I found Spoon Theory at a time in my life when I refused to listen to my body. When I was sick, exhausted, and in intense pain, I’d take a pill and carry on. Sounds brave, doesn’t it? Ignorant is a better word to describe my behavior during that time. Pushing myself and ignoring my body only increased the number and severity of my symptoms. Eventually, the pills stopped working, and I was left bedridden. Budgeting my time and energy and learning to listen to my body allows me to be more productive than ever before. I’m proud to be a Spoonie!
Mangata. Another new word for my love of the moon.
There are undoubtedly many stages and layers of healing but I find most interesting about these six stages is the last one, Maintenance. It involves returning to the earlier stages to continue healings. As I look at these six stages, I see myself in each one, and part of me wonders why I’m not entirely healed. I realize now that I’ve returned to the earlier stages, several times, and my healing is ongoing. It is deeper now than ever before.
I know for a fact that if I had a traditional “physical disease” people in my life would be more understanding. For some reason crippling depression, complex PTSD, and migraines that not only offer blinding pain but impaired cognitive function are “all in my head” and I should be able to “get over it.” My family would not be embarrassed or disappointed in me because of my illnesses. My boss and co-workers may not have accused me of “faking it to get out of work,” and maybe I’d still have my job. But I don’t have a traditional “physical disease,” so I must work harder to heal and overcome the stigma others, with no concept of my ailments, place upon me.
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.
The opinion of others always came first in my life well above my own. I’ve spent most of my life trying to please others while neglecting myself. Finally, I am ready to take care of myself and do the things I feel are most important. People can say whatever they want, but I know the truth. I must be able to live with myself and my decisions. When I go to sleep at night, I want a clear conscious, so my dreams are my own. I appreciate the opinions of others, but I listen to my own voice now.