Why others may not get it that you’re sick – and a great way to explain it!

You've got a limited # of spoons to spend each day in spoon theory. You choose where to use them.
You’ve got a limited # of spoons to spend each day in spoon theory. You choose where to use them.

Because they want you to be well.

That’s the simple version. And let’s trust that some of their “want” is coming from a good caring place.

Some of it may also be coming from a place of discomfort. You know how uncomfortable you can feel when someone else is suffering and you feel like  there’s really nothing you can do about it? But you want to do something so you say some trite comment like “this too shall pass”, or “it’ll all be okay”, or “it is what it is”, or “it could be worse”… (okay, these are some of my pet peeves when I hear them – I’m sure you’ve got some of your own).

The point is that we say these things because we’re uncomfortable, and saying them reduces that distress – if only for a moment. Here’s the thing: you don’t have to respond, and you don’t have to let them in. Use your armor of reminding yourself their comment is about them, not you.

Another reason they don’t get it is that they just don’t get it! They can’t know what it’s like to be you, just like you can’t know what it’s like to be them.

In that vein, I ran into a brilliant metaphor to living with illness called The Spoon Theory. Maybe you already know about it, but if not, I highly recommend a read. And perhaps more importantly, this is a resource for folks in your life who aren’t getting it. It may explain your life in a way you’ve not been able to. This story/theory articulates the phenomenon of our limited resources and the hard choices you have to make day in and day out. And there are thousands of “spoonies” out there!    ~Z