The good and bad of the “Spoon Theory”

The “Spoon Theory” was written by Christine Miserandino in 2003 and can be located here if you haven’t read it yet.  The Spoon Theory

I can remember the first time I read The Spoon Theory.  I cried.  Finally someone understood what it’s like to live day to day with the fatigue and pain of lupus.  To this day, I still give “The Spoon Theory” link to people that are newly diagnosed with not only lupus but any chronic illness.  I give it to people that really want to know about lupus.  I think it’s a great way to help people understand what someone is going through when living with lupus.spoons


But as good as the “Theory” is, I think it’s just as bad.  It’s great for helping other people understand, but it’s terrible when people with chronic illness try to live by it.  I see so many people that are confining themselves to just 12 spoons, or whatever allotment they give themselves.  Everything they do, they limit themselves.  The problem with this is that, no one really knows how much energy they have in them at any given moment.  You can’t really measure that.  Yes, you feel tired all the time.  Yes, if you over extend right now you’ll have to pay later.  Yes, the more you extend the worse you feel.  (I call that the “Use it and Bruise it” plan)  But at the same time, if you don’t extend a little bit, you’re not really living!!

Too many people are now just saying, It cost me this many spoon to do such and such so therefore I can’t do this and that.  This is so wrong in so many ways!  First of all, it’s making you dwell on the negative.  Why are you dwelling on spoons and your disability?!  By living your life by the “spoon theory” you’re doing yourself a disservice.  You’re putting too many limits on yourself if you do!  The “spoon theory” was meant to get a point across.  Not for people to live by it.

I think instead of counting your spoons, you should count your blessings.  Focus on the things you can do and can accomplish during the day.  Even if it’s just getting out of bed, or breathing in and out all day long.  That’s huge!  Do what you can do during the day and rest as much and as thoroughly as possible when you can.  Don’t think about how many spoons it’s going to cost you.  Think instead about what you can do.  Forget the spoons!  Push yourself and maybe you’ll be surprised.  At the very least, you’re not going to be focusing on the negative things.