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,
Howard, you are like a beacon in the night. It is so comforting to know that you are always there. Thanx, from a hopeful warrior!
Choosing faith over fear is the main ingredient. Fear, anger, resentment etc. is what brought Parkinson’s to us so the opposite of those emotions like, joy, peace, love etc. is what will push it away. Its hard I know because those thoughts of “will I get better or will I get worse” are always there and its scary… its really scary but that’s when you have to stand up to the demon and laugh right in its face and say get the Fuc@ outta here! We are all going to be healed! We are all going to make it!!
AMEN to the outta here line Tony! Lol. 🙂
Wow Howard! Amazing post! I love it! You know me so well. 🙂
You Rock my friend, quite simply, you Rock!
Thanks Howard, for nudging me back onto the right track.
Good morning everyone. Thanks for another great post Howard. Now, I will take the information in the post and use it to help me heal myself. I will “check in” with myself several times today, and in a loving way, make sure I am doing what I should be doing to show that I believe in these principles.
I once went to an awesome class on managing your time around the house to help create a beautiful, clean, and orderly home. When the class was over I went up to thank the speaker for giving of her time and sharing such great ideas with me. She said I was welcome, but that the best thing I could do to thank her, was to put what I had learned to good use. She said that she was glad that I liked the class; she had done her part…. but now if was up to me. Time would tell how effective the class was for me . Would I take those great ideas and put them to good use?
I have thought about what she said several times as I write my ” thank- yous ” to Howard for a great post. Howard has done his part and now it is up to me. If I really believe what he says is great , I will show it by my actions….Now, today ! In the moment! I will do the best that I can, with love and without any judgment.
I write this post because it will help ME to recommit, Now, Today. I will show by my actions that I have faith in myself and that I am grateful for this day. I will show that I do want to get better and that I believe “Faith without action is meaningless for Parkinson’s recovery.” I will ask myself “What am I doing right here, right now, in this very moment?”
I am grateful to Howard and also for the opportunity to read the post coming from all your hearts. I am grateful to be able to express feelings of my heart on this blog.
And now I am off to put the action into the plan, and to do my exercises. 🙂
Have a beautiful day.
Love and Blessings
Beautifully said Debbie, you write so eloquently.
Amen, Debbie! Great follow up to Howard’s encouraging and insightful post. The best way to say thank you is to do it! Now. Today.
This is beautiful, anytime I feel I lost faith in me, I can look back. Thank You…..You are extraordinary!
Thanks Howard. When you said ” What I learned in my recovery was that being
joyful in the moment or fearful of the future are choices”. I’m going to try harder
to live in the moment, let the future and past worry about themselves and try to
be joyful as I do it.
I know that when I’m totally engrossed in something enjoyable I don’t even know
that I have PD. I have asked others did you notice my tremor and they say no.
Ken — exactly my experience too.
A big thanks from me Howard – a wonderful message! And thanks to all the fellow travelers on this path.
I had another great Skype session with Howard today and discussed what may be holding me back at this point from total recovery. I feel I have healed my soul as well as my body, but fear still finds its way into my heart when my symptoms flare up! I need to surrender to God in all things to help me keep the fear at bay so that I can do a better Job of living in my heart and opening up the dopamine to allow it to flow ! I know that faith without works is dead and I need to pray as if everything depended on God and then work hard on the recipe as if everything depended on me! I know I can do this, and I know we all can do this! Keep the faith warriors, we are on the path. How can we fail with God at the helm and Howard as our great supporter and leader.
We are going for gold, we are going to pass those winning posts no matter how slowly or whatever we may encounter on the way. Thank you Howard.
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