Like a lot of people who live with chronic conditions, I have often used fighting analogies to describe where I stand in regards to the thing that has gone wrong in my body-mind/brain (whatever…thingamebob). I talk about kicking Parkinson’s butt. I shared the above fierce photo on Instagram. It made me feel empowered. I had a Rocky kind of training montage going in my head.
And yet, it isn’t something you can fight. And sometimes naming it, talking about it, referring to ‘my Parkinson’s’, or referring to myself as Parky – as if its a person, with an identity – feels like its giving “it” power. Resisting something, fiercely, determinedly, bravely, is nevertheless like pouring all your energy into a black hole. You could give it an infinity of resistance and yet, no matter how heroically you resist, if you pause for a mere nanosecond to catch a breath, you will still be sucked in. Resisting weakens you, and only feeds the beast it seems.
And Parkinson’s is not a thing, a person. Even though we’ve given it a name, to honour the person who first described it as a condition, a long long time ago. It is a process, or a series of processes, not working the way we need them to. What set this chain of mistakes, we will never know. Maybe. Who knows. Does it even matter? If you can’t change it?
Because all we all have is now. Its been said by many people many times before, but I have latched on to the concept of late, because it helps. To just pour my energy into, not resisting, not blocking a strike. Not thinking about or warring with Parkinson’s or talking about Parkinson’s or being a Person With Parkinson’s. But focusing on what this mind-body can do or can achieve now. To chant ‘I can’ to add rhythm to my walk. Not worrying about what I might not be able to do in future (which doesn’t exist), or what I couldn’t do in the past (which doesn’t exist). To create for the joy and the no-thought/no-mind in it, not for an audience’s cheer. To enjoy just being. Now.
I get more flow out of this. More space. More silence. More joy.
Not that fighting is bad necessarily. Maybe I’ll go back to that next week, cos I’m good at that too. There is nothing like a contradiction to make things interesting!