I realized in my Parkinson’s recovery that I was very much out of balance, physically of course, but also mentally and spiritually. When things occurred in life that I did not like, my underlying emotion was anger with some emotional stress on the side. Ultimately, to get back into balance mentally and spiritually, I learned acceptance…acceptance of life!
I see it this way: Life is messy and things will not always turn out the way I thought I wanted them to turn out. “Okay!”
“Okay” is the word I used, and still use, to denote acceptance followed by dealing with the issue and working toward a solution. There is a certain emotional detachment that comes with “okay,” but that type of clear-headed emotional detachment is what you need to beat this disease. However, I have to admit that it was Sally who first used the “okay” strategy when we realized I had Parkinson’s.
When I first realized I had Parkinson’s and Sally and I discussed it and then cried together, she settled down and said, “Okay, we need to put a plan together and figure out what we are going to do about this.” Looking back, I know this was the most loving thing she could have done because I had to put my “poor me” away and start to work on a solution. As I went through my recovery, I learned that “okay” meant acceptance. Remember, please, that acceptance does not mean acquiescence.
For me, “okay” came to mean, “I accept the situation as it is, right here, right now. What is my solution? What am I going to do about it, right here, right now?”
I have tremors all the time…”okay.” Click here for a solution.
My legs hurt…”okay.” Click here for a solution.
My back hurts…”okay.” Click here for a solution.
I am constipated…”okay.” Click here for a solution.
I can’t get my utensil to my mouth…”okay.” Click here for a solution.
I am suffering from many symptoms and side effects…”okay.” Click here for many solutions.
Each “okay” meant this: “Okay, this is what is happening right here, right now, what am I going to do about it.” As you can see, this is quite different from, “My legs hurt, this means my Parkinson’s is worsening, soon I won’t be able to walk without a walker, soon after that I will be in a wheelchair.”
“Okay” is a call to action. It identifies an issue and works toward a solution. The other response is emotions. It is fear and worry and anger about the future. It causes paralysis of the spirit, which causes paralysis of the mind, which causes paralysis of the body. This is the one situation where your fear of the walker and wheelchair, and doing nothing about it, will provide you the paralysis you need to end up with the walker and wheelchair…you will get what you fear. Why not say, “okay,” and then do something to provide a solution to the problem.
What if you could say, “I have Parkinson’s and this is my Parkinson’s body…okay.” Accepting your Parkinson’s and your Parkinson’s body, with all of your newly discovered physical limitations and pains is part of the process of recovery. After Sally said let’s put a plan together, I read the book, What your doctor may NOT tell you about Parkinson’s Disease, by Dr. Jill Marjama-Lyons. It covered the medication and alternative approaches to dealing with the disease.
The thing is, I did not want to “deal” with the disease and I did not want to “maintain” the best possible life with the disease. Simply put, I did not want to have the disease at all, which is something I had been told, and all of you have been told, is impossible. However, recovering from Parkinson’s without medications was the only alternative for me. Faced with what I felt was the only alternative for me, I got on the path toward recovery and I never got off.
From what I had learned in Dr. Marjama-Lyons’ book, it seemed to me that Parkinson’s sufferers had been medicated for such a long time that experiencing the disease from a non-medicated body would be the way for me to best understand what was going on. I decided that if I experienced Parkinson’s as it was with no medications and no supplements and no pain killers, then I would understand Parkinson’s as it was…raw and unaltered…from inside a Parkinson’s body, and that would provide me the best opportunity to solve it and recover.
Back to “okay.” You need a lot of faith to take an “okay” attitude toward your Parkinson’s. It is the type of faith that says, “I know I will recover and I am getting on my path and I am not getting off until I recover.” And, as a person once explained to me, “After I finish doing the Recipe in the morning, everything else that goes on after that is my life, and I understand that for now, Parkinson’s is part of my life, but I also understand it is not my whole life and it will not always be a part of my life.” I smiled as this was exactly how I saw it.
So, you have Parkinson’s…”okay!” What are you going to do about it, right here, right now? Why not say, “okay,” get on your path to recovery with the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®, and stay on your path to recovery until you reach your full recovery.
