The Spoon Theory

What Is A Spoonie?

The Chronically Ill often use the hashtag #spoonie in posts on various social media to identify themselves as spoonies. But what is a spoonie? The term originated from The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino of But You Don’t Look Sick. She wrote the Spoon Theory to describe what it was like living with the crippling fatigue that Lupus brought. Since then many of us with fatigue-inducing symptoms and invisible illnesses have adapted the label to refer to ourselves. We use The Spoon Theory to explain to others without chronic illness what it is like to live with invisible illness. Some days we are able to do more than others. We must pace ourselves. We call our energy “spoons” and therefore one may ask “how many spoons do you have?” rather than “how are you?”

The term is endearing, not spiteful. We use the term to unite ourselves with others who live with chronic illnesses. It’s used in advocacy and solidarity. Though it may not wish to be chronically ill, we are part of the club called “spoonies”. I, for one, have met many people who I can identify with, and who can identify with me and therefore do not feel alone in this odd journey we call invisible chronic illness. Sometimes illness is lonely, because those who do not have your illness(es) have a hard time understanding or relating to what it’s like. Therefore, when we identify as spoonies on social media, we can find another who knows how you feel. You then feel a little less lonely.

You can find Christine Miserandino’s “The Spoon Theory” on her website, But You Don’t Look Sick. Click here for the article.