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.

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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.

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  • Carolyn

    Patricia, please just give up your argument. Your medical background is negligent and your views on the world are outdated, in the least. Clearlyrics it is not my internal programming that is causing the issue because you are the only person in this forum who supports your position.

    To discredit your information further, we are not “deer in the forest” and therefore cannot pretend that the same ways of life will work for us. Like Jay said, this new theory sounds like one that was cooked up in a cracked out mindset as you danced around a meadow with faries.

    I completely disagree that it does not matter what illness we have. It completely matters. Each illness requires a different approach and a different solution. There is no “one fix solves all”.

    Please, for the betterment of society, stop giving out cockomaine medical advice to a group who need support and hope.

  • Jay

    Oh boy! Please, peddle your ignorant ableist zealotry bullshit to more people who are too stupid to realise that so much as glancing at your book will cause their brain cells to die so fast, Hitler would get a boner. Worst-case scenario, the average IQ goes up a few points as your followers die of things YOU CAN’T FUCKING CURE

  • Jay

    As a drug addict who once spent four days on a psilocybin/mescaline/DMT/ergine cocktail being guided by a lizard fish, let me tell you: you have completely lost touch with reality. You need to sit down and seriously think about the events and decisions leading up to the adoption of your current… “mindset”, Patricia, because you sound like a nut, and not just to me.

  • Teresa

    Thank you for the insightful way of describing our day to day. I was diagnosed with FM 3 years ago and while I have an incredibly understanding husband, sometimes it’s hard to explain to my young children that “Mommy just can’t play today.” While they don’t completely understand the concept, they do occasionally ask if I would like one of their spoons. :)

  • Patricia Robinett

    Carolyn, perhaps you misunderstood me. Any disrespect you and others have read into my words has to do with your own tone of voice. My words are neutral and helpful… if you could tune out your own programming, you would see that.

    I am not a “religious” person. But I do value LIfe and honor the power that breathes me. Do you? Many pray at the point of death for “just one more breath”, while they COULD have appreciated THIS breath in THIS moment and had a much better experience of life. Each breath is a gift of love. A profound gift of profound love.

    My observation has been that health is the natural condition of a body. It takes quite a bit to disconnect us from our natural health, peace of mind, creativity, lovingness. Releasing the fear we have been taught, returning to our simple loving nature… eating real food as the deer in the forest do – fruit, greens and so on… Health is a beautiful gift that is stolen from us by unwise, untoward people, places, things, and social programming. We are inundated by chemicals, negative, fearful thoughts, etc… Once I caught on to the kinds of thoughts and habits I’d learned from family, school, churches, TV, movies, etc, I actually “divorced” my programming… released all the fear that had been taught me. Worked wonders.

    It matters not what ailment you have… the body does not decide to be ill, it merely reflects habits of thought, attitudes and behaviors. Sorry, but it’s true.

  • Bek
  • Bek

    Patrica Robinett
    You’re just a nut case…. Simple as that. The ludacris propaganda your spew forth without any real evidence apart from your own experience is just a laugh. I can’t believe you honestly think cancer can just be healed away with a hippy diet. Are u for real? U are seriously demented. I agree a healthier diet may improve some symptoms of chronic illness but is not a cure. Haha many doctors, scientists and resrchers with PhD after their name haven’t found a cure yet but some whack job hippy internet trawler has haha f**king ha. I think it’s an insult to a Christine that you post your be BS here actually. Write your book or start your own site or blog and those that want to hear your shit can follow you. Noone here has any interest in it.

  • Bek

    Fantastic way to explain chronic illness. I have FM & CFS.

  • Carolyn

    I think you have the wrong idea, Patricia. While the medical system as a whole needs a reform, doctors as individuals are good people. They aim to help their patients because nobody wants to watch anot her human being suffer.

    As someone who is not religious, I find it insulting that I must turn to God to heal. If you found that worked for you, I am glad. However I do not share the same beliefs that you do and I would greatly appreciate it if your views were not pushed onto me. Thank you.

