Friday, January 16, 2015

Wait...What's a Spoonie?

"Spoonie" is a term for a person living with a chronic illness, especially an "invisible" illness.  The term itself came from a great essay by Christine Miserandino called "The Spoon Theory" (read the whole thing here:  Essentially, it's a story about how she explained her own invisible illness to a friend by gathering all the spoons from the tables around them in a diner, handing them to her, and then asking her to describe her typical morning routine.  Then, for each task in that routine, she had to hand over some spoons, depending on difficulty for a person with lupus.  Showers cost a lot of spoons...the heat and reaching a bending can be touch.  An hour for hair and makeup?  That's a whole PILE of spoons!  Making breakfast and cleaning up afterward...also spoon-intense.  Before the friend had even made it out the door on her hypothetical day, she was down to just one spoon.  Spoons have become our measurements of strength, of energy, even of stubborness, drive, and devotion, because sometimes that's all that's propping us up. 

A Spoonie has to ration those things...every tiny decision of our day hinges on how many spoons we've got.  It is a precarious balancing act.  We learn to prioritize, to simplify, even to cut corners.  AND...I'm here to help.  You don't have to give up being fabulous because you're short on spoons. 

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