A Call To Action

Living with cerebral palsy has been far from an easy road to travel down. I’ve struggled, I’ve been angry, and I’ve cried more than my fair share of tears. So many years went by as I aimlessly searched for the reason for my existence.

`Nearly three years ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to start blogging about my life, serving as an advocate for those with disabilities and providing a light of hope in a rather dark world. I share everything. “Molly’s Zone” gave me my start and introduced me to my now dearest passions:

The Independent Living Movement and Disability Rights.

The two intertwine and are equally exciting and full of possibilities; the key to the continued growth and success of both is simply continuing to make people aware of these very important issues. What are some ways we can do that?

First of all, we need more of those who are willing to speak up on issues that may come about in their own communities; the more advocates we have, the louder we become. Reaching out to any organization, newspaper, magazine, television network, or simply anyone who might willing to help spread the word would help! Don’t be shy. Speak up!

Secondly, we need contributors! We need any talent you may have! Whether you do well at public speaking,  whether you’re a writer or a musician, or maybe you love to dance; those are all valuable and can be useful in supporting disability rights.  Simply sharing information or donating to organizations who support disability rights is also a great way to contribute! We need more representation across the board. We have to keep showing the world that we do add value. We need to continue working to inspire and encourage others to join in the fight for our rights.

Lastly, in order to increase our volume, we must hold on to and work to strengthen our determination. Persistence and awareness go hand in hand. We should strive to instill that same grit and passion into those around us.

I know I’m here because I want to make a difference. I deal with my own set of challenges every day. I’m not perfect, but I’m here to show others they can do it. You can accomplish anything that you set your mind to. I exist only as one person in a sea of millions who are fighting. I’m still rather quiet at times, but I am growing and learning to speak up and to be passionate. Writing is fun, but there’s so much more to do. There’s more for all of us to do; reasons to keep going.

The change starts with awareness. We have got to let people know what is going on. We’ve got to tell them what is important to us,  why it’s important, and what our goals are to continue growing this movement. I feel that with every bit of awareness we achieve, we only become stronger and bigger.

I have always believed that we are all here for a reason. My reason is to show people what the disability rights movement is while working to highlight its importance in the world. Join the cause and make a change with me. Who’s ready?

 

 

 

 

 

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.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Disabilities are not one dimensional; it is easy to look at someone with cerebral palsy and see all of the most textbook symptoms such as joint aches, a noticeably different walk, and fatigue that seems to increase with each passing year while just assuming CP is a one size fits all kind of deal. That’s not true. No, not true at all. In fact, it is this  very assumption that pushes so many into the dark abyss that is the “I can’t” syndrome; so many don’t understand that yes, we do have limitations but we aren’t all the same and we do have stories that need to be heard; ones that we are capable of sharing. How do we get rid of the “one size fits all” stereotype? How do we make people listen to us?

The core issue is getting people to come together in the first place. The only way one may overcome such scrutiny is by passion built from struggle, confidence built through life experience, and pure determination. Don’t quit. Don’t entertain the “I can’t” syndrome. Pull yourself up out of that pit. Start focusing on what you CAN do. We don’t all have the same talents and passions; we all have unique stories. The most crucial part of success is to keep pushing boundaries. Don’t let your limits control you. Embrace them, but hang on the most to your heart and your passion; it gives you two qualities that are so priceless and precious to the disability community. Life truly begins to blossom when you realize a part of you may touch a part of someone else; you just never know when you will. Don’t listen to that faint voice in your head that says you’re nothing. You are not a one size fits all. Get out there. Let’s put the unity in community and the ability in disability.

Advocacy can be a great avenue to travel on; writing for me has been the magical key that opened the door to such a whirlwind of opportunity. The SILC family is a united group of people with disabilities that I am proud to be a part of. Such togetherness that is felt between all of us is just beautiful, and has encouraged me on my life journey so much; it is so refreshing to meet people who have varying degrees of issues, yet find common ground with each other. I love it so much.

My goal as a mentor and an advocate is to really inspire young adults to embrace who they are; the world needs more young people to advocate for themselves and to encourage each other; to comfort one another on the not so good days, the days when we are exhausted or feeling the sting of frustration; it is perfectly normal to feel those ways. Life is messy, and quite unfair. We have to lean on each other and let others know their weakness is actually a strength; a blessing. So, let’s continue to show the world what we’re made of. Let’s bring people together. Who’s with 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.

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.