There is nothing wrong with you…you, your heart and soul, your essence…there is nothing wrong with you! You are so much more than your Parkinson’s symptoms! Do not live your Parkinson’s symptoms. Nothing good comes from that. Live your life. Do not just be alive, but actually live your life and find joy in your heart.
Find compassion and happiness and love and peace and contentment and gratitude in your heart. Find forgiveness in your heart…for others…and for yourself. You did not do anything wrong to get Parkinson’s, so forgive yourself! That’s right, open your heart and find the forgiveness you need to realize that Parkinson’s is providing you the opportunity to heal yourself — your soul and your mind and your body.
Take a look at the title of this website: “Fighting Parkinson’s Drug Free, Embracing the Disease from a New Perspective.” Embracing the Disease…accepting it is there…”okay,” pulling it in closely, examining it, facing it, not being afraid of it, letting go of your attachment to it, and fully recovering from it.
Seize the opportunity. Grab onto the Recipe and seize the opportunity to be your own recovery!
So, you have Parkinson’s…okay! What are you going to do about it, right here, right now?
Why not say, “okay,” get on your path to recovery with the Recipe, and stay on your path to recovery until you fully recover.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Hi Howard, you have never said this so powerfully as you have in today’s post. I think this post is like a summary of how we are supposed to be on a day to day basis to win from this condition. I really try to live , I just feel I’m not truly living as I’m not ” out there” in life. I’m trying so hard with the walking as I can’t use a frame or a stick as I tremor too much ( I sound like I’m tapping the morse code when I try to use my stick haha ) I stagger and I find I truly can’t stand for long so I don’t go out anywhere . I see it as temporary but in truth my body is working so hard on a daily basis to function, I don’t have the energy to attempt outings. The other big problem is when fear kicks in, my kidneys go into overdrive. I have a couple of visits to the bathroom before I attempt my shower each week, that’s a reality. Does it mean I can’t recover unless I join into life? I try and contribute with friends and family by phone etc. I love life but is it wrong to look forward and visualise the fully recovered me? I try and be present daily as in being okay with what is and full of gratitude for what I can do. I am blessed compared to many Parkinson’s sufferers. I will be the first out the door if I could stop and start without staggering or lunging from obstacle to obstacle. Everything in my house is laid out so I can go from a to b. Howard am I restricting my recovery because I can’t get out to life? I’m sure there are others who wonder too. I love this post as okay is so empowering but like you say without acquiesc.
Big love to you Howard and all warriors.
Thank you for your heart-felt comment. You are not handicapping yourself, and yes, I think it is wonderful to visualize the fully recovered you. When you visualize where you want to be in your life and your health, your soul, mind, and body get a clear picture.
You are doing your best, and you have to accept that your best is good enough, https://www.fightingparkinsonsdrugfree.com/2013/05/15/fighting-parkinsons-and-your-best-is-good-enough/. If you cannot go out of your home into life, “okay!” You can call people, re-connect, invite somebody over for a visit…but wait, these are the things you already are doing and these are the things you can do to be back in life in your current condition. Celebrate this, “OKAY!”
Over time, you will be able to venture out. For now, re-connecting is from your home, and that is wonderful. “Okay?” Yes, absolutely “OKAY!” You are worth it!!!
All of you are worth it!!!
Love and blessings,
Okay , oh great leader of Warriors, okay! Fabulous reply, bless you my friend, you truly are one of God’s finest gifts to me on this journey Howard, I love you dearly.xx
I got tears. Thank you Howard..!!
Great Post Howard Thank You!!
Yes I agree there is nothing wrong with me and pretty much everyone reading this.
I’m learning to be my number one fan. I encourage myself all day long instead of condemning myself all day long. My dopamine is ready to bust through the dam.
I’m not waiting for my cure anymore because my cure is waiting for me!
I have been on medication for 5 yrs. I began taking it when I was hospitalized and I didn’t know any better. I spent way too much time and energy despising my meds, mourning and regretting. Recently I have become grateful for my meds. I have not had an increase in a couple yrs and am told that is the same as needing less!
