, I had to stop. I couldn’t even I mean, I, you know, after burning out and being at Yale, and then moving to another city, I had this moment where I got invited to do a grand rounds at university here in DC. And I was going into my usual material, which is usually kind of like this, what do we do if there’s implicit bias and racism and White supremacy, and I had like a pant, my mind went blank, I essentially had a like a, some sort of panic attack, because I realized how much I didn’t believe this anymore.
And so what does that journey look like since then? It sound like you kind of like hit bottom and like broke open the ideas you’d been holding and carrying, and like speaking about it, and suddenly they all fell apart. And you had to, I assume, rebuild some kind of structure and some way to.
Dr. Kali Cyrus 14:05
It was a terrible time is what I will tell you. Yeah. So the first thing I did was, I left Yale. So, and it was a place that I think I projected all this open to so I think the first thing I did was I shed some of these containers that I had been, I had used as hope, hopeful places, I think I just couldn’t bear to tolerate. And so I isolated I guess that’s my way of saying isolated from White structures. And I’ve been white structures that have been White people. And that meant that any White person or non-Black person who came into my life had to pass my test and you understand how fucking serious this is. And so there are a lot of people who I got very upset with at the time who like didn’t understand like, I’m your friend, you know, I’m down and I was like, you don’t get this right now. Don’t try to like I can’t play this with you. And it was I felt like depressed, depressing to people who look like me as well. So it was a lot of what do I do with this? And so I think one thing I did is I started doing things differently. So, I worked on the Hill, I took a fellowship, where I worked in the Senate, instead of seeing patients. And for me, it was a different way of learning the system while continuing to get some sort of paycheck, but a way of making a different relationship to at least what I felt was not making a big enough difference in academia to have like, how do you actually change laws. The second thing I did is I really sort of immersed myself mostly around my friends and support network and Black people. I think I just needed I needed that safety. I think, at times, it was hard, it’s hard for me leave my house, you know, it was very nervous about, I’ve had a number of like encounters where I felt like folks were discriminating against me like in a restaurant or in line somewhere. And these are things that would have happened before, but now I just couldn’t tolerate it. So I got a little agoraphobic and this way. And I think the most important thing I did is that I started psychoanalysis with my analyst, who I like to call my best friend, mother, lover, sister, because she is. But I started seeing a new therapist two days a week, which is now become four days a week. And it’s helped me to talk through what went behind where I projected this hope, and also to what, you know, what my expectations were, and that I was holding people to the standard that was, you know, nearly kind of impossible. That’s a long winded way of saying, I think I just did my hope not to like the entire world is going to be rosy. And we’re going to solve this together. But on a more localized level. So I sort of had to find a way to make sense of my new worldview with who I was before. Without feeling like had I been some dummy, who just ignored all this stuff. And so the way I sort of think about it is like this, Martin Luther King versus James Baldwin model, do I believe that all the kids in the world no matter what color you are gonna live happily ever after? No, I don’t, I may have believed most a lot of that before. But I think I believe in people one on one as individuals. And that was the way I had to start shifting so that the outside world wasn’t so hostile. Realizing that I had met some really amazing people who were very different from me. And some of those, you know, maybe we don’t talk anymore, but some of them we do. And that’s okay, that we can have this difference, because I know you have my back.
Yeah, yeah. I’m a grief therapist. So, I’m always thinking about grief. But I just I imagine there must have been a certain amount of grief that you went through, you know, or a lot of grief that you went through. I’ve just kind of like realize that like letting go of that hope you’d held on to for so long or that you’d so like, naively believed, and in some way until, until 2020, or what 2018, when was he elected, God, 2016, horrible. Tell me about the grief.
Dr. Kali Cyrus 18:09
Yeah, I’m actually glad you brought that up, because that’s where usually when I’m feeling some sort of emotion, I try to read about it. I read a lot about grief. I read a lot about grief, I read a lot about nihilism, I read a lot about just how do you readjust not having that. And also dealing with my embarrassment around feeling naive, I think, was something that was really hard. And I still struggle with because I knew this stuff was there. It just is like the way that it wrath me. Anyway, so that’s the thing. And you can imagine hearing my mom’s voice if I told you so I told you this as a way that the world is so that was like my psychic struggle. But I think it was, you know, melancholy, I was reading all this, like Freud and all of that it felt much like a huge loss. And I, I still even recently talking about, but feels like a different person. And I’m not sure if it’s just adulthood, like a shift that happens for folks where you realize it’s not as rosy as you thought. But it does feel like I lost this sense of happiness or ability to tolerate some of this stuff that I really miss. And it’s been really tough, I think, typically an anxious person, I started to experience depression, around the time of Trump like I like I remember having my very acutely, my first depressive episode. And this kind of heaviness like this cloud that I feel has been with me that over. I would say, this has probably been the best year where I’ve been able to make a little more sense of it. And I think it’s because oddly, I’ve just been trying to find ways to accept it, which is super hard. But it’s taking me closer to Buddhism and this way of like, we expect suffering, but like Not to be too complacent with it at the same time, but that there’s happiness and there’s happiness and their suffering and they’re stuff in between.
