Chronic illnesses suck. Doesn’t matter what the illness is, if it’s chronic it sucks. Living with something that doesn’t go away, heal, or get substantially ‘cured’ by a pill or an injection can be made all the worse by people around you not understanding why you can’t go out with them, why you’re crying today, or why you just don’t have that oomph they used to see in you.
The Spoon Theory is a great analogy for living with chronic conditions. If you don’t know what it is, follow the link and find out. It’s a simple little story that will strike a chord with you despite it being written by a woman with lupus, a very specific illness. Because if you’re out here trying to sort out your depression, your bipolar, your PTSD or CPTSD, your transgenderism or WHATEVER it is you’re struggling with, The Spoon Theory will give you a handy theme to fall back on when confronting ill informed relatives and friends.
I’m a Spoonie in a lot of ways. My rheumatoid arthritis is one sort of spoonie; my so far undiagnosed but very possible bipolar and/or CPTSD is another. When I use the spoon theory to talk about my RA, the spoons are labelled ‘energy’ or ‘flexibility’ or ‘ease of movement’. When I use the spoon theory to talk about my mental landscape, the spoons are labelled things like ‘patience’ or ‘the ability to hold it all in so I don’t freak you out’. Same idea, different things I struggle with on a daily basis.
I don’t know much about how to handle what I’m going through. I’m even less qualified to give advice other than encouragement. But The Spoon Theory and the accompanying site has helped me through a lot. If you’re out there feeling like you can’t explain what you’re going through, give it a read. I hope it helps you like it helped me.