Anyway, I am grateful that I was put on meds when I was under the care of doctors in the hospital. They enable me to have a quality of life I wouldn’t otherwise have while recovering. Okay!
You are an inspiration, Howard. Your powerful words of encouragement are gratefully received. 💗 Thank you! Thank you!
Love to you Howard!
Amazing post directly to my heart.
Story for Karen:
Over 15 years ago I was diagnosed with PD. After holding out for 5 years I reluctantly commenced taking meds because I could no longer “move to the music” let alone, dance. After meeting Howard 4 years ago, I finally felt I had met a kindred spirit. I have been reducing meds since then and currently take my first dose (immediate release generic sinemet and macuna pruriens))of the day at 9:30 am and my last dose of the day at 1:30 pm. Because I have been trying to develop new neural pathways without meds I have been walking at 7:30 am with the help of my partner. I started by holding my partner’s arm and moving from my chair to the door of my condo. I worked up to doing this from once to a number of times. I eventually was walking down the hall to the elevator, but didn’t feel safe in going further. So walking up and down the hall became my new goal. Again, I worked up from once to ten times each day. Eventually I went down the elevator and out the front door. That’s as far as I would go. You get the idea; now my early morning walks encompass going down a trail where I say good morning to my favourite trees. This is about one kilometer in distance. I do not go on any of this alone and am fortunate in having a partner who believes in The Recipe as much as I do. He also gently ‘pushes’ me to take that extra step or go a little further. Many times I start out being very shaky.
So, Karen, it all started out with taking one step. Many times I thought “I can’t do this” and even verbalized that. However, it fell on temporarily deaf ears. There have been a few times when I absolutely could not do it. Instead of being discouraged I would just say Okay your body has something else in mind.
You mentioned having a caregiver. Perhaps that person would walk one or two steps with you. In the meantime you are participating in life as best you can. Keep on visualizing.
With peace and love…………
Bless your beautiful heart Lynn. I was just on my way to bed and something told me to check here. 🙂 what a great inspirational story. Lynn thank you for taking the time and effort to type that all out for me. I love that you now get to walk to your favourite tree. I adore trees 🙂 oak is my favourite 🙂 Big love and gratitude to you my friend. xx
Big love to everyone. Howard a very inspiring message of ok and stick to it till recovery. Love you and love everyone’s messages I read. You are full of kindness and love. Big hugs Helen Australia
Hi Karen…..my thoughts are with you. I hope you realise that there is only one of you in this world and you were created with your own uniqueness. This is a special honour designed especially for you. It is said that Nature is God’s great healer. I would suggest you ask your caregiver to take you out into the sunshine and fresh air and breathe in the beauty of the song of the birds, the colour of the flowers and the changing patterns of the clouds. Take all the beauty into your soul and let it give you strength. I believe there are no shortcuts to places worth going and that if we don’t step forward we will always remain in the same place. Keep in mind the old proverb ” The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.” The time will come when you will be able to relinquish the place you are now and move to a better place. My love to you as you move forward. You may fear it but do it anyway.
Awwww thank you Veronica , what a lovely post. Bless your heart. How are you doing on your journey? How long since you were diagnosed? You’re a relatively new warrior so I know little about you friend, only that you seem very spiritual, relaxed and quite at ease with your journey, which is inspiring from your weekly posts on here. 🙂 xx
Hi Karen…..I was diagnosed in 2006 which came as a shock like many of you. I was in a state of denial for a while. I remember my Dad telling me once that God never gives us a burden bigger than our faith to carry it. He was an incredible man who overcome some terrible burdens losing 4 children. My journey has been up and down since 2006. Two years ago I was getting around on a scooter. Today I am walking around with just a stick and doing many things. My philosophy Karen is that when I wake up in the morning I ask myself ‘ what is my purpose for getting out of bed today?’ I keep my goal in mind throughout the day and remember why I am here. I also believe what we focus on increases so it is important not to focus too much on my symptoms. I try to keep company with positive people and exercise every day with the Recipie and I practice yoga every day. I also start my day with a little quiet time with my God and take my day from there. I am still on medication but trying to decrease some time when ever that will be. Take care my friend and thank you for your kind words.