The ‘Grief Cycle’ states that the first stage to climb out of depression is ‘Acceptance’ and the steps to succeed are:
- acceptance of the loss
- acceptance of the new circumstance
- letting go of the old way
- willingness to see and try a new direction
- stop fighting and start adapting.
So, I accept the loss and the new circumstances. I will try to let go of the old way, try a new direction and I will stop fighting and adapt instead.
In fairness, I have already started this process, without realising. I have bought new glasses to help me use the computer and I have purchased a walking stick to help me on longer walks. Both have helped me already. I will use the walking stick sparingly, as I do not want to admit defeat completely – I will adapt.
Now, I have to accept my limitations and stop getting angry at what I cannot do. I have to celebrate what I can do instead. This is hard to do. I find it hard to congratulate myself on something so mundane and simple, that before I did it in my sleep. Chris is a big help, because she does congratulate me on my achievements, however small. I have to stop being hard on myself and feel some sense of pride myself. I have been told this by Chris and by my therapist, but it is so hard to do. I feel pathetic and undeserving of praise. However, I have stated I will try and so I will.
I do feel a little sense of achievement today though, because I started this blog – a suggestion from Chris. It is an achievement, because I hate writing and I cannot concentrate easily on it. But, I am doing it! Go me.
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 was the day I found out I had Parkinsons Disease. The doctor calmly explained to Chris (my beautiful wife) and I that the drugs he would prescribe would help alleviate the symptoms and I may notice quite a change after a few weeks. He was very positive and Chris was/is very supportive, but all I could think was NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I had observed the weakness and loss of movement in my left arm and left leg developing over the last couple of years and hoped it wasn’t PD – maybe I’d had a mini stroke. But, no, my fears were confirmed. The symptoms were magnified when I started training for a new job in a call centre, 5 weeks ago. I could not type with my left hand and I could not process information and follow instructions with any ease. I thought I was just old. However, it came to a head when I actually started taking calls from the public. The pressure and anxiety was way over what would be expected. I could not function at all and went off sick, as I still I am.
In recent weeks my anxiety levels have increased enormously. Whether it’s the illness, my depression or the realisation that I have PD, I don’t know. At the moment, I cannot concentrate on anything for a long period of time and sometimes I cannot even type one word or look for the simplest piece of information on the computer. It is infuriating and very disheartening – and makes writing a blog a challenge and a half. I cannot sit or stand for more than a few minutes before getting tired, and trying to get to sleep at night is very frustrating, as any position I choose is so uncomfortable. At times, I feel pathetic and useless.
I need to work, but what the hell can I do with this current skill set? I cannot return to my current work, unless they can offer me a less challenging position, which by their response to my last email seems unlikely (I couldn’t get a job pre-PD – my wonderful stepdaughter got me the current job). Who is going to employ me now?
After all this negativity (Chris will tell me off) I finish this entry with a positive note. My talk therapist, this morning, showed me the ‘Grief Cycle’ that those suffering the death of a loved one often go through. It is very pertinent to my own situation, as having PD is like the death of part of me, and the stages seem so relevant to my situation, so I am going to do my best to use the cycle to climb out of my depression and start the slow climb to recovery. I have to get to grips with the acceptance part first.