Spoonie, a word that most are probably not familiar with, I have become all too familiar with since my diagnosis. A spoonie is someone with an autoimmune condition who is practicing a constant balancing act. Let me explain further…
The story gets tweaked a bit depending on who you asked, but the core pretty much has the same meaning. Spoons represent a finite amount of energy. Spoons hold a different meaning to me than they once did, and definitely to many in the cultural makeup, to better explain, I will put an excerpt of The Spoon Theory, a personal story by Christine Miserandino. Miserandino is out at a diner when her friend asks her how it feels to have Lupus.
At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.
I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.
© Christine Miserandino Photo & Story belong to Miserandino
Miserandino’s friend has to make choices throughout her day on where to “spend” her spoons, and when she’s “out” of spoons, she is OUT. Unlike “normal” healthy people, Spoonies have limited spoons and when we are out, we start getting worn down and can not continue. We can borrow tomorrow’s spoons, but if we do, we have a chance of getting our selves sick. It’s a constant balancing act of chronic pain, illness and trying to live our lives. Most Spoonies look perfectly “normal,” which is why Miserandino’s website is called, ButYouDontLookSick.com. Below is an illustration of the Spoon Theory and the choices that Spoonies have to make:
Today, I am out of spoons and it is only 10:49 a.m. I guess I used too many yesterday, or maybe the day before. What can I say? It happens to the best of us.
I keep collections of spoons as symbolizations to remind myself to better balance my life, but it is very difficult. What do you go through in your life that is a difficulty for you? Anything that works well for you to help with balancing life? Sometimes the Mount Everest of laundry in my life is daunting, but my Mother taught me to do it one bite at a time, which makes it more manageable… does anyone else have ideas like this? Share below! Keep the conversation going!
That’s it for now
~ Kristen ~