Walls can help us to feel safe and secure. For a long time after I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I built up a wall around me. I only wanted to share the fact that I had this degenerative, neurological condition with those closest to me. I needed time to digest and accept this life changing fact in a secure environment, with people I knew and trusted.
We build all sorts of walls in life. Mostly we build them to keep us safe and protected. But here’s the thing – they can take time to build, but they can also come crashing down around us, leaving us feeling lost and scared.
I’ve learned that in order to be more resilient (to the unexpected things that life throws at me – which sometimes includes walls crashing), I need to step out of my comfort zone sometimes, and not just rely on the walls I’ve built to keep me safe.
Sometimes, it can be a good thing to peer outside of the wall, to see what is there and maybe even climb over the wall.
A year ago, I started to look outside of my own wall. I found inspiration, strength and kindness in others living with Parkinson’s – including Heidi Reynolds (founder of Start Living Today PD). And that helped me to grow and reach out to others and be inspired by them. I now help Heidi to run Start Living Today PD – a Facebook group for people living with Parkinson’s – where we support and encourage each other through both the sunny days, and the rainy days of living with Parkinson’s.
But had I not taken the first steps to climb the wall and peer over the top, I would probably still be in my comfort zone – what I thought was my safe and secure place. Only maybe it wasn’t so safe and secure after all. Because within that wall, I wasn’t as strong and resilient as I needed to become. Sometimes walls need to be climbed over, or even broken and rebuilt. And while that can be a difficult process, just maybe, when you get over the wall, there might be a rainbow waiting on the other side.
Ps: If you’ve read my previous blogs, you will probably be aware that I am in a choir. Here’s my choir singing a song called ‘The wall’ at our concert recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIvgFn87g3U