Recently, I was invited to speak at a workshop for PWP (People With Parkinson’s) but respectfully declined. At the moment, I don’t feel as strong or confident in speaking to a group as I once was.
It’s not that I was ever a great orator, but my previous lives, at a community radio station, as a social service administrator, and then as an elementary school teacher, had allowed me to develop a certain comfort level and confidence. Parkinson’s has, at least for the present, taken that away from me.
I find myself to be at times “cognitively impaired” – I can’t seem to find the words I want to use or sometimes lose my train of thought. I feel more stressed which in turn leads to more diskenetic movements, which in turn causes more stress and ultimately wears me down. My voice has also weakened as the years have gone by.
I have a friend who has been on a book tour for the past year and a half to promote his self-published book. He is developing more confidence as a result of this tour and it is good to see him break-out of his relatively private shell and take on a more public persona as he recounts his tale of coping with PD.
I do believe that we all have our tale to tell and, in the course of this struggle to live with PD, we have much to share and learn from each other. Some do so in a private way, keeping it to family and friends. Some in more public ways, such as self-help groups, on-line support groups or blogs. While others, like my aforementioned friend, have taken it to another level by publishing a book to extend their message or story to a wider audience.
I’d like to think that the day will come when I too will take bolder steps to share my stories beyond this blog. But for the moment, you are not likely to find me up on a stage, behind a microphone or being the guest speaker at your next luncheon!