Our website exists to share experiences with others who may have Parkinson’s Disease or know someone who has Parkinson’s Disease. Why? Because at some time or another, many of us may feel alone in life and there is a great sense of comfort knowing we are not alone. I wanted to share with you what helps me when I get that lonely feeling, and maybe you know about it or have other means of not feeling alone and hopeless. But first let’s think about that lonely feeling…
It is a powerful feeling, loneliness, isn’t it? Some get so lost in it they lose all hope and take drastic measures to escape the loneliness. So many situations in life can make us feel lonely - an illness, family issues, a lost job, financial problems, emotional struggles, and stresses all around us. Hopefully our past experiences help us learn how to cope with such instances, but sometimes something comes from out of left field and knocks us for a loop.
You get up and wonder ‘What happened? Where am i?’ and I would imagine you’d start asking, “Is anyone else here? Anyone know what’s going on? Can anyone help me figure this out, or get a clue, or just say ‘Hi’?” It’s when no one answers you feel that complete and utter sense of loneliness.
Sometimes loneliness is beneficial for us. We may start to look inward and evaluate our problem on our own. When we finish the evaluation or an attempt at fixing the situation, we may realize “Hey, I need a little help here!” and we want to find someone else to relate to our situation. If we find no one or nothing else helps, then we get desperate, irrational, we lose hope, we lose will, we …just lose.
Consider some intentional uses of loneliness to our detriment. War prisoners are often put in isolation to break them and obtain information; the pirates would make their enemies walk the plank, and fall into the ocean and leave them there to die. I cannot imagine how lonely that would be! On the TV show Survivor, one of the contestants can be banished to ‘Exile Island’ for a day to diminish their spirit, and I’m sure you can probably think of others. Even peer pressure can be a form of isolation.
Even God made a mate for Adam so he would not be lonely.
When we are under the cloud of loneliness, it can be hard to think straight, but I’d like to remind us that we have support mechanisms to look to for help. If you have a strong and supportive family, that is a great blessing and a source of help when we get lonely. We as family members need to remember reaching out to lonely family members sometimes means just being there to listen and give a hug.
Next is your network of friends. A close friend may be the one you look to, and good friends often know just what to say or do to help with loneliness, and if they don’t then they may know someone else to contact to help. These personal contacts are often what we need to help us in these times, but I’ve found that many times my efforts to not feel so lonely can be helped tremendously by looking to my faith in God. Knowing that He can provide comfort by His spirit or through the actions of friends or family (that may be lead by His power to help) is a great source of comfort when I am lonely.
So whether I look to my faith first or last, I know I am not alone. Another thing I might throw out is our belief in ourself. You may not think you have the strength to overcome your present battle or loneliness, but you never know until you try. Never give up on yourself! Know that you are never really alone, reach out and take a helping hand when it is offered! I think you’ll be glad it was there.
And one last tidbit of info that I read by Max Lucado in “Traveling Light for Mothers” is this: meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. And he states that we simply have enough strength for each day, and that God will provide strength for each day if we seek Him for it.
In Hebrews 4:16 NLT it says “We do not need to know what will happen tomorrow. We only need to know He leads us and we will find grace to help us when we need it.” I believe that grace can be a friend or someone else helping us or it can be God himself moving in our circumstance to help us. We just have to ask.
So I guess some advice would be: take one day at a time, and ask for help when you need it. You are not alone, and I pray you have faith, family, and friends who will provide the grace and love you need when things look bleak. And I pray that 2009 will be a year in which we can grow strong and develop new relationships and that research now and next year will lead to a PD treatment breakthrough that we can all benefit from.
Endure for a cure, my friends…..and until then…. keep the faith and be strong. Judy 12/29/08