This month, I have been making a big push with my 30-day November to Remember, No Excuses November, challenge to do a modified version of the Recipe for Recovery for 30 days. As we enter the final two days, I have been happy to hear back from people on how they are doing. Quite a few people have commented to me or emailed me that when they saw family and friends who they had not seen for a while during the Thanksgiving holiday last week, that many people told them how much better they looked or how much healthier they looked. This is very good!
Accepting others telling us we look better or look healthier when we are not feeling great may be difficult. These stories reminded me that we need to be kind to ourselves. However, before we can be kind to ourselves, we have to fight the fear that drives our Adrenaline mode. Part of the Adrenaline mode mind that helped Parkinson’s rear its ugly head in us is the Adrenaline mode mind that had us being critical of ourselves. It is why we felt we needed to keep pushing, pushing, pushing to be better, smarter, faster, all-knowing…being critical of ourselves caused us to never take a mental break. And one of the largest motivators driving the Adrenaline mode mental train in full throttle was fear.
Fear of what? Everything! Fear of: “Maybe I won’t be prepared for ______;” “Maybe I won’t know the answer to ______;” “Maybe I am not good enough for ______;” Maybe _____ (bad thing) will happen.” I think you know what I am talking about, and it is a long list. It is the list of things that could happen that we feel compelled to have all of the possible scenarios to so we will be prepared for everything that could possibly happen for the rest of our lives so that nothing will go wrong or bad and everything can happen according to plan. Fear of what? Life!
And then we find ourselves with Parkinson’s Disease, and the professionals have the audacity to tell us there is nothing we can do about it. US, the-Adrenaline-mode-I-can-solve-any-problem, US! And we are crushed. Why? Because for all of those years we were mentally creating and solving every possible scenario of life so we would have every answer so we would be prepared and nothing would ever go wrong, PARKINSON’S DISEASE NEVER CROSSED OUR MINDS! So, we didn’t have an answer and we were crushed because we thought we had all the answers to all of the problems in life. And, then, we lose confidence in ourselves and we are critical of ourselves because we didn’t see it coming and we find ourselves ill-prepared.
We can solve a big part of this by being kind to ourselves. There is no blame, no shame, no guilt, in having Parkinson’s. We need to look forward instead of backwards. Replaying, what would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, happened to prevent us having Parkinson’s just helps advance the disease, and it most certainly does not make the disease go away. Instead, let’s be kind to ourselves and move forward toward the solution called recovery.
Looking forward as we finish out these last two days of my 30-day challenge, how about not looking back at what might have been. How about looking forward and deciding that being a human being is a blessing we have been given and that life is a gift to be treated with precious care. You are kind to others, so why not be kind to yourself and start enjoying your life, despite your Parkinson’s.
You spend so much time with the disease, and each day it may difficult to know that recovery is the path you are on. This can lead to being critical of yourself…let that criticism go. Replace the criticism with feeling good about yourself because you decided to do something about your Parkinson’s going forward instead of dwelling on the criticism of yourself for not seeing it coming in the past. Quite frankly, you have no control over the fact that you ultimately got the disease. However, what you do have control over is what you do about it.
Why not be kind to yourself and get on the path toward recovery and not get off until you have recovered. Aren’t you worth it?
All my best,