Yes, it feels good to say, “I am 21 months symptom free from Parkinson’s.” And it feels good to be 21 months symptom free from Parkinson’s. I am grateful!
I am grateful to my Higher Power that I wake up in the morning with my soul in a human body.
I am grateful for the Parkinson’s I had because I was given the opportunity to heal my soul, mind and body and receive the blessing of no longer having Parkinson’s.
I am grateful to have three wonderful children who are nice people.
I am grateful for all of you for believing in yourselves and the Recipe for Recovery as you navigate your path toward recovery.
I am grateful for the two doctors who believe in us enough to support our efforts in having the Recipe for Recovery studied in a clinical trial.
I am grateful for the people who do not believe in what we are doing. They provide me an opportunity to practice patience and tolerance instead of anger and frustration. And, they help keep my already-firm resolve securely intact.
As you can see, this is starting to become a long list. What I would like to share with you is that this list started well before my Parkinson’s recovery and this list is one of the things that helped me recover.
Ultimately, I learned to look beyond my Parkinson’s and realize how absolutely grateful I was to be alive. That realization brought me to a greater realization: “What is the point of being alive if I am not living?” And that brought me to an even greater realization:
“I accept that I will have to live with Parkinson’s until it goes away, but I am not going to stop living. I am not Parkinson’s Disease. I am Howard Shifke, and I am alive! Parkinson’s Disease is just a reminder I have some things in life that need fixing, and unless I stop living my Parkinson’s and start living my life, I will not solve the things and I will not solve the disease.”
And life went on. However, by not obsessing over Parkinson’s, I was able to heal my soul, mind and body, and I was not fearful about how my symptoms changed day by day. In fact, I learned to view it like this: “I am doing the Recipe every day. That means I am doing Qigong, chanting, eating better, meditating, being grateful, and praying every day. I am living and I am healing my life, and I have the unwavering faith that as I heal my life, my Parkinson’s will be healed as well.” With that realization, it really did not matter to me what my Parkinson’s symptoms were doing at any given moment. It was more important to be living.
So here I am, 21 months symptom free from Parkinson’s. So here you are, fighting this fight every day. You are so much more than Parkinson’s symptoms. You are alive, so be grateful for the fact that you are alive, and live your life, not your Parkinson’s!
Aren’t you worth it?
One more thing before I go today. When I began living my life instead of living my Parkinson’s, it was initially difficult. I was confused because I had lost who I was along the way and I was not very fond of my Parkinson’s self. Sally helped save me. She loved me enough for both of us until I was ready to love myself again. There was no quit in Sally. Even on the toughest days, she refused to allow me to give up on myself. And, over time, I learned from her love that I was worthy and deserving of this Parkinson’s recovery, and that it was okay to love myself again and be healed. Being grateful for Sally does not come close to covering my feelings.
All my best,