The spoon theory is a disability metaphor used to explain the reduced amount of energy available for activities of daily living and productive tasks that may result from disability or chronic illness. Spoons are an intangible unit of measurement used to track how much energy a person has throughout a given day. Each activity requires a given number of spoons, which will only be replaced as the person “recharges” through rest. A person who runs out of spoons has no choice but to rest until their spoons are replenished.
One of the tenets of the spoon theory is that many people with disabilities or chronic illness must carefully plan their daily activities to conserve their spoons, while most people without any disabilities or chronic illnesses don’t need to worry about running out. Because healthy people do not feel the impact of spending spoons for mundane tasks such as bathing and getting dressed, they may not realize the amount of energy expended by chronically ill or disabled people just to get through the day.“
The Spoon Theory was originally developed by Christine Miserandino in an effort to explain to a friend what it was like living with Lupus (But You don’t look Sick ). It’s since developed into a way for people suffering from chronic illnesses to help manage their day to day lives, this is why I call myself a Spoonie.
Healthy people basically have an unlimited amount of spoons. You get up in the morning, you get dressed, take a shower, go to work, and so on. It’s just a given that you’ll be physically able to do whatever you need or want to do that day, you don’t even think about it. I have to actively consider every little thing I do everyday because everything I do, costs me.
I’m still learning how to manage my physical limitations, it’s so incredibly frustrating. There are so many little things you take for granted when you’re healthy – not having to sit or lay down just to put your clothes on, not feeling faint just from taking a shower, etc. And somedays you just don’t know how many spoons you have, and if you go over your limit, you pay for it. You might end up passing out or spending the next few days bedridden, or both. Or sometimes those things will happen no matter what you do.
Love, spoons, & thanks,
Kiana Alyx 🌻🥄