What Is Spoon Theory?

What is Spoon Theory

You may have seen references to ‘Spoon Theory’ or #spoonie online. Especially if you suffer from an illness that causes low stamina. If like me you wondered what everyone was talking about this should answer your questions.

What Is Spoon Theory?

Spoon theory is a term coined by ‘Christine Miserandino’, she has lupus and wanted to explain to a friend how it feels to have low stamina.

Looking for a simple way to explain how it felt to have Lupus, she gave her friend 12 spoons, hastily collected from tables in a canteen. Each spoon represented a unit of energy.

Asking her friend to list her daily tasks, Christine explained each one would cost her a spoon. Breaking down each task she was able to show how quickly ‘spoons’ or units of energy could be depleted:

Getting out of bed = 1 Spoon gone

Showering = Another spoon gone

Getting dressed = 3 spoons down already!

Before her friend had even got to work, she’d lost half her spoons. 

Christine’s demonstration was a simple way to show her friend how people with low stamina problems have a limited amount of spoons. As a healthy person, her friend had enough spoons to not have to worry about counting them.

As the demonstration continued, Christine’s friend was able to see how difficult choices can become. When you only have limited ‘spoons’ of energy left, choices have to be made. If you use up all your spoons, you end up paying for it the future by starting the day with fewer spoons.

Spoon Theory Was Born

Christine Miserandino blogged about this conversation and it went viral. Since her post in 2010, a Facebook page has been set up with over 54,000 likes and her blog has over 10,000 followers.

The hashtag #spoonie was born. Used by other people who could relate to her story, it can be found on Twitter, Tumblr & Facebook. Some of the most passionate #spoonies even have spoon tattoos!

People who suffer from low stamina conditions such as ME/CFS, Lupus and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome have all adopted the spoon theory. It gives them an easy way to understand their own energy reserves and a simple way to explain their difficulties to friends and family.

Although ‘Spoon Theory’ can sometimes be viewed as an over simplification low stamina conditions, it does offer a concise way of explaining to others how you feel when you say you are tired. Especially when the retort to admitting you feel fatigued is, ‘Well I’m tired too!’.

Please feel free to share this post with friends, or hit reblog if you are looking for a way to quickly explain ‘Spoon Theory’.

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