Day 15 of 30
This is Sherri Woodbridge’s story:
I used to be afraid of things in the dark, under the bed, in the deep, dank places of the night. I was afraid of things chasing me in my dreams. Those dreams escalated into nightmares, bringing on night sweats and a terror of things unseen. The things I couldn’t see frightened me most. Things I was certain were staring back at me from beneath the bed with yellow eyes.
Talking to people I didn’t know terrified me. My heart would race. I would shake. Panic would be a normal response when going for walks in the woods and hearing twigs snap behind me. I knew fear as my constant companion. I lost out on a lot of living due to fear, allowing it to control me and rob me of joy.
Almost 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Fear tried to envelop me again. The unknowns played havoc with my mind as I moved forward, trying to keep things as normal as possible. But normal changed, and with that change came something I wasn’t expecting: there was no fear. I learned Parkinson’s could eventually be debilitating, but there was no fear.
There was no fear when I opted for brain surgery to lessen my disease symptoms. Fear no longer reigned over me, paralyzing me. I suppose it might be because I realized fearing the frauds was a waste of time and of being alive.
If you’re going to fear something, it should be real. Parkinson’s is real but it shouldn’t scare us. Yes, it can be considered a monster, but it is only in control if we allow it to be. I spent a good portion of my childhood fearing the monsters under my bed, letting them chase me through the woods and terrorize my dreams. When I learned I had Parkinson’s, however, the real monster pushed aside the frauds. I found he wasn’t so big or so scary after all. Why? Because my God is greater.
Note: Sherri Woodbridge writes the column “Journeying Through Parkinson’s Disease” for Parkinson’s News Today.
Parkinson’s News Today’s 30 Days of Parkinson’s campaign will publish one story per day for Parkinson’s Awareness Month in April. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPAR, or go here to see the full series.
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