As a fairly new blogger with a focus on chronic illness, I want to find those who can relate to what I write. I want to find others who I can connect with. I want to connect with those who can help me help others. So I started searching on social media. I searched all the hashtags that I could think of! I looked for chronic illness, mental health, physical health, and other variations of them: mental illness, physical illness and the like. During one of my search sessions, I came across #spoonie.
What exactly is a spoonie?
A spoonie refers to anyone who suffers from chronic illness and it stemmed from Christine Miserandino’s “The Spoon Theory”. She used spoons as an example when she was asked what it’s really like to live with Lupus.
Using the spoon theory
You can use the same theory to explain a variety of illnesses. If you have an invisible illness, you only have so much energy for your days. The spoons is a metaphoric unit of energy. As chronic illness sufferers, we only have a certain number of spoons per day – at times, we wake up with less spoons than usual. We have to be smart about how we “spend” those spoons. Most activities require one spoon for completion but some activities do require more. We have to be extremely smart about how we spend our spoons. If we’re not smart about how we spend it, we can be down for the count before lunch!
I would consider myself a long term spoonie. I’ve had asthma since I was young. I would always be sick and I’d spend days in the hospital. In 2015, I was diagnosed with severe eczema that caused me to take a medical leave from school (which I am still currently on) and I was hospitalized for almost a week. In 2016, I was diagnosed with 4 spinal conditions and 2 mental illnesses. I can tell you right now… it.has.been.rough! I wrote a post sharing what a single day for me looks like. You can read it here.
Before the story
Before I read Christine’s The Spoon Theory, I had such a hard time explaining to others what it’s like to live with an invisible illness. I always used the ever popular “I’m tired” explanation but since I gave such a bad explanation, people just couldn’t understand. Reading the article gave me a better way to explain the situation.
I have to admit just how much I loved this post! It touched me. I teared. I cried. She put my pain into words! She put my struggle into words.
Christine Miserandino is the founder of the blog “But You Don’t Look Sick.” You can read “The Spoon Theory” here.