Spoons, Spoons, Spoons
Spoons are so much more than the shiny objects we eat with. Amy and I check in with each other to see what our spoon counts are before we make plans. When we invite friends to come over, we know what they mean when they say, "I wish I could, but I'm low on spoons."
A few years ago, Christine Miserandino wrote an essay called "Spoon Theory." https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ In it, she explained to a friend what is was like to have lupus, or any chroinc illness or disability. She did this, while they were at the restaurant, with spoons from their table:
"Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control."
Amy and I both have manic-depression. We begin and move through our days with a limited number of spoons. Depending on the day, our moods, or what our stress level is, we start our day with less spoons, less units of energy.
Spoons are how some disabled folks and folks with chronic illnesses talk about their energy, what they have and what they don't have on any given day (some even refer to themselves as "spoonies"). Sometimes, our spoons increase when we self-care, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes our spoon count stays consistent for weeks. We forget about manic-depression until we remember again.
Our tulip femme print honors spoonie culture. The femme in this print wears a shirt that reads "no spoons left." To say "no spoons left" means we have no more energy to deal with ableism, with the ways society and our culture discriminates against disabled folks and chronically ill folks.
So, now you know. Spoons. Spoonies. How are your spoons today?