Getting to Yes, And

Lydia Slaby: Wait, It Gets Worse


Lydia Slaby

Subscribe on

Kelly reconnects with Lydia Slaby to talk about her new book "Wait, It Get's Worse: Love, Death, and My Transformation from Control Freak to Human Being."

You write about being a control freak and so much of this book is about learning to let go of that. In what ways were you a control freak pre-cancer diagnosis?

“I think the best way to answer that question is just to look at my life before I was diagnosed. So I was diagnosed when I was 33 and before that I had worked at a high level in the Massachusetts state government. I had gotten my JD Mba in three years from Northwestern university and I was working as a corporate attorney at one of the big law firms in Chicago's loop. So I had really shoe-horned my life into achievement and success. And the only way for me to do that was to have complete and utter control over everything and every one in some respects around me.”

You write that this is a story of integration. How so?

“We are a group of three entities. We are spirit or soul, we are mind and brain and we are our body. And in Western culture, we prioritize the brain over all three. And the brain is very useful. It is a very evolved organ. It is incredibly brilliant, but it's not the end all and be all. And so one of my lessons learned, and I learned it the hard way: that I had to have everyone start doing their job. I had to let my body be my body and I had to let my body start teaching me about what my body knows. I had to put my brain in its place and say, ‘you are brilliant when you are needed and you are entirely useless and sometimes damaging when you're not.’ And then I also had to let my soul and my spirit just kind of start to spark and I had to start listening. So that's what I mean by integration. I had to learn how to get all three rowing in the same direction.”

You have a chapter titled ‘Grace,” and it really speaks to being present as part of your treatment.

“I had these moments:  I can actually open my eyes. I can breathe a little deeper. I can not clench my body quite so hard. And it was these moments of just being fully present:  fully present to the pain, fully present to my body, fully present to the room that I was in. And the only word I could come up with was grace: this calm recognition of reality as it exists - not as how we want it to be, not as how we wish it was, but actually as it exists.”


Sorry, no tags for this episode.
Related Episodes