In January 2013, my life shattered. I was bedridden and reluctantly became fully dependent on my parents for everything. Normal daily tasks, such as showering, became arduous. This is because I had no energy, but when you're sick with chronic fatigue, it can be really difficult to explain this to those who have never experienced it.
That's how the spoonie community was born. The Spoon Theory is a way to explain very finite energy levels to someone who doesn't fully understand what it's like to have a chronic illness. The amount of energy someone has in a given day can be represented by spoons. Let’s say the normal, healthy person wakes up every day with 100 spoons. In contrast, someone with Lyme, chronic fatigue, or any chronic illness wakes up with far fewer than 100 spoons. The more severe the illness, the fewer the spoons each day will bring. Plus, mundane tasks like showering, running errands, or interacting with people can "cost" more spoons for someone with a chronic illness. The good news is that the number of spoons can increase with healing and recovery. Here’s what that really means in terms of living with a chronic illness that I wish people would understand: