Getting on with one’s life after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s is strange. There is the inevitable sadness, feelings of loss, confusion. I could go on with the negative stuff but it drags me down. Then there’s the good stuff. Yes, there is good stuff, but you might need to look a little harder for that.
If you have young onset / early onset Parkinson’s you may come to realise that you still have (hopefully) lots of life left and it gives you a fresh determination to succeed. A desire to ‘beat’ Parkinson’s, live life to the full. For myself, I became (and still am) obsessed with improving my overall outlook on life, exercising and making sure I took every opportunity I could to experience everything I could. I forced myself to climb some scary rocks and jump off them into a river. I screamed with terror, then I surfaced and screamed with joy. I take more risks now, I do things that scare me. I have found life richer, fuller and much more fun.
Yet there are also the eternal nagging doubts that lurks around my subconscious. One of the things I ponder is that I am becoming defined by the very thing I tell people not to be defined by. I talk about living with PD. I write about it and I know that it helps others. I like that. I like that a lot. However I am not Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s is certainly not me. For some time now I have felt urged to write about so many things, but they don’t fit the ‘women with Parkinson’s’ image.
Perhaps that’s why I should begin to write about more than just having Parkinson’s. I feel I am horribly labelled as a woman with an illness. Yet I am also a mother, partner, friend, daughter, sister and niece. I’m finally at the age where telling people I love gardening no longer receives strange glances. However I am also of the age where telling people I like dressing up and dancing to loud music returns many odd looks indeed. I’m an ardent, fully-paid-up feminist. But before you run off screaming into the hills I’m a feminist that has been a stay-at-home Mum, bakes cakes and thinks men are lovely. I just think people in general are lovely, and we all deserve to be treated with respect.
In short, I’m a woman with many strong opinions on many things. I’ve never been afraid to speak my mind. I would have been really quite rubbish years ago when my grandma was young and women were supposed to be pretty young things that looked pretty and giggled. A woman that speaks her mind is a dangerous thing and I like speaking my mind.
Dear reader, there will be a slight change of tack in my future posts. Yet do not fear. I am still your faithful Kitty, a woman who is officially old enough to know better, but is still confused by the fact that she appears to actually have reached a ‘certain age’.
I would be delighted if you came along for the ride. It will be filled with the random musings of a woman who has travelled far from her beloved Leeds in West Yorkshire, Northern England all the way to the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand. Proud of her Yorkshire roots, embracing her life in New Zealand. I have loved, lost, built, watched what I hold dear destroyed, started over. Most importantly, I’m still here. I’m still going strong and I definitely still have plenty to say.
Until next time.