The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino


Please take the time to read Christine Miserandino’s personal story and analogy of what it is like to live with sickness or disability.

Click HERE to download “The Spoon Theory” in PDF format.

The Spoon Theory

by Christine Miserandino

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.

Cartoon image of Christine Miserandino holding a spoon
As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?

I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.

As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.

At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.

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.

She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.

I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.

I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.

We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.

When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.

I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this everyday?” I explained that some days were worse then others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”

Its hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.

After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”

Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my “spoons”.

© Christine Miserandino

*We have English, Spanish, French and Hebrew translations of “The Spoon Theory” available.

You may NOT publish or re-print this article without the written permission of Christine Miserandino and Thank you.

Now you can purchase small and large poster prints of “The Spoon Theory” from our Online Store! These posters will make a perfect “get well gift, or friendship/ I understand gift.” We also think it would make a perfect addition to any doctor’s office, or support group meeting room.

The Spoon Theory Large Poster – $22.99

The Spoon Theory Small Poster – $18.99

Most importantly, get one for yourself!

  • Dodie Gray

    thank u for I have been trying to tell people how I feel ,and like u say u look great and really I feel so much pain they do not know they take my head off if I do not have a smile or I say I am tired ,hurt feel like pins all over me I fall down then I have had a drink ,and I do not drink I let them think what they want for I am tried of fighting them with the truth ,and they do not believe me .

  • Crystle-Marie Loomos

    I’m so glad I found this. As someone with IBS, people don’t understand me. Why can’t you just take some tums or pepto and get over it. Uhhh…because the body doesn’t work that way and you can’t constantly take those things without serious side effects. It’s an ongoing struggle between not eating because I’m afraid I’ll get sick(er), not eating because I am sick, not eating because I don’t have enough energy from not eating the days before. So glad to have found a community

  • Guest

    This was really hard for me to read. I have spent years rationing my energy and trying to do the things that I couldn’t afford not to do. I battled lack of energy; bowel, bladder, and breathing problems; a host of neurological symptoms as well as chronic, severe pain. I started falling down a lot. My personal relationships were suffering. I went from doctor to doctor, and they would tell me, “You are the healthiest looking sick person I have ever seen!” Many of them told me that I needed mental help. Just a few months ago, I was hospitalized. I walked into the hospital, and within hours lost many of my bodily functions. In a few days, I was nearly paralyzed. An MRI showed that I had a large tumor on my spine, crushing my spinal cord and pressing into my brain stem. Without immediate surgical intervention, I had anywhere from a few weeks to six months to live. Finally, people understood. They “got” it. They understood that my pain was real, that there was a reason for it. That everything I experienced for years was not a figment of my imagination.

    I was very fortunate to have been transferred to an excellent hospital where my tumor was removed in it’s entirety. What was normally a slow growing tumor had become cancerous and was growing very rapidly. I am expected to make a full or almost full recovery. It has been a few months and I still spend every day in pain. My energy has improved to a degree but it is still hard to get motivated when I am in pain. There is a decent chance that I will never be entirely free of neurological symptoms, and I may always have pain and balance issues. I may require surgery in the future if there is regrowth, and my children have a 50% chance of inheriting a genetic defect that will increase their likelihood of growing tumors or having cancer.

    I am glad that people are finally able to understand, to a degree, what I go through. Reading this reminded me that there are still people out there like me who deal with chronic pain and other issues related to chronic illness.

