A Type A Personality in Recovery

Alternate Title: The Blog Post Where I Might Offend People Related to Me

Is there a Type A Personalities Anonymous?

Because there should be. We’ll call it TAPA. There can be TAPA meetings held in bars, because AA claimed all the church basements and community centers*.

*Like bars for alcoholics, these places can be temptations for TAPA members. These locations host too many potential gatherings we can aggressively take over.

Type A Personalities Anonymous

Everyone who attends assumes they’re running the meeting. It’s remarkably like The Hunger Games.

Hi. My name is Cait, and I am a Type A Personality.

…This is the part where you all say “Hi, Cait.”**

**Crap. That’s being bossy, isn’t it? Do I have to give back one of my chips? I brought chips, you know. Just in case we needed them. I know other people said they were going to bring chips, but I just wanted to make sure we had them.

I’ve been this way since I was a child. I was probably born this way, but since all babies are pushy and demanding, it’s a little hard to tell.*** Also, babies are rapidly forgiven due to abounding adorableness that doesn’t carry over into the teen years and adulthood. Also, the fact that they were just born kind of factors in there, too.

***I feel I should clarify here: I do not hate babies. I think they’re dandy.

This is totally admissible evidence.

Here is a picture of me holding a baby. In drawing form. To prove that I totally don’t hate babies.
Drawing me apparently has pigtails.

I come from a long line of Type A Personalities. We’re generally unapologetic about it. We’re a line of driven over-achievers and problem solvers. We’re advisers and do-ers. We could organize armies, and tend to think in the long-term.

We also stress, yell, scream, are prone to fits of unreasonable anger, and sulk excessively when people don’t listen to us. We are aggressive. We can’t delegate or trust others to complete tasks without facing the impulse to check and recheck their work. We work too much; we burn out; we are almost physically incapable of muting our opinions when someone is so obviously doing it wrong.

So, basically what I’m saying here is, there are some upsides to being Type A, but there are also a lot of drawbacks. Drawbacks that make you want to tear your hair out.**** And also apparently contribute to heart disease and other stress-related conditions that are total bummers. Thanks, personality.

****And make me want to tear my hair out. Type A’s are not exempt from being frustrated with themselves. And others. We are super good at being frustrated with others And inanimate objects. Also inanimate objects.

For years, I never saw a problem with my alpha-girl tendencies. Clearly it demonstrated that I had confidence! And was smart! Right?

Not even close.

Pig tails make me serious

Illustrated me apparently wears pig tails even when sulking.

I’ve come to recognize my need for hands-on control to be a major flaw. For most of my life, I couldn’t let things go. The smallest thing not working would drive me into a frustrated rage. Coincidentally, this fury fixed nothing, and only left me feeling angry and the people around me feeling awkward. Any problem-solving skills my brain could generally draw on were blocked by anger and rage, totally negating the perks of being Type A.

So for years, I’ve been working on recovery.

If you’re not a total Type A, this might sound silly. If you’re a Type A with no regrets, it sounds even sillier. I’m sure some Type A’s never seem to have these problems, and I’m positive even more don’t realize it. But I’d really rather not fly off the handle at everything, or let stress sabotage my health******, or make people feel like they need to walk on eggshells around me.

******I do that just fine on my own. Me and my marshmallows.

Recovery is hard. I use my dad as my example. He taught me to laugh at myself, and he also taught me that getting super mad at little things is pretty much in our genetic code.******* And he taught me how to take a deep breath, and that sometimes the only fix for things not going your way is to take a little alone time.

*******This may sound like a weird lesson, but when I was little I thought it was just me, and I was completely looney tunes. Turns out, I’m possibly completely bananas, but only about Shark Week and the impending giant squid takeover.

And my mom taught me to laugh at absolutely everything else, so that helps too.

But I still think we should all have meetings. And chips. Definitely chips.

Who wants to bring chips? Don’t worry about forgetting to bring them. I’ve undoubtedly already overplanned and brought extra.

P.S. – In other news, someone totally found my blog yesterday by Googling “Spider eggs on a Christmas tree.” I think that means I win Google.