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Beyond the Prescription
Nedra Tawwab on The Freedom (and Health) of Self-Expression
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Nedra Tawwab on The Freedom (and Health) of Self-Expression

How to Ditch Relationship Drama & Be Your True Self
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Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and liberation. I can’t think of a better person to speak to the importance of self-expression, autonomy, and living without oppression than Nedra Glover Tawwab.

Nedra is a practicing therapist, relationship expert, and two-time bestselling author. She understands that health begins with individual freedom—and that healthy relationships require supporting each other's freedom, growth, and self-identity while maintaining mutual respect and healthy boundaries. Her books, Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself and Drama Free are born out of her philosophy that a lack of boundaries and assertiveness underlie most relationship issues. Today, Nedra sits down with me to discuss the physical and emotional health consequences of relationship drama—and the importance of self-awareness and acceptance in order to have agency over our life and health.

I hope you enjoy this very special podcast episode. Listen above! 👆🏼👆🏼👆🏼

Together we are helping redefine what it means to be healthy. To join this community—and for lots of fun extras—consider a paid subscription!


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Transcript of the show is here!

[00:00:00] Dr. McBride: Hello, and welcome to my office. I'm Dr. Lucy McBride, and this is Beyond the Prescription, the show where I talk with my guests like I do my patients, pulling the curtain back on what it means to be healthy, redefining health as more than the absence of disease. As a primary care doctor for over 20 years, I've realized that patients are much more than their cholesterol and their weight, that we are the integrated sum of complex parts. Our stories live in our bodies. I'm here to help people tell their story, to find out are they okay, and for you to imagine and potentially get healthier from the inside out. You can subscribe to my weekly newsletter at https://lucymcbride.substack.com and to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. So let's get into it and go beyond the prescription.

[00:00:58] Okay. Buckle your seatbelts. I am thrilled to be speaking today with two-time bestselling author, licensed clinical therapist, and relationship expert Nedra Glover Tawwab. Every single day, whether it's counseling patients in her therapy practice, or talking to her 1.8 million Instagram followers. Nedra is helping people create healthy relationships by teaching them how to implement boundaries.

[00:01:29] She has written two books Set Boundaries Find Peace and her most recent book, Drama Free, both of which are born out of her philosophy that it's a lack of boundaries and assertiveness that underlie most relationship issues. Nedra, I cannot tell you how happy I am for you to be here today. Thank you so much for joining me.

[00:02:02] Nedra: You're welcome. Thank you very much.

[00:02:04] Dr. McBride: As patient-facing providers, you and I both know that relationship stress, relationship drama, can affect people’s health. During the pandemic I witnessed patients coming into my office with headaches, migraines, back pain, high blood pressure, weight gain, alcohol use increasing as a result of a spotlight being shined on a troublesome relationship, or until they had to make hard decisions about parenting, caregiving, living through a trauma. 

And so when I saw you on Instagram I knew I loved you at first sight, because you were there talking straight to the audience your 1.8 million followers about the relevance of relationships to our health and then you were dispensing practical guidance to this the drama and lean into the joys of relationships. And so thank you for doing that and thank you for being here.

[00:03:26] Nedra: You're welcome. The only time that, well, one of the only times I'll said, there's two times the only, one of the only times where I felt, oh my gosh, I think I'm having a panic attack, is when I was put in the situation of seeing a person who made me very uncomfortable. I was like, I'm about to have a panic attack… this is how much I don't want to see this person.

[00:03:54] My nervous system is on fire. My body is like run, hi, go. And it's not always, oh my gosh, I need to trust this, but I need to consider it. Right, because sometimes our bodies, our minds could be pushing us away from things we need to do, but there are other times where it's like warning, warning and we're like, okay, I'm going to do this anyway because I have to do it. And for me, in that situation, it was a warning to stay far away from a situation that was unhealthy because of past events.

[00:04:31] Dr. McBride: Another reason I knew we were kindred spirits, if you will, was that I saw you talk about adverse childhood experiences. So ACEs, as many people know, are events or situations or even relationships in childhood that have lasting effects on our health. In fact, there's no shortage of data to show that people who experience childhood trauma, whether it's physical, emotional trauma, experience higher rates of binge eating disorder, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and even cardiovascular disease.

