Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Spoon Theory and those who abuse it

I think some people don't understand the spoon theory as it pertains to real chronic illness. If you've got a temporary injury, if you're recovering from an illness like the stomach flu or a head cold, or if you've just had a lousy day because of situations that occurred, you're not out of spoons; you're tired/pissed/hurt/sick/in recovery.

The spoon theory has become so overused by people who are just unable to deal with their emotions on an every day basis and as someone who has truly been out of spoons, and someone who is friends with others in my same situation, this irritates the hell out of me.

Depression, anxiety, chronic illness, terminal disease...those types of long-term things is what the spoon theory was based on. If you jerked your back out of place while lifting your kid's tricycle or broke your toe by stubbing it on a coffee table? You're not out of spoons, you just have very little ability to deal with being in pain. If you're not in and out of doctors' offices, hospitals, therapists, clinics and pharmacies all the time, then you have no idea what it's like to TRULY be out of spoons. If you haven't had to budget which prescriptions to get filled vs. how many groceries you can afford if you get them all, then you probably don't understand chronic illness. If you have the energy for the things you WANT to do, but not the things you NEED to do, then you're not a "Spoonie". If you choose to be nice to some folks, but use others for what they can give you, you're just an asshole, not someone with chronic illness. If you have the energy for political debate on social media (substitute political with anything you're passionate about), then you're not really worried about how many spoons you'll have left to make dinner or help your kids with their school work.

Yes, this post may make me seem judgmental, and yes, I understand there are exceptions to my generalizations, but I'm so OVER emotionally-incapable people using excuses for being lazy. Don't get me wrong - I have compassion and empathy for those with chronic illness like ALS, Cancer, MS, Lupus, Lyme Disease, Depression, Anxiety, Fibromyalgia and the numerous other incapacitating diseases that rob us of time, energy, and good days. But, I don't have a single rat's ass for those who hide behind something they Googled one day so they can lay around being energy vampires, sucking the life out of those around them.

Please understand I recognize that most of us don't "look" sick. This rant isn't about that. This is about what you spend your time and energy on. And if you think people aren't paying attention, you're only fooling yourself. They just don't want to be the jerk by pointing it out to you. Me? I have no qualms about that because I've been in the trenches with not a spoon to spare. 

To me, this is the equivalent of someone who buys fatigues and medals on Ebay and pretends to be in the military to gain sympathy, respect, pity or special favors. And honey, it's the same here: if you haven't been to war, you don't get to wear the uniform.

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