If you've ever dealt with a person feeling a bit depressed, you may have resorted to saying helpful things like "There are people worse off than you". Or "It can't get any worse" and "It will get better." And other such empathetic/sympathetic statements that mean you’ve done your best to help. As we all know an arm round the shoulders and an encouragement to talk is what is need. Answers are not.

My special spoon has a small hole in the centre, causing that sip of chicken broth, which sorts most things out apparently, to just dribble down their chin! It's a hoot and will cheer anyone up! This clever spoon is indeed invaluable to give to anyone you know who is not happy.

But there is a secret solution that you tell them AFTER they first tried the spoon, but BEFORE they burst into tears. Simply take the finger from their other hand and place it underneath and cover the hole as you lift it from the soup. Then use as normal. Once the spoon is emptied you can remove that extra finger and lick it. Do not use with very hot food. That really would be a downer!

But seriously, Spoon Theory is actually a thing. You’ve surely lacked the energy to get out of bed some days. Or even to clean your teeth when you go to bed. Or wash up. But some people live with that chronic lack of energy all the time. Life is a constant struggle to do the every day things. But do we just think “We’re all tired! Just get on with it!" And this is just talking about people with a mental health problem, let alone those who actually have physical pain. 

Christine Miserando (I don't expect the name helped much), a lady with Lupus, had the genius idea of having 12 spoons per day. And each one represented the energy needed to do a simple task. Just standing up is an energy draining chore when you have severe joint pain. One spoon gone! 11 to go for the rest of the day. Or perhaps having a shower robbed you of 5 in one go!

How many spoons do you have each day? Maybe not even 12. And when they’re gone, they’re gone for the day. But telling someone you’re running low on spoons explains to them where you’re at without appearing to whinge about how tired you are.

She says “How do I explain every detail of every day being affected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else?”

If you’re a Spoonie, if this sounds a bit or a lot like you click this for a copy of The Spoon Theory, read and pass it on.

I don't think my spoon is that useful unless you give it to a friend with the booklet mentioned above.

Spoon Theory helps you explain to others what your limitations are. It also helps you to realise that you are achieving things, however small, within your capabilities. One way to see this as a positive, however, is to break down tasks into tiny steps and reward yourself (with a smile, or a star) when one step is achieved. "One small step..." etc.

A garden full of weeds is unlikely to be conquered and thus never started. You must just pick ONE weed. No more (and no less!) and that IS an achievement. Be happy but don't push yourself to do many more or next time it will appear daunting again.