Fighting Parkinson’s, and you are special!

As we head further into the holiday season, it is important for each and every one of you to know that you are special simply because you exist. People have been telling me about their social anxiety as they get closer to seeing family and friends for the holidays. Your best defense to social anxiety is knowing that you are special and then smiling at everybody.

Many of you believe, as did I when I had Parkinson’s, that they have value or are special based upon achievement and performance. When the Parkinson’s reduces the ability to achieve and perform, many people lose confidence in themselves, and their self-worth plummets. What you need to know is that you are special simply because you exist!

In November of 2017, I wrote a book entitled, “Fighting Parkinson’s…and Winning.” To understand just how special you are simply because you exist, it would be helpful to re-read pages 98-113 in the book. If you have the Kindle version, it is near the end of Part Two in a section entitled, “I viewed the healing of my soul primarily as a 4-step process.” Then read the next section about gratitude to the end of Part Two, pages 113-121. 

If you do not have the book, you can click here and purchase a paperback or download a Kindle ebook from Amazon.

To assist all of you with this concept, here is an excerpt from my book:

I understood in my heart and soul that I was uniquely me. It was not my accomplishments that made me special. It was not straight A’s that made me special. It was not hitting the home runs or scoring the most points or getting the lead in the play or the solo in band that made me special. It was not the great job that made me special, or the promotions or the raises, or the leadership positions I held that made me special. It was not the schools I attended or the degrees I obtained that made me special.

My thinking for almost all of my life had been that these were the things that made me special. However, that type of thinking was nothing more than the illusions I had created in my mind. I felt that I needed to be an over-achieving perfectionist in order to be special…in order to be accepted and liked and loved.

I had gotten the impression that acceptance, being liked, and being loved was based upon performance and achievement. This was because no matter how hard I tried and no matter what were my achievements, it never seemed to be good enough.

In my recovery, I understood that my achievements had been more than enough. However, I gleaned that the people from whom I was seeking approval, being liked, and being loved had been incapable of expressing these things to me as a result of their own life issues.

Ultimately, this brought me to a place of not approving of myself as well as not liking or loving myself. I felt that my best was not good enough. The people who had given me this impression had moved on in life. However, I was the one who had gotten stuck internalizing unhealthy feelings about myself.

Then, I broke free and became liberated. I understood that I was special simply because I existed.

Every one of you is special simply because you exist! When you see family and friends, know that they like you and love you because of who you are. Instead of being anxious, look them in the eyes and give them biggest smile that you can find…the smile that says, “I am special simply because I exist, and so are you!”

You are worth it!!!

All my best,


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17 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and you are special!

  1. Margaret says:

    Pure Beautiful post!
    Pure Love of self and others seems to be the answer for so many of our maladies <3

    Wishing you all the best love, peace and joy of the season xo

  2. Lisa Raven says:

    As always, Howard, right on target.
    I am so thankful for Howard and all the Warriors. Christmas blessings to all.

  3. Raymond Noble says:

    Thank you for your kind words Howard. I have been following your recipe as close as possible. I firmly believe it will cure me. You give me hope. Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas.


  4. Tery and Werni says:

    Dear Howard
    Wonderful reminder we have to follow. Thanks!!!

  5. Sharon says:

    Howard, thank you for this wonderful post!

    An important lesson to learn and keep close: “you are special simply because you exist”.
    Love and blessings to all.
    Sharon in North Carolina

  6. Jan Maw says:

    Thank you Howard – your wisdom and faith is a continued inspiration – love, peace and happiness to you and all the PD travellers – Jan xx

  7. Dora says:

    Thank you for always being there for us. Your words always bring hope to me. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, your family and everyone in this group

  8. Marie says:

    How grateful I am that you broke free of the internalized unhealthy feelings and shared the light of your specialness with all of us! Sending love to you.

  9. Chris says:

    I’m Charles Baker Harris. I can read…and move and walk and talk and tell jokes.

    I’m special!

    I’m grateful!!

    I’m especially grateful to share this blog with all you special people!!!!

    Happy Holidays,

    – Dill

    PS: Special thanks to Harper Lee.

  10. Bob says:

    I’m one who wore the performance and achievement medals with hidden pride. I was “good” at competing mostly because I took on pursuits I could do well in. My PD recovery has revealed that my competitiveness comes from a lack of self acceptance and self love. I wasn’t worthy therefore I strove for worthiness. I could never relax and be comfortable with me.

    I thank you Howard for the life lessons that are never too late to learn. I am learning to love and accept myself. I’m pretty special now. Even worthy of recovery! Such a good path to be on. And I’m not alone – even in a pandemic. Thank God and thank you fellow warriors. May you all find joy this Christmas season.

  11. Rabindar says:

    “I am special simply because I exist, and so are you!” this line has made my day and your blog always bring hope to us, thank you Howard.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

  12. Mona says:

    Respected Howard sir,
    Thanks for opening the inner vision that shows one the beauty within, the real self, which is a unique identity of one’s own. You always hit the right spot.
    Merry Christmas and happy festive season to you and all fellow warriors. Love and Regards, Mona

  13. Petra says:

    How does it feel to love one self? What do you love and didn’t love before. Who is loving who or what?
    I recognize what Howard tells us: feeling not worthy because of all the limits to achieve things, that most things or worships are being based on achieving, unfortunately. A tricky thing also is: will I achieve my recovery? If not, what happens then in our mind? How to have trust in what is happening?

    Wishing you all merry Christmas and a joyful 2021 full of recovery.


  14. Roger Wright says:

    What I am so very grateful for is that Howard has given us a way to THINK about PD. Thinking about it in a way that is different than the western medical establishment. Ensuring we have a holistic framework for the practical exercises we do in the Recipe. The ways I use, quote, explore and think about what we are all doing here are really countless. I am learning a new acceptance of the work we do–that I don’t have to do the Recipe perfectly. But I DO have to do it. And I can report progress. I remember Howard saying “Nothing about the Recipe is easy.” But I am inside that iceberg chipping away. I am fighting. And I can see in the distance the blue sky sunlight of winning. Happy Holidays to you all!

  15. Ola Stasiak-Brough says:

    Thank you Howard! This year may not be the best year, but on many levels it is a best year for me! At the beginning of this year I started coaching sessions with Howard and discovered that my PD symptoms are not my enemies but my friends. All of them! … it took me a while. LOL!

    I got a second chance to live my life on life terms not on my terms (Ola’s terms were contributing hugely to adrenaline overload).

    With Howard’s help I have a new manual for life and I am not afraid of my symptoms or life!

    Thank you Howard I am grateful!

    Much love to All and Merry Christmas,


  16. Huge gratitude as always, Howard, for your support and wisdom…and warmest wishes to all throughout the holiday season.

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