The Spoon Metaphor.

There was an article that I read some time back, written about how a woman contends with being ill everyday. She used the metaphor of spoons for her case. Her stance was that we are all given so many spoons. In a healthy person, the number of spoons isn’t infinite but it is substantially more than a person with lupus (as the article writer was so afflicted) or fybromyalgia. And in similar vein, still more than people with mental disorders, such as manic-depression or bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. So, we go throughout our day with a certain number of spoons to do all the things we might need to do on a daily basis: get up, go to work, clean, comfort, write, eat, etc.

There are only so many spoons.

I’m one of those people who give 115% of myself to anyone who needs me. This is where most of my spoons end up going. A bunch go to TH and TS, as my closest family members and the ones who demand the most of my attention span and time. Another bunch goes to BFMA, for all the things she needs. This leaves me with a finite number, but I continue to pass them out to other people anyway: MLB, TN, HLB, MIL, family members from both sides, online friends, complete strangers… And I’m at the point, today at one in the afternoon, when I fucking realize that I’ve already used up my allotted spoons for the fucking day.

And you know what?

Fuck. That. Shit.

Out of all of this giving, I have three spoons handed to me everyday. That’s right; out of the hundreds or more that I give out on a daily basis, only three come back to me. Those would be the ones given to me by TS, and my two dogs. The two four-footed pains in the butt that everyone thinks I should put down and/or get rid of: they both give me a spoon a piece with their open and loving ability to love me unconditionally. They give me love and support and while I’m busy stuck in my head or a face full of tears, they still give back.

Call me fucking insane here, but that seems a little ridiculous. Two spoons from two dogs and a little one from TS.

A friend of mine will often ask me if I’ve given away too many spoons. She’s really good at reminding me that I need to keep some to myself because otherwise I’ll end up as I am now: sick, tired, angsty, bitchy, depressed. And it’s at this moment when another friend was rude and on the cusp of her own spoonless breakdown that I realized I just can’t fucking do this shit anymore. I can’t keep giving every aspect of myself away to everybody and end up where I’m currently: a dark, dank hole and not a single spoon to dig my way out or a helping hand in sight.

I try very hard not to be a selfish person. I will often feel guilty for buying myself books or pajama pants because that is money that could go to something for a friend, a lover, a dog, or my son. I try incredibly hard to be the voice of reason, the foundation block, the person who points out the good things, the strength, the all-knowing. I try very hard to be there for anyone who may need me. And it’s at this point where I asked for a bit of advice and got shat on instead that I flipped the fuck out.

I do not have anymore fucking spoons.

It’s time to be a little selfish and to stop getting wrapped up in what other people need of me.

2 thoughts on “The Spoon Metaphor.

    • Devo is excellent at reminding me that my spoons are finite. This time, though, I was able to remind myself. That’s a step in the right direction.

      Good luck. And if you need an occasional reminder, I’m here. 🙂

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