A book about healing through transformation, self-reflection and a message of hope.
When Florencia Cerruti was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at age 47, she began using journaling, writing down her private thoughts about her experiences, as a coping mechanism and a therapeutic outlet.
Through this self-reflection, she realizes early that there is some innate element of bodily wisdom in the diagnosis of an "idiopathic" chronic condition - that it contains an aspect of her body saying "no more" to a lifetime of holding herself to too high standards, of perfectionism, of "wearing the cape of superwoman". She gleans that part of the reason her body is shutting her down is far from "idiopathic" (of unknown origin) - it is trying to bring her attention to the crucial life lessons she needs to learn: that change is necessary for survival.
Eventually, when she is far enough along her own journey, she realizes that her personal writings might be of value and be healing for others. As she begins to share these reflections, she is quickly encouraged by readers to create a book from her collected thoughts. This is that book. It is a book which, within the single narrative, has a different moral of the story depending on the circumstances of the reader. A book with something to offer everyone.
It is a book about living with Parkinson's Disease. Here, the newly diagnosed will find a self-help book for improving their quality of life despite the diagnosis, written by someone who has already trodden the path before them. Here they will discover insights and understandings from an insider of what its actually like to live with PD, perspectives that simply cannot be gleaned from the neurologist who does not have the lived experience of Parkinson's - a necessary, and more hopeful, companion piece to the doom and gloom of the medical diagnosis narrative. It also explicitly serves as a guidebook, providing a framework of understanding for friends, relatives and co-workers for relating to and optimally helping their person with PD.
More widely, it is book about healing through transformation, self-reflection and personal growth, how in the suffering there may be many a teachable lesson, and a message of hope for coming out the other side, necessarily changed, but more fulfilled and content.
As a narrative, it is a classic hero's journey story, of being forced to go on a quest in the face of adversity of an imposed chronic condition, a series of adventures, and the return with tales and teachable lessons of self-discovery along the way. It is rich autobiographical narrative, by an author who can really write well, with verve and flair, who has had a very interesting ride, and who can elicit the reader's emotions in a rollercoaster of wins, setbacks, and quiet reflections, able to make the reader cry in one chapter, and laugh out loud in the next.
Or it is simply a really good read, which the interested reader won't be able to put down for long.
Amazon review: 5.0 out of 5 stars