Why Not Me?

January 8, 2021

I would venture to say that nearly everyone with Parkinson’s has asked themselves the question, “Why Me?”

When I think about this, I find myself just as quickly asking the opposing question, “Why Not Me?”

Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year. More than 10 million people are living with PD worldwide. Am I really any different than everyone else?

However it’s asked, the question is self-defeating. This way of thinking fuels envy, resentment, and self-pity. When I find myself heading toward this pity party, I recall the first line of the Serenity Prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

I have had other significant and painful experiences in my life, which I also came to realize weren’t just me. In all instances, it’s not just me. It’s not just you. It’s just life.

As a good friend reminds me, “Dave, This Ain’t Heaven.”

I’m not saying that these experiences aren’t difficult. That they aren’t mentally and emotionally and physically taxing. Rather that life brings pain and suffering, joy and love, it brings all that it is to me and to you, to the next person, and all those to follow.

For me, this provides comfort knowing that I’m not alone. That I’m not singled out or just unlucky. That I’m not to blame. I’m simply experiencing life. This keeps me balanced, humbled and calmer in the face of challenges. It enables me to move ahead in a more empowered way.

And to say to life, “Why not me?”