    Once you heal yourself, you can help others, but you cannot heal it as you mentioned earlier. You cannot assume that everyone has the same ailment as you. In the same sense, everyone’s environment different and each person responds to treatments differently. So forgive me when I say that your position is completely out of line

  • Valeria Massaro

    Hi Christine,

    Thank you so much for this. My best friend shared this with me (we both suffer from fibromyalgia, spasmophilia and CFS) and I absolutely love it. I’ve been ill for over 10 years now and even though my healthy friends and relatives try to commiserate, they often find it hard to understand that I can’t always keep up.
    I’ve tried explaining it, but it always comes out way more melodramatic than I intend it to be, which makes people that don’t know me that well call me a dramaqueen.
    From now on I will use this to explain why I can’t do stuff sometimes. It is a perfect way to illustrate the way we (as non-healthy people) have to structure our day carefully.
    Thank you for using one of your spoons to share this with us. :)

  • Patricia Robinett

    The body is simply a communication device, Kaylee. In an extreme example, if we are in the road and a truck comes along and we do not move out of the way, the body will eloquently tell us that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time… right? If we give our cars the wrong fuel, they don’t work well, and perhaps even die. If we think certain thoughts chronically, have certain attitudes, chronically, then they etch themselves into our faces, our posture and the functions of our bodies. Simple.

    But all this is not something that ‘medicine’ wants us to know, because ultimately, we could all learn to care for our bodies and be very healthy… if we simply didn’t do things that clash with the laws of physics, nutritional laws, and the more subtle, but VERY important laws of “what you think is what you get.” In short, the thoughts that hurt our bodies are those that are less than loving, less than helpful, less than kind. Pain, fear, anger, sorrow, regret, resentment, irritability, judgment, condemnation, etc… even boredom… If we understood the laws of health, the medical industry would have to retool itself. Continuing as it has for a very long time, it is a very lucrative venture. But it depends on our ignorance – our state of ignoring – the laws of health.

    Why do thoughts matter? Because our minds belong somewhere… somewhere within, in an indwelling Love, in Peace, in Joy. They do not belong in the world of alarm clocks, competition, dread, insecurity, concern, jealousy, envy, avarice, lust, wars, drama, trauma – in the roles of victim or perpetrator,.

    Kaylee, I was sick. Now I am well. My body is communicating that I am doing things that work for health. If you are still sick and you want to be well. start with forgiving me… Your last line indicates you have formed quite a harsh judgment of me. Clearing the mind of its judgments will also clear the body of many problems. I am sorry if I am a bit intense but I am very sick of people hurting and being hurt. This forum is nothing compared to my work in “real life”.

    I got well because I got sick of being sick. Now I want to do everything I can to end the very destructive spiral the world is in. That is my real work. I was attracted to this post because of its title. People used to say that to me. But doctors didn’t have a clue what was wrong with me. I think they now have many diagnoses that they used to not have. I lost confidence in them because no MD could figure it out. I decided that if I was going to get well, I was going to have to do it myself. “Physician, heal thyself.” Once you heal yourself, you will be able to help others. The medical system is a very sick system and it makes its adherents even sicker than they need to be because it treats them as if they are machines, not powerful spiritual beings. Every pharmaceutical drug has ‘side effects’ that then need to be ‘managed’ with more pharmaceutical drugs… It’s a dead end system. Realizing that saved my life.

  • Heather E. Sedlock

    I believe in miracles, I believe in God, I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe in myself. I am so in tune with my body, I knew when I was pregnant at the time of conception and the sex of my child before any scan.

    That being said, I believe in illnesses, I believe in supporting another without discounting their experiences. I believe my doctor knows more about my specific health than some random person online.

    I also believe in sharing my beliefs without condemning others for theirs. I try not to judge others just because they sin differently than me.

    But if more than one person tells me that my message is sending the wrong message, I do not keep going. I reevaluate what I am saying or thinking. I wish more could do that.

  • Kaytee

    Thank you Heather! As I said in a reply to Patricia above. I get healing and spirituality. I really do. I’m super compassionate too….so I sure hope and wish she would learn some real science behind these illnesses! A mutated gene cannot just un-mutate itself by thinking positively about it…..

