Thanks to a recent conversation with a friend, I had an epiphany about my experience with this neurological condition. I realized that I have been spending far too much time thinking about the symptoms I experience; wanting not to experience them.
I had an epiphany of sorts today! It occurred while I was listening to a spoken word poem by blogger James Fielden. I was connected to James by another blogger, Michelle Marie. I realized while listening to James speak that I want so desperately to recover my health and put an end to the symptoms I’m experiencing, I’m not allowing myself to fully engage in the experience, and in so doing, likely perpetuating it. It’s like the sailor who wants the raging storm to end, The storm is going to end when it ends, not because he wants it to. Desperately wanting the storm to end adds to the level of stress.
I have a confession to make, I have a tendency to obsess over the outcome of things. For instance, when I post a new blog I will fret over how many views it receives. Also, each day when I open up wordpress, I fret over how many views I received from the day before. I know I have no control over how many people check out my blogs [other than how well I write them], but I fret anyway. I’m somewhat comforted by the fact that renowned spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra also obsesses over such seemingly trivial human matters, but I know that it’s not in my highest best interest to do so, at least not if I want to achieve optimum health. It is far better, and healthier, to live in gratitude; that is, to be genuinely thankful for everything I have in my life.
The biggest challenge for me on my journey with Parkinson’s is not having Parkinson’s or coping with the symptoms that characterize the condition. Rather, it is overcoming fear! It is not experiencing constriction in my throat. It is the fear of losing the ability to swallow. It is not experiencing loss of mobility. It is the fear of becoming immobile. It is not the softening of my voice. It is the fear of not being able to speak. It is not having low blood pressure. It is the fear of my heart giving out. And these fears can be overwhelming at times!
My experience with Parkinson’s changed in a flash recently. It happened a couple of weeks ago when I had a moment of panic and kind of went downhill from there. Although I’m not quite out of the woods yet, I’m doing much better thanks to some supplements and years of spiritual practice.
Yesterday I went skiing. It was my first outing of the year! At one point while riding the chairlift back up the hill, I had a sudden thought. Parkinson’s is like a relentless flood. No matter what you do, no matter how many sand bags you put down or how high the ground you move to, the water just keeps rising and rising!