What To Do When a Loved One is Diagnosed with Lupus

Autoimmune diseases are no picnic. I have watched someone I dearly love go through so much because of the nightmarish discoid lupus. Skin lupus. A disease that has reared its ugly head more than once and changed my mother’s world completely. When I first started college, my mother’s skin began to turn beet red; itchiness began to be an issue, and mysterious lung ailments that dangerously lowered her oxygen level began to make themselves known. The doctors could provide no answers other than psoriasis. The lungs always looked perfect on x rays. However, it was much later that we realized something more serious was upon us. The summer of 2014 was particularly terrifying for my mother; her health had been declining and on her body these round and yellowish white dotted lesions began to appear; itching became unbearable;  the beet red skin had morphed into blotchy, purple skin with the texture of leather. The only highlight of that year was my college graduation. Seeing my mother suffer broke my heart. A dermatologist trip and a biopsy later, she was formally diagnosed with lupus. As someone who knew of two family members who had passed away due to complications of the very same illness, I went to pieces because I automatically associated lupus with death. I cannot imagine what was circling through her mind. I cannot imagine living a completely normal life, and then one day having it turned upside down. Life with cerebral palsy, being “different”, and having to adapt to everything around me is the only life I’ve ever known. Our struggles don’t even come close in comparison. What I would say to a loved one of someone who deals with an autoimmune disease is to not make it about you. Don’t say you understand it. Don’t tell them to “snap out of it”. Don’t complain when you have to be the nurturer. I don’t know what it’s like to have lupus. I don’t understand. My mother doesn’t understand my battles completely, but she loves me and supports me 100%. I do just the same for her; we are a team. Our mother daughter bond is forever. Thanks to medications such as, Plaquenil twice a day, Doxepin at night to help the itching, along with the occasional use of steroid cream, her lupus has gone into a sort of remission. She lost a great deal of her energy, and slowly regained it back; apart from having to try to avoid direct sunlight as much as she can, she’s pretty much returned to being the woman I have always admired most. Just pray for your loved one and help them any way you can. I have applied sunscreen to my mother’s hands and arms as she was driving before. Don’t call them lazy. Mom has great days and bad days; That’s just the way it is. The most important thing is a support system. My biggest heartbreak comes from not being able to protect her from the enemy the sun is to her. My mother has defended and protected me a countless number of times; I want so badly to be able to return the favor. I look at the relationship we have and I see two people who both need and love each other immensely. I love my Mom, She is my most treasured blessing. I hope she knows she’ll always have someone to lean on in me.

A dedicated and passionate writer who basically eats, sleeps, and breathes the writing process , Molly is a 25 year old who tries to be the best daughter, sister, aunt, and friend that she possibly can be. Her main goal in life is to inspire and encourage others to find their passions and to follow them to the fullest extent. Molly’s career began in September 2015 on a personal blog named Molly’s Zone where she shares her life stories of living with cerebral palsy; since then she continues to post to Molly’s Zone weekly, and has been featured as a regular contributor for The Mighty.

His Power in Small Victories

Victory. What exactly is victory? What kind of meaning does it possess in your life? I know very well what it means for me; it is inspiration, it is the joy I have in my life; it is the cornerstone of everything in me; it is Jesus.

September 1st is an important milestone in my walk with Christ because it is a day I so vividly remember  as one of the lowest days of my life, but then I am also reminded of just how much I am loved by Him and how far He’s brought me from the pit of my depression and self acceptance issues, as my blog, “Molly’s Zone” celebrated its 2nd birthday on none other than…you guessed it, September 1st.

I have personally struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager; three years ago on this very day, I hit rock bottom. I had just graduated college, could not find a job, my mother had just been diagnosed with lupus, and my friends were seemingly moving on with their lives. Well, where did that leave me? I felt like life had just left me stranded in a dark alley on a street where I had no sense of direction and no one to help me find my way.

I lost it all. Or so, I thought.

Well, sometimes God uses those dark times to get our attention on Him; He can and will use circumstances to show us how big He is. Even if it means losing the things you think you need.

