What is a Spoonie?

Spoonie. A term that is being used increasingly in mainstream articles. But what exactly is it?

The term “Spoonie” was coined by Christine Miserandino to describe the impact of her chronic illness. It has fast become a very popular way to describe what it is like living with a chronic illness to people who might not have experienced living with one, or knowing people who have suffered.

The full story can be found on her website here.

It is SO worth a read. It quantifies and explains what is quite an abstract idea.


Essentially the spoon theory is that you have a limited number of “spoons” per day. Each activity you do takes up a spoon. So showering and getting dressed is a spoon, making breakfast is a spoon, getting to where you need to go is a spoon, lifting something heavy is a spoon, making dinner is a spoon, unpacking the dishwasher is a spoon. You have to prioritise your spoons. Obviously, going to uni/work is nonnegotiable, so sometimes social or cleaning activities have to fall by the wayside. It’s all a juggling process – something that I have learnt to do over the years – but it can be frustrating having to plan and organise your life so that you don’t run out of “spoons”.

Have any of you heard of the spoon theory? What do you think of it?



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