Changing my mindset to weather the storm of Parkinson’s
When negative thoughts creep in, these reminders help me focus on the good
Early-onset Parkinson’s disease entered my life almost 15 years ago. My husband, Arman, who was in his late 30s at the time, had been showing some strange warning signs that his body was fighting something — we just didn’t know what it was. He began experiencing impaired movement and stiff limbs, and was almost always fatigued.
Like an uninvited guest who overstays his welcome, Parkinson’s joined our family without an invitation. It invaded our lives like a looming storm cloud, and we fearfully waited for the rain to come. We prepared ourselves with every tool available to protect ourselves from the impending storm, but the tools seemed useless, with no known cure on the horizon.
I hoped we might be spared if I did all the right things, that the storm would pass us by without harm. I became a dedicated fundraiser for Parkinson’s research and awareness, praying this would be my ticket. But I soon learned that our fate was sealed, no matter what I did to advocate for those living with this disease. Parkinson’s had wrapped its nasty claws around my husband, and the effects were spiraling out of my control.
I wondered why this was our fate. What had we done to deserve this? Arman had dedicated his life to saving others as a cardiologist and is a good, honest, and kind man. He eats healthily, exercises, and has never done drugs or anything to harm his body. Why him? Why our family?
I still have no answers to these questions I ponder almost daily.
Focusing on the bright side
I could go on for hours about this topic and dig myself into a deep hole of sadness, self-pity, and pain. But when my mind begins to go to a dark place, I must stop and remind myself of a few critical things that help me to get out of this hole:
- I am the only one who can control my feelings and attitude.
- Being happy or sad is a choice; it is my decision which side to choose.
- I can dwell on the negative or change my mindset to focus to the positive — and I prefer the bright side.
- It could always be worse.
A change in mindset is the reset I need on heavy and sad days. Most of the time, I can reshape my attitude and turn my frown into a smile. When negative thoughts creep in, I try to flip the switch by thinking three positive thoughts for every negative one.
As the Parkinson’s storm continues to evolve, I know the forecast may not include clear skies. But while I can’t control the fact that Arman has Parkinson’s disease, I can control my response to it. I am virtually helpless regarding the pain and suffering this disease causes him, but what I can do is be a positive presence in his life.
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.