Mind Over Body: What I Learned From My Covid Shot

My mind was all bent out of shape the days following my second Covid shot. My wife and I had prepared for the worst. Our friends had told us that after 12 hours flue like symptoms come in. Between 24 and 36 hours, symptoms basically fall off like nothing ever happened. Even though I had prepared my mind for this, it still revealed something about met hat I had not anticipated.

I got my second shot at 11am on Sunday. I had no reaction the first time, so I didn’t wait the 15 minutes. True, I did not follow the rules here and I drove off with my fist in the air all the way to show my act was true rebellion. I felt fine though. I had no reaction.

About 7-8pm that night I started to feel really tired and body aches started to work their way in. In my mind I had already decided that I wasn’t going to have the flu symptoms because they didn’t happen immediately, despite knowing what the timeline really was. This was the first lesson I learned.

I am so trained by our current expectation of instant gratification that I will throw out real data that tells me otherwise. Instant gratification really screws with our mind. There are very few things in nature that are instant. Almost all of it happens over a long slow journey. We, humans, are a part of nature. We are not computers. I saw then the impact of spending too much time with computers and not enough time with nature. I need to retrain my mind to not judge everything by whether or not it happens instantly.

Later that night, the chills and sweats came on strong. I didn’t get much sleep the rest of the night because I was shivering or drenched in sweat. When I woke up that morning my body felt like it had been trampled by a herd of jail hardened horses who circled back around and trampled me again to make an example of me. I was so tired and achy that I asked AJ if we could take it easy on the podcast because my mind was not working right.

what my mind expected
What my mind had prepared for

My symptoms started to fade about half way through the day, following the timeline we had planned for. They faded at an exponential rate. Within a few hours my body felt like nothing had every happened. This messed my mind and emotions all up. Once I accepted that I had the flu like symptoms, I had settled into my flu survival mode. Despite knowing the symptoms would stop quickly, I had slipped into the state of mind that I would have this for a week or so (as one does with the flu). I had an odd sense of confusion for quite a while because my mind was working to “survive” but my body was not hurting or anything. This is the second lesson I learned.

We build patterns in our mind based on our history. For example, I have a method for getting through the flu. It involves lots of hot showers, early bed times, hot teas, etc, etc. This is good. We should us our history to prepare for the future. The problem comes in when we are not engaging with reality. I was engaging with a supposed reality based on previous experience, but I had never experienced something like this before. So my projections, though used for good, were so automatic that when reality didn’t meet expectation, I was thrown off balance for quite a while. I need to retrain my mind to use past experience in response to reality, not to my imagination (or supposed reality).

These are lessons that I can learn and apply to every part of life.

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