Underneath my yellow skin

Feeling like a brand new person

I had to skip my brother’s Thanksgiving Day dinner last night. I had hoped that it being a week and a day after I got the shot, I would be better in time to go. I reinstalled Lyft so I could catch a ride if I went. It was at four, but they were eating at five-ish or so. When I called my brother to let him know I wasn’t going, he was so disappointed. He sent me a picture of the GF/DF bread he was making, and it looked delicious.

The woman he’s dating is GF/DF so there was several dishes of the sort at the dinner. I know he really wants me to meet her, and I really want to meet her as well. Plus see my niblings. And actually be able to eat food. But I felt like shit and did not want to maybe spread something. I had assumed it was a reaction to the vax, but Ian had pointed out that it could be something else. He was thinking pneumonia because that was what I had back in 2021, but it could have even been a cold or something else.

In addition, because of my shitty immune system, I did not want to be around others while not at my best. I did not want to get anything else, thank you very much.

I told my brother I would go if I felt better in the next few hours (I called him around 1:30 p.m.). I did not feel better and emailed him to confirm I wasn’t going.

Then, around seven or eight ot night, I suddenly felt better. By a wide margin. If I had been roughly fifty to sixty percent earlier in the day, I was at eighty percent by that point.

Today, I had a Taiji class at noon. Last week, I stayed through the meditation, which was roughly half an hour. This time, I stayed twice as long and did the first section of the Solo Form. And the chi gong. And the my god. My brain just completely stopped before coming up with the name of the posture/movement of the single posture drill we did. It’s Repulse Monkey. I did that. At the break, I felt decent, but I did not want to overdo it. So I left the Zoom call. It was the perfect amount of Taiji.

I will say, though, it’s in a church. There was a special event this week so the class was in a different room. During meditation, I could hear shouting and yelling (by the pastor and the congregation). It seemed to be a call-and-response situation. It was not a very relaxing way to meditate, I’ll tell you that much. One of the newer students is an immigrant from Eastern Europe. She had a very negative reaction to all the shouting and yelling because it reminded her of her youth. Not from chuch, but just from being in a communist country in general. She said that church should be peaceful and loving. why did there need to be shouting?

I understood where she was coming from because I was raised fundie evangelical Christian. when I left the church, I had members do a prayer circle around me and asked if they could lay hands on me. I was horrified and said no. So they put their hands in front of me as they shouted their prayers.  It was very much ‘We’re not touching you!’ energy, and it freaked me the fuck out. then, one or two of them started speaking in tongues, and I was d-o-n-e. Let me tell you that was not the way to entice me back to the church, but they were in too deep to see how deeply unsettling their behavior was from the outside.

On the other hand, there are many branches of religion that are loud in their worship. My brother belonged to a black-led church for a long time, and they were very loud in their praise. This pastor was shouting in Spanish, apparently, so it could be a culture difference as well. I will say that it made me uncomfortable and made it difficult to meditate.

In meditation, you’re supposed to think your thoughts and let them go. That’s hard to do when there is a constant din around you. It’s not impossible, obviously, but it’s not pleasant, either.

Last week, I was pretty tired after just the warmups and the mediation. this time, I was ready to do more. I probably could have stayed for at least another fifteen minutes, but I really did not want to push it.

My brother is bringing his girlfriend over to meet me. And food. I’m very excited about both, but the house is a complete mess. I am not good at tidying. It’s very low on my list ofd things to do. I’ts fine when it’s just me, but I know how it looks to other. I do have someone come in and clean every other week, which helps.

I’m glad I feel better. I am still pretty tired, though. I didn’t sleep well last night in part because I had to get up for class today. That’s something taht my brain does that I don’t appreciate–if I had to get up at a certain time, I woke up every half hour or so a few hours before.

I’m glad to be better. I’m hoping I don’t actually have somethnig other than a strong reaction to my latest vax.

Also, my brother was pretty secretive about his ex-wife when they were dating. He did not tell our parents or me until he got engaged. I think that was a year after they met, so he was dating someone for that long without saying a word. I understand why. This time around, though, he can’t stop talking about his new girlfriend. Granted, it’s just to me, but  he’s eager to talk about her. It’s so different than when he was dating his ex-wife. It makes me hopeful that this will be a much better relationship for him.

That’s something I’m thankful for. He’s happier than he’s ever been, and it shows. That makes my life brighter as well.

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