So what are these spoons?
Spoon Theory, or spoonies, is a term used to describe people with chronic illnesses. It was created by Christine Miserandino and since been adopted by spoonies all over the world.
In brief, a healthy person has an unlimited amount of energy, or spoons to use each day. Every task costs spoons, from getting out of bed, to typing an email. In people with chronic illness, the number of spoons you start each day with is limited. If you’re having a bad day, they’re even more limited. You try to decide whether to spend your spoon on a shower or making a meal, or whether it’s worth going into spoon-deficit to have both. With forward planning, spoons can be managed, spread out across days and weeks, but it takes time, and it takes thought.
What costs me spoons?
Personally, anything that requires me to stand up uses a lot of spoons. Showering and cooking are particularly difficult but pretty unavoidable! On the other hand, anything that can be done lying down, blogging, reading, watching films, are pretty much spoon-free, which is always nice!
What happens if I run out of spoons?
If I run out of spoons on a day when I have to keep doing stuff it’s horrible, I feel like I’m in a complete daze and quite often have no memory of what’s happened afterwards. Everything hurts and I get really irritable and grumpy (so sorry to anyone who’s been with me on a no-spoons day!). It feels like you’re fighting through mud, but a million times worse.
Arguably, the day after a day like that is even worse. I always feel like as long as I keep moving I can keep going. As soon as I lie down, that’s it, I’m done. No more. Don’t even think of asking me to talk. Or move. I know I need to eat to keep my energy up, but I can’t even sit up to get food in me, let alone cook. I don’t have the focus to read or watch a film, so I lie still getting more bored and lost. These days are really tough mentally as well, they feel never ending.
It usually takes a few days after a no-spoons day to get back up to full strength, which means careful planning for everything. A day trip to London needs to be followed by at least 4 days of doing nothing to recover. A day of lectures will usually take 2 days to recover. But those days can be used for my spoon-free jobs, so not all is lost!