My previous post is entitled, “Fighting Parkinson’s, and dopamine, fear, and doubt.” After reading that post, most people are able to accept that a study from one year ago states that dopamine is not depleted, just blocked. However, even with that study in place for the last year, many people still suffer from fear and doubt in their recovery. Today, we will look at fear and doubt.
If you have not read the previous post, Fighting Parkinson’s, and dopamine, fear, and doubt, this would be a good time to read it. Click here for the full post.
Fear. I looked up fear, and here are some of the definitions: to be afraid of (something or someone); to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant); to be afraid and worried, fear the worst.
Doubt. I looked up doubt, and here are some of the definitions: a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction; to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.
From conversations with people and from reading comments on the blog, I have found a fairly common thread: As soon as a symptom or symptoms appear worse on a given day, people begin to doubt that what they are doing is working, and then they have fear about what their future will be like.
This is what occurs when people are focused on their symptoms instead of their lives. The mind gets in the way. The Parkinson’s mind does not play a big part when symptoms remain the same or are improving. So, thinking becomes very lopsided. Thinking is neutral on the days where symptoms are the same or better, and then thinking becomes filled with fear and doubt on the days when they appear worse. I have had people tell me they were having a great day and then an hour before bed, the entire day was ruined because they felt a little shakier or stiffer or fatigued.
How is it that a single unpleasant experience can undo an entire day that had been pleasant? The responses I have received fit the definitions of fear and doubt listed above: “I am just not sure I can have a recovery;” “I doubt I will be able to see this through to the end;” “I am afraid I will end up with a walker;” “I am afraid I will end up in a wheelchair.”
Here are my thoughts about fear and doubt.
Fear is what upsets your experience in the moment, moment after moment, right up until the time the thing you were fearing does not take place. Fear often equates to lack of faith in a joyful future.
Doubt often equates to lack of faith in oneself.
What defeats fear and doubt? Faith.
Faith in your Higher Power. Close your eyes and reach down deep inside to that place that defies logic…to that non-explainable place within you where you have reached in the past and found the strength to do whatever it was you needed to do even though you could not explain from where the power came. Find this place again…NOW! You will need to nurture its seed and grow your faith in your Higher Power as you continue on this journey for your cure.
Faith in the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®. Howard…cured! Marie…cured! Pratima…cured! Betty…cured! Here are the statistics:
Western Medicine: 0.
Slowing, halting, reversing Parkinson’s:
Western Medicine: 0. “What we don’t have is a disease-modifying treatment, something that would actually halt or slow the progression of the disease.” See, https://www.michaeljfox.org/understanding-parkinsons/living-with-pd/topic.php?medication.
Faith in yourself. This faith is the biggest challenge for some. They have faith in their Higher Power and they have faith in the Recipe, but they lack faith in themselves to see it through to the end. As I have said in the past, “Faith without action is meaningless for Parkinson’s recovery.” You need to take action if you want to be cured from Parkinson’s.
What you need to ask yourself is, “What am I doing right here, right now, in this very moment?” That is what matters. Take your eyes and refocus them to what is happening NOW, in this very moment…THAT IS WHAT IS REAL! Staring into a fearful future of Parkinson’s debilitation does nothing to cure you, and it often paralyzes you from taking action NOW, the kind of action that will lead to your cure.
Build faith in yourself by staying in the present moment. Think about it: When you are engaged in joyful activities and they end, you say things like, “Time flies when you’re having fun” and “Where did the time go?” When you are engaged in activities that you do not like, five minutes seems like five hours…time just drags and drags and drags, and anger and frustration and stress and anxiety and fear just grow and grow and grow.
Did you ever stop and wonder why “time flies when you are having fun?” Because you are there, right there, in the moment of the activity. When you are opening your heart and engaged in joyful activity, you are not fearful of the future, and there are no negative thoughts. What I learned in my recovery is that being joyful in the moment or fearful of the future are choices.
I realized that to be cured from Parkinson’s, I needed to find joy in my heart, and that joy in my heart was a choice. I became grateful to be alive, even in a Parkinson’s body, and the more I realized what a gift this life is, the more my symptoms mattered less…and less…and less…and less. And, the more my faith in myself to stay in the moment each and every day doing the Recipe and living my life mattered more…and more…and more…and more.
Do not look into the future to determine if you have faith in yourself to reach the end of the journey, your cure. Find faith in yourself to choose to find joy in your heart NOW, to do your best, and to stay in the moment. You do not control the future. You control what you are doing NOW! Open your heart to yourself and know you will be cured one day. That is faith.
I know you can do this.
You are worth it!
All my best,