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How My Type A Personality Became a Path to Self-Care With Chronic Illness

I have always had a very “Type A” personality. Despite my body crying out (and definitely to my own detriment), I will try against all odds to check off every box on my daily to-do list. In fact, I will hesitate to even list something in my planner that I don’t believe I have a shot of completing because an empty check box will agonize me. That said, I like to think I have turned this personality weakness into an asset in my battle against chronic illness.

I started meditating in high school and got more serious about it under the strain of university life in New York City with multiple health conditions. Meditation stayed with me, but inconsistently. When my health got to an all-time low about five years ago, I got serious about it again and signed up for reiki courses. I started scheduling time daily for meditation and reiki self-healing sessions. Uh, oh! Checkboxes on my planner! Wait a sec — using my Type A personality to make sure I chill out? Yes! And it worked!

I’m not saying daily meditation or reiki took away even one of my conditions. What they did was give me a daily pause — a time to breathe, a time for my intuition to map a new thing to try, a time to make new plans and hear my body speak its pain and its needs, a time for gratitude and self-love, a time for hope and healing.

I don’t even have to put a checkbox for daily self-care these days. It’s a wonderful and nurturing addiction. I guess it’s true that our weaknesses are also our strengths if we direct them properly. This was certainly the case for me. Wishing you healing and love. Namaste.

Getty image by Ralf Geithe,