Redefining strength during surgery recovery


Brittany, founder of Common Briar, here! As you embark on your surgery recovery journey, I would like to send you my thoughts and well wishes. Be strong on this journey, strength is what you will need but I also would like to redefine strength for you in this time.

Having been a collegiate athlete, strength has always meant pushing through almost to a point of exhausting our bodies and potentially causing further harm. My personal surgery recovery took 3 years and looking back I can see the mental blocks and things I should have handled differently.

One of the things I could have done better was to get out of that athlete mentality and realize the true strength I needed was in surrendering. Surrendering and meeting my body where it was every day. There will be good days and days you feel like you have made progress and then there will be days you feel like you have taken a couple steps back. These days are not a couple steps back, it is just your body telling you give me a little more time. The sooner you surrender is when your true recovery will start to happen.

The other part of being strong is trust. Your body does have the ability to heal itself. Western medicine is absolutely necessary but there is a component that is so powerful about the body and when you surrender, meet it, and are gentle with it you allow it to be at its best.

Lastly, no one ever stressed to me the importance of mental wellness during this time. Surgery recovery is mentally hard and you are going to not want to burden others with how you feel and what’s going on. Please know that you are not burdening others. It is when we own our own stories that we flourish, come into ourselves, and achieve great things while creating compassion, empathy, and human connection. Surgery is trauma and it is ok to share about this trauma but you are not your trauma! Holding on to this trauma and internalizing it will only cause other issues that will block your healing potential.

Please take the time to be gentle with yourself, acknowledge any mental health issues you are having because you are going to have them, and find little things to assist in your mental wellbeing.