Find someone you can talk to and stay connected

April 1, 2021

by Dave Ciaccio, Parkinson’s Nebraska Board Chair

The third newsletter in a series covering the Parkinson’s Foundation’s “5 Steps to Living Well with Parkinson’s.”  This month’s step: “Find someone you can talk to and stay connected”.

Barbara Streisand’s song “People” starts with the lyric, “People who need people / are the luckiest people in the world.”

It recently stopped me. I realized not many of us think this way. We all like to think we’re fine without any help. We listen to the broader culture that tells us to be independent, to stay strong, to be our own person – that we don’t need anyone but ourselves.

I, for one, need help every day. Whether it’s in asking for advice or a helping hand, I lean on people all the time.

When I think about my need for people in light of my Parkinson’s, I find myself more in need of a particular kind of person. Someone who understands what it’s like to be on this journey. Who knows what today brings and where things might go tomorrow.

I’ve been lucky enough to find a few people I can talk to and confide in. It’s been important to lay aside my pride, to humble myself and ask for the help that I need. These relationships keep me connected to the community. They help me feel less alone.

Finding and working with others on the PD journey, like a stone in the water, ripples out to others in need. Ms. Streisand’s song has another lyric that makes this clear: “A feeling deep inside / says you were half but now you’re whole.” It reminds us that we’re in this together.

And that, as a person who needs people, we’re among the luckiest people in the world.