You may or may not have heard the term “spoonies” in your fibromyalgia journey. Or you may be wondering what people are referring to when they say they are “out of spoons.” I know I was totally confused when I first heard those terms, so I did a little research.
Christine Miserandino wrote The Spoon Theory as a way to explain to her friend what it was like having lupus. They were at a restaurant and Christine grabbed some spoons from nearby tables and gave them to her friend. She explained that each spoon represented an amount of energy. You start out each day with a certain amount of spoons and once you use them up, well, there goes your ability to do anymore.
Those of us with FM need to be intentional with how we use our spoons. We can use half of them before we even leave the house some days. Plus, it takes us longer to perform simple tasks, or what we used to consider simple tasks. For example, on the days that I shower, I have to lay down for an hour or so before I can do something else. I used to be able to shower, dress, eat, do my makeup and be out the door to work in 20 minutes. Now, it would take me about two hours to do all that.
We need to explain the Spoon Theory to those closest to us so they can begin to understand. If you can hand them a bunch of spoons as you explain it, all the better. Because we don’t “look” sick they may assume we can still do all the things we used to do. However, FM and other chronic illnesses are demanding task matters in what they enable us to do on any given day.
The spoonie community is an incredible group of people who are non-judgmental, compassionate, understanding, and supportive. We are everywhere. Social media is a great place to connect with other spoonies. Just do a search for fibromyalgia and you’ll discover hundreds of people like you. I follow so many on various social media platforms, like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I also belong to several FM groups online.
I encourage you to find a group or groups that you feel comfortable in and are willing to contribute to. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram @robindixwrites
Some friends of mine coined the phrase “normie” for the non-sick among us. So, you have the normies and the spoonies. The former is who we used to be, and latter is who we’ve become. One is not better than the other, just different, because normies also have their own difficulties. I’ve heard it said that if you were given the option to trade places with someone else, once you saw what they had to deal with, you’d quickly switch back.
You can read Christine Miserandino’s The Spoon Theory at ButYouDontLookSick.com.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.