Spoonies, Shedding Light on Invisible Illnesses
If you have heard of a spoonie, chances are you are or live with one! For millions of Americans living with chronic pain and chronic illness, online communities of “spoonies” have popped up on social media platforms to support one another and offer words of advice and encouragement. But what exactly is a spoonie and where did the term come from?
The term spoonie is derived from the spoon theory, which goes a little like this. Imagine planning a formal dinner party – you will likely have a limited number of guests attending based on the amount of appropriate silverware for the occasion. If there are more people than there are “spoons”, you create unnecessary turmoil trying to accommodate additional guests. The same holds true to those living with chronic pain and chronic “invisible” illnesses (such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome). Spoonies daily activities are limited to the number of metaphorical “spoons” they have on hand. Here at A Healing Place – The Estates, we reference this practice as activity pacing.
Activity pacing is a very important practice for those living with chronic pain and chronic illness. Exhaustion and overexertion can result in pain flare ups that have the potential to last for hours or even days. “Counting one’s spoons” as it’s referred to, allows spoonies to have an outline of their day and to plan accordingly so they may participate in their priorities, both personal and recreational.
One of the most heartwarming results of the spoon theory is the outpour of love and support among fellow chronic pain warriors living with invisible illnesses. Many of those living with a chronic condition find comfort, hope, and inspiration from fellow spoonies. They understand the hardships of daily activities, celebrate their accomplishments with one another, and often make light of their experiences with hilarious memes. Many users chronicle their journeys to doctor appointments, updating followers with results, and discussing how living with a chronic condition has impacted their life, both positively and negatively.
It is not hard to find a spoonie community online. Simply enter a spoonie hashtag such as #spooniesunite on your favorite social media platform.
At A Healing Place – The Estates, we are committed to ending the suffering associated with chronic pain and chronic illness. We are the experts in triple diagnosis treatment for people with chronic pain, medication misuse issues (up to and including addictive disorders), and coexisting mental health issues that commonly occur. We have a solution. To learn more about treatment options, call our admissions department at 844-388-4100 x6.