SOLC Day 15: In Which Anxiety Flexes its Muscles

March 2021 SOLC–Day 15
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I wake with a weight in my belly. This time it wasn’t the cat

Today is the day. 

The day I get the first dose of my Covid 19 vaccine.

The day I’d been simultaneously fighting to schedule and trying to not think about.

Now, I’m the first to admit that I can have issues with anxiety. Well, actually, maybe my family is the first to say it, but I can’t disagree. I’m pretty sure the “Worst Case Scenario” brain is a genetic trait on the paternal side of my family. (Hey, on the plus side, Dad had no side effects from either shot, so maybe that’s genetic, too?) So, while I’ve been trying to submerge my upswells of panicky thoughts, (I’m so tired today. Maybe I have Covid and just no other symptoms. What happens if they give the vaccine to someone who has Covid already!?! Do they test you beforehand? I don’t think they do! OMG, I’m a goner!) it’s been tough.

I’ve tried positive self talk. I keep telling myself that millions of others have already done this. I tend not to have issues with side-effects. I’m young-ish. I’m healthy. I don’t have a history of allergic reactions. (There’s always a first time. How far away is the closest hospital anyway? In my head, I calculate the miles.) 

Still, I’m a nervous wreck. It’s clearly not a rational thing…

And now, it’s almost time to go. I run through the list one more time:

completed form—check
insurance card—check
school ID–check
confirmation e-mail— check
water bottle (in case I feel faint)—check
short sleeve shirt (dark to hide the nervous sweat)—check
Kurt (for hand holding, reassurance, and total emotional support)—check

I take a deep breath.
“Ok,” I say to Kurt. “We should get going.”

I walk outside as he gathers up what he needs. As I step off the deck onto the driveway, something catches my eye. I turn and freeze.

Looking at me from the middle of the field is a single deer. The door slamming shut behind me hadn’t fazed it one bit. It stands there looking at me. Staring at me. Calm. Cool. Collected. Everything I am not, right then and there.

Somehow that calm gets through to me, and I can feel the tendrils of anxiety loosen their hold…just a little. It feels like a sign that everything is going to be okay. Ridiculous? Yes. But undeniably, I feel just a bit more centered. A bit less panicky. Like I said, none of this is rational.

I watch the deer a bit longer until it turns and ambles away into the woods. Then Kurt comes outside, we get in the car, and we drive off to get my shot.

23 thoughts on “SOLC Day 15: In Which Anxiety Flexes its Muscles

  1. amyilene says:

    I hope that you had little or no reaction…thank you for naming the complicated feelings with this. Nature is a calm, steady partner in this life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dogtrax says:

    The deer is perfect imagery, the calming presence of the world. I am scheduled for Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i am not prone to anxiety, but was vey anxious and excited when I went to get my vaccine. I also had a checklist, id, school id, insurance card, union membership card, water, advil… Being in the first group to get the J/J vaccine, I didn’t know if there would be side effects. Was one dose even effective… But here we are on the other side…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There are so many emotions and thoughts these days. I jump to conclusions and worry also. I like how you shared the part about the deer. There is something calming about nature. I hope your shot went ok!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. affinitolit says:

    I truly believe in signs and feel like this one was exactly what you through it was: a sign of calm. I hope everything went well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. margaretsmn says:

    I’m glad you made it through the anxiety to get the shot. That deer. It’s gaze was God. She was reassuring you. On the morning after my mother-in-law’s lung surgery a few years ago, I saw a double rainbow. I believe in signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Radutti says:

    Woah. The deer surprised, then caught me, as a reader. Hope your worst fears are not realized and the vaccine does its work. Good luck! 🙂


  8. haitiruth says:

    ❤ Hope it went well!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As a fellow anxiety sufferer, I can say, it doesn’t matter how irrational a thought is, you can believe it. Or it doesn’t matter how much you can tell yourself the rational thoughts, it’s so hard to act on them.

    I very much get the panic brought on by the vaccine. I didn’t feel it so much with the first. I guess I was thinking most people I had heard from did okay with the first. But I left from my second shot very panic stricken. I survived though!

    I also loved this line “I can feel the tendrils of anxiety loosen their hold.” Felt very much what anxiety can feel like and what it can feel like letting up.

    Hope you did okay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Oh, you’re done! Congratulations! I think I’ll be okay with the next round now that I’ve gotten through the first pretty unscathed– Just a mildly sore arm for about 12 hours.


      • Yes! I’m done! 2nd shot was a lot rougher but I got through it. (don’t want to make you more anxious, but they will probably tell you this when you get it anyway, that the 2nd can get you worse. But hopefully not for you! I know lots who were fine!)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m glad the “tendrils of anxiety” loosened their hold for just a bit before you left the house. That needs to happen to get over the hump, doesn’t it?

    How did you do with the shot, Molly?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kd0602 says:

    Ah…the deer! Glad you got shot #1 under your belt.



  12. […] First, I survived! (You can read about my pre-vaccine anxiety here) […]


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