I've never been a joiner. Being part of any organized or semi-organized group has never been appealing to me. I shun congregations, assemblies, clubs, cliques, committees, groups, and even teams. Meetings that involve more than two people are black holes into which accomplishment is sucked, never to be seen again. Mobs are a definite no-no. Mine has always been a solo act.
So finding myself yesterday attending a meeting of men with Parkinsons Disease was a total departure from the norm for me. This was a so-called support group. The stated purpose of the group was to provide a forum for discussion of our similar experiences with PD and hopefully draw some strength from the knowledge that we are not alone in coping with it. The group has a regular roster of 18-20 men, ten of whom were in attendance yesterday.
I approached the group meeting with a plate full of doubt with a good-sized side order of skepticism. I expected it to be a session of whining and clinical comparisons of medications and treatments with everyone trying to be more woeful than the others. I was disabused of that expectation immediately. Instead what I got was a roomful of friendly and articulate men sharing the ways that PD has changed their expectations and goals and lives. It was a refreshingly open and frank discussion that I enjoyed immensely..
I found myself jumping right into the discusssion knowing that here finally was a group of people who would understand what I was talking about. That alone was worth the price of admission (the price of admission being an open mind). They knew what I meant because they had experienced the same thing themselves. I knew what they were talking about from my similar experiences. It was like finally finding that round peg that fit into that round hole.
So I guess my solo act has been compromised. At least in regards to this new group of friends. I will definitely attend the next meeting. But if they break the group down into committees to plan the Shake, Tremble, and Shuffle Holiday Shindig, I'm out of there.