Is it uncomfortable to have a call with a mentor who you do not know?

There are two sides to this question so, the answer is, “It depends.” On one hand, chatting with a supportive friend or family member may be easy, however the downside is you may not hear the absolute truth, as people who know you well may try to protect you from hearing anything uncomfortable.

On the other hand, chatting with someone you have never met – an objective listener who understands the struggles and issues of Parkinson’s – can be refreshing. The mentors are in this to help people, and the first rule is ‘no judgement.’ Your mentor will listen to you with a clean perspective and share with you their stories and/or critical information that is appropriate to you.

Realistically, there is a third side to this question: very soon you will know your mentor and your mentor will know you. You will have so much in common with your mentor that it will seem like you’ve known them forever. Conversations become easy. Struggles become less challenging when you can share them with someone who won’t judge you, and soon you’ll have a teammate in your journey with Parkinson’s.

If you are reluctant to call a mentor because you don’t want to share personal information, or personal problems, that’s okay. Start your conversation with that. Talk about the common ground you both have, share some experiences, and let the conversations evolve. And be sure to have some fun!