I'm really shy about sharing this. I have only told a few people, and even then, I told them this truth of mine through whispered hush-hush tones.
As a very highly sensitive individual, I am choosing right now to not get any of the COVID-19 vaccinations.
Vaccines for the Highly Sensitive - A Complex Choice
For those of us who experience life as highly sensitive people (HSP), the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccination can be an extremely complicated choice to make. There is much more involved for us HSPs than the popular opinions. For us, it is a very personal, and rather challenging decision. For me, it has been one that has kept me awake at night because all my extensive research sits so completely opposite what I feel in every fiber of my sensitive being. In the end, I just have to go with what feels right for me, right now.
My Perspective - a Curiosity Based Approach
To be clear, I am not an anti-vaxxer by any means. I was fully immunized as a child, and my mother invited the neighborhood kids with chicken pox over for play dates so we all would get the itchy-sicks and be done with it. I applaud and encourage and support anyone who does get vaccinated. It is their personal right, and I want to empower and encourage anyone to express and fulfill those rights. When my parents got their appointments, I celebrated. They wanted it for themselves, and as elders with some of their own health factors, I wanted them protected.
Let me also qualify that I don't have any political agenda by any means. For those of you who know me well, I consider myself proud to be open-minded. To listen to (and respect) all sides of debates. As a personal spiritual rule, I choose never to align with one side over another, but rather to remain relatively neutral as I watch, witness, and observe with the curiosity of a "wait and see" mindset. So when my QAnon nephew tells me that the vaccine is the government's way of injecting us with tracking microchips, I say "wow, I suppose that's possible, I guess only time will tell." Or when my covid-cautious ICU nurse-friend tells me that I'm likely to die a horrible death from the virus if I don't get vaccinated, I say "I suppose that's possible. I guess only time will tell."
Why I'm Choosing to Not Get Vaccinated
Please note that I said "right now" because I reserve the right to change my mind. I just know that right now, the idea of getting a pharmaceutical substance injected into my bloodstream does not feel right for me. Here's why:
Pharmaceuticals Have Done Me Wrong
For my entire adult life, every single time I have followed a doctor's recommendation and taken a medication, implanted a medical device, or gotten a shot for something, I have ended up suffering horrid effects from the pharmaceutical. Here are just a few examples:
When I got my eyes dilated, I was non-functional for well over a week. I felt like my entire body was dilated to full exposure to every kind of stimuli. Not only were the sunglasses insufficient in dimming the light, but squeezing my eyes shut wasn't enough to dull the sharp migraine pain that came into my eyes. The mere suggestion of light brought on the highest pitch tinnitus ringing that only amplified all other sound to bounce around in my head like metal balls. I left the eye doctor's office with three coats over my head and my fingers lodged in my ears. I spent the next six hours under a weighted blanket in my yoga closet, and the next five days recovering from after-shocks. I was non-functional for well over a week.
When I had surgery the side effects of the anesthesia combined with pain killers sent my limbs into uncontrollable convulsions for hours. I felt like a wrecking ball was bouncing around inside my body making everything shake and convulse. The nurses at the ER were so confounded by my reaction that one of them even grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me like a child, scolding me to "STOP THAT"...I laughed at her and said "I would if I could, that's why I'm here." Sadly, when they pushed Benadryl (after I yelled NO-DON'T) into my IV drip, their efforts to fight an allergic reaction sent my blood pressure dropping to near death levels. Against my wishes (because I was still groggy from anesthesia) they played "this medication to fight the effects of that medication" game for with far too many drugs. I spent well over two years experiencing flashbacks and side effects and going through detoxes that every medical professional (except a wise acupuncturist) refused to believe.
When I was prescribed anti-depressants, I had severe reactions that were exactly opposite the desired results. A half-dose of the lowest dose of Paxil put me to sleep for three straight days and I woke up severely dehydrated. Fifteen minutes after a quarter dose of Prozac I found myself driving down a country road playing chicken with the on-coming traffic in a psychotic suicidal attempt.
These were all examples of well-known well-tested drugs that had extreme adverse reactions in my system, reactions that the medical professionals couldn't understand. And, these are only three examples. I have a lifetime of stories to match the ever-growing list of drugs my body has rejected. I did find a good pharmacist who admitted that the side effects were known, but extremely rare. If this is what happens to me with routine procedures and low doses of common medications, I don't want to find out what will happen with a new vaccine. As a result, I have not ingested (or injected) a pharmaceutical drug into my system in over a decade. Instead, I choose to live a mindfully healthy lifestyle in order to eliminate the need for any medication.
I Live a Mindfully Healthy Lifestyle
I am by choice and by practice, a very healthy person. I don't say that to brag. I say that because I after way too many experiences like the ones listed above, I have worked very very hard to not need medical care. I've spent decades weaning myself off drugs and nutritional supplements, and in trial and error for various diets and exercise programs to find what works just right for me. I have kept detailed journals and logs and diaries to track my sleep patterns, my pain levels, my symptoms and side effects so as to be pro-active and preventative in any potential health risk. As a result, I live a disciplined and regimented life that is almost entirely free of aches and pains and illness and disease.
I have a Rockstar Immune System
In the last two decades, I can count exactly three "flu" episodes that had me "down for the count." They happen about every five years, and I can attribute each one to a significant stressor in my life that weakened my jedi-mind powers (and my disciplined practice). As a result, I believe myself to have a rock solid immune system. I just don't get sick very easily, and when I do, I take it very seriously and work my mindfulness to use the illness to build up more immunity. Again, I don't say this to brag, but rather because this is a necessary practice of my life as living as a highly sensitive being who reacts in the most dangerous and unexpected ways. I spent decades learning to love and care for my body, and now as I near the age of 50, she is very good to me in return.
The Power of Mind(fulness)
Now, I'll be the first to admit, because I teach the power of the mind to all my clients, that my attitude towards western medicine and pharmaceuticals is probably a huge factor contributing to the effects I experience. I do believe that with the proper brain and nervous system training, I probably could counter-act the potential side effects with my a mindful hormone balance process. And, I know that this kind of mindfulness requires the a vigilant daily practice that even the most disciplined (and I consider myself very disciplined) may not be able to achieve. The daily focus required could be equated to that of Mr. Miagi catching a fly with chopsticks. I know I'm fully capable of this kind of focus, but I also know how exhausting and difficult it is, and I'd rather not engage if I don't have to.
I'm Not Alone - 30% of People Are Opting Not to Vaccinate
I asked a dear friend of mine, a well-respected family practice physician at a top level hospital, what she tells patients who refuse the vaccine. Her answer was one word, "okay." She told me that 30% of healthcare professionals are making the same choice as I am, for their own reasons. Knowing I'm not alone in my not-exactly-popular opinion really helped. I don't care the reasons other people are choosing to not vaccinate. I respect them. I don't care the reasons people are choosing to get the jab. I respect them. If my friends don't want to see me in person because I'm not vaccinated, I say thank you for caring about my well-being, and I offer to continue meeting them on zoom and telephone.
Reserving the Right To Change My Mind And ALWAYS Maintain Control of My Body
All that said, if come sometime in 2022 or 2023 I want to fly to someplace exciting and exotic, and I'm required to present a covid proof of vaccination card to travel overseas, the dopamine rush of the excitement from the trip might just be enough for me to Mr. Miagi jedi-mind-trick myself through (or out of) the side effects. Then, I reserve the right to change my mind.
But until then, I'll end by saying, it's my body, and I want to maintain full control over what goes into it.