Fully Vaccinated, What Now?

Tomorrow marks two weeks since I had my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. While I’m excited to be less worried about COVID, I’m still nervous. I don’t foresee my life looking remarkably different, at least at first. Though, I do plan on going into stores instead of shopping online and making appointments in-person instead of virtually if I can.

I want to go walk around a library and maybe a bookstore without being determined to leave even before I enter the building. I want to be able to see friends and family who have been fully vaccinated without worrying afterward if there could be a chance of one of us having it or spreading it to everyone else. I do hope COVID will no longer be top of mind before I experience something. I’m hoping I will be able to shed some of the worries I’ve been carrying with me for the last year.

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on where I was this time last year. I was having a lot of panic attacks. I was at the peak of my anxiety threshold with what was out of my control externally. Internally, I tried to avoid and withdraw from my overwhelming thoughts by watching a lot of TV shows and movies. Sometimes, it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I found myself doing a dance with distractions to mentally get through everything while staying physically healthy.

I think myself in May of 2020 couldn’t imagine this is where I would be today. Fully vaccinated to help fight against COVID. Masks were just beginning to become normalized this time last year. Vaccines weren’t in the public consciousness. Myself in May of 2020 would be surprised to hear I didn’t have a panic attack thinking about the vaccine. She would be surprised to hear I haven’t had a major panic attack since last spring.

I’m excited to do some traveling this summer and stay in places that are totally different than what I have experienced this last year. I’m excited to become more comfortable being out in public again. I’m excited to see those who I love and miss dearly. I’m excited to live in the present moment without thinking about what has been or what will be.

even when we can’t control the situation around us, we always can choose where we’re directing our attention.

Liz Stanley, PHD

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