  • Kaytee

    Take heart and listen well…..
    I agree with you on some levels….especially as a vegan myself. Diet helps (especially real food). The medical system in this country does need to change (it’s all about money). I have tried to stay away from taking too many drugs. I agree about really listening to your own body and being in tune to it physically and spiritually. I am and strive to be better in tune all the time.
    You are way out of line, Honey!!! Your thinking has gone way too far to one side (and plunged off the deep end), and you really desperately need to learn some REAL science!
    Are you really so far gone that you think we don’t want to be cured from our illnesses?!?
    Some things can’t be cured by ourselves. Yes, we can help ourselves a tiny bit in some cases, but a lot of these illnesses don’t just disappear by thinking it away. That’s the same as praying it away.
    In all kindness, please don’t try to spew this kind of stuff again. You may think you’re helping….but you’re not. You are hurting the vegan community as well as the environmentalist, and so many others. And you are really really hurting all of us that are suffering from illnesses/disorders that we cannot be rid of. Period.
    I say this with love – I hope that you will please seek help, because
    it may just be possible that you weren’t able to heal yourself from that probable mental illness you didn’t know you had.

  • Patricia Robinett

    What have you learned from having gone through years of medical treatment with no success? And so on and so forth? What you have learned is what doesn’t work. Have you listened to yourself through the years as your inner wisdom has said, “this doesn’t work”? Have you asked your inner wisdom what it would recommend? Seriously, there is part of you that knows exactly what to do. And there are many factors these days that can be affecting bodies… 1) thoughts and attitudes other than love/relaxation, 2) aluminum, barium and strontium in the air from ‘chemtrails’, 3) fluoride and other chemicals in the water, 4) pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, genetically modified organisms in the food, 5) radiation coming at us from every angle – wifi, electrical wiring, cell phone towers, and so on. Do you ever get the idea that you are like a bug in a jar that is inundated by everything toxic and poisonous? Yes, we have to go to great lengths these days to take care of these precious human bodies… and they will cooperate with us fully if we humbly ask them what we need to do to get well. Really wanting it requires really listening to nature, to our inner wisdom, to God, to whatever you want to call it… it is talking to us every moment and we are distracted from it. Try that and let me know what you learn from your Self. Your self might not know, but your Self does. :)

  • Heather E. Sedlock

    I forgive you willingly for your words. Maybe you don’t mean to be rude, condescending and hurtful; maybe your heart has true intent. But please, write your book and those that need to hear your message will read it. My cancer is caused by mutation in my gene expression. Had it in my body since the day I was born and will live my whole life with. Has Nothing to do with whatever losses I have had. Thank you for the armchair psychology, tho.

    The above person said it best though: maybe you need not share your thoughts here. Not that you, personally, aren’t welcome. Your message isn’t as it does cause offense to those who come here.

  • Heather E. Sedlock

    Thank you for saying that. It was my point said much more eloquently than I could muster at the time.

  • Carolyn

    Many people on this forum will agree that you are overstepping your qualifications by saying “if you really want something, you will do whatever it takes.” I personally have been through years of medical treatment with no success. I have done physical therapy until I literally collapse and can’t continue due to pain. I have tried alternative therapies, I have tried meditation and relaxation and biofeedback all with negligible results. My attitude towards healing has been positive and I keep searching for cures.

    By saying we will be cured once we “really want it”, it is unbelievably disheartening for those who have been trying their hardest to work towards a cure to no avail. Please consider your choice of words before posting here. While I celebrate your success, I need support in my own journey. Ill-thought words do much more harm on this forum then one may think.

  • Harold Garcia

    I love this spoon theory, and I have shared the link to it at times. It helps clarify why my daughter can do some things and not others. She simply runs out of spoons sometimes.

  • Chandrakant Kulkarni

    Bach Flower Remedies help you greatly in disease condition. These medicines are SAFE and without any side effects. You can get these OTC in any Homeopathic medicines pharmacy, at a very reasonable cost.

  • Patricia Robinett

    If you are judging and condemning yourself, perhaps that is where your cancer and osteoarthritis come from. Forgiveness is not only for others, but also for ourselves. My mother had both of those conditions; she died with the cancer, but she seemed to never mention osteoarthritis once she looked it up in Louise Hays’ little book “Heal Your Body.” Heather, I wish you the very best. Healing is possible. Some MDs have correlated cancer to loss; others to resentment… I guess someone could resent losing someone or something they love. Resentment ‘eats’ us up. The body is a communication device. It tells us if/when our thinking is chronically in fear, anger, sorrow, etc.

