Are you a #Spoonie?
My name is Nicole and I am a spoonie (although I often try to convince myself otherwise…). What is a spoonie you ask? Read on to find out…
Spoon theory is a tidy metaphor that helps to describe the reduced energy and relentless fatigue experienced by individuals living with chronic illness. Chronic illness (and pain) is exhausting and most often invisible. Turning down social engagements or demonstrating presenteeism in the workplace is often percieved as laziness. We are often told we don’t ‘look sick’ which can be frustrating and defeating at the best of times.
Spoon theory can help you explain to your friends and family what its like living with a chronic, invisible illness. The idea behind this theory is that we spononies have a limited amount of spoons to play around with in the day. It is critical for a spoonie to make it through the day without running out of spoons. Minute activities of daily living that healthy people don’t even think about can take up a lot of energy (or spoons if you are following).
When I am having a ‘low spoon day’ it means I am conserving my little spoons for the things I absoloutley must to for example;
Getting out of bed, showering and getting ready for work…Three spoons
Actually dragging my ass to work (and not seeming like a ween because I am too exhausted to socialize…) Five Spoons
Driving home and unpacking my day … 2 spoons
You can use this theory to explain your daily struggles with fatigue to your friends, families and co-workers. I believe this can be a powerful tool to advocate for yourself on those low energy days. Don’t worry if you run out of spoons too early in the day, tomorrow is another day and I know you did your best.
Depending on where I have been with my illness, tasks answering a phone call, walking up the stairs and washing my hair can fully exhaust my spoon budget. The last two weeks I have have been painfully low on spoons (hence the hard slack on #Blogmas). The fatigue is real and I can only describe it as an invisible and very heavy blanket over my head and body at all times. If you have any questions or comments about spoon theory please let me know in the comments below. Please use this as a tool to spread awareness.
Be kind to yourself and use those spoons wisely.