I’ve come a long way in my Parkinson’s journey in the last year. One thing I’ve realised is that in order to move forward, I’ve had to learn – and am still learning – to let go.
Letting go of my belief that plans always have to be precise and stuck to rigidly – I can make plans, but circumstances change and sometimes I need to adapt my plans. This could be as simple as me not having enough energy to do the things I had planned, so I need to adapt my plans and rest more.
Letting go of the idea that things have to be a certain way – It was never part of my life plan to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 36 – that meant a whole rethink of the way I live my life – refocusing my priorities and making different choices. I’ve had to adapt and change, but I can still live a fulfilling life, even though I am living with Parkinson’s.
Letting go of my fears and worries for the future – I used to be terrified by the thought of my condition getting worse in the future and worry about not being able to cope. The fact is I don’t know how my Parkinson’s will develop. It is a very individual condition. I can’t change the fact that I have Parkinson’s, but by choosing to look after my physical and mental health now, I can give myself the best chance for the future – whatever that may bring. And live the best life I can, in the here and now.
Letting go of things I can’t control – I used to feel anxious about a lot of things that were out of my control. I have no control over some situations and circumstances. But I can choose how I react to them. And my attitude makes all the difference to the way I feel. Stress and anxiety aggravate my symptoms, so minimising stress and anxiety in my life is important to me.
Letting go of the past and the way things used to be – In order to look to the future, I need to let go of the past. That doesn’t mean forgetting about it. It simply means remembering the good times without wishing to relive them; whilst letting go of any bitterness and anger I may have felt about the more difficult times in my life – and learning from these challenging experiences.
Letting go of my resistance to change – Life is always changing. Resisting change and trying to keep things the way they were uses up a lot of my precious energy. I’m learning to be more flexible and adaptable, so that when things change, I can go with it and make things work for me.
Letting go of negativity – By focusing on the things I have to be grateful for, instead of all the challenges in life, I can move forward with a more positive and resilient attitude. And as I’ve learned, attitude is key to living well with Parkinson’s.