Claire Bidwell-Smith 20:09
Where do you find hope these days?
Dr. Kali Cyrus
I think it’s a good question because I don’t have kids.
They don’t always give you hope.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Thank you for that. I think I have to be reminded of it. But I find hope, honestly, my patients, I think it’s my patients. It’s either externally when some, when someone has told me I’ve made a difference, or it’s been brought to my attention, usually by my analyst. But I think I have these moments in my core, where I finish the day of seeing patients from 12 to 7:30. And I feel so lucky or so blessed to have like, had this experience with them to see how they’ve grown or like to be there for them when they’re going through this kind of thing. And I don’t know, that connection, that I still want to make things better. I still like, like, this is why I’m doing what I do. I think that’s honestly, the thing that sustains me the most.
Yeah, I agree, I definitely find hope there more than in my kids. Although I do have, I do have hope in them. But yeah, I’m astounded by how we can open ourselves up as human beings and the ways that we can change and transform and explore ourselves and go through horrific shit and like, still find ways to overcome to, you know, just become someone entirely different than we thought we ever were. You know, there’s a lot of hope in that.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Yeah, I don’t want to say there’s a lot of I don’t think say a lot of hope and grief. But there’s something around this shared suffering. And maybe this is something I’ve been feeling the past few years, like around Jung’s collective subconscious. And around this, what happens when we all have access to the internet, and we see how much is going on is that I think we’re all grieving in our own way. It’s just think this represents so much of life is that how do you connect with people like there, now I feel like you can connect to other people, because you know, there’s something going on with them. It’s just a matter of what their version looks like, compared to yours, how to make room for that, how to talk about it. But I don’t feel like unless you’re in the 1% or something like that, or 10%, it feels like there is a comp a share commonality now that could unite us in some way.
How do you stay true to yourself? Now that you’ve kind of been through this reckoning, you know, where you realized you weren’t necessarily living your truth or didn’t understand.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
It’s easier for me, because I have my anxiety is actually a good signal. And that’s looking back. That’s what I realized it was, it was my body. It was me saying I wasn’t safe, which is yes, it’s anxiety, like kind of no, duh. But I am acutely aware of when something doesn’t fit, because I’m so used to not fitting that. I’m just like, I don’t want to do this. And I have to reason through what I need to do what I can’t do, my partner’s really helpful, because you can imagine, if I stay true to myself, I wouldn’t leave the house at time, I would do whatever I want. And that tends to be the case, I think my friends would probably say, but I trust my body. But I also know it can be a little hyperactive. But for the most part, my gut is like, I can’t do, I can’t do a lot of things that I don’t want to do. It’s hard for me to work for an organization I don’t believe in, It’s hard for me to go to someone’s party that I don’t want to go to. And I think at the end of the day, I just, I choose myself over the harm that I that I might that might succumb and then I make it up to people, you know, in a way that feels more genuine and I’ve established that sort of relationship with people in my life where I think they know that Kali loves me. It’s like a secure kind of relationship. But even if she doesn’t come to this, she’s there. That kind of thing.
Claire Bidwell-Smith 24:43
Yeah. I like that a lot. For someone who’s listening who maybe is thinking about how they’re not being true to themselves or not always being authentic and feel like they’re showing up too often to things that are harmful. What are like small stuff apps that someone takes to start making that change in their lives?