  • Patricia Robinett

    I am extremely compassionate. I have helped a lot of people recover from a lot of extreme conditions – mental, emotional and physical. I don’t believe in ‘incurables’ because i do believe in healing. There is nothing that cannot be healed. Sorry if that idea irks you, but I have seen too much to feel powerless in the fact of disease. Wisdom would say, “Tell me more about healing.” I guess I need to write a book.

  • Patricia Robinett

    1) wishing ill on others is a disease in itself.

    2) i am not veyr stupid. :)

    3) if you really want something you will do whatever it takes.

    4) i cannot apologize for trying to be helpful. i know very well what works. and i AM sorry we live in a very artificial world

    5) i am also sorry that our medical system is not very healing… in fact, individual MDs might be wonderful people, but the system itself needs an overhaul – it has lots of bells and whistles, but it is blind in many ways… and even corrupt in some places, such as the CDC’s vaccine scandal.

  • Michelle T

    That you Christine!! I am so please that you have given us a way to “show” the effects of the decisions we make everyday so we can make it through everyday. It gives me a way to explain away those, “but she was just fine this morning”, statements.
    I’ve had MS for 19 years and even though they try to be understanding about my illness still my closest friends just don’t “get it”, even though they try to be understanding about my illness.

  • I “want” a cure for all

    Healing is always certain – If you want it??? What? If that’s the case then if I “want” you to be ill enough to understand having an incurable illness then “poof” you have one??? That’s just a stupid as your statement. It would be nice that “wanting” something could make it so.

    Shame on you Patricia Robinett!!!! I think you owe everyone visiting this site an apology for spreading ignorant BS and for being so unfeeling toward their illnesses.

  • Irritated by know it alls

    I don’t know what illness you had was. I am pleased that you are lucky enough that changing your eating habits made you “Well” again. It’s a little sad that you aren’t compassionate about the illnesses of others that AREN’T cured by simple changes diet. You are hurtful to those who have serious illnesses in assuming that you can just “Wish, Pray or Eat” yourself well. If you really don’t believe in “incurable” diseases then maybe you shouldn’t post messages where people who have them go to discuss with others ways to deal with them by finding the happiness in everyday life. I don’t think your statements brought happiness to many here today. I Hope you continue to have a health life so that you never know what it is to have a truly life-ending illness.

  • Janice tindle

    Brilliant ! Impressive and very helpful. Permission to share please!

  • Heather E. Sedlock

    I am so sick of hearing about diet. If it was that simple it would work for us all. I do eat healthy and my doctors do monitor what I eat. Your dark green salad ain’t gonna cure my cancer or my osteoarthritis. We don’t need further judgment and condemnation. We do that enough for ourselves. Thanks.

  • Patricia Robinett

    I used to be sick. Wasn’t fun. Then I exchanged french fries and gravy for a big fat dark green salad with carrots and beets with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic – and I got well. Still eating french fries? Doctors believe in ‘incurable’ diseases. I don’t. I DO believe there are a lot of MDs who have no clue about radiant health… and they will never, ever ask you about your diet, because if you started eating like I do, you might end up healthy and they would lose you as a patient… $$$. I wish you all the very best of everything, including radiant health and tons of energy. Healing is always certain – if you want it.

  • annoyed

    Excellent way of describing it. That was very much how my life was lived when I worked. Now I generally have enough spoons, though sometimes it is as if I dropped a handful. The fun part about that is you never know when its going to happen, keeps things interesting (NOT). What I mostly have these days is spoons left over, but they are often seriously bent out of shape.

  • Alicia Key

    Thanks Christine. I was diagnosed in Dec 2013 and found your spoon theory really helpful. Not only in understanding my condition but with trying to explain to others too.

  • Terri

    Thank you Christine! I was diagnosed with Lupus 20+ years ago and have struggled every day, looking for the words that will help well meaning family and friends understand why an off hand compliment, You Look So Good, leaves me frustrated. How the pain and fatigue is never gone, you just learn to adapt. In all this time, it never occurred to me to use such a tangible means of explaining Life with Lupus, when words failed. Thank you for helping to bridge this gap

  • domino

    WOW!!! thank you so much for this. I don’t have Lupus but do have a rare genetic disease that impacts my breathing. Like Christine some days are great, some are good and some plain suck. luckily for me the sucky days are few. Thank you for this it is fabulous.

