Fighting Parkinson’s, and 30 months symptom free

Thirty months symptom free. It is hard to imagine that 2 and 1/2 years have gone by since waking up on the morning of June 12, 2010 with no Parkinson’s. I am grateful. I am happy. I am inspired by all of you.

Happiness is a wonderful thing. In my recovery, I had to learn to be happy from my heart. In exploring my happiness, or lack thereof, with my Parkinson’s self, I realized that my happiness, in many ways, had become an intellectual pursuit; it came from my mind and involved external factors.

My happiness, in many ways, came as a result of avoiding conflict, or by doing something and somebody saying “thank you” or “good job.” This not only lacks fulfillment, but it also feeds into the Parkinson’s fear-driven-Adrenaline-Mode-mind. The mind never stops trying to calculate how to avoid every potential conflict and how to make everybody else happy so they will say “thank you” or “good job.” And, we are not even on our list of people to make happy.

I had an awareness in my recovery, an awareness that came as a result of finding again the connection from my Inner Divine to the Higher Power Divine, an awareness that said, “You need to be happy on the inside…from your heart. And, it is not selfish.”

This awareness gave me the insight to understand that being happy was part of being alive and living life to the fullest. Being happy from the heart opens the Dopamine faucet and allows our Dopamine to flow, which is necessary for our Parkinson’s recovery.

Happiness should not be governed by Parkinson’s symptoms. Then, you are living your Parkinson’s instead of living your life. That type of happiness looks like this: “Today my symptoms appear a little better, so I am happy. Today my symptoms appear a little worse, so I am fearful, angry, frustrated, worried, and anxious that I am getting worse.” Do not let your symptoms control your life this way.

Make a different choice…CHOOSE HAPPINESS! Yes, happiness is a choice. Look at it this way: Everything in the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery™ is there to get you better, so if you are doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery™, you are getting better! Know this and live this! When your symptoms appear worse, look at them and smile, and know in your heart that although they may appear worse, you actually are getting better.

When you choose happiness and know in your heart that you are getting better no matter what your symptoms are doing that day, your Parkinson’s becomes less important and your living your life to the fullest becomes more important.

Each time you choose happiness, your heart opens a little more.
Each time you choose happiness, your Dopamine faucet opens a little more.
Each time you choose happiness, your smile gets a little bigger.
Each time you choose happiness, your sense of your recovery grows stronger.

We have many choices in life. I choose happiness. It is the same choice I have been making daily for a little over 30 months. It is the choice that will help set you free.

Choose happiness from your heart.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,

Howard

 

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9 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and 30 months symptom free

  1. Linda says:

    Howard,
    Happy from the heart should be a bumper sticker. I love your way with words and continue to be inspired by your example. Sending blessings to everyone who is recovery!
    All best wishes,
    Linda

  2. bill bush says:

    Right on, Howard! I can honestly say I am happy, and I thank you for that realization!

  3. Oh Howard… I am so very grateful for your wise words and can’t help but think how very important they are. It is particularly useful, I think, that you point out conditioned behaviors that many of us can probably identify with…that being the tendency to confuse happiness with either avoiding conflict or hearing a thank you from someone. So instead of happiness being an emotion that is intrinsically and authentically my own, I look extrinsically or outside myself for permission to experience it. How much more empowering it would be, instead of getting sidetracked by various strategies and mind-chatter that is telling me that I must avoid conflict at all costs or looking to others for verification that I am okay in life, that I instead focus on attending to and living values moment by moment that are important to me…..harmony, kindness, peace and joy…doesn’t this encapsulate the idea of happiness?. I’m imagining, if those values are my focus and my way of attending to life, I will be much more useful and fun company to be around anyway. That being said, I also realize that behaviors that are extrinsically focused (harmony at all costs and acknowledgement from others to determine whether or not I’m a “good person”) are so entrenched that it is often a challenge for me to shift them. I have found that I need a whole lot of self-compassion and patience to make such shifts, so I also express gratitude to myself when I actually attend to the work…. and that brings me happiness too!

  4. Helen says:

    Thank you Howard you are a true reflection of living from your heart n love Of self and higher power. I feel this is a door to life I never want to leave now I am entering. Thank you all. I want to be in gratitude for what is and learning love Helen

  5. Joseph McEleavy says:

    Howard:
    I was driving to work, feeling like a dullard, my body cramping and saddled with a lead weighted apron, a headache, and self-pity out the yin/yang… Thinking: “I don’t want to be here”. You might say I was having an “off” moment. I had been feeling good, (not great but that good I’ll take any day. It’s good or great just to not feel like miserable shoot poop- sometimes that’s enough) Then I fell into the PD PIT. I was extremely disappointed, that I had “regressed”, my mind swam in negative self-flagellation “ how could simply breathing I thought I was heal me?” I thought I was good for now on…Not to be. I have to be patient, it took a while to get this way so to unravel this knot, PD, will take me some time, too…
    Well, then I started to imagine recovery knocking on my door and it struck me: I have to totally believe in me, enhance me and my ability to heal myself. Because like a kid with a Boo-Boo, I will be amazed when my Band-Aid is removed and the scar (PD) is gone!!! Immediately I stopped feeling slow, stupid and awkward. I still have Parkinson’s Disease, (which I was and am still loathe to say. I always say “I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s”) Yes I have Parkinson’s, but I will detox it from my body, I will eliminate it from my thought center, I will restore my Soul. I will dance at my grandkids wedding. Because every day I will improve. You can take that to the bank!
    I’ll be happy today, why not??????
    “What have I got to lose?”
    Ling yow chee chee chee joe!
    Hope is a wonderful thing. It washes your clothes, cooks your dinner, kisses your sweet feet and makes this life’s-climb >>>All>Smiley1!!!!!1
    Thank you for your Spirit, your generosity and your Insights.

  6. Howard says:

    Thank you to all,
    I appreciate your kind words and you sharing your stories and experiences. It is wonderful seeing you choose happiness!
    Love and blessings,
    Howard

  7. Diane says:

    I was nice and calm then got aphone call from a freind to do lunch this week which I look forwqrd to but m y goodness what a adrenaline rush this pd definately has to do with my adrenaline

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