On Being Alone

On Being Alone
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In the beginning, God created man. And man wasn’t altogether too happy about it. So, God created woman, and man was quite pleased.

We were made for fellowship with one another. We were not meant to be or to live alone.

There is a reality TV show called “Alone,” in which 10 people are chosen to compete by living alone in the wilderness unassisted. Some consider it a test of survival, and it kind of is. Some consider it an adventure, and again, it kind of is. Some do it for the competitiveness and the thrill, and there is that. But there is also the money: $500,000 goes to the person who lasts the longest — alone.

But no one is there to lift the contestants up when they need support. No one is there to encourage them when they become discouraged. And that is what the contestants seem to crave: the presence of people.

We were made for fellowship, which is why when left to ourselves, we go a little crazy. We need each other to share ideas with. We need one another’s hugs and pats on the back.

The prize for being alone the longest was a hefty sum of money, and the winner, if the money was well managed, could be set for a long time. But is missing the last few days of life of someone who meant so much to you worth it? Or missing the birth of a son, or a daughter’s fourth birthday party?

As I watched the participants leave the show each week, forfeiting the once coveted $500,000 compensation for eating slugs and slipping through the clutches of cougars, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of those who chose family and friendships over fortune.

Most of those who left early did so because there was a deep void in their life — people. No one was there to share their ups and downs. There was no one with whom they could share their fears or their failures, their victories and their conquests.

Living with a chronic illness like Parkinson’s disease can be like living alone on a deserted island. It’s easy to feel lonely, with no one to encourage or lift you up when you fall. 

But we weren’t made to be alone. We were made to share life together, no matter how tough it may get. Alone can feel hopeless and dark, as if you’ll never make it out of the valley you find yourself in. But when someone walks with you and journeys beside you, life’s burdens don’t seem quite as heavy, and the trip isn’t quite as lonely. And that is such a better place to be than being alone.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

Sherri was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease over 15 years ago. She can be found working in her garden, going for walks, taking pictures, or reading books to her three favorite grandkids. Sherri is taking life somewhat slower, and perhaps with guarded steps, but she’s not giving in.
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Sherri was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease over 15 years ago. She can be found working in her garden, going for walks, taking pictures, or reading books to her three favorite grandkids. Sherri is taking life somewhat slower, and perhaps with guarded steps, but she’s not giving in.

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