Yesterday, I showed you just how dark it can be to live with chronic pain and mental illness. Life like that is exhausting. I often relate myself to a cell phone battery–especially when talking to my more extroverted friends–at some point, I just run out of juice and have to go home to recharge.
There’s also another common philosophy known as The Spoon Theory, invented by Christine Miserandino. It’s used often among those with disabilities and chronic illnesses, including mental disorders. There is a beautiful Spoonie community online that supports one another with love and information through breakdowns, hospitalizations, diagnosis, recovery.
You can and should read the whole Spoon Theory HERE. But the basic premise is that each person starts the day with an equal amount of spoons. However, each action, choice, energy takes a spoon away. Those with a disability or illness have to be very careful and choosy about what we spend our spoons on because our spoons are more costly.
You know the great thing about spoons, though? Spoons are replenishable. It may take a little time. Sometimes we get a pile of them in the sink, dirty, while we build enough energy to clean them. Or we have to wait for the dishwasher to run. Maybe our spoons get so bent up and tarnished that we have to save some money to buy new ones.
But there are more spoons.
This thought came to me while I was laying miserable on the couch with that migraine. The Hubs had come unexpectedly home from work to feed and exercise the puppy so I did not have to do it myself. He knew that would take too many spoons. (And if he’s reading this post, it’s the first time he’s ever heard of Spoon Theory).
I have a friend who will randomly send me pizza on a bad day, just because. A few others who will send me silly puppy gifs and check in notes on Telegram, Tumblr, and Text. And if all else fails, I just disappear into my books until I have more spoons to spend.
If you’re a Spoonie, you spend your spoons carefully, and you always have an emergency spoon. But, try your hardest to surround yourself with people who will give up one of their spoons to you, or at least maybe help you clean yours. It shouldn’t necessarily be what the relationships are built around, but that kind of love is everything to someone with chronic illness.
Take care of yourself, Spoonies. Spend your spoons wisely.
Update–Christine, the author of The Spoon Theory, needs our spoons. Please click HERE to donate to the GoFundMe site that has been set up for her. She has helped so many of us, if you can give back, please do. If you cannot donate, please share.