Yesterday marked five months of my being on oxygen all the time and I struggle with it every day. The discomfort, inconvenience and social implications are all hard to deal with, not to mention the various emotions that come with understanding what being on oxygen all the time actually means. It’s always hard to admit that my health has taken another significant step down and hard to accept and live happily at a new, restricted, painful normal. Since March 1st I’ve taken off the oxygen tubes for photos, tried not to look in mirrors and gone out far less because on some days even the points and questions of curious children are difficult to cope with.
Richard Rohr talks about living with a ‘bright sadness’ – the something inexplicable you see in people who live with suffering and yet have a deep joy at the same time. I love that phrase and it’s come to mind over and over in these past few months. Things are hard and sadness is a natural and legitimate response. But that’s not where it ends. I want to live that bright sadness and the first step is coming to terms with who I am now and learning to be grateful for that. So here I am, oxygen tubes and all. This is me and I’m working on being grateful for it.