After my Parkinson’s recovery last year, approximately once a week until my doctor visit where he confirmed that he could not detect a single Parkinson’s symptom, I entered blog posts letting everybody know I still was symptom free. I had made a few of these posts, and then somebody asked me to write about what it was like being on the “other side” of Parkinson’s recovery. One year ago today, in a post entitled “Still symptom free, four weeks,” here is what I had to say:
“When I had Parkinson’s, I was miserable and I was obsessed with being cured. I worked hard every day, never taking my eye off the prize. My eye was so busy looking at the future prize of being cured from Parkinson’s that on a daily basis it failed to look slightly left of my computer screen.
Slightly left of my computer screen is a statement that Socrates told Dan Millman in The Way of the Peaceful Warrior: We can control efforts, not outcomes. Combining this thought with the Zen books I was reading, I realized that I was so focused on the outcome, I was failing to live in the moment.
I can tell you that everyday I was working through my recovery there never was a doubt in my mind that I would be cured from Parkinson’s Disease at some future date. Accepting this allowed me to release it from my obsession of “wanting” it. I then was able to focus on what I was doing at each moment and enjoy the journey.
I will try to explain this better. When I get in the car and turn the key, I know the engine will start. I do not understand all of the nuances that take place, but I am confident in the process and I do not obsess over “wanting” the car to start. I just know it. And…once in a while it does not start. I can control putting the key in the ignition and turning it, my actions…everything after that relating to the car starting (the outcome) simply is not in my control. However, if my focus on the journey is maintaining the car with the proper diet, exercise and attitude, the likelihood of it starting every time is enhanced greatly.
That is what it is like being on the other side. Not only do I have a greater appreciation for my life and health than ever before, but I have a greater appreciation for the fact that life is a journey to be experienced. Not all of the experiences will be great, but I am taking pleasure in the moment of experiencing them. I can control my actions, not outcomes. I have no fear of living. That is what it is like on the other side…positive attitude and no fear of living. I do not know any other way how to explain this. I am happy!”
Today, one year after writing this post, I would not change a word. The reason my symptoms went away and have not come back is because I eliminated the causes of Parkinson’s Disease.
Today, one year after writing this post, I have a positive attitude and no fear of living. I am happy! You can feel this way, too. Aren’t you worth it?
All my best,
Howard – Your messages are truly an inspiration for me at this point in my journey. With PD it seems that we are almost “hardwired” to fear. I go to your website often to get some nugget of information, and it has the effect of lessening the fear, so that I can start my day, and head toward recovery. I start my first qi gong class today, and have high hopes.
Meredith! Congratulations to you on beginning Qigong classes. My introduction to Qigong was through this website. Now I am 3 months into this new and exciting realm, and finding it to be
a very positive, health-enhancing addition to my life. May your high hopes be
realized…… and surpassed.
You are welcome. I appreciate your comment and kind words, and it is very exciting that you are starting your first qi gong class. Good for you! You are correct about PD and being “hardwired” to fear. Please think about this: the next time you start to feel fear, examine it and see if it is actually FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). For me, and others, this often is the case. Over time, as you see that much of the fear that surfaces and is appearing real is actually false evidence, you will be able to let it go because you are able to recognize that it is not real. I wish you the best with your qi gong class and your PD recovery!