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When Chronic Illness Caused Me to Develop a 'Type A' Personality

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This morning as I was sitting in class my English teacher asked to use my work as an example for someone who came late to class. I happily obliged and passed it to her, but as she viewed my page she began to laugh. “You’re a little Type A, aren’t you?” she asked. My paper was organized in a neat list, drastically different from my classmates who had words all over their pages.

Being Type A is categorized as being ambitious and organized among other things, whereas characteristics of a Type B personality include being more laid back. I have been dealing with chronic illness more and more the last couple of years and the more unpredictable my health becomes, the more I attempt to control what I can. This includes how my schoolwork looks and being constantly early, because when living with an unpredictable illness such as fibromyalgia, I cannot afford to leave things up to fate.

I almost always catch an earlier bus than I need to in case I need to get off due to nausea or I miss the bus because I cannot walk to the stop fast enough. My bag, like many others with chronic illness, is filled with the dozens of things I’d need in an emergency such as my meds and pain management supplies.

Although I may be laughed at because of my organization, there is so much more than people see when they look at my neatly organized lists and multiple notebooks. My organization isn’t just a quirky personality trait, but a way to cope with the unpredictability I face every day.

Getty image by Urfinguss.

Originally published: May 6, 2019
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