For The Madera Tribune
Local author Moses Macias poses with his book “Always With Me.”
Growing up with disabilities, Madera’s Moses Macias often found himself as a subject of ridicule. Seeing his cleft lip and his unusual walk which was caused by spina bifida, Macias’ peers would take advantage of the opportunity to make jokes.
“I got made fun of a lot,” Macias said. “I would get into fights.”
Macias’ disabilities made life even more difficult as he got older and became more conscious about his struggles.
“When I got older I realized how more how much different I was,” Macias said. “Depression kicked in, suicide kicked in.”
The Madera man describes his trials and tribulations in his book, “Always With Me” — a title which refers to his faith. The book can be bought online (https://amzn.to/2shFoLz).
“I always have my faith in God and believe things are gonna get better,” Macias said. “I need my faith to get to the next day and keep fighting for my life.”
His faith has also allowed him to be more open-minded about new advancements in medicine, which has saved his life and could save more people experiencing similar struggles.
“A lot of the things that I was going through — whether it was surgery or some medicine that they experimented with — by going through it first, it really helps the kids behind me that came after me,” Macias said. “Faith has allowed me to think about the bigger picture, about other disabled people.”
The 31-year-old has also relied on his family to overcome the challenges.
“They understood what I was going through and I was able to talk to them,” Macias said.
In writing his book, Macias hopes that people will have a better idea of what it’s like to live with disabilities.
“I haven’t read too many books on people who grew up disabled because a lot of people in my situation passed away,” Macias said. “From the ones who are alive, not everybody can write a book. I hope to make life better for disabled people by me coming out and showing other people what it’s like. It’s really to help other disabled people come out and tell their story and other people can see behind the scenes what a disabled person might go through.”
As he encounters disabled people with similar experiences, Macias aims to encourage them and their families.
“They can relate to me. They can’t relate to anybody else,” he said. “They have told me the stuff that I do is very encouraging. They thought the book was very encouraging. It’s something they can relate to. It also helped the parents understand what their kids are going through.”
Although he used to fight kids who made fun of him, Macias grew older and realized that people just need to be educated in order to be more compassionate.
“It’s a matter of talking to people. My book is one way to do it. People can read it and understand the problem somebody may go through,” Macias said. “ I thought it was very important to voice my opinion, tell people from a person that is disabled, that happens to be able to communicate with you, ‘this is what it’s like.’”
With his faith and the help of his doctors, Macias now finds himself in a better situation.
“There’s some stuff that will never go away, but with the surgery, it has made it easier for me,” Macias said. “For example, with the cleft lip, they reconstructed my face and it gave me more confidence and really helped me speak better. I have to overcome things everyday, but it’s so much easier than when I was younger.”
Moving forward, Macias aspires to visit various places as a public speaker.
“I want to educate people, encourage people not to commit suicide, not to give up,” Macias said. “I want to give encouragement wherever I can.”