So, a while ago, a who-I-expect-is-lovely lady called Christine came up with the Spoon Theory as a way of explaining her long term illness to her friend. She had chronic fatigue and used a finite number of spoons to explain the process of only being able to do so much. If you want to read about it, you can on her site: butyoudontlooksick.com
Now this system has been adopted by lots of people – in fact, anyone suffering from long-term fatigue will have heard of this and may even use it.
There is even the #spoonie tag on twitter.
But, you know what? I hate this idea. I really really do. The whole ‘theory’ (a word which I believe is much overused anyway) relies on the basic premise that each spoon is a portion of your energy for the day.
But what is so difficult about the idea that I have less energy than you? What is so difficult about explaining that I can only do this or that before I need to rest? The answer is nothing. The whole spoon concept just plays into the hands of those who think because I am ill I am also thick.
The whole idea of ‘spoons’, gah! It’s like something you would say to a child to help explain it to them. And the idea that the cronically sick have taken this on as a badge just sets up a whole set of ideas which will equate sick people with the inteligence of children.
It sets up the idea that I have the mind of a child.
Oh, poor Mark. He is so ill, but the only way he can understand this is by a silly little metaphor using spoons. Bless him.
I am not stupid. I am just ill.
Honestly, I beg all of you that use the idea of spoons to really think about what you are saying about yourself and others who are ill.
You have less energy. Explain it like that. Don’t belittle the person you are speaking to or yourself by resorting to the pathetic idea of spoons.
Go on, look at the hash tag again: #spoonie Really look at it and tell me that it is empowering? Go on, just try.