Hello dear friends!
Some of you are probably familiar already with the “spoon theory”, but if you’re not, I highly recommend checking out this post over here. To sum it up briefly, this theory describes the energy envelope that many of us with chronic illnesses live with. Essentially, we are given a finite amount of energy to spend each day (or week, if you want to think longer term), and each activity we do costs us some of that energy. Everything from taking a shower to going to the grocery store takes some of our “spoons”. This will turn you into an expert at budgeting, that’s for sure.
But this post isn’t about budgeting your spoons for the week…this post is dedicated to my friends. All the people that I have in my life that are worth spending my spoons on. To you all, and you know who you are, I’m lucky to have you around!
And how do you know that you are truly valued in a relationship with a chronically ill person (aka “spoonie”)? Because we are happy to spend our spoons on you. We will gladly wash up, get dressed, and meet you for lunch. We will handcraft holiday gifts for you. We will explore a new restaurant with you, or attend your birthday party. We will chat with you online for hours, or even get on the phone to catch up. We are willing to give you some of our precious and limited energy, and that’s the best gift that we can ever give.
Genuine friendships are hard to come by, but perhaps even more so for the chronically ill. Perhaps that’s why we value them so highly. For me, I know that I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for my friends, and they have gotten me through some of the roughest parts of my life so far. When I first got sick, when I relapsed, when I got a divorce, when I moved…I don’t know what I would have done without the wonderful few friends that I had to talk to and count on. Which is why I am more than happy to spend my spoons on them.
Some days I have a lot of spoons and I can spend hours lunching, walking around, even hiking with my friends. Some days I barely have enough spoons to take a shower, and many times these kinds of days follow the ones that I spend wandering the mountains or having brunch with someone I care about. But in the end, it’s worth these ups and downs to have people that I get along with and can count on.
So if you have a friend who is chronically ill, you can rest knowing that they really and truly care about you! Because it’s not easy keeping up relationships of any kind when you’ve got a limited amount of energy to spend. But if your “spoonie” friend is still around and still makes plans with you (even if they have to cancel them from time to time), it speaks volumes about how much they value you.
For me, over the years, I’ve had to dramatically cut down on my social time, and my social circle has shrunk significantly since then. I only give my energy away to a select few people, but they are so worth it! Because these are the wonderful humans who have stood by me. They’re the ones that didn’t leave when they found out I was sick, or fade away when they realized I couldn’t do a lot of the activities they enjoyed. They’re the ones that checked up on me when I was depressed, gave me encouragement when I was unemployed, and offered to buy me coffee when I was going through my divorce. And for all of those things, I am truly grateful.
If you are one of my friends, and you are reading this, here is a big ol’ hug from me to you.
You’re totally worth the spoons, dear friend!
And for everyone out there, healthy or not-so-much…
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~