My Battle with Covid
My have I changed. As a child, we never talked about the things that were going wrong with us. We put on the “I’m Fine” mask and pretended to be great. To my family, outward appearances were very important. When Covid first came on, a client came in, got the whole staff sick, and we didn’t know what it was but after 10 days were all better and things were, more or less, back in order.
Then came the debate – to vaccinate or not. Feeling that I had obtained it already, why bother? I never needed a flu shot, believed my immune system was strong in working for a decade with the homeless, and figured this was a flu-like illness. But something else was lingering under the surface and it took me some investigating to get to the root.
I think this is why I am so into psychology. In the past, I would have brushed my feelings aside, put on my “I’m Fine” mask, and pushed forward, but now something was there and it began to rear its ugly head.
When I was a teen, my family were my best friends. I had great parents and my friends had even befriended them. It wasn’t rare for me to come home from work and find my friends playing Boggle with my mom or Ping Pong with my stepdad. I loved life and enjoyed every moment of it. But, when I started to become my own person and follow my heart, I met with a lot of family resistance. The more mom or dad pushed me on something, the more I rebelled. Even though they may have been right, how dare they try to tell me what to do and how to be! It’s a bit complicated how that all began but it had. The day my mother called me and mandated I get vaccinated all my venom that had been buried deep inside came to the surface which shocked me. It was as if all the counseling I had done on changing myself was for naught. Eventually, I got to the root but had to negotiate this veil of ignorance that had covered my eyes for over a year!
Sigmund Freud was one brilliant man. He described our subconscious as the brain’s way of suppressing memories from the past so they are out of our awareness. His counseling strategy helped to bring these issues to the surface. When one popped out for me it really caught my attention.
The awareness hit when I was thinking nostalgic about how things were before Covid. We wouldn’t need to social distance, mask up, or avoid large groups of people. This was the time I would frequent going to Karaoke clubs! I loved it and missed it with all my heart. On one level, my not wanting to get vaccinated was my hope to live back in this past, where things were carefree and I was also a frequent flyer back and forth from Southern California to visit with my elderly parents. But that was taken away from me and I wanted it back again, but just my way.
It is interesting battling with this aspect of my personality. According to NLP we have many subpersonalities that try to run the show. My, “I want it my way! Aspect” is from my teen years and at times acts like a willful two-year-old. I wanted the old way of living and not this plastic, separated type of existence.
Oh, have I battled with conforming. At first, I would go into the market, judging those who were masked up, but holding my breath whenever they came within close proximity. Then I gave in and dawned the mask, and all that did was get me sick. It is not natural rebreathing air you are trying to release. The cure was making things worse. All the while mom kept calling.
It boiled down to this – be stubborn and not see my elderly parents ever again or take the damn shot. Eventually, I gave in, much to the glee of my mother.
What is it with sons and mothers? Moms have that special way of getting right to our gut. But, like a nice son, I used a lot of my psychological tools, and simply let it go – well I tried to but my arm was sore for a week and it seemed as if she had slugged me with all her might!
Yes, I saw the signs on the radio, T.V, and even the people in my practice who were losing spouses, workmates, and close friends. Instead of me being all alone with my principles, I decided to conform – and trust me this wasn’t easy.
I know that growing up in the 1960s really impacted me. We questioned authority and even in my own recovery as an addict, I chose an alternative approach to the 12 Steps. How ironic was it to work at a 12 Step facility for over 8 years? But for me, that willful child had been an active part of my life and almost to my detriment.
Readying myself for another shot to swell up my arm one more time, something just wasn’t right. I lost the ability to smell. Could I have Covid? I was shocked! No! This couldn’t happen to me! Again! But it was different than before. When the test came back positive reality hit. Because of the positive test, I am now stuck at home for two weeks.
How am I feeling? Basically good! I am adhering to my Doctor’s prescriptions and trying to chill out.
Do I regret the one-shot? No, not at all. It was a source of peace for me when I discovered I had the virus. At least something was in there helping me. My plan is, at the first opportunity to get the final shot and subsequent ones. But this is me. You need to make your own decisions.
It is funny as I look back at how Covid and the blessings of learning and growth I have recently obtained from it. I have to admit I was swayed a little bit by my best friend, who is a dentist and didn’t believe in Covid, thinking that it was less than the flu. I recently discovered that he got it as well! If Superman got this thing then everyone is vulnerable.
Lastly, this isn’t a plea for everyone to go out and get the vaccine. I am not my mother and won’t inflict my will on others. I guess my plea is to use safeguards. I really don’t know where I got this from. A client? The market? Not washing my hands enough after being in public? But for whatever reason, it nailed me. Though I wouldn’t say it nailed me. I’ve had colds that were much more severe than this. But it did show me how willful I have been and how I had been trying to live in a fantasy world.
Compassionate Care is Always Available
There are many more tools and strategies you can use in your pursuit of happiness. Here is where we come in. Contact us at Basic Steps Mental Health and let us support and educate you on this journey back to your loving heart center. Imagine living a heart-centered life, regardless of what is happening externally. We’d love to be of help.
For 25 years, Dr. Scott Alpert, the clinical director of Basic Steps Mental Health, has treated over 7,000 people with mental health and addiction problems, using a Psychological approach that mixes and matches ten of the top approaches used in the industry. We are here virtually and in person to help you get through this COVID-19 pandemic and many other difficulties you may be experiencing.
May you have good mental health.