Have you heard of The Spoon Theory?
The Spoon Theory is a personal story by Christine Miserandino who uses spoons to describe her limited energy and how she survives each day living with chronic illness. Since she has shared her story, thousands of people across the world have started using The Spoon Theory to help explain what life is really like living with chronic illness. It has been accepted by people all around the world and it has provided a way for people to understand their illness and meet others who are suffering from some of the same illnesses. The spoon theory explains the amount of mental and physical energy available for daily activities of living and how it affects people suffering from a disability or chronic illness. Spoons are a physical representation of energy and measures how much energy someone has throughout the day. Each activity takes away spoons and spoons can only be replaced by resting. When you run out of spoons then you are done and must rest to replenish the spoons.
In Christine’s Spoon Theory essay, she walks her friend through a day in her shoes after being asked what having lupus feels like. Christine grabs 12 spoons from tables around them to use as a visual aid. Christine asked her friend to describe her normal day. With each activity her friend did, Christine took away a spoon. This demonstrated how each spoon must be rationed to avoid running out before the day is over. It is possible to “borrow” spoons for tomorrow but then you might run out of spoons the next day. Her friend was very upset after their conversation and she asked Christine how she does it every day. Christine explained that some days were worse than others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”
If you want to read the full story visit this link(it’s worth the read!): https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/
Christine says, “It’s hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to.”
I personally can relate to Christine when she describes struggling with learning to slow down and be left out or stay home because she is out of spoons. I like to keep myself busy and it is frustrating to me that I can’t get as much done because of the pain and exhaustion that I feel. I am often upset because I wish that I wasn’t hindered by my pain so much. Accepting my chronic illness is something that I still struggle with but continue to work on.
How do you cope with your chronic illness?
Has the spoon theory helped you?
It is important to find ways to take care of yourself. Make sure to listen to your friends and family if they are repeatedly describing signs of chronic illness. Don’t just brush their comments away. Talk to them about what they might need from you. Remember to be there for each other.