I am Trisha Lynn Sprayberry. I am a 34-year-old mother of a beautiful 12-year-old daughter. Both of us are diagnosed with FSHD Muscular Dystrophy. When I fell in 2011, it injured my hip and left me wheelchair bound. Before the fall, I had been walking, though it was with a very swayed back, but I was very much independent and needed the most minimal of help.
Since the fall, I’ve had to adapt to life from a wheelchair. I have had to learn how to do some things again but this time from a new vantage point. It was a rough transition; I didn’t take to any of my changes well. I was getting depressed, I was angry at life and my lot, and I needed to do something. I was feeling so hollow and worthless, like I no longer had anything to offer. I forgot myself. I forgot me. I forgot that I had interests and hobbies, and things that I always wanted to try.
There are a lot of hobbies I could have chosen. But I like working with my hands. I like creating things. I am most at peace when I am artful. I began working on creating jewelry with my time at home. Jewelry, the self expression through the beautiful stones and crystals and metals, the glitter and shine, the brilliance and delicate decorations, it all caught my eye. And there are so many styles, variety, and options of materials to create with, I really wanted to make something worth all the time and effort that’s spent into making a jewelry piece look stunning yet not turn your skin green.
Some see it as biding my own time while my physical body and its muscles lose strength. That may be, but I wanted to create pieces as beautiful as the materials themselves. I decided to work with real natural materials for a final product. The more raw and natural the better. There is a peace when feeling and working with a smooth piece of amethyst stone. It’s calming and compelling to work with the metals and to bring forth an idea to complement the colors of the gems. I always create pieces I would be proud of to wear myself, and that is very therapeutic for me.
Now after a couple of years, I have amassed quite the collection. I have so many pairs of earrings that I couldn’t wear them all myself. I decided to put my jewelry creations up for sale. The proceeds from the sales of these one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry pieces will go to help me to maintain and purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
I hope that someday soon I could see my creations worn by people and in store windows. I hope I can take what I have learned about how to overcome difficulties and dealing with disability on the road to share with others. Creating jewelry renewed my faith in myself when I felt the most worthless. The value I have gained by embracing my passion for jewelry making even when it was hard, even when I didn’t want to at times, rejuvenated me and I was able to embrace the life I have now.