[00:05:12] And so when I see someone like you who's helping people address the experience head on instead of meeting me when they're 50 and having heart disease, I think this is health, this is prevention. So could you talk to me, Nedra, about how you became a therapist and how the ACEs in your life perhaps informed that decision?

[00:05:36] Nedra: I was trained to be a listener. I listened a lot to my father in particular, talk about very adult topics, complain or, you know, ruminate or you know, do all, and I would just uh huh. I took it on as something that I had to do. I didn't know that this was a profession. I didn't even know this was something I was drawn towards, but it really shaped me into a person who. Was a good listener because with your parent, you're not really allowed to cut them off or stop them from talking. It was just like, oh, I have to listen to this person. And so it became a part of me with my peers, with other people in the grocery store who wanted to tell me random things.

[00:06:22] I'm like, “Uh huh.” And when I went to college, I thought I wanted to be a social worker who worked with children and you know, I got an internship and it was. In a therapy setting. And I realized that I actually like the side of listening where people actually want help. Not just people complaining, not just people ruminating or you know, saying, “Oh, woe is me.”

[00:06:47] It was people who wanted help with their situations. Now they may not all be at the same level of readiness, but they were certainly in the place of seeking. And for me that was a light bulb moment of, “Well, I have the training. I have the parent to fight training to do this. Perhaps this is an opportunity where I can really get into something that feels good to me.

[00:07:14] I felt really good being that person, that hope, [to help] someone think about things differently, because that's really what it is. I never had the opportunity to give insight. I was only a listener up until that point. But then when I was able to give the insight with that and they were like, oh, I never thought about it.

[00:07:31] I was like, “What did I say? I said that. I said that. Yeah, that was really good.” But I just think therapy is a wonderful thing for all people. And I don't just say that because I'm a therapist. I say that because I'm a person that goes to therapy and there is nothing like having a person who does not tell you about themselves for one whole hour a week. 

[00:08:00] Dr. McBride: Amen. And I'm a believer as well, and I love that story that you had this firsthand experience of being an empath and listening and observing. I think I agree with you that therapy is a wonderful way of having that space and time to download our thoughts, feelings, and talk about our behaviors and relationships.

[00:08:26] I do think, however, there is a difference between therapy that is simply chewing over the day's news and the data dump in therapy that is, I think, what you do, which is helping people affect change. And having the courage and tolerance for distress, they need to affect change. And I actually, I just talked to a patient today who's been in therapy for about a year, and you and I can agree that it takes sometimes years to make changes, but I asked her because she isn't feeling better vis-a-vis some things in her life.

[00:09:07] Do you think it's possible you're not bringing the whole story to your therapist? I think we all have parts of our lives that are so vulnerable that it's hard to even bring up to ourselves, not to mention to another person. And I said maybe it's like at the museum when you kind of rope off a part of your story that you're not accessing.

[00:09:29] And I don't know if you have thoughts about that, but I'm guessing you do. But I just think that I said to her, I would, I would love to challenge you to bring more out and maybe think about other issues in the relationship with your therapist that make it harder to do that. I push people.

[00:09:46] Nedra: Yeah. I'm excited for the people that I work with who are brave enough to be deeply honest. It requires some honesty to admit the things that don't make you look good. Everybody loves to tell the story of, I can't believe they did this to me, or Can you believe this person did blank? Not many people acknowledge I did this to this person and it wasn't very nice.

[00:10:15] I've recently thought of a story only because something happened to a person in my life where they had this friendship sort of situation where someone did not honor a commitment. And I said, oh, I remember one time, I think I was like 20. I did not honor a commitment and I ghosted that friend after because I could not address it.

[00:10:42] And they were like, “Really?” I was like, yes. I'm like, put it in my obituary that I apologize to this person today.

[00:10:52] Dr. McBride: Yes.

[00:10:54] Nedra: I even tried to Google them. I was like, “let me email them.” I'm like,

[00:10:58] Dr. McBride: That's hilarious.