  • Kim

    Wow, this perfectly describes how I feel since I started having pain about a year ago from acetabular dysplasia. I feel like I could have written this myself, even though our conditions are very different. While hip dysplasia is also chronic, it’s not systemic, the symptoms are localized to my hips, legs/feet, and back. Although, because the hips are used in almost all movement, I quickly fatigue and have to sleep or stay in bed sometimes for a day or two. When I was diagnosed, I ran myself ragged trying to be “normal,” continuing to do the actions that aggravated my hips. This was exactly based on the expectations of those around me: I’m in my 20s, I’m supposed to be full of energy. Pain and fatigue are part of how I have to do the things we all do in order to survive. I live in Canada, where there is supposed to be a social safety net, but I won’t get social assistance because I’m a student. I have to work very hard in order to keep everything together with no help from my university’s disability services, who refused me support because I can’t physically go to all of my classes. Instead they advised I withdraw, too late, I lost a little over 2K that I had worked for the year before. I went from having savings to being penniless to being in debt in rapid succession in the months following my diagnosis. I can only attend school part time without disability support. I don’t have time to do much stuff I want, its all sucked up by those life tasks that are a million little tasks, classes, and the paperwork for getting a refund from my school. I have two disabilities (hip dysplasia in both hips and ADHD), before I was diagnosed with hip problems I ran around at the last minute a lot to prevent being late. The hip dysplasia forced me to slow down and check myself. I’ve learned to plan, problem-solve, and most importantly I gained the ability to empathize with others. I wouldn’t wish the pain I go through on a daily basis on anyone, but I feel indebted to my hip dysplasia for giving me the challenges I needed to learn to live with ADHD.
    Anyway the whole point of writing out my “life’s story,” was to demonstrate that disabled people are not given the same opportunities that “abled” people are given. In fact, when I was younger I thought it would be easier to get support with a visible physical disability than with my ADHD, but I learned that it is not easy for any disabled person. After living with both, I feel the difference between the visible and invisible disabilities doesn’t have much of an impact when people know and care so little about the visible ones to begin with. For instance, I clearly cannot walk without a cane, but that doesn’t help me to get accessible bathrooms or classes, so I can’t get in the door for any of my classes or go to the bathroom without brief moments of excruciating pain each time. I was incredulous as I struggled to get into “accessible” bathrooms with heavy doors and no safety bars to help me sit down. They were marked “accessible” because braille was provided, but was inaccessible to someone with mobility challenges. This made me think, it must drive visually impaired people nuts to be lumped in, when the vast majority of the time we’re referring to mobility impaired people. Anyway, just my two cents.

  • Heather Barrett Bender

    Beautiful thank you for this.

  • Andreah

    This is amazing! While I don’t have Lupus, I figured out last year that I am HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) according to Elaine Aron’s research. While there’s a lot to being HSP, your theory made me think of how we take in much more detail and stimulation than others. By the end of the day, especially working with people, I am so overstimulated. Your spoon theory made me think of how much I have to give throughout the day. Many times I have had to decline outings with friends because I don’t have any spoons left at the end of the day.

  • jtm

    Well done. Thank you!

  • Danyel Hoskins

    Beautiful, thank you so much for sharing.

  • Julie Schindler

    A peek into my hourglass…. Thank you for helping me find the words

    “But you don’t look sick?” A comment I get in initial social settings when people we know family and friends alike see me, knowing or having heard our struggle over the past two years. This is the one area I’ve had the hardest time putting my injury and nerve damage into words. When asked “How are you?…really?” I’ve always had an 80&Sunny kind of outlook on living. So you’re going to get at the very least I’m ok….Truly not knowing where to start to try to explain without seeing genuine pitty eyes, (which warms my heart at your concern for me) while I’m reassuring you, I’m better then ok! I’m here on this earth and living! I’m just living a new kinda normal as the reality of it sinks in….I was given this article by a healthcare provider and it has come the closest to helping those around me, who live in my hourglass to understand my daily struggle. The “Spoon Theory”. If your willing to read it….I hope it may help shed light into the lives of those who live with an illness or chronic pain. For me it has been impossible to find words to describe how one survives the “no words” kind of pain that demands to be felt and will consume moments of my life. The Spoon Theory helped.

    (Read “Spoon Theory”)

    A peek into my hourglass….

    Share this if you’ve ever felt helpless on how to heal another’s pain? Know that, I love your efforts! I feel cherished to know you’d try. You can’t take this away, but you make the life I am living through the pain pretty fucking awesome by being in it….so Thank you!

    A look in my hour glass….
    I live for the moments I get to spend with you….If you can live in my hour glass….I give you my sand…

    Two years ago our life was forever tilted. After undergoing neck surgery to remove a herniated disc that pushed itself into my spinal cord, the after life is having irreversible nerve damage on my spinal cord, a prosthetic cervical disc hardwear in my neck, and the loss of feeling to my hand. My new normal is the simplest task in life now cost minutes, hours and I will reach peaks of pressure and pain levels….endured….every 4hours.