  • Nick Manchester

    Hi, RogueNaturopath,
    I have had the blessing of finding a doctor who prefers to use natural methods rather than pharmaceuticals. I had to create a diet that works for me, as we found the majority of my problems were caused by food. I’d like to show it to you, or at least some of it, if you think it could help others.
    Nick Manchester. You can find me under “NOW What Do I Eat?” on Facebook. I’m all for natural ways of healing, and agree that hitting the actual problem is better than attacking symptoms. If only more people understood that healing is a long-term process, and that it took years to get sick, it will take years to get well, and thinking yourself well only works in story-books. *sigh*

  • Hannah Maher

    the spoon theory works for depression too!! My sister has CFS and i am lucky to perhaps have more spoons than her – but there are some days when getting up and dressed costs all my spoons!!! keep as well as you can, and may you always have that spare spoon in your pocket xx

  • don mau

    The problem with western medicine is that they treat symptoms with toxic poisons(pharmaceuticals) . If they treated the cause instead there would be a lot less sick people………but doctors weren’t trained for that.

  • Serenity

    Hi, yes it is wonderful to here such a scenereo like the spoon theory. It is also helpful to hear someone else in the world share that they have the same illness as I do. I have Fibromyalgia also, and find it difficult most times to deal with. I also have recently been diagnosed with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. This too is another chronic illness that contributes to my daily pain and fatigue. My biggest concern or struggle (depending on the mood for the day) is that no one else understands what I am going through. A chronic illness, any chronic illness is a lot to deal with and support, understanding, identification, I think would make it a little easier to get through. In the past on most days I was usely a high spirited person. I now trying to adjust to my illnesses and regain a good spirit no matter what. Thank you all for your comments. They really help.

  • Stephanie McManus

    Hi Debby,
    I have a genetic connective tissue disorder, and I understand your thought process and grief. You are very strong and incredibly insightful… something to hold onto. You are still you. I am working on defining myself differently… what is important to me now while accepting new limitations. However, I have been so enraged (pretty strong word for me) in the past. It’s a difficult process, but options and finding something to value I think helps. Coming from one ‘disabled’ person to another, this in no way means I don’t value and understand all your feelings and frustrations. <3

  • Jodi

    Hey Christine – Can I post The Spoon Theory on my blog? I will put that it was written by you and link back to your website. My blog is

  • Jacqueline Alexander

    I know exactly what you mean I’ve gone through that myself. There are good days and there are bad days.Most days I wish my mind and body worked together but they don’t anymore.I still haven’t come to terms with that.Just this past week I went to our regional convention for 3 days. I wasn’t able to go out For a week afterwards . I AM I’m still learning how much I can push myself. with GOD’S help I am able to endure.I wish you many good days ahead.

  • Levanah

    Talia –
    It is wonderful to have such a concrete way to talk about what it’s like – and especially to people you know care but just have no way to grasp your experience.

    One thought about “healthy people,” though -
    Back in the ’70s, feminists helped make us all more conscious about disability by introducing the term “temporarily-abled” to refer to ourselves in our wellness. It was a rather shocking term: it reminded us daily that our “abled-ness” was only fleeting, even at best – especially at best, that if we lived long enough, we all would begin to lose our faculties, sometimes dramatically, through becoming “dis-eased” in some way, sometimes inexorably with the passage of time, as we began to need glasses to see clearly, more rest in order to stay up late, or younger, stronger hands and backs to help us open jars or carry heavy boxes or, eventually, bags of groceries. These changes come at different ages and rates for different people, but come they would.

    Yes, there are “healthy” people in the world, and their energy, dexterity, mobility, and stamina are astounding to those of us with serious physical – and emotional – challenges. And it’s very interesting and informative to step back from our own struggles to see the challenges – often unseen – that those around us are working with as well.

    Best wishes to you always on you particular and very challenging path!

  • megan

    I have both EDS or ehlers-danlos syndrome and a Chiari malformation along with a whole list of medical problems do to my EDS and this explanation really hits home thank you for giving me a better way to describe what I go through every day

  • megan

    I just realized it says songs instead of spoons