What is a Spoonie?

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The background is a blue wall. There is a sunflower in a white vase on a cream table. The foreground is dark grey text that reads "What is a Spoonie?". - What is a Spoonie?

I’ve thrown around the term ‘spoonie’ a lot (like in the category ‘Make Money as a Spoonie‘ and in my ‘About Me‘ page), but I realised that I never actually explained what one is, so I thought I would write a post about the spoon theory.

What is a spoonie?

A “spoonie” is simply a term for someone who has a chronic illness. Even if they look healthy, they are still a spoonie if they have a chronic illness. It goes like this: you have a certain number of “spoons” for the day and everything you do uses at least one spoon; for example, getting in the shower may take one spoon, but then add another if you wash your hair and one more for each leg you shave.

A spoonie may look like this:

There is a headshot of a girl wearing a mint green bobble hat smiling into the camera.

But they may also look like this:

There is a girl sat in a hospital bed hooked up to an ECG machine and she's wearing a blood pressure cuff too.

Both these photos are of me and believe it or not, other than being paralysed down my left side, I was actually feeling worse in the top photo!

The number of spoons a spoonie has each day varies depending on their energy levels. Most people start each day with an unlimited number of things they could do that day. However, a person with a chronic illness only has a finite number of spoons. It may be a large number of spoons which lets them carry on as they did when they were healthy, but it may be a very small number meaning they would have to stay in bed all day.

The spoon theory was created by Christine Miserandino. Please read her post on the spoon theory to find out more.

Do you identify with the spoon theory?

Do you have a chronic illness? If you answered yes, then congratulations, you’re a spoonie! It doesn’t matter what type of chronic illness you have. If you have one at all, then you’re a spoonie too.

If you loved this post (and I’m SURE you did, considering you’re reading this), you NEED to check out my eBook 10 Things You Need to Know About Living with Chronic Illness!

The photo is a Pinterest pin which is split into two sections. The background at the top of the pin is light blue with bold white writing that reads "What is a Spoonie?". The bottom of the pin is a photo of a green succulent in a grey pot against a cream/grey background. There is a small white circle in the middle of the pin with a blue medical ribbon in the middle.

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