I am a “Type A” personality.
Generally speaking, people with a Type A personality are often described as being “driven, hardworking, determined to succeed, impatient, competitive and highly focused on goals. We have a sense of urgency to tackle multiple things at once, often without a break. We live life by our tasks and to do lists, and everything must be completed in order to feel successful and fulfilled.
Another part of my “Type A” personality: Autoimmune.
Agonizing pain. Always fatigued. Ashamed. Awkward. Anxious. Aggressive burning throughout my entire body. (When I am depressed – a$$hole). You get the point.
Now imagine being a “Type A” personality, always wanting to get everything done, never knowing when to stop, constantly on the go – being stuck in a body that won’t move. As my therapist says, I am a person who wants to constantly keep going in a body that simply can not.
What is an Autoimmune disease? An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your body attacks and damages its own tissues and organs. In simpler terms, my body beats itself up from the inside out. I have three (that are currently diagnosed anyway – Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and as of last week – fibromyalgia. We are underway in diagnosing a fourth, or fifth, or who knows?
I remember the first time I knew something was wrong. I was 26 years old walking up the steps of work with my best friend/coworker at the time and simply could not make it up. I held on to her and crawled up those steps. I had walked up these steps a million times before. But today was different, my legs felt like led weights. It was as if cinder blocks were tied to my ankles. She teased me and told me that I was walking like her grandma and to move faster. That was the first time I had to army crawl up steps .. and unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last.
I was 26 then, four years have come and gone and yet the pain and isolation and fear and anxiety has only gotten worse. They say time heals all wounds. Whoever they are is wrong. In the world of a Type A-er, time only reminds us of how much we are missing out on. I’d give anything to go back to the day before, and remember what being healthy feels like just one last time. I can’t remember a time my body didn’t feel tied down by weights. Unfortunately, a lot has changed from that day. It no longer is just my body tied down, but my mind, my heart, my soul and spirit.
Welcome to chapter one. This is only the beginning. Together, we will learn what it means to be “Chronically Fabulous”.