[00:10:59] Nedra: I've done one bad thing in life. That's it. No, probably tons, but this is the one that is sticking out. And they were really shocked. They were like, “I can't believe you did that.” I'm like, “I didn't want to do it.” I didn't know how to end the relationship. And in my immaturity, I did it in a very explosive and probably damaging to the person way is not something I'm proud of. I would never do anything like that today, but I did do that and it does not make me look good.

[00:11:32] Dr. McBride: Well, I think it makes you human, Nedra, and it's like just the process of being human and sort of sharpening our tools for managing relationships and honoring our needs and honoring the other person's needs. I'd love to talk about acceptance for a minute. So you wrote on your Instagram recently, and I screenshot it—a little secret from a therapist.

[00:11:56] “In relationships, we often think the other person is the problem. If they changed this or that, your life would be better. Sometimes the problem is you not accepting that you can't change the other person and you have to change for the situation to improve.” And then you wrote in bold repeat after me, and this is where I thought, oh my gosh, this is so good.

[00:12:19] “I am not in control of others. I am in control of myself.” One of the things I was telling a patient today or not telling, one of one of the things I was talking to a patient of mine today who is a middle-aged woman, mother of three, and a born sensitive empathic pleaser who is coming in not feeling well emotionally and physically asking me if she should be on more Zoloft when we drill down to the issue is really that she's not erecting appropriate boundaries with her family. They have expected her to jump through hoops in every department of her life to please and satiate their thirst for whatever she's offering, and as a result, she's feeling exhausted and burnt out and resentful. So there's no amount of Zoloft that can help her tolerate that. What I talked to her about is I said, first of all, buy Nedra Tawwab’s book, And she said, which one?

[00:13:20] I said, well buy both because they're both really good. And then I said, let's think about retraining your family and rehonoring your needs in the relationships. And, and I'm gonna make this a question, accepting that painful acceptance of realizing your parents and your siblings may not change. They may not want to ask less of you, but you can hold the line.

[00:13:47] Nedra: You can do less. They can ask whatever they want to, and you can do less. Take it from a person who gets countless amount of dms,

[00:13:58] Dr. McBride: Oh my gosh. I'm sure. 

[00:14:00] Nedra: All so many requests. I meant, here's my question for you. Here's this thing I need. I can't respond to all those things and show up in my life. It's not possible in a healthy way. I'm not gonna say it's impossible. It's not possible in a healthy way. It's not possible to fulfill many commitments the way that we do sometimes in a healthy way. We do it while other things are suffering. Can you imagine that here it is, you haven't even had a glass of water and you're doing all these things for other people. You haven't even had your yearly checkup and you're doing all these other things for people. You are last on your list. Your health is suffering. You have things that you need that aren't being honored, and your concern is, “oh my gosh, they’re gonna be so upset at me.” You may not be here at the rate you're going.

[00:15:00] They're gonna be upset at a ghost. They're not gonna be upset at you because you're not gonna be here, you're not gonna be, well, you're not gonna be able to keep this up long term. So stop it now. Stop it before it gets to a point where you know, the migraine is actually really a issue now. It's not, it's no longer just, oh, I'm having the occasional headache.

[00:15:22] You've worked yourself into hypertension, now you have hypertension. Because you're doing these things at this high capacity that is not sustainable. And I think about people who have to take things to be able to get through the day. So there are some people who will take a painkiller every day just to get through the day.

[00:15:43] I have a headache every single day. I have a whatever. Every single day I've watched Dr. Pimple Popper. Oh my gosh. And those people, they'll have this growth on them for 20 years, and I often think, what have you been doing that long that you couldn't get yourself to the doctor? 20 years? That looks like something that should have been removed after two months. But there's all of these other places, all of these other things that we have to do other than taking care of ourselves, which is the most important thing in life for us to show up in these other spaces.

[00:16:24] Dr. McBride: Why do you think it's so hard for women in particular? I think it's true for men as well. Why do you think it's so hard for humans to center their own needs? I mean, what are the themes you see in your practice that people come up with?

