The ‘Shrinks’

I remember reading Ronald Dahl’s story about The Twits, a hideous couple who catch the ‘Dreaded Shrinks’ which causes their bodies to gradually shrink until there is nothing left of them except a pile of old clothes and a pair of shoes.

I think I’ve got the ‘Dreaded Shrinks’. Fortunately, I’m 5ft 11” tall, so if I have, there’s a lot of shrinking to be done before I become a pile of old clothes and a pair of shoes. Of course, mine would be new clothes and there would definitely be more than one pair of shoes (you can never have too many).

The ‘Dreaded Shrinks’ started six years ago when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. It was barely noticeable then but now I can clearly see the impact the ‘Shrinks’ have on me physically, psychologically and on the world around me.

‘The Dreaded Shrinks’ I hear those who know me well saying. ‘Surely not! She’s too confident/outgoing/sociable/energetic/fun/always the last one at the bar.’ (Delete as appropriate). But the ‘Dreaded Shrinks’ grasps hold of each of these attributes and chips away at them, gradually eroding and shrinking them over time.

It’s not so easy to be the last one at the bar when you’ve spent enormous amounts of energy trying to focus on and keep up with the conversation all evening despite the distractions all around.

So the temptation is not to and a little bit of your former self shrinks and a little bit of your world shrinks too.

It’s not so easy to throw in a joke or funny quip when you’re lagging a few seconds behind everyone else, your voice is quiet, face expressionless and you often forget your words.

So the temptation is not to and a little bit of your former self shrinks and a little bit of your world shrinks too.

It’s not so easy being sociable and saying ‘yes’ to a dinner invitation if you’re worried that you might not be able to hold your cutlery properly or cut your food or worse still, not get your food from plate to mouth on first attempt.

So the temptation is not to and a little bit of your former self shrinks and a little bit of your world shrinks too.

It’s not so easy to say ‘yes’ to a night out with friends when you turn into a pumpkin at 8.45pm

So the temptation is not to and a little bit of your former self shrinks and a little bit of your world shrinks too.

It’s not easy always being the one who can’t quite keep up in the running/cycling/tennis group.

So the temptation is not to and a little bit of your former self shrinks and a little bit of your world shrinks too.

I was pondering recently about how easy it would be to allow Parkinson’s to shrink the world around me as well as myself. Then I realised that I needed to give myself a proverbial ‘kick up the backside’ and admit, it’s not Parkinson’s that has the potential to shrink my world or to shrink me, it is my attitude towards it.

I like the thought that we might try not to shrink away from our problems but aim to grow bigger than them. So, next time I’m tempted not to do something, I’m going to challenge myself to say ‘yes’. I’m not suggesting that it’s going to be easy but challenges are not supposed to be easy and I do love a challenge. I’ll let you know how it goes……

PS Mum, don’t worry, I’m still 5ft 11″ tall, you know I love a challenge and while I have no intention of succumbing to the ‘Shrinks’, I’ll keep on with the new clothes and shoes just in case!

4 thoughts on “The ‘Shrinks’”

  1. “That’s my girl, I will join you on this challenge and keep on with the new clothes and shoes. PS don’t tell Dad! He might worry and that’s my job.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You will always stand tall in my eyes, Alison, for all those qualities you list. No matter to others that they may shrink a little. Though you see and feel it, let the admiration of others feed you back up again. (5’11” – well, I never knew that!)

    Like

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