I’ve never really been one for new year’s resolutions, but earlier this year, I read an article suggesting that rather than making a list of resolutions, you think of a word to focus on for the year.
I decided that having spent much of last year, slowly but surely learning to accept my diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, this year I should try being bold.
I have also never been much of a risk taker, in any sense of the word. I guess I’ve often been scared of the consequences. However, one of my main aims is to become more resilient and for that I need to step out of my comfort zone, so ‘bold’ seemed like a good word to focus on.
Previously I hadn’t felt ready to connect with other people living with Parkinson’s, but in spring, I stumbled upon the Young Parkinson’s Network (www.youngparkinsonsnetwork.com). Spurred on by the word ‘bold’, I took the plunge, signed up and posted my first post. Through that first post, I met Heidi (also diagnosed in her 30s) who invited me to join her Facebook group – Start Living Today PD.
Heidi immediately inspired me with her courage, determination, positivity, kindness and compassion. Her group was all about being positive which was right up my street. However, I still felt nervous about posting and sharing. But remembering the word ‘bold’, I slowly started to post and share. Within a few weeks, I had received so much support and encouragement from others in the group, that I started posting more regularly and sharing more. By summer, I had arranged to meet up with Heidi, and shortly after Heidi asked me if I would be willing to help her with the admin for the group. The rest, as they say is history. Now, I support Heidi in running the group, even coming up with, and implementing a few ideas (more about this another time).
I’ve got to know so many lovely, inspiring, caring and positive people in the group, all of them living with Parkinson’s (whether they have Parkinson’s themselves or support someone close to them who has Parkinson’s). Being part of this group and being able to share my experiences of living with Parkinson’s has helped me so much. In fact, one of the reasons I am bold enough today to be even writing this blog is because I took the plunge back in spring, and posted my first post. Being bold really has paid off in more ways than one. But it all started with that first step.