This is a question that I asked myself when I started doing research into chronic illness. It took me a long time to accept that fact that I had a chronic illness and that I would probably be sick for the rest of my life. The term ‘Spoonie’ comes from Spoon Theory- a metaphor used to describe chronic fatigue using spoons as units of energy. You can read the full article by Christine Miserandino here.
Personally, I do not like the term Spoonie as I find it too cutesie. I prefer the term ‘Chronic Illness Warrior’ as that is what I feel like every day. Every day is a battle when you live with a chronic illness, whether you have 1 spoon or 100; every task is going to be an uphill challenge. You will question why it is so difficult to get out of bed. You will wonder why you struggle with everyday tasks that you used to be able to do with ease. you will despair when your doctor tells you that they cannot help you. (Spoiler alert- they probably can, but are too lazy to do so.)
The thing that helped me most of all when I first came to terms with my chronic illness is that I wasn’t alone in my struggles. There are thousands of us out there who are living with chronic illnesses and our stories are very similar. Raise your hand if a doctor has ever attributed your pain to anxiety. Raise your hand if a doctor has told you that your symptoms are ‘all in your head’. Raise your hand if you’ve been called a medical mystery. See, we all have our hands in the air.
To those of you who are new to the chronic illness life, welcome! You are now a Spoonie, whether you want to be or not.