    …The sands of time count away to the best 4hours my head & hAnDs have today….

    Sometimes it’s tear wrenching, sometimes it’s a deep sigh or loss of breath, as my body, mind and soul adjust to the pain. I steal sand from tomorrow to live in today with you, regret free. I will take every moment staring at the ceiling to allow me to have stolen moments standing next to you. I may not make every party or make it past sunset. You will see me struggle to open eevveerryyything:D. You will cut or stir the things I love to cook. I will need your shoulder to lean my head on (to bare the weight of my struggle for a moment) to get a few more standing moments with you. You will understand my exits or closed eye departures, peaked emotional weather fronts of tears to fears and love me anyways. My smile will faulter my strength will have its highs and lows but even through my pain I cherish the moments YOU keep me LIVING.

    I feel every storm and rain cloud in the sky, but I will never miss a chance to dance with you or catch a game by your side. I love your text and calls, it keeps me in the here and now. As storms may rage or stolen moments from yesterday catch up to me today, I may fall off the grid and let pain get in the way. Keep at it, my hour glass will flip and your guiding light will see me through, till I get the opportunity to talk to you. My scars will blend but your hugs and your helping hAnDs heal a much deeper part. My thank you comes with a million more words unspoken.

    I will Smile through it….I live for rainbows and sun rays and am blessed to have such an amazing husband and children that see me through every hourglass flip and emotional riff. We will laugh, love and live in the moments this precious life gives. Even in the darkest moments you give me the light. Your helping hAnDs heal my heart.

    I write these words to you on borrowed sand but worth it….if….YOU can see just how important you are to me? YOU make me LIVE! Live to see the sunrise, shooting stars, super bad ass cars to seahawks games and fantasy football scores, to snuggles from new baby girls or sending balloon kisses to the heavens above and sooo many more moments I live to love. This wasn’t written for pitty or pride. It’s just a peek inside my world that until now I had no words to describe.

    A look in my hour glass….
    I live for the moments I get to spend with you….If you can live in my hour glass….I’ve got sand for you ….As the sAnDs of time count away to the best 4hours my head & hAnDs have today….If you can live in my hourglass….i’ll save you some sand:).

    The crazy thing about sand….it has a way of sticking around and you find extra in the most unexpected times & places;)

    Weather Fortune for today: 80&Sunny….live like it’s your luckiest day and lend a healing hAnD or hug.

    Send me a wink & add a friend if you think this could help another. Your helping hAnDs will heal hearts.

    I love YOU to the Moon and back!

  • Grateful for every spoon!

    Thank you for sharing your, “Spoon Theory”! It is so helpful. My friends and loved ones can read my face and see when I am having a tough day, and always ask. Now, I can say “it’s a 2 spoon day” or “it’s an 8 spoon day”. It may seem simple to those who do not know chronic pain, but just being able to express what you are feeling in just a few words is such a blessing! All of you lovers of those who suffer from chronic pain, “You are irreplaceable”. Even if we can’t find the words to express it, or the time to give you, you help to keep us sane and hopeful!

  • Caregiver

    My husband has a Traumatic Brain Injury and this “illustration” was the best I have ever read. This is so real life. No one can get it unless they live it. Awesome!! May I share on a couple of TBI survivor/caregiver facebook pages?

  • Shadowydreamer

    Your pain is not other people’s pains. Their pain is not your pain. As an LPN, I think you would know that everyone’s body is different. *You* may consider Type I diabetes a walk in the park .. but having seen a friend die from it, I don’t.

  • Type1disn’teasy!!

    Wow… Lisa… You sure are insensitive. Us Type 1s have it easy because we look fine on the outside, right?!? It must be easy because we look fine, right?! I have had Type 1 for 30 years – since I was five years old – and it is far from easy. Be a little freaking sensitive. You attack other chronic diseases for what purpose? How the hell do you know when a diagnosis is “less severe” than yours?! Gimme a break.

