Parkinson's Movement
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Do Something

Do Something

I like to paint pictures. Maybe I'm an artist. But this past summer my mind went blank. I couldn't put my brush to the canvas because I was trapped in a state of depression. . I'm convinced that it's a Parkinsons thing. Like, I have Parkinsons?, How depressing is that? So I went into a frump. On top of that I had sprained my ankle, I'm not exactly sure how, [jumping?] that kept me in the house all day. I went to the foot doctor to make sure that I hadn't broken anything. The x ray was fine. He wrapped it in an Ace Bandage and told me to stay off of my ankle. O.K. I went to my chair. For a month. Every morning I was sniveling about how doomed I was. I started shaking more. I read books about Parkinsons. About depression. Anxiety. I was becoming an expert on being a mess. But I was also getting lazy. I needed to do something to keep myself occupied.

My ever so patient wife noticed that I was turning into the equivalent of a flower pot and suggested that I start seeing a therapist. O.K. We [meaning she] made an appointment. We went to meet her. She was a she. I was a total mess. I went into my weeping thing and she agreed to take me on as a client. During my first visit she asked me what I do during the day. I probed my memory. "Dishes. I do the dishes first thing in the morning to kick start my day. Cleaning. Showering. Reading. Feed the cat. I've had days where I have a song running thru my head all day, over and over. I never quite know what the words are. Maybe THATs a Parkinsons thing..." I was fidgiting. And babbling. She looked at my body language and jotted down a note. I noted her writing down the note and made a note to myself to look her right in the eye while I was talking to her so she wouldn't make a note about that.

She said "But what do you DO?''

"I used to paint pictures but I seem to have something like writers block. I've got seven canvasses sitting in the closet. They're just sitting there. .." I could feel The Weep coming on. She jotted down a nother note. Then she said "Why don't you take out your easel and set it up and put one of those canvasses on it and DO a painting?''

I looked at her. She said it in a way that it made perfect sense. And the way she said it sounded like some sort of professional command. I looked at her bookshelf. It was filled with things that made perfect sense and filled with little commands. All of a sudden I was consumed with the passion to prove that I could do something. Before I left I made a pledge to do a painting.

The next day, first thing after I did the dishes, I went to my closet and took out a canvas.

I wanted to do a painting that reflected a cheerful mood. While I was painting I noticed that the day was moving along faster. My hands were busy. I didn't seem to be as preoccupied with thoughts of doom. My hands were doing what they were supposed to do. Creating a picture. I was finished with the picture before I had to take My Third Pill of The Day. I stood back and looked at the finished painting. OMG. The person in my painting looked like my shrink. Did I need to jot down a note over that? I got out my trusty cell phone and took a picture of the painting. I spent the rest of the day looking at the painting. I think that I am my best fan.

On my following visit to see my therapist I proudly told her that I had indeed painted a picture. I told her that I took a cellphone picture. She asked me to show it to her.

"Look. Doesn't she look a little like you? Maybe it's the hair". She looked at the picture. "that's a nice painting". She didn't write herself a little note.

Moral of The Story: Do Something. It'll make your shrink happy.

9 Replies

What a beautiful and inspirational story...thank you


Bugger the shrink! You need to make yourself happy. I have always said there is only one person who can get you going when you feel low, and that is yourself.

The painting is wonderful, memories of being able to run so fast (not dressed like that mind)

The last time I sprinted like that, a bull was chasing me up acre field.


The name of the painting is Bliss.


So happy that you had such a wonderful outcome from your session! Keep painting!


Gadzooks, I love it. Just love it. Thanks.


that was an excellent blog. i used to be a master woodcarver for 40 years. and towards the end of my carving days , i noticed that everything i started to do was only partially finished . and set aside. i just plain had lost interest in carving. maybe 40 years was enough. it is hard but wonderful work to do. i didn't know why i had lost interest, but maybe it was the onset of Parkinson's. that began to make things not seem so important . i have any number of things that i had set up to do after retiring. but i haven't touched one of them.

perhaps it is depression. your story just reminded me of mine. i don't feel useless. the PC is a God-send. but even that can feel like work. at times. keep painting, it might tell you something about your troubles. i love your painting, it looks so free. and thanks.




You are truely talented....keep it up!


Joealt, I know you wrote this 2 years ago, but I'm hoping you're still here with us. I just wanted to tell you that you are REALLY gifted, both at painting and at writing. What an awesome painting. I hope you've done many more.

Best wishes for good health and the defeat of PD !



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