A New Year’s Message From Mollie

NYBRA Plastic Surgery's Patient Empowerment Program Clinical Director Mollie Sugarman wishing a Happy New Year

Wishing You a Happy New Year!

Each year, I like to remind our patients and community that this time of year is often thought of as a ‘tabula rasa’ (blank slate). In many ways, it is an opportunity for a fresh start, but it does not always feel that way. Those of us who are processing grief or trauma may have trouble seeing past difficult experiences into the new year. The truth is that those experiences have the potential to reset your outlook on their own, if you focus on post-traumatic growth.

A diagnosis coupled with this surreal world we’ve been living in for nearly three years presents a time for reflection. I’m reminded of a line from a Mary Oliver poem: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” When circumstances beyond our control force us to pause our lives, that pause can open up a pathway toward the answer to Oliver’s question.

The only saving grace of trauma, like the pandemic and a diagnosis, is that it reminds us about what is truly important about life and what it means to be our best selves. So use this time to reassess your life; remember, if not now, when? Do something that scares you— it’s exhilarating.

We often get in our own way of effecting change or trying new experiences. Exploring is a ‘win/win’ situation: we either find it fulfilling or simply something we are fulfilled by as having had the experience. For me, having known I’ve tried something new out of my comfort zone is a success over saying ‘I wish I had’.

Albert Camus wrote: “In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me there’s something stronger-something better, pushing right back.”

So, I say to all of you, push back, really push back, and reach inside and tap into your resiliency. As Elizabeth Archer puts it, “Be a Warrior, not a Worrier.” May the new year be a healthier one, may it bring laughter, may it bring inner peace, and may it be filled with wonder and awe.

As part of the Patient Empowerment Program, you have tremendously supported, encouraged, and lifted up one another. This unique setting and close community has had an extraordinary impact on each other’s physical and emotional healing. You have cried together, laughed together, and healed together. You have shared with one another and created a bond beyond physical restoration and healing. With the wonder of zoom, we have been able to stay connected and actually “see” one another, near or far. For that I am extremely grateful.

A virtual hug to all of you. Thank you for your trust and for the privilege of allowing me to partner with you during this journey and beyond.

Warmest wishes to you and your family,
Mollie Sugarman

Clinical Director of NYBRA Plastic Surgery's Patient Empowerment Program, Mollie Sugarman and a special delivery of Belt Buddies

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