Fighting Parkinson’s, and you are recovery, part 2

The feedback from Fighting Parkinson’s, and you are recovery has been overwhelming. Many of you have posted wonderful comments about Pete’s inspiring song, and many of you have sent me emails. Yes, you are recovery, and Pete has provided a powerful anthem that drives home the point. If you are having a difficult time downloading the song for computer or mobile access, please send me an email howard@fightingparkinsonsdrugfree.com and I will email you back with the song as an mp3 attachment

You are recovery. How do you get from wanting recovery to being recovery? It is all in the faith and the doing and the being. Thinking has very little to do with this. I viewed recovery from Parkinson’s as bringing my life back into balance, physically, mentally, and spiritually. In the beginning of my recovery, in the morning when I finished doing the Recipe, I did not think about recovery for most of the rest of the day (except during afternoon and/or evening sessions with the Recipe). Most of the time, I was thinking about getting through the day with my Parkinson’s…lots of thinking…how am I going to do this? what if I cannot do that? what if this happens the wrong way? am I going to be too tired to do this or that?

As you can see, I was Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s was me. I was trying to live my life, but I was living my Parkinson’s, filled with self-doubt, self-criticism, always questioning my ability to function. Even though my faith was strong (I will recover), and my attitude was strong (I will deal with these symptoms no matter what they dish out), and my body was getting stronger (I am doing the physical part of the Recipe every day), the rest of my day was consumed with the negativity of the difficulties of Parkinson’s. This negativity came from the thinking mind, the logical mind telling me I was tackling the impossible, the monkey mind trying to shake my faith by scaring me when my body did not function in a manner that I wanted it to.

I was recovery when I was doing the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the Recipe. However, I realized I was Parkinson’s at the other times of the day. So, instead of wanting my recovery and doing everything I could within the Recipe to achieve my recovery, I needed to do more. I needed to “be” recovery outside of the Recipe.

To “be” recovery, I knew I could not be consumed with my Parkinson’s at the times I was not doing the Recipe. I needed to heal my life and bring balance back. I shifted my attitude and decided that every opportunity I faced was an opportunity to reflect my recovery.

Here is an example:
When you are with a group of people and you get increased symptoms,
1. Being with Parkinson’s means getting self-conscious, fearing what the others are thinking, and the result is even more increased symptoms and the thought that you no longer wish to be out with other people.
2. Being with recovery means you say something like this: “Hi. I have Parkinson’s Disease. It is not contagious, so you have nothing to worry about. A quirk of the disease is increased shaking in a group setting. I am working on a treatment and getting better, so everything is okay.”

In scenario number 1, being with Parkinson’s means being so consumed with the symptoms of the disease, that the disease blackmails us into increased symptoms. This leads to all kinds of self-criticizism and lots of fear. Nothing good comes from this…the symptoms even increase more.

In scenario number 2, being with recovery means we expose the blackmailer and put it out on the table. This leads to healing at many different levels: you are opening your heart and showing compassion for the other people (they have been wondering what is wrong with you and now you have told them); by talking about it in this manner, you alleviate the other people’s fear and you diminish your own fear; and, by telling the others that you are getting better and it will be okay, you are opening your heart and showing compassion to yourself. The symptoms diminish, and even if they don’t, nobody, including you, cares. That is “being” recovery.

As you can see, by not being afraid of your Parkinson’s and by not being afraid of what the others will think about you, you are being recovery — that’s right, you are shedding the fear of having Parkinson’s and the fear that others will not like you as a result. What you learn is that they are accepting of you, Parkinson’s and all. Now, you need to be accepting of you, Parkinson’s and all.

This is just one example of taking yourself outside your Parkinson’s body and being recovery. Sometimes it just takes smiling at another person who is looking at you. Sometimes it just takes smelling the flowers or hearing the birds singing. Opening your heart is what opens your dopamine, so use every opportunity to step outside your Parkinson’s body and find the joy in living. You are so much more than Parkinson’s symptoms, and you can choose to live your life that way.

It is time to say, “I accept that I have Parkinson’s, but it is not forever. I am offering myself kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.”

Now grab onto the Recipe for Recovery and sing along with all of us:
I have the power to heal myself.
I have the power within me.
I have the power to heal myself.
I am recovery.

Yes, you are recovery!

And yes…

You are worth it!!!

All my best,

Howard

 

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8 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and you are recovery, part 2

  1. angela dinardo says:

    Howard

    this is so timely! you read my mind!

    I have been “thinking” about a social gathering I have been invited to and whether or not I ‘can’ go (PD mind). I know I can go … I just need to live outside this PD body. For me this means being comfortable in an uncomfortable body 🙂 and the way to be this is to have faith and know we are more than this body.

    We are spirit of life, divinely manifesting in this game of charades.

    bless you for all you do to keep us uplifted, hope filled and courageously motivated

    angela

  2. Sounds like being recovery means being full and present to life, Howard…that sure appeals to me. Thank you…. thanks, too, to Pete…. his song is a wonderful way to shift to life when fear is taunting me…

  3. Trudy Lundy says:

    I have been putting affirmations on “Notepad” on my Cell Phone, including some of Howard’s——thanks. I need some suggestions……I made the choice to go drug free when I was diagnosed…in June 2012. I have even moved to a larger town (Spokane, WA) to have better choice of PT, etc., not so far to drive to PT, etc. When I first got here I thought I should participate in all PD “sponsored” activities. Went to a conference where all they did was talk about the “new” drugs for PD——don’t need that……my family including my husband aren’t happy with my choices, my husband didn’t even move here with me-I have a small apt. kids live here (we have a farm 70 miles away) he LOVES the farm even though he quit actively farming 12 yrs ago—we have a share cropper who farms the land (hay & grain) — he won’t even help w/FSR — I have yet to get someone — kids won’t help—- Have a male friend who volunteered (a classmate from hi school–I chair class reunions [small class])………need suggestions regarding how to deal w/family’s bad atttitude abt my decisions.

    • Hi Trudy

      I know from my own experience that it can be tough to deal with family and friends when they do not support or agree with your decisions. The most disarming way I deal with people like that (especially when I care about them) is with empathy (checking out with them what I imagine their feelings and needs might be as they consider my choices). So I say something like, “I imagine you’re worried and would like to know I’m okay and have the support I need”. Then, whatever response they give me, I stay with empathy (guessing their feelings and needs until they indicate they have been heard)…only then will I ask if they’re open to hearing my point of view…(they’re more likely to consider it if they have a sense that they are respected and heard even if you don’t agree with them). Marshall Rosenberg’s book, “Nonviolent Communication, a Language of Life” may be a great help as you navigate this territory (all the time trusting and valuing yourself and your choices in life)

  4. Gita says:

    Hi, Penny,
    Looks like we have more in common than just PD. I love Marshall Rosenberg’s work. It’s had a big impact on my life. Nice to know we are more than just the PD. Thanks for all your positive comments.

  5. Pete Luboff says:

    Dear Howard,

    Every word you said about partitioning recovery off from Parkinson’s – being recovery when actively fighting it and being Parkinson’s, living in fear of its limiting power through the day, is exactly what I’ve been doing.

    Everything you said you experienced is exactly what I’m going through.

    Your response to Mr. P when he’s dumping on me, to be actively thankful for what is in the moment, is perfect, and works every time.

    Thank you again for all you give,

    Pete

  6. Pingback: Fighting Parkinson’s, and your survival guide for your recovery journey | Fighting Parkinson's Drug Free

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