Many of you have heard the term Type A personalities. If you know one or are one then you have my sincere empathy!
Being a Type A is hard, endless work but being a Type A AND chronically Ill is a recipe for destruction and disaster!!
We can make our illness so much harder to bare simply because it means knowing we are not in control, not perfect and not ever going to reach the standards that we strive for all our lives. It’s hell on earth!!
Just imagine being for most of your life a perfectionist, career driven, success craving, in control, obsessive person to barely being able to brush your own teeth without asking for help. The mental torture alone is enough to cause an implosion!
I can go from being the most driven, motivated, idealistic, goal orientated, helpful, selfless, hard working advocate to being wrecked by painful attacks of depression and anguish over how much of a delibilatated, unproductive, bed ridden, trapped, needy ‘failure’ I have become in about the time it takes to say “where has my life gone???”
Tonight was one of those attacks.
I admit that currently increasing my steroid dose by 10 times the dose to help relieve the gut turning hip pain I have fought for months now, does NOT help. Steroids MAY help with inflammation but they are hell for the emotions. It becomes physical and psychological warfare in four little white tablets.
Tonight I wept like a 5 year old at the fact that this year has felt like it has spiraled out of my grasp and I have taken several hundred steps backwards. Is it really a hundred steps backwards? It feels that way, so it is real to me!
I am usually the happy one. I am usually the confident one. I am usually the ‘pick you up’ one. But behind closed doors it is not always a true description of what these diseases do to human beings. Because behind closed doors is where the real battles take place. It’s where the pain lives. It’s where the disappoint exists. It’s where the grieving happens. And it’s where we horde all the pain of what the world says to us and about us. And it’s where we say the hardest things to ourselves.
There is nothing that anyone has thought or said to me that I haven’t said or thought a million times worse. There is nothing that happens that doesn’t make me worry “what if…?” That’s the real truth behind autoimmune diseases. It’s an endless game of what if?… What if I can’t swallow? What if I can’t walk? What if I am left alone? What if I can’t see? What if I couldn’t talk? What if I am just a burden? What if…?
But when you are a die hard, flag waving, card carrying, type A personality it is a never ending love – hate relationship with yourself that makes up a lot of the day to day pain. It is torture. And nobody sees it happening. People will walk past. People will look at you. People might even talk to you but they will never see this awful internal battle going on in front of their eyes.
But…. Because I was a type A Personality…
It is also the reason I keep trying and haven’t given up yet. And it’s also the reason I am so proud of how far I have come and how long I have lasted.
Full credit must also go to my friends, loved ones and my husband from helping me go from Type A to learning some more of my A B C’s. You have to have broad shoulders and lots of patience when you are friends/married to a type A 😃
How hard was this to write? If you are, or ever were a type A then you will already know the answer!