Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 32 has made me reevaluate my existence. I don’t think that I’m alone here either… many of us Parkies have faced this conundrum. When having such an impactful condition hurled into your life, there is a sense of loss. You grieve for who you were before the diagnosis and fear of what you might become as you recognize symptoms of deterioration.
Nobody knows you like you know yourself, but now with Parkinson’s messing with your head, you doubt you will ever be the same. The things that defined you might be slowly fading away. It’s almost as if your life isn’t yours anymore. Family and friends take over the activities that you can no longer do. You lose control over your life in some ways and have to make sacrifices or modifications just to feel somewhat normal.
Ask yourself the question, “Who am I?” I have included 30 questions that might help your in your own self-discovery now that Parkinson’s’ disease has become a large part of who you are. Some questions might be difficult to answer, but don’t filter your responses by what others think… be your authentic self.
- What have you done in your life that you’re most proud of?
- What activity in your life brings you the most happiness?
- What is something that you always love doing even when your Parkinson’s symptoms are bad?
- Are there any relationships in your life that are toxic?
- If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
- What could your friends and family do to help you cope with your diagnosis?
- What kind of legacy to you want to leave behind?
- How confident are you in making decisions for yourself?
- What activity do you still do even though Parkinson’s has made it unsafe for you?
- Who is the most important person in your life?
- How do you feel about your current treatment for Parkinson’s?
- How comfortable are you with your own mortality?
- What is your greatest fear about having Parkinson’s disease?
- What do you believe is possible for you?
- What are 3 things that you should be doing to slow the progression of your PD?
- To your best knowledge, how do people perceive you?
- List 3 words that describe who you are?
- What impact do your feelings and stress have on your PD?
- Who understand how you feel about your health?
- Describe your strengths, interests, and abilities that continue despite of your Parkinson’s?
- What are some things that you wished that you had done before your diagnosis?
- Do you believe your destiny is pre-determined or in your hands to shape however you wish?
- If you woke up tomorrow and were cured of Parkinson’s disease, what would you do differently?
- Who else do you think your should add to your Wolfpack? (team of support)
- What are you grateful for having Parkinson’s?
- What is one failure that you have turned into your greatest lesson?
- List 3 things that your fear about the future?
- What is something that is true for you no matter what?
- Name your biggest self-limiting belief?
- What do you believe is the meaning of your life?