Article by Jennifer Oldroyd, Contributing Author and Person with Parkinson's
Thank you for all you are doing for us. You could have easily not bothered and had more time for yourself. It is really appreciated. In taking us along with you on your journey you have realised that we are all different yet also all the same. It matters little what kind of music helps us, the fact is that there is some music for each of us that heals our symptoms. For me it's The Shadows music. I discovered this when I was recovering from a mini stroke and the friend came round to play his guitar for me. I could literally feel my brain responding as though I had guitar strings in my head.
I remember telling a friend who has ME that she should not respond to anyone else's timetable but be happy with every small step she takes forward and not give up. She could not venture out of the house at the time but now she has begun to make progress. It's all about taking charge of your own body. I am inspired by watching my infant granddaughter learning to walk. Somehow we have to waken the spare capacity in our brains. Parkinson's mirrors life. Life is like a sine wave - it has ups and downs. Parkinson's is like a short circuit but with thought control we can make the up(s) last longer. Our aim is to flat line on a higher plane. As I have contemplated what has improved in my life since diagnosis I recognise that first I had to see that I had become pretty negative and want to change. It's not like throwing a switch however, Changes have to take place like turning a dial. Sometimes we have to turn back the dial because the change is more than we can stand. To appreciate the good we have to experience the bad.
There is one reason why we become negative and that is in order to survive (physically and mentally). We actually unwittingly teach our children to fear. It is for the purpose of keeping them safe but it does not allow them to have the freedom to progress and think of new ideas. I looked back on my life and saw who I was as a teenager and realised I had become wishy washy. That really isn't me! I remembered saying to my mother that I felt 'different' and she said "Of course you do dear, God made us all different for a reason." A Chinese herbalist once told me I was wired up different and I remember thinking I could have told him that for nothing:-) The herbal tea he prescribed returned my sense of smell to normal when I didn't even realise that I had only a partial one. PD sneaks up on you.
Life is like a jig-saw puzzle that we must piece together so that we get the picture. We are here to learn and I think that one day when we wake up on the other side we will see that those who have gone before us are just on another wavelength that our physical eyes can't see right now. Everything we do starts out as a thought in our mind. In order not to create havoc we must learn to create order. As young children we learn life coping skills and mechanisms which we cling onto for the rest of our lives. Recovery from PD and possibly other neurological illnesses requires us to let go of some of our old coping mechanisms.
When I used to ask my Dad how to do something he would say "Use your brain", I thought "I would if you would show me how." In actual fact he did give me the answers that I can remember and understand now I am older (and wiser). He used to quote "The secret of success is constancy to purpose." First I had to learn about me. We tend to go through life fretting about what other people do or don't do when the only person we can change is in reality ourselves. The race for life is not a competition with other people but with ourselves. - The real me and the vision I have of me. Between the vision we have of a better world and our ability to 'make it so' stands a lump of clay that we have somehow got the challenge of making into something useful.
It occurred to me that in order to make changes we need to think differently. Enter Gary Sharpe and others - each of us with a piece of the jigsaw and now we are beginning to get the picture! Life is about controlling our own minds, daring to think differently and having the strength to stand up and be counted. It's not just about physical survival as that would make us like sheep. It's about team work - each of us different and yet valuable to the common cause. The evolution of man is through his own choice. Indeed we often have to go against our instinct to follow the sheep in front in order to progress. There is a time for following old sheep trails and a time for leading others up new ones.
It would seem Gary that you are right in the middle of all of this, assembling the pieces of the jig saw so we all benefit and get the picture. We have the choice to follow or to give up on ourselves. The secret of success is constancy to purpose. Many thanks for sharing your time with us.”