  • Angela Price

    Wow, made me cry… not just because she’s (everyone with illness) not trying to get sympathy just trying to explain with tangible objects about her sickness, so her friend can have a better understanding! Thanks for sharing and Bravo for being creative and trusting her friendship. I hope she realized even though she was sick she was blessed with a friend, not everyone is so lucky to have people stick around after finding out that your sick.

  • skipscales

    I wept when I read this. The best explanation of living with chronic illness I’ve ever found.

  • Maureen Gibbs

    Perfect description! You have just given me the best possible way to explain my “spoons” Having fibromyalgia, severe degentive disc disease of my spine, arthritis, & could go on & go Great story

  • Sapphy11

    That’s a great analogy. I also have Fibromyalgia and can’t seem to get anyone to understand my “invisible” illness and how debilitating it is for me. I really like the spoon theory, but I think using the flu as a reference is a much quicker way to get them to understand. Thank you. :)

  • M

    This was a beautiful read. x

  • cecile

    Very nice!

  • Bisnis agen tiket pesawat mura
  • Kurt Seniorly

    This is such a great explanation – at least from my perspective – and it really demonstrates the situation well. My mom brought it to my attention. Thank you for posting this!


  • Christopher Budd

    I have friends and a loved one who deal with chronic illnesses. I found this incredibly informative to help me better understand what they go through. Indeed, my loved one and I are using the spoon measure as a way for them to tell me how they’re doing in a factual way so that I can know but don’t resort to the annoying and sometimes condescending sounding “how are you feeling”.

    Thank you so very much for this.

  • Margot Ulsh

    Ditto., everything you said!.

  • Margot Ulsh

    Wow, finally, a way to help people understand. Beautifully done! Sometimes I forget I am not alone.

  • Michelle DeSelms

    OMG! Thank you for explaining it so well!

  • Diane Clancy

    wonderful!! I have Crohns, fibro plus more … some years have been a lot worse than others … and this is just fabulous!!! Thank you!!

  • janetteg

    Beautifully written and with such thought. I have chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I suffer every day. It galls me when people tell me that ” You don’t look sick? I shall use your spoons to help them understand what it is like to spend a day in my shoes.
    Thank you.

  • Jeanne Quillen

    I have Fibromyalgia and I get asked that same question all the time, I usually tell them think back to when you had the flu, remember how your whole body ached, how much energy it took just to do little things, well that is how I feel every single day. I think the next time some one asked me, I am going to use this. I love this.

  • Julien Blais
  • Cynthia

    This is beautifully written! I love the spoon theory! It can be used for so so many illnesses to explain to people who don’t understand.

  • amyk

    i absolutely Love this article! i told your story to my fiance, who luckily for me, is already Extremely understanding of my depression, anxiety, and PTSD. then i used your theory to take him through My day, and he was Amazed at how much easier it made it for him to Truly understand me and my actions/inactions on a daily basis. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

  • Heathen Samm

    hey, thank you! Don’t have lupus, but have a painful, progressive spinal injury on one end, arthritis on the other end. Nothing shows on the outside though. I’m thinking of showing this to my sister, who is a go-getter, brimming with energy, achieved much worldly success. She doesn’t understand why, if she extends a hand, I can’t just grab it and sprint my way into achievement, 12 hour workdays. Then again, she may just take it literally and say “but you don’t have lupus”. *sigh*

  • Dromosel Spellcaster

    After being in relationship with him for 3 years,he broke up with me,
    I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted
    him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with
    everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to
    someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell
    caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type
    that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the
    spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be
    okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he
    cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex
    called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that
    he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return
    to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was
    how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made
    promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem or child
    problem I would be of
    help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful
    spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from
    all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell
    caster, his email is [email protected] you can email him if you
    his assistance in your relationship or anything. he we be ready to help you.
    self regard sofia.

