Spoonie Press Article – Wheelchair Shame

It’s 8.11am on Wednesday morning, and although I thought I was mentally prepared for this moment, I found it difficult to compute when it actually happened.

Today I woke up with my article on ‘Wheelchair Shame‘ in front and centre stage on the Spoonie Press website. It felt incredible and scary, probably in equal measure.

About Spoonie Press

Spoonie Press offer both an online publication and print journal of articles, poetry and artwork created for and by creative disabled, chronically ill and neurodiverse people. This is a collection of articles on a variety of subjects with something to interest everyone, and it’s constantly being updated.

They are always open to submissions and welcome new and amateur creatives and their voices. Their website has a vast back catalogue of articles and beautiful, thought provoking artwork.

Working with Spoonie Press

I’ve submitted articles to various publications few times in the past, but my nervousness about the process never seems to improve. When I came across Spoonie Press I knew instantly this would be a publication I can write for with some understanding – I even regard myself as a Spoonie!

But I needed reassurance and contacted them before submitting my article. They were so welcoming and gave me their time, ensuring I knew what they were looking for from their contributors.

What a relief. Not only was it a pleasure to talk to someone about being creative with chronic pain and mental illness, it was also a breath of fresh air to be understood and (wonderfully) have the fullness of my spoon drawer considered throughout.

I submitted my article after working on it for a few days.

They emailed me back on a Sunday morning and I shed several happy tears when I realised I’d been accepted and (after some polishing) my article would soon be posted on their website to the big wide world.

The article focuses on my relationship with my wheelchair, why I feel the way I do about it, and the ways I’ve found to improve those feelings.

I offered to create some artwork to accompany the article and sent the editors a visual representation of my ‘Wheelchair or Dreams’. It’s the cover image for the article. Having my words and illustration knitted together by a website besides my own is a real ‘pinch me’ moment.

I’m incredibly proud of this article (yes, I said it – Proud!) because it’s a genuine snapshot of a difficult part of my life as a spoonie and forms part of the reason my mental health is poor.

Please read the article and have a cruise around the Spoonie Press website – it’s a trailblazing publication with an incredible attitude towards promoting the voices (and artistry) of several invisible, diverse groups.

The picture

I didn’t want to reuse the wheelchair artwork created for the article because you should go and look at it on the Spoonie Press website…go on…go…

If you’re still here, then this image is also available as a very simple animation in my gallery. I enjoyed illustrating her (based on an Erika Wiseman original) on a day when my pain was out of control. It seemed like a good picture to use about an article on Chronic Pain sufferers.

She’s listening to a podcast, just like me, and she’s weightless in space, pain free and relaxing in a way I can only dream of.

Thanks for reading 💜

Published by stephc2021

Hi! I'm Steph, an amateur writer and illustrator specialising in Mental Health and being a self-confessed Spoonie. My website is home to any successful fiction I create, with stories that have won so far covering difficult subjects such as baby loss and mental health in grief as well as some funny and heart-warming tales when I get the inspiration. Every drawing and picture on my website was created by me. I spend a lot of time coming up with illustrations to accompany all of my posts and pages. I try to create original content across all of my channels, whether I'm writing about my own fiction or just generally musing on mental health or my own issues. I want to be part of the change because I believe the understanding of MH in the UK is getting better, but has a very long way to go. By being honest about my own struggles and symptoms I think others will relate and hopefully it will encourage them to talk to someone and get the help and support they need. Long term my goal is to help children too, help them understand their own mental health and how to help with the mental health of those around them. I live in the UK with my partner, daughter and dog, I swear frequently and I adore a well made, traditional, gooey, chocolatey, delicious brownie.

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