I've discovered that Parkinson's has played a big role in my music and my music has benefited greatly from my having Parkinson's.
At first when I was diagnosed, I let the disease keep me from my music, from writing, recording and performing songs. Performing, especially the idea of shaking in front of a crowd on stage was out of the question.
But music is too important to me to stay away forever and so eventually I started using Parkinson's, directly or indirectly, as the subject for some of my original songs.
These days I find myself shaking on stage at my own concerts, having people with and without PD telling me how moved they are by seeing me up on stage in plain sight, not hiding, doing what I was born to do.
Just by making music, live or on CD, I make a statement that I will not be stopped!
Parkinson's is not much fun, but it's chock full of lessons about humility, perseverance and gratitude. I feel like I'm coming from a deeper place with my writing and singing, and many people tell me they agree.
My songs that deal with Parkinson's can educate folks about what it's like, inside and out. But we who have PD are fully human, and so my other songs show that we have many of the same feelings and concerns as people who don't have to deal with this challenge. These days my songs are all aimed at the heart.