I recently had some photos taken for the launch of The Choice. We did the shoot in a local hotel that serves the best afternoon tea! Because, of course a book about a world where sugar is illegal and baking is a crime, needs to have pictures featuring cake. Beautiful cakes. And scones. And sandwiches. Wait, where was I?
Right, photos. We took a lot of different ones, but out of all of them, this is my favourite.
It shows the most rounded version of myself I've seen in a photo. Author, ME sufferer, wheelchair user, woman, jewellery lover. Representation matters.
For so long I've felt shame about my illness and my wheelchair. Shrinking and uncomfortable in public, embarrassed at taking up space, being seen, needing people to make "accommodations" for me. I had so much internalized ableism that I genuinely felt less than "healthy" people.
This picture shows how done with that I am. This is me. This is who I am.
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.