As I walk around the world, I sometimes catch a glimpse of my reflection in shop windows, mirrors in bathrooms etc. I see the stiff right arm and rigid fingers, my tremor, the roundhouse way I swing my right leg, my walking stick and blank facial expression; and I wonder if this is what other people see or do they notice me beneath the Parkinson’s uniform (like a person beneath a police uniform)?
I feel a vast see of emotion inside me and swim endlessly in it but I only see raindrops of me scattered on my Parkinson's-infused reflection. How can other people see through the fog of Parkinson’s to the self-aware, emotional entity I am?
We need to explore beneath the surface of the people we see and not judge them for our judgements; be open and react to them and not to what you expect them to be. My Parkinson’s symptoms were not of my choosing, they are symptoms of my thrownness. We are each an individual act of being thrown into the world, a process we had no control over (so why are we judged for what we are?); but, within thrownness there is choice of how we react and this is the centre of who we are.
The next time I see another person or glimpse my reflection I will try to see beyond the surface. You have that choice too…