[00:16:41] Nedra: The voices of other people dictate what we choose to do on our lives. People are going to think it's selfish. I'm not being a good this. That's not kind, that's not loving. I think about the statistic that married women die sooner than married men. Not sooner, but they don't live as long as unmarried women.

[00:17:07] So unmarried women because they have less responsibilities and probably less stress. They live longer than married women. And I see that manifested in my family where both of my grandfathers outlived my grandmother's, and it's just, I remember my grandmothers being such hardworking women who didn't even, you know, when it was time to sit down to eat, they weren't even hungry anymore because they'd done so many. It was like, I don't even have an appetite.

[00:17:38] I've done all this cooking. I've been cleaning, I've been folding, I've been doing all this stuff. I don't even have space to eat anymore. I just need to sit down. And I remember being a little girl, grandma, how can I help you? Can I sweep the kitchen? Can I… because you see it and it's like, Oh my gosh, the modeling.

[00:17:56] And so we think that's womanhood. We think that's love. We think that's being compassionate and what it is, is being overworked. It's being run dry. It's being, I don't wanna say taken advantage of, because if you don't know that you shouldn't be doing it, you're not being taken advantage of.

[00:18:17] But it's certainly being disregarded in a way that other people don't even have to consider. It is not healthy for us. It's not healthy for women or men. You know, if a man is in that situation, I don't want you to work that hard, especially when you're not the only person. You're not the only person in the household, and so for any of us working alone, it is a lot and we have to rely on other people. We have to have some communal support. We cannot be the only person doing the things. 

[00:18:55] Dr. McBride: What do you think your grandmothers would say about your sort of exquisite ability to have healthy boundaries in your own life. I ask because one of the common things we say to each other, myself included, when we try to have healthier boundaries, like saying no is saying yes to something else… is you're worried about what other people will say or think, particularly if they are used to getting a certain behavior from you.

[00:19:27] Did you ever get any pushback from your grandmothers when they were alive, or did, would they be proud of you that you are paving the way towards improved self-awareness and care? What would that be like in your family?

[00:19:39] Nedra: I think I'm an evolution of myself. When I see video footage or hear stories about me as a kid, I've always been outspoken. I am the youngest grandchild, so I got a lot of passes, the almost get in trouble type person like, you're gonna get in trouble. But I never quite got in trouble because I was little.

[00:20:02] It was like, “okay, whatever grandma, you'll forget.” Right? I see. You know, videos of myself and I'm like, wow. I said that. You know, I remember as a kid often being told, you can't say that to your mom, or, why are you talking like that? Your mouth is smart. But I would just challenge things. I would ask questions if I knew something was maybe wrong. If my mother said, you know, you have to eat liver, it's healthy for you. And I'm like, why? It's so nasty. How is it healthy? So like what part of the vegetable is a liver?

[00:20:38] Lucy: So you were always a curious and sort of self advocating person, like you didn't just take things for what they were. It sounds like you always wanted to know why.

[00:20:49] Nedra: Yeah, I've always been curious why, what is this? How and in some relationships, not all, there are some where I've just like, be quiet, you're gonna get in trouble. But in some relationships it was certainly allowed and I'm very grateful for that, that I was allowed to, you know, have some very early boundaries and I would even set boundaries with myself to test out my discipline, I would test my discipline. I remember I stopped eating red meat in high school because I just wanted to see if I could do it. I'm just going to do it. Like, I just wanna see if I can, and I did. I just wanted to see how courageous can I be for myself?

[00:21:35] Lucy: Nedra, when you're counseling a patient about erecting healthy boundaries with family, for example, and the relationship is challenging and you're trying to give them some space and distance from their family without cutting them off. How high does that boundary need to be? I think about Hurricane Katrina. It can rain and storm and the levees can hold, but at some point the levees break. And so maybe what you're trying to do is build the levees a little higher, a little more robust, so that it can still rain and storm, but the person doesn't fall apart, the levees don't break. How do you know how high to build that moat? And how do you know when it's time to really kind of cut off a relationship? What is the appropriate height of the wall that you're building to protect yourself and still have a relationship with other people?

