Three years ago today, I got my final wake up call, my body’s final notification to make me sit up and take notice that there was something dreadfully wrong with me…tremors. As I pointed out recently, for the previous 7 or 8 months, I had received polite, and not-so-polite, notifications that my physical body was falling into disrepair. I chose to ignore these. Tremors got my attention. I have discussed that the symptoms are not the problem, but instead, they are the messages that there is a problem, so we have to look behind them as to why we have them. This morning I realized that Parkinson’s is a symptom…a message that says, “your life is out of balance.”
Parkinson’s…the symptom reflecting a life out of balance. Physically, you are off balance. You move slowly and cautiously, often looking down instead of forward. What does that do? It puts your body in a posture that makes it virtually impossible to walk balanced. Your neck is bent, your spine is bent, the fluid in your semicircular canals is moved, and your visual frame of reference (important for balance) is your legs or the floor, and you acquire what is often referred to as a Parkinson’s gait. Mentally, you then become off balance because you are afraid of falling or freezing, and you are afraid of the future with Parkinson’s. This is right where Parkinson’s wants you…not living in the moment, but instead living in the past (getting Parkinson’s) and being fearful of the future (life with long-term Parkinson’s). Spiritually, you give up hope that you ever will get better. At that point Parkinson’s is winning.
Essentially, when you stare at your legs and feel unbalanced, you are looking at the past. When you feel unbalanced, you fear the future. How can you move forward in life in a balanced manner if you are staring backwards and it makes you fearful of where you are going? Faith.
Faith in yourself that you are the cure to Parkinson’s, and that you can see your recovery through to the end. Yes, that carries a lot of responsibility, but you have help. You have the Recipe for Recovery. The Recipe for Recovery is your road map to bring your soul, mind, and body back into balance.
Over time in my recovery, I came to see Parkinson’s as a grand opportunity to fix the things in my life that had gone out of balance. The Recipe provided me with the physical tools to re-balance my body, the mental tools to calm my mind and re-balance my emotions, and the spiritual tools to re-balance my soul and find again the essence of who I am.
Am I grateful for having had Parkinson’s? Yes. Through that bump in the road in a life already out of balance, Parkinson’s stood as a bump at a fork in the road leaving me two choices: 1. Fix the imbalances in my life and it would go away; and 2. Do not fix the imbalances in my life and it would stay with me forever. I chose the road less traveled, I had no plan B, and every day I did the Recipe for Recovery to find balance in my life. And every day that I awoke with Parkinson’s still there, it was a reminder I still had more work to do.
However, in the end, when I awoke on June 12, 2010 with no Parkinson’s, I knew it was not coming back — I had re-balanced my soul, mind, and body, and I no longer needed the message or symptoms known as Parkinson’s as a reminder that I had more work to do.
I was finished with that part of my life, and I am grateful for that as well.
You can do this, too. I know you can.
You are worth it!
All my best,