You’re Not a Pack Mule: Release Your Burdens

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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I was reading through some forums for Parkinson’s disease recently and came across one that was talking about stress. I am a fairly calm, even-keeled person who handles stress pretty well.

I thought so anyhow.

The woman who brought up the topic of stress said she had felt like her “meds were not working.” 

Check. That has been my story for the past week.

Then she had her regular Parkinson’s exam and found out she was actually doing quite well. Her movement disorder specialist, after further testing, said that this woman’s anxiety was what was making her feel “like crap.”

The other night, I had my boxing class. What started out well ended up badly — in my mind, anyhow. My meds wore off much too soon. They’ve been fizzling out at about the three-hour mark lately, but I was lacking coordination at only an hour and a half into my last dose. 

This isn’t good, I thought to myself, while punching out my frustrations on one of the jelly bags.

That night, I cried myself to sleep over all the things I had been worrying about lately. Most of these things will probably never happen, but try telling that to someone who is stuck in her head, and her head keeps telling her that they might happen. As I lay there, it became harder to breathe. My legs began to ache, and rigidity set in. It was a long night.

The next morning, my husband and I went for a walk at the mall. We stopped for coffee and had a heart-to-heart talk. All my worries began to pour out of me. And just when he and I thought that was it — that there was nothing more to say — there was plenty more. But you know how much better you can feel after a good cry, even if everyone sitting around you wonders why you’re blubbering at the table? You feel as if your burdens have been lifted.

Lifting something is raising it to a higher level, and the only higher level I know or put my hope in is God. I believe my burdens are raised to someone who can actually help. I pictured my husband unlocking the clasps that had held those burdens tightly to my back and saw God lift up and off what was weighing me down recently. The minute I felt my worries and cares leave, peace and calm settled back within me.

A woman who responded to the original forum post said something like, “Stress is our enemy [of Parkinson’s disease] and hope is our ally.”

How very true. 

Hope is here for today. For you. For me.

That heavy pack of burdens that is strapped to your back is not a permanent accessory for your journey with this disease.

Let it go. You were never meant to carry it alone. Let it be lifted up and off of you. 

Now, doesn’t that feel better?


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 Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


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