How time flies. On this coming Saturday, March 12th, I will have been symptom free from Parkinson’s for nine months. That equals the nine months from when I discovered I had tremors to when I ultimately became symptom free. I started writing this blog almost a year ago.
Looking back, this is probably a good time to talk about acceptance, denial, faith and recovery. Here is their relationship: You need acceptance, denial and faith to achieve recovery.
Acceptance. Repeat after me, “I have Parkinson’s Disease.” This is one of the most important factors leading toward recovery. If you refuse to accept that you have Parkinson’s Disease, then why would you do anything in your life to recover from it. The disease wants you to not accept that it is there. The disease wants to live in you and have you look the other way and pretend like everything is okay and nobody notices your physical changes.
If you have Parkinson’s and cannot say, “I have Parkinson’s Disease,” then think about this: How many times have you looked at somebody with an alcohol or drug problem and said to yourself, “If they will just admit they have a problem and get some help and do something about it, they will probably turn out okay.” Look in the mirror…that’s the one person you cannot fool. Accept that you have Parkinson’s and then you can move forward in dealing with it.
Denial. Once you have accepted that you have Parkinson’s, the general medical belief is that you have a progressively degenerative disease for which there is no cure, and you cannot get better, only worse. This is where I had denial…a strong, healthy dose of denial. I absolutely, positively refused to accept that I could not recover. Instead of masking my symptoms with medications or herbal supplements and formulas or Ayurvedic mixtures, I embraced the disease so I could listen to my body and try to figure it out. I experienced the symptoms, dealt with the causes, and fought the disease. And, I recovered.
Faith. This is what kept me on the path to recovery. When I was curled up on the floor of my bedroom crying in pain, when I would wake up sitting at my computer and realize I had fallen asleep for who knows how long, when I lost my ability to write, when I lost my ability to type with two hands, when I was so constipated I felt like I was going to explode, when I lost my ability to get my food to my mouth with a utensil, when I lost my ability to get out of a chair without having to use my arms, when I lost my ability to use the stairs without holding on, when I lost my ability to get the shaving cream to one side of my face without having to use my other hand, when my face started to get frozen, when I lost my ability to stand up straight as a result of rigidity and terrible balance, when I lost my ability to do almost everything I used to do physically pre-Parkinson’s, faith saw me through and I received many blessing in my recovery.
I had faith that I had the power to heal myself. However, I also took action to put a plan together and get on the path to recovery. Faith is wonderful, but faith without action is meaningless for Parkinson’s recovery. Why? Because action proves faith! How did I go day after day after day of action following my recipe for recovery without any physically measurable results? Faith. Faith that if I kept doing what I knew in my heart and soul was the right thing to do, one day, some day in the future, I would be symptom free. Open up your heart and have faith — you will be surprised how much more meaningful your actions will feel.
All my best,