Fighting Parkinson’s, and you are special…really!

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…really! 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,


Special holiday note: During the holidays, many people who have been eating very healthy food take a break and indulge in the holiday treats. As a result, sugar intake increases during the holidays. It is part of the fun. However, sugar will increase tremors and other symptoms. Cause 2 in the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® for what brings Parkinson’s symptoms to the surface says, “Phlegm-Fire Agitating Wind, which is caused by dietary considerations such as consumption of too much greasy, fried or sweet foods.” So, just know that if your symptoms increase during the holidays, what you are eating, particularly sugar, is a main culprit and that your Parkinson’s is not getting worse.

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16 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and you are special…really!

  1. Heather says:

    I am not in the fortunate position of having any family or friends that I am looking forward to seeing over Christmas, (I live in London which is being ravaged by the latest covid bug, making it virtually impossible to see any of my friends) but it is good to feel that I am special. So thank you very much, dear Howard, for your timely encouragement!!

    • Howard says:

      You are welcome, Heather. I understand about the Covid situation and not getting together, so please know that we are your extended family and friends here on the blog even though we are not in personal contact. You are not alone. Love and blessings, Howard

      • Heather says:

        Thank you!!!!!

        • Cynthia (from England) says:

          Bless you Heather, you are in the right place here on Howard’s blog – it has always been a place of caring warriors. Life throws some curved balls at times which can knock us about, but you are special because you’re you and you’re not alone on this journey. Cynthia x

    • Karen in Ireland says:

      Hi Heather, please don’t ever feel alone. I have been blessed with a son who is 27. When he’s away from home, it’s funny but during those times, it’s like I suddenly feel God and the angels must conspire as I feel very peaceful and a ‘knowing that I am divinely loved and protected.
      Heather I can boldly say that every warrior that reads your post this week, WILL Be with you in spirit on Christmas Day and throughout the new year.
      Big Love to you friend.
      Karen xx 💕

  2. Dianna S says:

    Thank you Howard for your encouraging words. I have faced a health issue the past couple of months that has caused me to feel special but in a negative sense i.e. a pain in the butt to everyone. When I remember to put on my “be nice to me cap” there are fewer symptoms and life is so much sweeter. Wishing us all covid free holidays.
    Dianna from Wyoming, in Texas for the winter

  3. Tery and Werni says:

    Dear Heather,
    We think of you and wish you all the best,
    and as Howard says: YOU ARE SPECIAL!!
    Love from your blog-friends

  4. Rick says:

    I’ll always remember a comment made to me by a young lady next to me doing a group exercise fitness class at les Mills Auckland, NZ about 30yrs ago when the Commonwealth games where on , look at me or she may have had said we , I’m not special as I’m a nobody as I’m not in the the games ! I said nothing as I was shocked! I couldn’t believe someone could say that about them selves as I thought to myself as we are all gifted in our own way! Never forgot that comment on how anybody can put themselves down like that ! We are all champions and now we are warriors showing the whole world ! Have a special Merry Xmas everyone with lots of love 😊😊

  5. Maree says:

    Thanks Howard for the encouragement.
    Dear Heather, “You are never alone. This community cares for you.”
    Even though we have not met, I feel we have love for one another
    Take care.

    Love to everyone
    Maree from Melbourne

  6. Roger says:

    Heather–I am joining the chorus from Chicago. You are not alone! We are all with you!!! And we are a wonderful bunch of like minded souls.

    Love to all,

  7. Rabindar says:

    Howard, thank you for encouraging words as we are special simply because we exist.
    We are one big family facing the same condition.
    Thank you

  8. Heather says:

    Thank you everybody for your support! It makes me feel so much better…

  9. Val H says:

    I didn’t discover for myself that I was special – it was through the great love of my mother, which still has the power to pick me up and squeeze me to pieces eight years after her death. She had Parkinson’s and cancer and numerous other health problems but her heart and soul were in perfect order. That’s what she used to say, including on the day she died: ‘I love you with all my heart and soul.’ That’s it in its entirety; she loved me without caveats or conditions because I was there to be loved.
    On so many occasions when I visited her, she would say: ‘Right, Val, we’re going straight into the garden’ and we’d sit in two chairs against the house wall, with her holding my left hand in her right hand (I always had to be on her right side because she couldn’t twist her neck) and sometimes her other hand bent behind her back, to try to relieve the pressure on her bony spine. I’ll always remember how I felt in those moments: I’d be looking at the dilapidated shed and the fence that needed creosoting and the garden that needed weeding and I’d be fretting about the repairs while Mum watched the blue sky and the clouds and listened to the birds and felt the air on her face. She was completely present in the moment. I know that because her hand lay lightly in mine while my mine fretted about the fingers with the urge to shake it off and get going on the chores. I know now that I got it wrong and she got it completely right.
    All this came to mind when I read Karen’s comment that when her son is away from home, she feels God and the angels conspire to fill the gap by letting her know she is divinely loved and protected; I think a mother’s love, which is beyond mortal parameters, is like a cell phone searching for a signal in a different country – it roams around and locks on to the source that is sending out the strongest vibration.
    To Heather: Like the other warriors, I am with you in spirit and solidarity (when you consider how many of us there are in different countries and different time zones, at any given hour, there is probably someone, somewhere, doing the Recipe) and, don’t worry, a beautiful day is sure to come along soon. I am including a video link to the song, ‘One Day Like This’, by Elbow.

    P.S. to Sally: Those orange scones look scrummy!

  10. Karen in Ireland says:

    Val your mum sounds like an amazing woman and way ahead of her time.
    Great song choice my friend. 😎xx

  11. Graham S says:

    It‘s not an easy ride, is it! Maintaining the exercise regime, and diet even with a bit of variation, it’s hard and loving yourself, maintaining a positive attitude is even harder. On a good day when the shake is not too bad, it all seems worth while. But it’s so easy to get frustrated with it all. I was watching TV last night holding my wife’s hand nice and calm and relaxed, when a tense bit of the drama set me off on a right old shake rattle n roll, and the more you try and relax the worse it goes, and it’s the same eating in public. What a trial this disease is! But knowing you’re trying with me and going through the same keeps it in perspective. I hope you all feel some peace, love and comfort and improvement in your condition over the next few weeks. I will be concentrating on being open and loving to myself and those around me with a thought specially for you all. Cheers Howard, thank you.

    Heather, my lad lives in London and it can seem such an impersonal place to be, but it’s also a lovely place to be, so smile when you’re out and when you get a shakey smile back it might be me. Big hugs and have lovely life.


    • Heather says:

      Thank you Graham, I will try, but it is very hard when I am trying to put my heels down first, and they never will do it, but I will remember your email and smile…

      I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas!!

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