Spoon Theory

Updated: Oct 6

If you have a chronic or mental illness, and even if you don’t, this will help explain some of the things we that do have them, do or don’t do.

We all wake up in the morning with only so much energy, so to help some people understand, a wonderful person somewhere out there decided to use spoons to explain our units of energy, and I absolutely love it.

You might wake up with 10 spoons for the day, but your friend wakes up with 27 spoons. Getting out of bed, getting dressed, making coffee, etc. may only take one spoon each for your friend with 27 spoons, but it may take someone who has a chronic or mental illness three spoons each to accomplish those tasks.

Every single thing we do in a day requires at least on spoon, and if someone wakes up with only ten, they’re going to have to be careful and use their spoons wisely, otherwise they end up starting to use tomorrow’s spoons, and the day just doesn’t go very well.

As I work through this season of my life and continue to open doors of healing and close open wounds, I’m slowly gaining more spoons. It’s easier to make it to the end of the day. Other days? I feel back to square one and only wake up with a couple handfuls of spoons. Those days, are our down days. My break day, to try and recoup some of my spoons.

The cool thing about the spoon theory is that there are people who end the day with extra spoons, so they choose to use them to help people who have run out of spoons. These wonderful souls will do things as simple as make a phone call for someone else, and as big as go to the grocery store for someone. These people could be complete strangers to each other, but there’s an entire network of spooners out there. If you’re not blown away by the kindness it takes of these souls, I’m blown away enough for the both of us.

Today is a down day. I pushed myself too hard for too many days in a row, and I woke with maybe 8 spoons today, which isn’t the best number when you have 3 small kids and a household to run.

Everyday is a chance to do better than the last, but if you don’t use them that way you’re going to continue spinning your wheels and burning through spoons until you can’t find a way to get out of bed. Please, don’t do that. Mental health is just as important as a persons physical health. Take care of yourself. Even if you’re a caregiver, have a full time job, you’re a stay home parent, you deserve a break. And as humans, we require them.

Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can, and if you’re not, it’s never too late to start.

Other sources to read up on spoon theory:



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