Paris, Île-de-France, France

September 11, 2016

I Ran Out of Spoons

This past week, I’ve been working on finishing up my upcoming book, The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression. And, as happens every time I sit down and make significant progress on the book, Aunt Dee pokes her head in, starts jabbering all her crazy shit, and I find myself finishing the week off on the couch watching old episodes of Star Trek (TNG, for the record.)

And this is totally ok.

One of the resources I mention in the book is this amazing article by Christine Miserandino called “Spoon Theory”. It’s been such a great metaphor for me in so many aspects of my life that this week, I just figured I’d share it with you. :)

You can click on over and read the article (it’s wonderful), but the gist is that we can imagine that we start each day with a set number of spoons.

Every action - taking a shower, going to work, cooking dinner, talking with friends - costs us a spoon. When we’re out of spoons, we’re done for the day, and we turn into a couch-bound zombie.

In a normal day, we each might start with something like 100 spoons. But for folks who deal with depression, lupus, and other affective diseases, that number can drop to something like 10 spoons. And a day with 10 spoons means you have to do things differently.

The best course of action?

Only spend your spoons on things that get you more spoons.

I’ve been putting this principle into action in the past week, and it really does help.

It also means choosing less impressive things (like ordering pizza and watching Star Trek) over more adventurous ones (like traipsing through all the Parisian chocolate shops and spending time with new friends.)

But it also means those choices are totally and completely OK. Those times I say no are what allows me to do the things I really care about – like completing this book that I’m so passionate about.

If you’re someone who ever deals with days when you’ve got a lot fewer spoons (or know someone who does), maybe this metaphor will resonate with you, too. In any case, I figured it was worth a share. :)

Wishing you a great week ahead, and all the spoons you need,

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week were these wonderful science videos by Sally LePage. Ever wondered about the tragedy of the commons? Or how new species get named? Her hilarious and human videos have you covered. :)

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