I heard Michael J. Fox speak a year ago. It was when I was just losing my hair and very depressed and angry. I came away from his talk feeling inspired and uplifted. When I saw him speak, he couldn't stand or sit still, and was constantly fighting his body's involuntary movements. The new TIME magazine (April 27, 2009 issue) has "10 Questions" with him. I'd like to share a few of the questions. Every time it says "Parkinson's disease", substitute "Alopecia":
Q: How do you keep your optimism in the face of difficult circumstances?
A: I think it's mostly about acceptance. I have no choice about whether or not I have Parkinson's. I have nothing but choices about how I react to it. In those choices, there's freedom to do a lot of things in areas I otherwise wouldn't have found myself in.
Q: Have you ever felt cheated by having Parkinson's disease?
A: No, absolutely not. It's been a detour that I wouldn't have planned, but it's really led me to amazing places....(he goes on to describe making a difference in people's lives through advocacy)
Q: Have you ever found yourself embarrassed by your disease?
A: Yes, early on, certainly. Now I feel and I say all the time that vanity is, like, long gone. I'm really free of worrying about what I look like, because it's out of my shaky hands. I don't control it. So why would I waste a second of my life worrying about it?
Now re-read, especially the last one. I think I'll go out and buy his two memoirs. The newest one is called "Always Looking Up".
All I have is alopecia.
Hugs to all,