2016, Oni's Life

Post surgery – I finally feel whole again

As of this week, Oni is back. For real. Hi.

oni red hair glasses

You may have noticed that ever since I started losing my sight in Fall 2015 I pulled back from posting on here. Truly I need to thank my team for helping me during this time because it was one of the worst times mentally and physically for me. In addition to numerous health problems, worsening of extreme chronic pain, and deaths of my family members and friends it totally crushed me.

It was worse than you think it was. It was harder than what I put online.

A huge shout out goes to my Ops team. Paul DiGennaro, Derek Price, Ginger Peterson, and Miranda Major (Check out her bookstore, Half Moon Collectibles in Nebraska, USA) . Also Kara Dennison Craig Cobalt, and the rest of the 145 members of my staff. And of course, the man who had to bear the brunt of every aspect of my mental and physical breakdown – my sweet husband James Harknell.

I still get weirded out that I can see, but I’m better at navigating it than even just last week. My face is starting to look like me again.

Imagine if you all of a suddenly didn’t recognize who you saw in the mirror after a surgery. That’s why most of the pictures you see of me for all of 2016 are old or me with sunglasses on. I had NO IDEA that my entire life I didn’t really know what I looked like. I did, of course but also I didn’t. Then – HD ME IN MY FACE.

I just couldn’t recognize myself. It felt like I had been killed or changed and it was upsetting.

And my chronic pain condition got worse. It’s always been bad but I guess age 30 is when things start no longer being something you can ignore. I am heartened that I have a doctor that will try some things to get me a diagnosis and some help.

Now that I feel like me the only thing in my way of making art is time. I’m 3 weeks out from Intervention 7, which I hope you’ll come say hi to me at, because I do need your support now more than ever. My days are packed.

I haven’t felt this good since 2 or 3 years ago when my eyes started to finally deteriorate. I’m able to talk to people again. My anxiety is lower. I can think straight. I used to get anxiety leaving my apartment because I had to drive while blind. I did that for almost 15 years. Blind AF. Drive anyway. How else would I get a paycheck, I ask you? There’s no public transportation to where the jobs are here.

It’s surprisingly easy to understand what’s going on around me now. I can read street signs so I don’t have to rely on the bizarre counting method I used to use to estimate distances. If I drop something I quickly pick it up and remain calm. I don’t freak out inside like if the world is ending.

It’s like I’ve been tuned up and let out of my box like the Terminator.

It feels good to be back and to feel like myself again. Brace yourself. It’s going to be a great year.