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Yeah, what I would say, what are you afraid is going to happen if you say, no, I think there’s this, this, this fantasy or the fears that we have that someone’s gonna break up with me, my boss is gonna fire me, my colleague is gonna think I’m dumb, and I don’t care about this job. And the truth is, is that you don’t know any of that stuff like you don’t, you don’t actually know that that’s going to happen. That is a cognitive distortion, you are thinking of the worst case scenario. And let’s say even that that’s a risk. What, what are the consequences to yourself, because I think that the way we hurt ourselves emotionally feels a little more invisible. It kind of like, it’s kind of like high blood pressure kind of it or cholesterol, like you don’t really even if you don’t have it, at some point, your vessels are just not able to do it’s like an invisible disease is what they call it. So how do you know that you’re doing this damage? And how do you become, like aware of it and not just dissociate from it? So I think some of it is, what’s the worst that can happen? Like, is that worst fear actually true? And are you aware of how much you’re actually hurting yourself? Like, can you say no, and it’d be worth it. And you can find out the other way around it? Like, I believe that you can say no, but or no, and and try, like, offer another solution. And that’s been incredibly helpful. So if you can’t go out to drinks with your friend today, you can’t watch someone today. But I can do it another day. It’s just not a good time. Yeah. I also think everyone’s grieve, everyone’s going through something right now. So you give, you’re not the only one. So often, we think really, like one’s going through something. So I think that’s my second point is imagine that your boss is going through that your colleague is going through that those people that you’re afraid are going to react in this way. It’s they’re going through probably a version of what you’re going through. And so can you connect with them on it? Is there an opportunity where disclosure and vulnerability might actually help you? It’s very different to say, I can’t do this thing. I’m so overwhelmed. And like, you know, my child is XYZ, I haven’t been able to get any sleep, I really would like to be able to do this thing. You know, connecting around like the actual meat of what’s going on.
Yeah. It occurs to me, though, that there’s probably a little bit of grief again, in just acknowledging to yourself that you have been putting yourself in hurtful situations, you know, or you’ve been letting yourself get harmed by your own choices. And so even that first step of just kind of acknowledging that probably brings some grief, like, wow, I’ve been doing this over and over to myself.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Yeah. I think this is where shame and what I mean, I like to say is like, is it possible to not? I think we have this ideal that will never, we won’t make mistakes or that, oh, my God, why weren’t we doing this thing before? Why wasn’t I more, you know, less naive than I was before. It was like you. It’s just that’s not the way that this works. And it’s there’s, it’s I don’t think we realize how imperfect we really are. Like, I think we start imperfectly, everyone is imperfect, everyone.
Claire Bidwell-Smith 28:27
that’s really been the theme of this conversation. And yet, we spend so much time all of us, you me, thinking that there was something wrong with us, but we were just imperfect to begin with.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Yeah, I mean, what’s the thing that like, what is the worst thing that happened from mistakes. There’s, you know, degree of some mistakes that do result in death and serious harm, but for the most part, we walk around all day doing things imperfectly. And if you think about it, probably much more than someone else thinks about it. So how do you not punish yourself for and see it as like, and this is what I like to say about racism is like, you’re going to, it’s going to happen over and over and over again, you’re gonna end up being racist, and it’s just a matter of like catching yourself and try and do it a little less, do a little less, do a little less, do a little less. And that is, we take it so hard, we take it so hard these mistakes that we make.
So much of my work is just trying to help people find self-compassion and forgiveness and like really sit in those spaces. I think that self-compassion is just the kind of root of everything Yeah, how do we move forward if we can’t have that that compassion for ourselves and our mistakes and our flaws and our naivete and yeah, all of these things.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
I was actually was thinking about when we were supposed to record a few times ago, it was like, well have I prep for this? I need to read some more books on grief, some more articles. And now it’s been months and I have one patient who actually I think of you every time I see them. And today, we had this breakthrough where it wasn’t about the loss, it wasn’t, it was more than this one loss that we had been fixated on, a series of period of losses that were being grieved that were sort of obscured by the one loss. And I guess I just I do wonder in your conversations, like how much of that capital G, grief, is really so much of little G, grief, over and over and over again, with maybe like a […] here and there?
Claire Bidwell-Smith 30:28
I think that most people until they’ve gone through the big grief, don’t recognize all the little grief that they’ve been experiencing through their lives, you know, and then the beginning of the big grief that eclipses everything. And then slowly as you get to know, grief, and get more comfortable with it, and understand how it works, you start to see all the times you’ve grieved, and all the things and people and places and injustice and all the stuff that we grieve.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Yeah, that’s a really good point. I think another part of that is that we start to compare, ours the baby G, compared to this person over there, I have no right to even call this what it is. And I think that’s something that feels very palpable for my patients right now is they won’t even allow themselves to acknowledge that they’ve had some proof because they don’t deserve it, doesn’t look like someone else’s.
Right. And that’s where that self-compassion comes in. Like, that’s exactly where I started in on the self-compassion. You know, I don’t deserve to grieve this, or I don’t deserve to have all these huge feelings or something wrong with me, because I’m feeling this. And it’s like, now we all get to grieve. We all get to be human. We all get to fuck up. Yeah, we all get to like, go through this life and try to figure it out.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Yeah, yeah, it’s hard to tolerate. And I that’s sometimes a conversation I end up getting into, which is that, let’s say I meet you for the first time and I feel your G-grief. What if I have? How do we make room for both of our griefs? And I think that that is, I think that’s where we’re at, at the challenge of compassion.
Yeah, I had somebody tell me that before the pandemic, it was like, we were better able to take turns grieving and holding space for each other’s grief. But then all of a sudden, we were all grieving. And no one was able to be there for anyone else, because everyone was dealing with their own grief. And so it’s an interesting kind of space that we’re moving from, what have we learned from it? And, and we’re still carrying a lot of grief. But I think we’re starting to get a little more equipped to take each other’s on as well.
Dr. Kali Cyrus 32:26
Right. And so I think that’s, that’s kind of like, coming back, at least to some of my story is, I feel like what I couldn’t tolerate anyone else’s grief unless it was like at the max like mine. And I think, even now, I recognize how much I wasn’t giving. I wasn’t speaking my truth and how much grief I was experiencing in this world where everybody was acceptable. And I think that’s something that I still struggle with now is, I times have a hard time tolerating a white person’s grief sometimes, if I’m house hunting right now. And I’m like, I’m mad at any person I perceive to be like that straight, rich White dude in the world, there’s like a face to it and I can’t, so I think the more we start to recognize that something is hurting us, we can start to work on not necessarily isolating but how do you take yourself out of situations and protect yourself while also working on what is that thing that you’re hiding yourself from? So that, you know when you’re able to be in that space? And I think it’s a process I’m a little disappointed with how long it takes like, I feel like I wish I had my takes. Yeah, yeah, maybe that’s the thing is that we don’t expect it to take so long. But like, there’s a lot of grief out there. And you’re so permeable to it right now. And I think it just takes more time to process.
I know for myself, in my personal experience, I wasn’t able to tolerate other people’s grief very well until I was able to really make space for my own. You know, and that meant being selfish, sometimes making choices that you’ve had to make, you know, really knowing what was okay for me and what wasn’t and like, selfish isn’t even the right word. I was just taking care of myself, you know, but it was, it’s, I think it’s so hard for us to make space for our own grief, you know, and I just want to conclude by thanking you for, you know, everything that you have done to kind of recognize that in yourself and in the world and in the patients you’re working with and know that you needed to take time and space for yourself so that you could be someone who can help others, you know?
Dr. Kali Cyrus 34:39
Well, thank you. And I mean, it’s this is what we’re all trying to do. This is kind of what we owe to ourselves and to the people we’re helping because ultimately, that’s how we continue to do the work is we have to do it ourselves on us as well.
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. It was so nice to talk with you today, Dr. Kali. Thank you So much for the work you’re doing.
Dr. Kali Cyrus
Thank you for the work that you’re doing as well.
Dr. Kali is amazing. She had so many profound things to say. But the thing that’s sticking with me is what she had to say about making mistakes and being imperfect. I think maybe that’s one of those things, where it’s easier to have compassion for other people than it is for yourself. When your friend or your partner or even a stranger makes a mistake, you’re able to see it for what it is, a mistake, and people make mistakes. But when it comes to mistakes we make, whether it’s Dr. Kali thinking she was too naive about the world, or me beating myself up over being an overstressed working mom. It can be so hard to extend that same compassion and understanding inward, but we deserve it. I deserve it, and you deserve it. And I hope the next time you make a mistake, big or small, you’ll remember that. Thanks for joining me. Did I tell you that new day has moved to three times a week? The best way to keep up with the show is to subscribe on your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. And submit questions for me to answer on those Monday and Wednesday episodes by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or at my online question form at bit.ly/newdayask. You can find the link in the show notes. Have a great weekend. See you Monday.
NEW DAY is a Lemonada Media Original. The show is produced by Kryssy Pease and Erianna Jiles. Kat Yore is our engineer. Music is by Hannis Brown. Our VP of weekly content is Steve Nelson. And our executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, and me, Claire Bidwell Smith. NEW DAY is produced in partnership with the Well Being Trust, The Jed Foundation and Education Development Center. Help others find our show by leaving us a rating and writing a review. Follow us at @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms, or find me at clairebidwellsmith.com. Join our Facebook group to connect with me and fellow NEW DAY listeners at facebook.com/groups/newdaypod. You can also get bonus content and behind the scenes material by subscribing to Lemonada Premium on Apple podcasts. Thanks for listening. See you next week.