A few months passed by, and I ended up answering His call for my life to become a writer that I’d been aware of for years but so defiantly ignored. I wasn’t sure where life would take me, but I had been praying incessantly and after randomly being offered the chance to become a blogger, I was certain this was an answer to my tearful prayers.

Prayer changes things. Excitedly, I named my blog, “Molly’s Zone”, something catchy and youthful. I wanted to inspire those with disabilities. It gives me confidence. It gives me peace. It gives me joy.

In my heart of hearts, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my blog began exactly a year after my lowest low; I think there is more meaning behind it than what I or anyone else could see at the time. God’s plan was always in motion. In my walk with the Lord, I have realized that sometimes He has to break you to make you.

He has given me so much to be joyful about in these last two years. God makes no mistakes, He knows our lives from beginning to end. As  a Christian nothing happens to you, things happen for you: to either teach you, test you, guide you, or to strengthen you.

I am a better version of myself because of what I’ve gone through. I am thankful for the blessed life I live, my writing journey and all of the wonderful people I’ve met. I’m thankful that I get to have a career making the lives of those with disabilities a little bit brighter.

I am just a human. All of my accomplishments and victories are His. Thank you Jesus for seeing me celebrate my 2nd year of being depression free. I’m not perfect, but I could not have gotten this far without you.

 

 

A dedicated and passionate writer who basically eats, sleeps, and breathes the writing process , Molly is a 25 year old who tries to be the best daughter, sister, aunt, and friend that she possibly can be. Her main goal in life is to inspire and encourage others to find their passions and to follow them to the fullest extent. Molly’s career began in September 2015 on a personal blog named Molly’s Zone where she shares her life stories of living with cerebral palsy; since then she continues to post to Molly’s Zone weekly, and has been featured as a regular contributor for The Mighty.

Leave Your Mark on The World

What mark do you wish to leave on this world? What kind of person do you aspire to be? Being yourself can often be seen as a challenge, but it is one that can be slowly conquered by putting forth the very best of efforts. You are a person with so much to give, so much to say. Be yourself. Own your talents, embrace them, and chase your wildest dreams. I have a poem I wrote that explains what kind of mark I hope to leave.

“The Mark of A Writer”
By: Molly Spence

I am timid, I am shy
I am a creator, with a poetic mind
Beneath the surface, under the skin
There’s so much beauty to be found within

I can be talkative, I can be loud
I have the power to be the life of the party in a crowd
Finding my voice in the form of written word
Might be the best thing that’s ever occurred

The mark of a writer
That I have, and I am
An identity, a true storyteller

First life experience, now poetry, hopefully fiction
All I know is writing for me is my addiction

The mark of a writer
That I have, and I am
An identity, a true storyteller

The mark of a writer
A soul full of imagination
With enough strength and courage
To inspire a generation

Be yourself, do your thing
For your best days are coming
Don’t be afraid, take that leap
For any dream is never too steep
Maybe you’ll be a teacher, or a dancer
Or maybe, just maybe you have the mark of a writer

The mark of a writer
Full of talent and love
A person who’s sometimes scared to show all she’s made of
A gentle and kind spirit
Who’s telling her truth and wants all to read it

It’s okay to be different, it’s okay to ask why
You’ve got to leave your mark by reaching for the sky

Words heal, words touch
The written thought communicates ever so much

Be honest, be real
Who you really are will have so much more appeal

Find your talent, stake your claim
On your mark that will never let the world be the same
A light that will shine so bright
You’ll make others smile with delight
Never for fortune, never for fame
Just so that others know His Holy name

The mark of a writer
Words written so passionately
Shining His light for all to see

Being yourself is often easier said than done; it is one thing that can often be so difficult due to human nature; people can be harsh without so much of an explanation, but you must strive to be self aware of your surroundings and the key to being you is to own who the Lord intends for you to be.; nothing more, nothing less. I am a creator, a wordsmith, a visionary full of stories to tell. Jesus gave me that gift; in addition, He has helped me to accept my flaws, acknowledge them, and push through them, even when I don’t have the best of days or sometimes weeks.

