Finally (to me), A Way To Explain Hidden Illness

A journal I read often discusses how, due to her mental illness, she often doesn’t always have the “spoons” to do a ton of stuff or be invoked in every little thing. After reading it again last night, I decided to look up what exactly she meant by this term. It was surprisingly easy to find the Theory of the Spoons, created by Christine Miserandino at But You Don’t Look I HIGHLY recommend you read her personal story and check out the website more in depth.

In a nutshell, people who live with some type of illness, be it physical or mental, go through life with a limited number of spoons (what she used to illustrate her story) to perform daily tasks. Everything, from getting up, to eating, to going back to bed can use up a spoon, so we have created a system that best utilizes those spoons we have. Unfortunately, things like stubbing your toe, forgetting to pick up cat food, unexpectedly snapping about a mess in the house (to use personal examples), can also take away a spoon or two, leaving you with fewer spoons to do the regular things.

How perfect is this illustration?? I wish the site had more about mental illness, but that’s not (as far as I have read) her condition. And mental illness does seem to have a lot more support (we have ribbons and websites and TONS of medication commercials!! …) than hidden physical illnesses, so I will give her that.

Christine, thank you for this, I only wish I’d found it earlier.


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One response to “Finally (to me), A Way To Explain Hidden Illness

  1. Hi Jess;
    Thanks for the links–pretty interesting stuff and I have several friends who also battle with invisible illnesses. They’re stories are pretty intense and their daily epic battles are pretty serious. I’m glad to see there is more addressing of the issue over the last few years. The biggest trouble they contend with is getting any kind of health insurance to cover to any realistic degree to help allay the costs and complications that come with their particular illnesses.