What is a Spoonie? I've mentioned being a spoonie before and now I'm going to give you a bit of info on what being a spoonie actually means.
A spoonie is a person that suffers from or is living with a chronic illness. Spoonies identify with Christine Miserandino's Spoon Theory. This theory measures our abilities or energy levels with spoons. For example, getting up in the morning would use a spoon and brushing your teeth would use another spoon.
But you only have so many of these and once they're gone, that's it. You have to get through the day on your limited number of spoons. You can borrow against the next day’s spoons, but then you'll have even more trouble getting through the next day and be able to do even less. You can read the full theory by clicking here.
This theory makes it easier to explain to a non-spoonie, what it's like to live with a chronic illness. A common phrase we hear is "but you don't look sick" which was the inspiration for my previous article, Invisible Conditions and co-incidentally, a similar name to the blog mentioned above.
Day in, day out, we have limited "resources" to complete our day with. Things need to be thought out because every single action has a consequence of some sort. Ah, to be young again! It took me a long time to realise my limitations and frustratingly, they change on a daily basis. Some days, I have more spoons than others. Other days, tasks use up far more spoons than anticipated and I end up done for the day and my body just gives up functioning.
Everyone varies, some have less spoons than others and some have a lot more. Keep this in mind before uttering "but you don't look sick" as it's incredibly frustrating. A lot of us don't mind if you ask about our health, what we can and can't do and what the condition we suffer from means for us, but that phrase is so irritating. So please, don't go there! Ask, don't make assumptions. It can be very insulting when you assume.
Everyone is different. Some people can hardly function whereas some people can live relatively normal lives, even when suffering with the same condition. So please, think, ask and be aware!
Hopefully that's given you a little insight to us "spoonies"!Written by Elizabeth Fleming of BeneBelle.