Be yourself. I am an introvert. I am clumsy. I love Jesus. I love my family. I love my friends. The true focus of life should be working to create an inspiring legacy. Everyone has weaknesses, everyone has strengths. Push your limits. Spread those wings. Try new things. Live for Him. Serve Him. Love Him. Jesus loves you. Will you dare to be yourself? What kind of mark will you leave on this Earth? You never know, there could be something simply incredible waiting just for you.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 King James Version

 

 

A dedicated and passionate writer who basically eats, sleeps, and breathes the writing process , Molly is a 25 year old who tries to be the best daughter, sister, aunt, and friend that she possibly can be. Her main goal in life is to inspire and encourage others to find their passions and to follow them to the fullest extent. Molly’s career began in September 2015 on a personal blog named Molly’s Zone where she shares her life stories of living with cerebral palsy; since then she continues to post to Molly’s Zone weekly, and has been featured as a regular contributor for The Mighty.

The Meaning of Life

The personification of the correlation of time and life would be giving it the description of being a person in quicksand that gets engulfed and completely submerged by the sticky nature of living as quickly their life begins. The only disability in life is a bad attitude; a cliche saying of sorts that I have heard many times over, but within it resides so much truth. We as humans take so much for granted, such as the fresh summer air that surrounds us, the people who love us, and what all life offers us: the countless opportunities, and the many blessings we don’t deserve.

Life is too short. Eat the cake. Stay up late once in a while. Laugh loudly. Hug freely. Attitude is everything. Smile often. You will never truly know what the silent demonstration of your strength and perseverance will mean to someone; perhaps, it isn’t your place to know. Be yourself. Don’t focus on the invalid opinions of those around you, because they will always find something to say; furthermore don’t even focus on those who praise you. None of that matters. So what DOES matter?

The truth of it all is that God has a beautiful plan awaiting all of us, if we’d just make the slightest attempt to see our surroundings as He sees them. Those with any kind of disabilities have so much to offer, as does those without any impairment. We have love to spread and something to fight for. Questioning our existence is easy, and so is giving up, but that is something we just cannot do.

The only disability in life is a bad attitude; honestly, cerebral palsy is no walk in the park; it is the most challenging obstacle I’ve dealt with in life, but it’s something I have come to accept and embrace with positivity. I walk with a smile on my face and my head held high.

The truly encouraging part of my life is that each day sees me stronger than the day before; the experiences I’ve had have shaped together to form a continuing line of connecting dots; each dot representing my gradual growth and maturation through lessons learned in life.

You matter. Your attitude matters. The world needs more people who provide a shimmer of light to pop through the ever growing darkness of our society. Be that light. Be the brave soldier who is not afraid to share that disabilities are not sentences of life imprisonment, that there is joy to be found within the struggle. Love people with all of your heart and soul. Give to people more than you take. Shine brighter than any diamond you could wear or any star you might catch gleaming in the sky.

The beauty of time is that it teaches us so much; the only disability in life is a bad attitude. You have the power to decide who you want to be. Don’t let pain and exhaustion wear you down. Life your life to only see the positives, and not the negatives. Live to show someone else what positivity and individuality truly is and how much of a confidence boost it can provide them with.

Life holds no true limits; disability or no disability makes no difference. Accomplish as much as you can however you can. Life is short. Money, fame, and recognition are temporary accolades that don’t matter in the long run; what matters is the impact you leave behind. The comfort and contentment in the precious little blessings found in between the said line of life is what matters.

Writing is an extension of living for me; of everything I am. Finding and delving into something you love is crucial to a great, purpose filled life. Therapeutic and sometimes rather tedious, the written word brings me joy. Find out who you are and own it, for that’s the true meaning of life.

A dedicated and passionate writer who basically eats, sleeps, and breathes the writing process , Molly is a 25 year old who tries to be the best daughter, sister, aunt, and friend that she possibly can be. Her main goal in life is to inspire and encourage others to find their passions and to follow them to the fullest extent. Molly’s career began in September 2015 on a personal blog named Molly’s Zone where she shares her life stories of living with cerebral palsy; since then she continues to post to Molly’s Zone weekly, and has been featured as a regular contributor for The Mighty.