[00:22:34] Nedra: That's always a tough question because I think it's really based on the person. Everybody's wall is built at different levels, and there are some relationships that no matter how hard they are, some of us will not end them. So it's really about the least amount of impact. It is not about letting the relationship go.

[00:23:00] What I deem as intolerable for me may not be intolerable for you. It could be some… that's just the way that person is. Okay, well if that's how they are, how do you deal with it? If you have a family member who's always commenting on your weight, how do you just live with them, commenting on your weight and they just won't stop it, and you wanna keep this relationship with them? Sometimes those are choices that we make, but we have to recognize it is a choice. We are in this relationship because we want to be in it. I want to be in this relationship with this person, even though I don't want this, other behavior from them. I want to be in this relationship. It's important to me.

[00:23:42] Dr. McBride: Yeah, I think what you're talking about, if I may, is sort of. at the entire picture of the relationship and then accepting the parts you're willing to accept. You're right. I mean, some people would leave a spouse who is a substance abuser. That's just the line in the sand for them. Maybe they've given their spouse or partner three tries, and fourth time you're out.

[00:24:08] Other people would've left a long time ago. Other people would stay with them, even if they're actively substance using. And I think it's our job not to judge or to tell people what boundaries they should have, but rather to decide what you're willing to accept and make peace with it. And then lean into the parts of the relationship that maybe are good and joyful and where you feel like you have your needs met.

[00:24:35] I don't know, because I think when is it time to just cut someone off? When is it time to just think about maybe you have accepted things that you shouldn't have had to accept. I mean, I guess this is why you have a job, Nedra, is to go through these things with a fine tooth comb with patients.

[00:24:50] But I just think it's so important to not be black or white about relationships. I think, as you have said, life and relationships live in that gray area and we are always evolving. We are always changing, and hopefully we are always evolving for the better. I wonder what the hardest thing that someone brings to you? Is it abuse? Is it neglect? What are the hardest cases you see in your current practice?

[00:25:19] Nedra: I think many of them are hard when there's a person on the receiving end of suffering. I'd hate to say that. Well, abuse is worse than neglect… 

[00:25:29] Dr. McBride: right. There's no suffering. Olympics, right?

[00:25:32] Nedra: Yes. I don't wanna weigh the two. I think that. You know, for the receiving person, not having a healthy relationship with their mother who might be, you know, in competition with them is the worst thing in their life.

[00:25:49] And that's, maybe some people will say, well, that's not as bad as being cheated on by your husband, or, I don't know… I think bad is relative. I don't wanna see anybody suffer with anything. Not a paper cut, not abuse or neglect. It's just like all the things are hurt.

[00:26:12] I don't want to weigh those things. I do want to think about how it's impacting you because what might cause another person to feel anxious is not all going to be the same. It's not, we don't have all the same anxieties or the same things that make us depressed. Everything is different in its own way, and I feel as if my job is to leave room for that and to allow people to have their own experience with their levels of dysfunction.

[00:26:45] Dr. McBride: I think that's so true not to rate our suffering and not to judge it. And I wonder what you find are the hardest or sort of the most common barriers to people building appropriate boundaries. What are the things that hold people back? Is it fear? Is it, they just haven't practiced it? Is it that this is a new concept culturally for them? What are those sticky points?

[00:27:11] Nedra: It's new and we want people to like us. If we do this thing, they may not like it. They may be disappointed. What will they do if we don't do it? If they asked us to do it, maybe we're the only person that they've asked. And so if I don't do it, who will do it for them? You know, all of these thoughts run through our heads and we don't have proof that anything is true. We just say, oh my gosh, it must be true because I'm thinking it when, you know, thinking is not the proof. Thinking is just the process. It's not the proof.

[00:27:41] Dr. McBride: You said it. I commonly talk to patients about fact checking their narrative. I completely believe that our stories live in our bodies. As you were talking about in the beginning, that when you had this experience of being in front of someone who was challenging for you, you had this panic attack.

