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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,