Spoon Theory & Raising Awareness Through Humour
It has only been a few months into my blogging journey, and I am becoming more familiar with social media, I was not overly familiar with things like Twitter and Tumblr before.
I’ve had to learn all about trends and hashtags…trying to keep up with the sort of stuff people were talking about. In my trending feed one day I saw some funny posts with the hashtag SpoonieProblems. Thought it might have been a joke between two friends at first but then it popped up again and again, it was everywhere… I followed the trail to the original source and found out about spoon theory.
There’s a lot I want to talk about in regards to spoon theory, but for today’s post, I just want to say how much I love it. It is something I have known and lived with since my MS diagnosis, but I had never seen it so well articulated. If you have no idea what I mean when I refer to spoon theory, please give it a read.
In a nutshell, spoon theory describes how people with chronic illness have limited amounts of energy (spoons), and how we need to decide how and what we spend our energy on. Budgeting energy is something I have been doing for some time thanks to advice from my MS nurse, and I think spoon theory explains this quite well.
What I want to focus on today is the topic of humour and chronic illness. How it shows where we are on our journey, and how we can use it to raise awareness.
When I had depression, I had completely lost my sense of humour. I still cracked jokes, but they would be morbid or sarcastic with a painful kernel of truth that only very close friends could recognise. After the acceptance stage of my grieving process, my humour began to return.
I believe this was a crucial turning point in accepting my diagnosis when you’re able to joke around again, sometimes at your own expense, I think that indicated I had become comfortable with what was going on in my life. I was beginning to see the lighter side of having Multiple Sclerosis. Although outsiders may see it as self-degradation, it’s not. It’s more like laughing in the face of your enemy. It’s saying I’m strong, I’m not afraid of you, and you don’t control me anymore. Now my MS moments make me laugh.
My favourite form of internet humour are memes, ever since seeing lolcats for the first time, and I love sharing MS related memes with my MS peers. I think seeing the lighter side of some of the situations we get ourselves into can be therapeutic. Like that time I was looking for the milk in the pantry. Or the 100 times I have stepped out of the shower with conditioner still in my hair. And for things like that you don’t find it funny unless you’ve done it a hundred times too. Sure we have all been absent minded, but not to the degree a spoonie would.
#SpoonieProblems is our way of sharing those funny moments, as well as demonstrating the kind of choices we have to make. It’s humorous but it also helps explain what it’s like to have a chronic illness, and I think humour is a very friendly and accessible approach to raising awareness. I’ve never been a fan of shock or sympathy tactics. I like to keep it light-hearted, show people that I’m comfortable talking about my chronic illness, which means it’s ok for them to talk about it too.
So enough from me. I want to share some #SpoonieProblems that depict the funny side of MS.