i get asks from time to time from people upset they can’t claim spoon theory to describe themselves, from people who say “able bodied people still have spoons, just a lot more of them than someone with an illness”.
i’m going to have to stop you right there, folks — spoon theory was CREATED to describe chronic illness. its origin and reason for existence is to give people with chronic ailments the ability to articulate their energy levels at any given time.
reserving spoon theory for people with chronic illnesses is not othering able bodied people. it is empowering people with disabilities. the empowerment of a marginalized group does not mean the automatic demotion of a privileged one.
healthy people don’t need spoon theory. healthy people get tired, yes. of course everyone runs out of energy eventually, yes. of course everyone needs rest, yes. but that struggle is not synonymous to someone whose life is defined by difficult choices, someone whose disease means choosing between cooking lunch and taking a shower, or whose flare-ups make it impossible to complete certain tasks.
some things are simply not yours to claim. some terms belong to certain groups, because they were created specifically for that group to be used by that group, often in order to communicate their specific situation to someone who wouldn’t understand from the outside. be respectful. don’t take it personally. be compassionate to people dealing with chronic illness and disabilities and mental illness. it is the right thing to do.