or, it’s more than just limited energy
I have been living with negative spoons for so long now, I barely remember what it is like to have them.*
I have been so exhausted and overwhelmed for so long, the tax accumulating in myriad ways, until eventually I’ve gone so far past a straightforward shortage of spoons, that as the spoon deficits stack up, as each new thing drains me further, I end up with zero total spoons. Which basically means I have to borrow against future spoons just to survive, to take care of my kids, to feed myself.
When you have to balance future health, current health, and life reality because they can not all exist in the same space at the same time, something has to give. I’m still alive, I have shit to do so something has to give.
So I keep borrowing future spoons, because I have no other choice, knowing full well that I am only digging myself a deeper and deeper pit to crawl out of, if indeed I am ever able to rest enough to start recovering. Which always seems questionable when I am in the thick of it. How can I ever know if I will be able to conserve enough energy to ever get back to just breaking even when anything or everything tears me down even more.
even when I have more spoons, they can be stacked or tied up for long periods of time.
If I start out with 15 spoons a day I struggle to not overtax myself by overdoing it but is workable, barely. Then one of my chronic illnesses flare, which takes away five spoons a day. So now I am down to ten spoons a day, can I manage to do less daily? maybe. Then an increase in life stress and increased financial stress decreases my spoons by another five spoons. Now I am at a dire five spoons a day. I have spent months and months in which I could only do one single thing a day, no matter how seemingly small or inconsequential to most. One single thing a day outside of child care and feeding myself enough. Any life emergency means I will have to borrow against future spoons…and something will happen. Crisis tend to pop up when you are poor, over exhaustion is inevitable when something as small as a toddler having a bad day or a night or two of insomnia will/can/has put me out of balance and extremely vulnerable for increased spoon deficit. At that point any tiny little thing has to be borrowed future spoons. Then slowly that deficit grows, each thing that comes up causing a deeper and deeper deficit. Eventually even daily life stuff has to be borrowed for. The larger the deficit, the longer it will take me to recuperate; if I can get to a place where recovering spoons is even possible. When my health gets relatively (for me) better, an extra five spoons a day is helpful but doesn’t come close to covering the deficit even if a bad health flare was what initiated the downward spiral in the first place.
My spoon balance looks like the national debt at this point.
Hopefully I can get to a plateau soon so that I may in theory, if life ever decides to give us a break, maybe I can start that recuperation cycle again.
one can only hope
* Spoon Theory was created by Christine Miserandino