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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte

Spoon Theory

Today I was reminded about the magic of Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino duting a meeting with Rowena Lewis from the Triple A Project. A timely reminder as I recover from a severe throat infection I suspect was worsened by a period of high activity and stress and one I thought apt to share as I balance recovering with the demands of life.

Originating as a way of describing how a person may experience differing levels of energy available In our everyday life in a tangible way. It is concise, visual and effective. Christine Miserandino's explanation of the theory speaks of people who live with chronic illness and disability, but in my experience Spoon Theory really helps me as an autistic person and even allows me to explain how burnout can occur for me.

It is a good tool to use for helping to understand ourselves. For explaining succinctly what life is like when you wake up with a fluctuating or a set amount of energy and don’t have all the energy needed to take on and complete all expected and wanted activities and tasks. Energy other people may take for granted. How 'simple' things such as taking a shower may mean not having the energy to cook dinner or put away the dishes. How illness or a poor sleep takes spoons away. Or that you may keep a spoon in reserve, sacrificing one activity to enable you to see an unavoidable one through.

I used it to explain to a health professional who wanted me to take up yoga and practice mindfulness for well being, but couldn't understand why I said I'd love to, but this was not possible for me to do without actually negatively impacting such well being. You can imagine his confusion, how could yoga be a bad thing? Yet, I explained I'd need more spoons than I had to do those things, which just wasn't possible without removing spoons from other parts of my life. And at that time I was just getting by with the basics. I think (hope) he got my dilemma.

It doesn't go as far as explaining why such tasks may be take more energy for one person than another, or how after 8 hours sleep, you still feel exhausted, but it's a good starting point for conversation and the sharing of experience. More understanding and empathy is definitely good for all of us and our well being!

You can read more about Spoon Theory on Christine Miserandino's website ButYouDon' here.

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