  • donna

    HELLO CLASS, I can relate to this article and I always have been a very sensitive person when I see someone who is hurting from a disease or a cold or anything. I don’t like to see people in pain. I lost my Kidney function 1year and 1/2 ago and couldn’t continue working because my job was physically demanding. I am on disability, and I receive kidney dialysis treatments 3 days a week. It’s overwhelming to me sometimes but being in school gives me something to look forward to, and that in itself makes me so happy. I am so grateful for the dialysis technicians that care for me and I thank God daily for the many things he blesses me with. This was an excellent film on the lady with .Lupus. I didn’t understand the spoon theory til I was on dialysis for 6 months. It was the hardest think I ever had to adjust to. The spoon Theory is unpredictable to me, so I try to limit the many things that take spoons away from me and get little naps throughout the day. But I can say that I look great for all that I go through.

  • Don MW

    Christine, I cannot begin to say how thankful I am to have been directed to read this. But I would guess that you already know. Living with limited spoons is exactly what I do every day. The most difficult believer of this was my mother. It took 3 days of no medication, writhing pain and what she referred to as detoxing from meds (which she didn’t realize were so helpful) to see past the invisibility cloak of vast symptoms. The bad days and fog that comes with chronic ridicular pain were revealed now that she could truly see the difference between a day with 12 spoons versus a day with 5. It has helped our relationship because she gets it now. I think somehow– I finally get it too.

  • amyk

    what a truly beautiful theory and explanation. i am sharing this with a friend who has MS. i am also saving it for myself, as i have depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and must also choose my spoons carefully. sometimes i just give up and end up with a handful of spoons that i can’t even seem to hold onto, and they all just drop to the floor, useless as i feel. thank you for your amazing insight.

  • bart Perry

    I have bipolar and schizophrenia, I take 13 medications each and every day. I only wish I had many more spoons to work with each day.

    Every time one of my children cause me a “headache” I lose a spoon. My medications cause me so many difficulties I am out of spoons by 8pm each night…And that’s on a VERY good day.

    I am going to have them read this article, Maybe, just maybe they will understand a little more.

    This has also helped me understand my wifes problems a little more as well…

    thank you

  • Dawn Askey

    thank you. I’m going to go to bed now because I have spent the last few hours borrowing from tomorrow’s spoons and I don’t have any extras. I miss the days before counting spoons, but the days I regret most nowadays are when I borrow tomorrow’s spoons, trying to pretend I don’t have to worry about it when I know full well that tomorrow is going to require all the spoons I can muster. I wouldn’t be going to bed yet if I hadn’t been reminded of the reality I currently live in.

  • scott

    Not to many things make me cry when I read them….

  • Stephen Marcus

    How do I get permission to share this on Facebook giving credit to the author. My world is Crohn’s and colitis. Stephen Marcus Braintree, Massachusetts.

  • Robyn P

    This is an incredible illustration that has really made me look at myself and my life quite differently. Admittedly, I am a healthy person who takes it for granted and after reading this, I’m going to try very hard to change that. Also, my husband is a disabled veteran and I’m going to make a stronger effort to be a bit more patient. I try to do everything I can for him and he’s grateful. But I realize now that it’s my attitude that could improve. I’m sort of naturally grumpy and he accepts it, but I think maybe I need to lighten up! Thank you.

  • darwisbong

    i really glad to find this great articel agen tiket pesawat, i have bookmark your website to get update later, i hope you can update rgularly, thanks for sharing

  • Chris M

    I think I’ll borrow this idea to tell my family and friends about this.
    I have a busted back and a ton of nerve damage that, by this theory, leaves me with maybe 4 or 5 spoons a day on average, 9 if it’s a really good day.

    I’m living with my aunt right now, unable to work and hoping like mad my disability comes through.

    She’s generally okay and we get along okay. But sometimes she just throws these little barbs at me, as though I’m just lazy and if I could focus then my suffering would magically go away and I could be the big strong man I was a few years ago.

    She’s asked me what it’s like, and the only thing I could say was, “I could tell you, but you wouldn’t get it unless you let somebody crack you in the spine with a sledgehammer a few times.”

  • Sarah

    I know for myself, that if I need to nap it for my best, it is not a ‘waste’ of time. As to whether it ‘gives’ me more spoons or just ‘maintains’ the number left – I have yet to figure out. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and struggle with overextending myself. It has taken me two years to realize that resting and pacing myself rather than overextending I spend less time in ‘crash nap’ mode.

    Hope this helps.

  • Dawn Olday Mosby

    Thank you.