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The Spoon Theory


Super Moderator
We've discussed this in the big mega-thead before, but it got kind of buried under the 40+ pages of posts, so I wanted to give this its own thread. Sometimes in the Undiagnosed Club we talk about having spoons (or not having enough spoons) and some of you may not know what we're referring to. We're talking about the Spoon Theory. It's an essay about what it's like to live with a chronic illness. You can read it here:


It always brings me to tears to read. I just love the Spoon Theory and wanted to share with anyone who hasn't already read it, and also for those who want to read it again. Enjoy!
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Crohn's Mom

Thank you Cat!
I have seen the reference over and over in that thread, and although i pretty much figured out what "spoons" meant, I still wanted to read that.
Tear jerker for sure !
I want to print that out and give a copy to Gab's best friends :)

Thank you cat , i have printed it off and will show everybody what it means to be sick. i hope everybody reads this thread because it is quite emotional. thanks best wishes

thank you cat i have read this and brings me to tears to

thank you cat i have read this and brings me to tears to in fact i have read this alot
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That's lovely Cat!
Such a fab way to descibe her illness, so simple, but effective.
I've printed it off too
I love the spoon theory. I use it to explain how I'm feeling to people who JUST DON'T GET IT. They can usually some-what comprehend what I'm going through after I explain it to them like this.
I just read the spoon theory for the first time and I had a good old cry. I love the way she managed to be HEARD in such an effective way. definately a tearjerker.


I LOVE the spoon theory! I consider myself a spoonie, and I love how the story explains how invisible illnesses work. So moving!
I am going to print this out and take it to work and post it. It totally sums up how much my life has changed since 2009.

I,too, totally miss the unlimited # spoons I had.


Super Moderator
It sounds like everybody feels the same way I do about the Spoon Theory - glad you all enjoyed it! Do you guys think I should sticky this thread, so that it's always at the top of the Undiagnosed Club and will be easy for all to find? (I can do that now, I have magic thread sticky-ing powers! :D)


Super Moderator
Joan, I'm assuming that's Harry Potter? Sadly I am not a fan, but I'll do the best generic non-Potter magic I can. Abracadabra!

It worked! :soledance:
Thanks for posting the article, Cat. What a great way to actually feel the trade-offs we have to make every day.
Thank you for the article! I posted it on facebook. I too am tired of no one having a clue and telling me I should do this and that, asking why I don't get things done, etc. My husband is understands, but no one else gets it.
Thanks for the post Cat! I have such a hard time trying to describe to friends and family what it's like for me to be in constant pain and exhausted all the time, but after reading this I feel like I might be able to explain it better and finally get them to understand.


Undiagnosed Teenager
I love The Spoon Theory. Since then, me and my mum talk to eachother about spoons. We tell eachother how many spoons we have and it helps us to figure eachother out and how tired we are etc.
I'm undiagnosed but crohns and uc run in the family.. so I have an 'invisible' illness as such whereas my mum is physially disabled.
What I find interesting is the fact that although you can see that my mum is disabled physically (one leg), people STILL don't understand what it's like for her.
Thanks so much for this!
I'm not going to waste any more of my precious spoons feeling sorry for myself, or being angry at the years of misdiagnosis...
I tend to overdo it - too many projects, too many obligations.
So instead of stressing about missing work right now, I'm spending a spoon making lunch, celebrating a few foods that might not make me sick today.
this was a much appreciated attitude adjustment!
Cat, I love it, love, love, love it! In my experience, people would tend to understand lupus a bit more, than our IBD's. By understand I mean, make exceptions for, thinking the person is definately sick, to whereas with ours, most people still have not heard of it. Thanks for the post, Cat!
Cat this article gave me goose bumps! I am thinking of letting my friends and family read it .. Ahhh it describes exactly what I go through ... I wish my mother would understand ahhhh only because I went to the mall yesterday doesn't mean I'm cured or in remission!

Thanks for sharing!
could not be one of the greatest things i discorvered recently and use it to share how i feel with those close to me.. now they ask how many spoons i have left and have a better idea of what i can handle
Thanks Cat! This made me cry because I always try to fight it and think to myself that I shouldn't be this way. I am too young.55.My Mom who is 75 can do more in one day than I can in a week. Everyone thinks I am fine because I try my best to act that way.Look that way. I really only talk to close friends, mostly online, about my problems. I have had fibro for Gosh ,since I was in my 20's but didn't know what it was. But now that I am older and have been diagnosed with it and myosis and arthritis and degenerative disc disease and on and on. I always had much more energy when I was young. Now, it's just like she said. You make your choices for that day. Or you have a list and you just get done what you can before the pain takes over or tiredness.It's all I can do some days to do simple housework when I used to whiz thru 4 huge houses a week. You all know what I am saying. This was a blessing to me because finally, someone put into words exactly how I feel!!! Thankyou so much for sharing this with me!:ghug:
This is a great way to expalin things. I often get rematks like "I am tired after a days of work too" or "You seemd to perform that task quite well for someone that is tired". Sure.. I can pretend not to be sick, but its always away from something else I do. Also for someone thats tired after work people sure still have the energy to have a clean house AND do hobbys a couple times a week. Using this spoon theory next time I need to explain things.