The Monster Under the Bed by Stephen Biggs

The Monster Under the Bed by Stephen Biggs

Author:Stephen Biggs
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Thorntree Press
Published: 2020-07-15T00:00:00+00:00

Spoon Theory

As you are essentially learning a second language, it can be helpful to have some vocabulary to work with. For this reason, Spoon Theory is one of my all-time favorite tools. Created by Christine Miserandino and popularized through her site But You Don’t Look Sick, Spoon Theory illustrates the extremely limited budget of physical, mental, and emotional resources that a chronically ill person is working with on any given day and how that budget is quickly depleted by activities that most of the world takes for granted. These resources are represented by spoons. Miserandino invented Spoon Theory on the fly as a way to make a friend understand what her life felt like, as someone who lives with lupus. It has gone on to become an invaluable resource for folks with all sorts of chronic conditions.

I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

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.40

During the 2017 interviews, several participants gave their responses in Spoon Theory language.

“Sometimes I lack the spoons to really care to have sex … mostly it’s the thought of having to schedule time and take a shower and make sure I’ve had food and all that that makes it quite annoying. By the time you’re done with all that (and get some work done), there are no spoons left for sex.”—Kal, 30, M

“Dating takes too many spoons for me right now to seriously do.”—Josephine, 31, F

Spoon Theory can give partners a concrete understanding of limited physical, mental, and emotional resources and a simple language in which to ask about them. “Do you have the spoons for this?” is a common question in my house.


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