Not flinching.

I require brave hearts concerned more with truth than avoidance of discomfort.

Confidence too, is a strict requirement of my inner circle- just so things don’t get taken personally when they fall apart. Not to be confused with swagger or acting, confidence is the manifestation of the solid place within that knows our true name(s).

Have confidence in love and kindness. It is worth the gamble.

It’s no longer an option to bother coaxing understanding and basic human courtesy, or re-explaining the unpredictable aspects of living with a neurologic condition. I’ve grown impatient with the misinformed.

Was it too much to ask that people who claimed to love me bother to consider the difference between a brain disease and one suffering from symptoms of that brain disease? Perhaps they would have managed the agony and anguish that comes with Parkinson’s better? Anything is possible- it would be enlightening to see them try.

I don’t ask what I’m not willing to offer and rarely ask twice because my attention can be fleeting. My offering of love, however, is not so temporary.

Those who left when I got sick “loved” me, sure.... if and when I was specifically whoever they needed or wanted me to be. I can be a PITA and so can you, but if you can’t just come as you are please stay home. I like you best as you really are now, not as you hope one day to be.

By the way, you don’t need to lose 7 pounds. I have no idea what you’re talking about. If only you saw yourself as I see you, my friend.

I feel deeply, am honest and sensitive too- a long time ago I got tired of apologizing to the unappreciative for such qualities that plenty of others seem to jive with.

Perhaps at the time such magnanimous promises of loyalty were spoken, they were entirely sincere. The seasoned shadowboxer within knows when (and sometimes even why) someone is flinching. Timing is one answer in any conflict or miscommunication.

I appreciate those who spare me any dramatic exit, but when direct communication is not honored, I’ll be the one using the exit to be theatrical. If you’ve ever been able to freeze frame a disagreement and see all the ridiculous things you’ve said, you’ve gotta laugh. I’m ridiculous!

Here I am, leaving a relationship:

While my exes and their therapists and self-reported expert peers were diagnosing and deliberating on the situation from a comfy distance, I was getting the $hit beat out of me.

In this part, yes, I am speaking directly to a few in particular: 
You seemed rather pleased with yourself for one who was only temporary spectator, and though I remember your name, don’t expect me to shake your hand again.

My inner circle is fierce, brave, and small for good reason. I show up for them. And what exactly do we owe one another? Non-familial (and some familial) relationships are voluntary.

Parkinson’s, you have taken a lot from me, but THANK YOU for exposing who is brave and humble, yet confident enough to call me friend. You ripped through my life like a tsunami, sweeping everything off the table, shattering pretense along with my carefully laid crystal.

Every person seated at this round table has earned their place, and my unwavering loyalty. They know that my cooking sucks and they _still_ come around! Maybe next time we should go out for dinner on me.

Bless this food, the hands that have prepared it, and your open hearts. I appreciate and will never forget your consistent kindness toward me. You teach me how to love better and I don’t flinch, even when love hurts.