The Spoon Theory was written some years ago by Christine Miserandino in regards to a conversation she’d had with her friend to try to explain what it’s like to live with a chronic illness and it’s an excellent read I like to share with people.
Her friend asked her what it was like living with Lupus every day. Christine picked up a handful of spoons, and gave them to her friend, declaring she now had Lupus, and this was her allowance of spoons for the day. A normal, healthy person has limitless spoons and can pretty much do what they want, but someone unwell wakes with a limit of spoons and has to carefully ‘spend’ them and compromise on which task they need to do. Each spoon represents a task needed to get through the day i.e. a shower, getting dressed, making lunch. Each task costs her a spoon. When the spoons run out, that’s it. She can’t do anything else.
So she has to think about what she does, and use her spoons carefully to get her through the day. Someday she wakes
up with less spoons than other days, and sometimes she can rest the day before and save a few more up. Sometimes she goes into minus spoons and it causes a massive problem. Sometimes you have an event you have to go to and it will cost you an enormous amount of spoons, but you don’t really have a choice (such as a family wedding).
Those with chronic illnesses often call themselves ‘Spoonies’ because of this.
It’s very hard to understand what it’s like living like this each day and really no one can until you’ve walked in their shoes, but it’s an excellent analogy that hopefully everyone can picture.