“The greatest battle you ever have to win is the battle within yourself.” Eli Soriano
“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself, the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us, that’s where it’s at.” Jesse Owens”
Introduction: There are many human diseases, a lot of disorders that rob you of your wellness and life regardless of age. There are several types of neurodegenerative disorders. There is not a single good thing about any neurodegenerative disease. I have compared them previously in this blog; suffice it to say, they’re all bad. My neurodegenerative disorder is Parkinson’s. Some days it feels like a vice is around your head, slowly tightening its sinister grip, ultimately, and slowly taking your life away. Other times it feels like you are joyously walking a sandy beach at the ocean’s edge in the summer. Both of these scenarios are possible in people-with-Parkinson’s (PwP), and they are battles that are fought and won within.
“The only battle to win is the battle within, that place where we realize that we deserve to have and create all that we want in our lives.” Ali Vincent
Battles Are Won Within: Each Sunday morning driving to the golf course to join my friends in a round of golf, I pass an inspiring billboard of a U.S. Marine Corp soldier with the inscription of “Battles are won within.” Clearly, the depiction of this soldier in a muddy stream shows strong self-determination that he will succeed. These soldiers are for the country. They seek to conquer self-doubt, and all of their battles are won within. PwP are battling a different but common enemy we call Parkinson’s.
From The Uncertainty of Parkinson’s: “There’s nothing you can do but keep living and keep going; ultimately, fighting the battle of your life against this insidious disorder named Parkinson’s.” Frank C. Church
The Common Aspects of Parkinson’s: We are all different, yet our disorder unites us. Some of us will have strong expression of the typical motor defects, and others may pass us by with few discernible outward changes. Some of us may develop one or more of the non-motor defects found in Parkinson’s, and they are not necessarily noticeable; others may never develop them. Some of us have a rate of progression counted by years; others live through it for decades. On receiving the diagnosis, some of us leave our career almost immediately; others stay on for years to come. Some of us are diagnosed long before their 60th birthday and are termed young-onset, while most of us are 65 years or older when receiving the news “You have Parkinson’s.” Each individual with Parkinson’s contributes a thread as part of an ever-growing quilt that offers us all warmth and a shared sense of protection.
From A Good Life With Parkinson’s: “Today acknowledge your Parkinson’s; give it a nudge, because you are ready for the battle and for life.” Frank C. Church
The Common Features of Parkinson’s: We each have features of common-ground with our disorder. We share our care and concern, respect and friendship, and knowledge and admiration to all PwP. We seek to understand those motor and non-motor defects we each have as individuals hoping that the knowledge shared will help us. We share stories hoping that our experiences might lessen the fear of an unknown future, help educate the unknowing, and lend support to the cause. Each individual with Parkinson’s contributes a sentence to the ever-expanding novel based on living-well with Parkinson’s.
“More often than not, a heroes most epic battle is the one you never see; it’s the battle that goes on within him or herself.” Kevin Smith
You are a Hero Trying to Conquer the Battles Within: Your Parkinson’s wants you to have self-doubt because it weakens your resolve. Additionally, Parkinson’s wants you to have self-pity because it collapses your defenses. Your Parkinson’s wants you to lose self-assurance because it strengthens its hold on you. Furthermore, Parkinson’s wants you to reduce self-determination because it increases the force against you. Remind yourself each waking hour to stay hopeful, optimistic, resilient, persistent, and mindful. Try to remain convinced that your path will improve quality-of-life. You indeed are a hero each day you live with your disorder. Your battles are within, and they are won within.
“Some of the greatest battles will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul.” Ezra Taft Benson
From Always, With Parkinson’s: I refuse to give up, I may bend in the throes of this battle; however, there is still much to live for, much to work for, much to love for, and so I keep going. These words are simple, they remind me (us) what positive forces we have around us to bolster our effort.“ Frank C. Church