Oct 27, 2014

"A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself" Jim Morrison

I am blessed to have many people in my life who love & support me.  People who not only give me that freedom to, but want me to be myself!  People who are genuine, kind and love me.  The reality is that we only have one life to live and we should not do it on someone else's terms.  Having Parkinson's has changed who I am in some ways but I think it's mainly reinforced my true self.  Everyone deals with life's obstacles differently and there is no wrong way as long as you are being yourself.  If someone expects you to be someone that you are not, then one has to ask why?  No matter what answers you may come up with at the end of the day they are not true and supportive friends to you.  Because a real friend loves & supports you just the way you are without expectations for you to change. 

The world is blessed with so many personalities and thank God for that, because if we were all the same things would get pretty boring.  There are outgoing people, introverts, those that are often comic relief, the quiet ones that take it all in.  Some people are private and others not so much.  But no matter what every person is unique in their own way and that's what makes them beautiful.  I believe that we should all be allowed to shine in whatever way we are most comfortable and we all have something to offer the world but we can only do so if we are being true to our own self.  I choose to live my life very openly.  I have always been an open book, some people really seem to hate that, which is fine by me because it's not up to them how I live my life. 

We could all learn something from Dr. Seuss, I personally think he's very wise! 

The reality is that if people don't like or appreciate the way you are, it doesn't matter.  If they choose to pick apart or judge others constantly then they must be unhappy with their own lives.  It's nothing that you should even waste a single thought on.  Because people who are kind and genuine and happy in their own skin do not gossip or criticize the way others live their life.  They appreciate everyone's place in this world and they ignore things they may not like rather than tear those things apart.  If you are experiencing a struggle in life of any kind I assure you, it will be a wake up call for the type of person you want to be and the types of people you want to surround yourself with.  Parkinson's has taught me to live in the moment and to surround myself with positive people who are not mean or cruel to others just because they may not be the same personality or opinions.  It has taught me that sometimes people are simply unkind and that is ok because it's their issue to deal with not yours.  It's taught me that most people are loving, caring beautiful people in this world who truly want to live a life of positivity regardless of what is thrown their way.  I am ever so grateful for these lessons and sometimes simple reminders.  I am also very grateful for the beautiful people it has brought back into my life and the new people who I've crossed paths with because of it.  I am grateful for a husband who knows I am an open book, supports that and is happy I'm that personality.  He loves that I am who I am and I am lucky to have him!

I think we all have a purpose in this life and sometimes it goes in an entirely different direction than where we thought it was suppose to.  I genuinely love others and love to help out when someone is in need.  I've taken some flack for that over the years, some judgement on my motives for helping others and even some negative feedback about my blog.  But at the end of the day I know my own truth and I know that I am sincere and I care and I truly want to help others whenever I can because I think that's the way the world should work.  I think it is part of my purpose for being here and it's a way of life I want my children to grow up knowing.

Now that I am dealing with PD I do not think that has changed, however I do think it looks a little different.  I can't often help in a physical way like I might always want to but I can still help others.  Parkinson's is a BIG deal.  It's not getting the flu, or breaking a leg or something that will go away with time.  It is a degenerative disease that will be a life long battle for not only myself but for my family to deal with.  And well, it sucks.  It's scary and it sucks.  BUT I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.  And if having YOPD is the card I have been dealt with than it must be for a reason.  I am suppose to do something with this.  When I first started reading up on PD there is very little information out there for the young onset patients.  It is primarily an older person's disease and therefore the majority of information, supports and so on are targeted to that demographic.  I started to write this blog for my own form of therapy as it helped get things off my chest in a positive manner.  When I started to share it which was months later it in turn connected me with other young onset patients, which was fantastic!  I was able to communicate with other people with similar struggles in similar times in their lives and that can be very beneficial.  I also received a tremendous outpouring of support and let me tell you that is a huge weight lifting feeling from this journey.  I was touched by many who said that my writing helped them in their own struggles, some PD related others not and that has been heartwarming.  I was contacted by various organizations on how I might be able to assist other people struggling with Young Onset PD and that was mind blowing to me and incredible at the same time.  How could I help them?  I don't yet know the answer to that.  However one thing I know for sure is that I have this scary degenerative disease for a reason and as time goes on those reasons I think are presenting themselves to me.  I think part of the reason may be that this is to be the new way I can try and help others.  And if one person feels like they are not alone in this journey because of it then it has served it's purpose.  If one other person with Parkinson's that's struggling to maintain their balance reads about equine therapy from this blog and tries it and has success with it, then it has served it's purpose.  If it makes one other young parent with PD feel like their are not alone and that someone else knows what they are going through than it has served it's purpose.

One thing is for certain.  I am an open book, I always have been and I always will be.  I will not change who I am for anyone and I will not let PD change me either.  I will continue to pour out my heart and soul for nobody's purpose other than my own and if it helps someone along the way I think that's fantastic.  And if it doesn't or someone doesn't like it than that's ok too.  Nobody has a gun to their head telling them they have to continue to read it!  Because I write this blog for three reasons:
1.  To continue to get things off my chest in a constructive manner
2.  To avoid assumptions by others about my own health, because I am telling it like it is
3.  To perhaps touch or help one other person out there that may be having a similar struggle
(If there were a fourth, it would be to provide the folks that love to gossip something new to talk about!  Ha! Ha!  Your welcome!)

Thankfully because of this blog I have had many positive people become closer friends.  Many people be more true and honest with me about themselves.  Learned more about myself and most importantly I have been touched by the lives of others who are fighting various battles.  One which must be mentioned is Cindy, who as I wrote about previously I had the great pleasure to meet when I was in Calgary.  She is an inspiring, beautiful, courageous woman fighting breast cancer with dignity and strength.  She inspires me to fight harder, to stay positive and to cherish the loved ones in my life.  If you are ever in need of feeling any of those emotions I urge you to read her blog.  It can be found here:  http://warriorcindo.blogspot.ca/

She is amazing!  I am lucky to have met her and she's more beautiful and more wonderful in person!

My goal in this life is to be a good wife, a loving mother, a kind hearted person that always tries to put others first and help where I am able and most importantly to be ME.  All of those things are what make me happy and when I stop being any one of those things I cannot feel fulfilled in this life because I am not being the person I set out to be and therefore I will live a very unhappy life.  Having Parkinson's Disease changes a lot of things but it does not change any of those things that are important to me as I go through this life, my life.  I urge you that if for any reason you are not being real, not being true to yourself or constantly worrying about what other people think, stop!  Don't let anyone, anything, any disease, any challenge or obstacle this life may throw at you take away who you are or what you believe in.  Because nobody else can love you if you cannot love yourself first. 

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothings going to get better, it's not!" 
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
"Today you are you, that's truer than true. 
There is no one alive who is youer than you!"
"You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes,
you can steer yourself in any direction you choose"

~Dr. Seuss~