[00:27:58] Similarly, we can have these stories that live in our bodies that aren't rooted in reality. Like the story that you are the only one who can make your parents happy or meet their needs, that you are the only person who can come to the rescue, and that if you don't do that, that they're going to not love you or not be able to be healthy. Is there a time in your life when your dad, for example, needed you and you said, “sorry, I can't do it. I could do it next week,” and then everything fell apart? Or did he call the next person? So, I think it's important that we are honest with ourselves about these stories that we bring with us through life that sometimes are actually not true.

[00:28:41] Nedra: Yeah, sometimes our stories aren't true and we've just been telling them for so long that we have started to believe them and we have this vivid recollection of this one thing happening. And we think it's. The way, and it will always be the way, but a way to really challenge the story is not to only fact check, but to talk to other people about it and see what they remember about the situation.

[00:29:05] Nedra: We are not always trusted storytellers because we're telling things from our perspective. There was this show that came on a few years ago called The Affair, and they would tell it from three sides. And it was always interesting because one person would think that they said things in this way and it was like, nope, it was said in this way.

[00:29:27] And it was just like, oh my gosh. To think that that is how life is playing out. Even someone will say to me, “why did you say that like that?” I'm like, “say it like what? I think I just said no thank you.” And they're like, “no, you said NO, thank you.” I'm like, “did I? Oh my gosh. That's not how I said it in my head, I didn't think it came out that way,?” but you know what we perceive to be happening all the time, it might not be accurate. I think the better judge of what's happening is what's happening with this person and other people. I think that's a better judge. Like if there's a person who you find to be problematic. Do other people find them to be problematic? Are they able to have healthy relationships with other people? If so, you know, you may wanna look inward and say, what? What is going on in our relationship where it's just me?

[00:30:21] Dr. McBride: I think that's true. A little humility. I had a patient many years ago who told me that she had moved house four or five times in the past eight years because of the neighbors. The neighbors here were doing this, the neighbors over here were doing this, the neighbors over here were doing this, and I thought, I wonder if it's the neighbors. Do you know what I mean? I mean, I think we need to look inward and think maybe I am responsible for some of this conflict or some of this drama. And as you said earlier, Nedra, I think that is one of the hardest things to do, is to consider ourselves flawed and to be honest about the things that we have done that potentially harm other people.

[00:30:59] Dr. McBride: And I also think it's true that we all have a story that we carry with us and then families have stories, and for some of us, as you've talked about, you know, a lot, our family of origin is a solid foundation that feeds our confidence and helps us navigate life challenges. For some others, the family of origin is a source of pain, hurt, and conflict.

[00:31:27] And I wonder if you could comment on sort of generational trauma and what that looks like and how you might counsel a patient to be sort of a cycle breaker. I don't wanna use that word too much because it feels so kind of trendy, but it fits right. It's a cycle of—I don't know how you describe it—but I would describe generational trauma as sort of a cycle of sort of hyper vigilance, a trying, a vigilance about protecting ourselves from pain that accidentally backfires. Mental health-wise, behavioral health-wise, relationship-wise, and then we learn those behaviors from our parents and then we pass it down to our kids. I wonder how you think about generational trauma, particularly in this country, particularly around race, and then how you counsel patients to be a cycle breaker, to have the courage to not carry that with them in their own body and then in their own family.

[00:32:27] Nedra: With people who are cycle breakers, I find that the most challenging thing is for them to find community because they often look for that community within the cycle. So it's like, oh my gosh, like, you know, this pattern exists in my family, but I'll go to my family where everybody has this, this pattern and say, “why aren't you guys accepting me? I'm breaking it.” And it's like they're still in the cycle. So some of the community and the support you need around this is going to be from your chosen family is going to be from you know, friends, coworkers, community support. therapy, all of these other spaces and maybe a few people in your family, but it may not be everyone.

[00:33:08] So the biggest thing with cycle breakers is helping them find community and not trying to be the therapists and their family. Often when you are the person who's made some of these shifts, it's very hard not to want the other people to come with you. It is—most of us will make it our new job to make everybody else as well as us. You know, I read Set Boundaries, Find Peace. You must read it and process everything in the same way that I do. But you'll, you'll be surprised how many people read a book and they still see things differently. They're thinking about boundaries at work. When you're thinking about boundaries with them. They're like, “wait a minute, this was about me?”

