Learning Spoon Theory

Learning about Spoon Theory changed my life and made it livable.  I’ve always been the kind of person who pushed through any illness or pain to get the job done.  When I became chronically ill, this attitude only exacerbated my illness.  I’ve had to change my outlook on life, learn to say “No,” and maintain a schedule to accomplish what is most important.  No matter how much I want to, there are things I will not do because the consequences outweigh the benefit.

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Author: Undeniably Sara

Hi, I'm Undeniably Sara. I'm learning how to live well with chronic illnesses by focusing on self-healing with the goal of lifelong health.

35 thoughts on “Learning Spoon Theory”

  1. When I first learned spoon theory and shared it with my husband, that was the first time he was able to truly understand what I was going through with fibromyalgia and complex PTSD. It’s the best analogy I’ve ever seen.

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  2. I had a friend introduce me to the spoon theory, and at that point in my life, I think that it helped me out a bit. It seemed that I wasn’t able to use very many spoons to handle what life had thrown at me.

    As I’ve gotten a handle on my life, I think that you can gain spoons, but I’m also sure that doesn’t work for everyone. I hope you can find a way to obtain more spoons.

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  3. I didn’t know there was a theory behind it, I just know since going through breast cancer treatment, I have had to accept “the new normal” which has been a trial and error process over several years and certainly not static. Learning to listen to one’s own body and honouring that seems to be the key. ❤

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  4. So, once more, I am the student in the class who doesn’t quite get the lesson and is afraid to ask too many questions/take up Teacher’s free time…

    I don’t quite get it other than the spoons are like hours in a day. But, I guess my brain is trying to figure out how to purchase or make these “spoons” and ration my resources daily. And, are we accepting that something takes time away from something else, leaving some things undone? Or, are we to stick to a set number of “spoons” every day for every task, plan that usage in advance, and not budge or indulge anything?

    I guess it all comes down to making a daily plan/schedule and sticking to it to get things done or being okay with getting less done, provided there are no dire consequences… [And, I’ve been so lousy at scheduling.]

    It’s an interesting metaphor, though.

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    1. The spoons relate to how much energy is expended for each task and this varies from person to person. Being in public and dealing with difficult people takes more “spoons” for me than taking a shower. Others may find being in public invigorating and a shower more exhausting. For me, it has to do with a balance between doing things that deplete my energy and those things that help build me up. It helps to be able to listen to your body and understand what your strengths, weaknesses, and limits are.

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      1. I thought spoons were hours in a day.

        And, if all these psyche people are onto something, giving more “energy spoons” to something just because it’s public and difficult is kinda giving power to the very things we probably could give less energy to if we just stopped thinking of it as difficult. Just because I suffer from social anxiety doesn’t mean I owe more energy or time to the task. In fact, if I don’t think about how much I am giving those difficult situations, I won’t feel as guilty, later. I think it’s better to feel sure of your feet and power through a task. But, I can understand how keeping to a schedule keeps you steady and your head in the game…until something upsets that schedule.

        I dunno how a shower is exhausting to anyone, but it might seem a chore or bother when you’d rather go more days without one.

        Energy balance is definitely something to consider. I do think I suffer from lack of sleep. I realize the importance of sleep and how my habits have impaired some of my ability. I see how my eyes suffer as I age, too. I am sure a lack of sleep contributed to my anxieties in school…yet I am having similar anxieties outside of school and not keeping the same homework schedule. So, there is yet more to this problem.

        I was just reading something on listening to the body, but it had to do with instant gratification. The flip side of listening to the body is that some of the inner voices may be counter productive in the pursuit of comfort/pleasure. And, thus, there is that question that bounces around my head….am I just being lazy/lax in favor of IG or am I comforting myself like a kind friend so I don’t feel totally deprived or starved of self-love?

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  5. This is great. I think many auto -immune diseaases may be related to narcissistic abuse etc. I was starkly reminded by a friend after I had wound up in hospital with kidney issues, that if I didn’t take care of myself, there would be nobody to look after my children.

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  6. Reblogged this on A Twist On Life and commented:

    I’ve never heard of Spoon Theory before, and it’s resonating with me to an extreme degree. I’ve been called lazy so many times in my life, and I try so hard to do as much as everyone else I know, but it never seems as though I’m able. This helps me forgive myself and understand the reasons why I’m so easily exhausted and laid up.

    Liked by 1 person

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