Friday, October 4, 2013

What's Your Type, "A"?

Has anyone ever told you that you were a perfectionist and you thought "AWESOME!"? Or perhaps someone accused you of being a neat freak and you felt like that was the highest form of praise! There are a number of adjectives that are used to describe Type "A" personalities: 
  • over achievers
  • competitive
  • multitaskers
  • goal oriented
If you are a Type A personality, you are probably feeling quite good about yourself right about now. I totally get it, right? Uh, well... While there is no denying that these traits are what lead many people to success, they also lead people to stress, burnout, depression, and a host of other illnesses - not to mention what it can do to the people who have to live or work with us!

Looking for Solutions NOW!

When I developed CRPS, I took all my Type A traits and set out on a quest. I was determined to find someone to fix me
After two years of doctor chasing, I gave up that quest for another quest - I was going to figure out a way to fix myself! That idea lasted about a year. Then, in glorious Type A fashion, I over-achieved myself right into chronic fatigue... full stop.

Please understand, I am in no way insinuating that certain personalities are doomed to develop chronic illnesses. What I am saying is that understanding your personality quirks so that you can avoid overtaxing your body is just good common sense. I wish I had understood what I was doing to myself as I kept pushing my body to do more than it was capable of doing. I just kept jumping through all the hoops that were put in front of me (by myself and others), striving to do my very best to get well. Even though I had multiple doctors tell me that I was disrespecting my own health boundaries, I was powerless to stop myself. So my body did it for me.

Serendipitous Benefits

It's not all doom and gloom. It hasn't been a bucket of rainbows either BUT through this whole process I have learned so much about myself, my friends, my family, and my faith. Then, when I began reaching out to the pain community, the compassion, validation, and hope I experienced was truly amazing. I met some of the bravest people imaginable! People who were in excruciating pain, dealing with debilitating and sometimes life-threatening illnesses - but who were still able to smile and participate in life! They reached out to me and suddenly I was no longer alone!

Still Learning

I wish I could tell you that I have it all figured out HA! Oops, sorry, that one got away from me. Yes, I still have my meltdowns, I still push myself too hard, and yes, I still have to fight the urge to chase after the next big "fix it". But when I allow myself to simply be OK with doing what I can do at any given moment, and to simply be grateful for that moment, that HA turns into ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - blessed relief for my weary soul.


Do you know your personality type? How has it affected your health? What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned?

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Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid
John 14:27