[00:33:53] We get things in different ways because we're getting what we uniquely need, and it may not be what you think I need or what cycle you think I need to break. I may break a cycle that you didn't even know I had. So it's really interesting with cycle breakers that you take really good care of yourself and you allow people to maybe access the information if they want it, but you don't make yourself accountable for their healing.

[00:34:23] Dr. McBride: I think that's so well said, and I think it's common also to see people who are cycle breakers be triggering to people in the system in which they came. In other words, the healthiest, emotionally healthiest person, the person who has erected the most appropriate boundaries or has done the most work, which again, doesn't make them morally superior, can be thought of as a threat to a system that hasn't caught up. And I think that is something that we have to acknowledge can be a thing that holds the person back from actually breaking the cycle.

[00:34:58] Nedra: Absolutely.

[00:34:59] Dr. McBride: It’s so easy to be, as you know, it's so easy to be angry, afraid, ashamed, and to perpetuate a narrative that we are not enough, that we are not worthy. It's like, why is that so easy? It's harder to say No, I'm, I wish I could, I can't, you know, sorry. With a full period, you know, we all do that. Sorry. But you know, I just really was upset about it and I really just, I didn't mean it, but you know, the, sorry, with a million explanations after it or the, I wanna talk to you about something, and it's gonna be just a few minutes and it might be kind of awkward, but let's talk about it anyway, just to be direct, be clear.

[00:35:37] And be warm and firm in the same space. I think that is not something we're born to know how to do. I just don't. I think we are, you know, we teach our kids how to read and write and we prep them for college and we worry about them driving and in relationships and we haven't taught them about healthy boundaries. And this is why your work is so important Nedra, I just think you have like, Captured this moment in such a beautiful way. And I don't mean that in a hyperbolic, I'm fawning on you because I want to be on your podcast, which I do. I'm just being honest because I just think that we need to reconceptualize health as more than the absence of disease.

[00:36:15] It has to be about these kinds of concepts, which isn't selfish, it's not egocentric, it is simply to name our humanity. And I think it's just a wonderful thing you're doing.

[00:36:29] Nedra: I think it's a wonderful thing that you're doing, having people look at health in this broader sense, and not just coming in for sick visits, but also maintaining some level of wellness and of  total being.

[00:36:42] Dr. McBride: I thank you for that. My patients know that I'm interested in mental health, such that one of my sweet patients whose dad had died the year before. And we had talked through her grief and she was doing some therapy. She was in college at the time. She came in for her annual checkup a year later, and she was wearing this necklace that had a little carrot on it.

[00:37:01] And she said, what is the carrot about? And she looks at me and she goes, Dr. McBride, it's just a carrot. Like she just didn't, it didn't have any sort of meaning or metaphor. I'm gonna let you go Nedra, but I just wanna close with your great quote. End the struggle. Speak up for what you need and experience the freedom of being truly yourself.

[00:37:27] Nedra Glover Tawwab, thank you for your work. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your clarity in speaking directly to audiences, and thank you for being you.

[00:37:40] Nedra: You're welcome. Thank you very much. Have a great day.

[00:37:43] Dr. McBride: Thank you all for listening to Beyond the Prescription. Please don't forget to subscribe, like, download and share the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you catch your podcasts. I'd be thrilled if you like this episode to rate and review it. And if you have a comment or question, please drop us a line@infolucymcbride.com

[00:38:05] The views expressed on this show are entirely my own and do not constitute medical advice for individuals that should be obtained from your personal physician beyond. The prescription is produced at Podville Media in Washington, DC.

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Beyond the Prescription
Each week, Dr. Lucy McBride talks with her guests like she does her patients — pulling the curtain back on what it means to be healthy, connecting the dots between mental and physical health. To Dr. McBride, health is about more than the absence of disease. Health is a process, not an outcome. It's about having awareness of our medical facts, acceptance of the things we cannot control, and agency over what we can change. To learn more about Dr. McBride, visit: https://www.lucymcbride.substack.com/about To sign up for her weekly newsletter, visit www.lucymcbride.substack.com/welcome