Focusing on hope

For much of last year I found myself really struggling with my Parkinson’s symptoms and side effects of medication. I know my symptoms are worse during stressful situations, but Parkinson’s seemed to spoil even the happy times for me. On several occasions, I had been looking forward to catching up with friends over a meal and my movements would either be stiff and slow or uncontrollably jerky, so eating or even just sitting still would be difficult. My Parkinson’s was an unwanted distraction. And this took away some of my enjoyment of the experience.

I spent a lot of time last year feeling overwhelmed by my daily struggles of living with Parkinson’s, fearing for my future as it progresses and wishing I didn’t have Parkinson’s.

Towards the end of the year, I decided that instead of wishing for things I have no control over, I needed to have hope for things I have some control or influence over.  So instead of making new year’s resolutions, I decided to focus on the word ‘hope’ for 2020.

My hope for 2020 is that I will be better able to cope with whatever challenges life throws at me – Parkinson’s or otherwise, and live the best life I can. I hope to be able to enjoy lots of precious times with family and friends, be inspired, experience new things, raise awareness of Parkinson’s by sharing my experiences, be there for my family and friends through the ups and downs of life, stay as healthy as possible, and do things I enjoy. 

So far, my new year has got off to a good start. I joined a new choir and am very much enjoying singing again as it’s one of my favourite things. I’ve also spent some happy times with family and friends. And I’m pleased to say that although my symptoms were present on these occasions, they didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

Although my various symptoms and side effects are still very much a part of my life and I still struggle with them at times, this year, I feel better in myself, more positive and more hopeful. And to keep me focused when I am finding things difficult, I have on my wall this beautiful gift which one of my lovely friends made for me: