What Wellness Means To Me – Cheryl Brown

What does wellness mean to you? Vitality, vigour, energy, strength?

Me too. I’m all about wellness these days as you know, and  the words above pretty much sum up what wellness has always meant to me.

I haven’t written here for quite a while now. It’s not that I’ve lost interest – I love this blog and I love writing. I’ve thought about it a lot over the last couple of weeks and there’s been no shortage of things to write about. What has been in short supply is…  well, all of the above: vitality, vigour, energy and strength.

Let me introduce you to Spoon Theory. Spoon Theory was devised by a young woman called Christine Miserandino to illustrate what it’s like to have a fatigue-related illness. She chose the analogy of spoons because she happened to be in a diner when her friend asked her to explain what it was like to have lupus. Christine grabbed all the spoons from the table and explained that one spoon represents a small amount of energy. You have a limited number of spoons to spend in a day – when they’re gone, they’re gone, so you have to use them carefully. That means you don’t live like other people – things most people take for granted need to be thought through, and judgments need to be made about how many spoons even the simplest tasks are likely to use up.

After I read Christine’s article, spoony terminology entered our everyday language. Mr S would ask, ‘how many spoons do you have?’ and the response would range from ‘maybe half a teaspoon’ to ‘a whole big bunch of ladles’! Or he’d say, ‘how’s the cutlery drawer today?’ Anybody overhearing that kind of conversation must have thought we were really strange, but spoon talk has been a very practical way to communicate my state of health and ability to function to my nearest and dearest.

It can be tricky to judge how many spoons you’ve got to spend in a day, and that’s what keeps getting me into trouble, especially now that I’m so far along the path to recovery. I simply keep forgetting that I need to be careful, and the stronger I get, the more I’m convinced I’m completely cured and therefore can do all the things a ‘normal’ person can. (If my family are reading this, they’re rolling their eyes right about now – they’ve tried to tell me, again and again.) Then I crash, and there are no spoons left to complete my (self-imposed) tasks for the day.

That’s what’s been happening over the last couple of weeks, and that’s why there have been no new blog posts for a while. Life is moving forward and opportunities are opening all over the place. After all those years of doing not very much at all, there are so many choices to be made – and I want to choose everything. The trouble is, I don’t have the spoons for everything…

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