A good friend just called (more like the sister I wish I had) and said “Now, I get it. Spoons.” Previously, I had explained to her the theory of spoons – and the need for people with chronic conditions to measure out energy.
She admitted she understood philosophically, but now undergoing a chronic condition, one she is not prepared how to manage and is learning how to restructure her life to incorporate this element….now she gets it.
And I could certainly relate with an example from my own life. Feeling like shit – (let’s be honest, it’s really the best word) – means feeling bad. Not just “oh, I hurt” bad, but “everything in me just refuses to function like humans are meant to function: physically, mentally, emotionally, down to the cells of my heart and the marrow of my bones” bad.
She and I also discussed that this includes the intolerance for being teased. Yes, we know the person loves us. We know they are teasing. But cannot they see that not only do we feel bad, we feel bad about feeling bad and teasing – no matter how good-natured – just makes us feel worse, which we feel worse about and the whole thing just cascades into a pit of horror from there.
But why should we feel guilty about it? We’re the ones who feel bad. However, along with great pain comes great empathy if not great tolerance. We hate that we feel bad and we hate that it impacts our interactions, so we try to bend over backwards to accept that the fault obviously lies with us, because surely our loved ones would not intend to hurt us therefore obviously they don’t understand that they do. Thus, we either martyr along or put on the emotional gloves and go to our respective corners – which also takes energy.
So we choose between the energy to try to get others to understand why we’re in a bad mood and what would help us or hinder us (cause surely they’d want to know) or we put our energy into looking/sounding like a “normal” person or we simply save our energy and not care about any of it (which actually also takes energy, because the emotions naturally want to respond and when this raw and injured, they want to respond really strong).
Or we blog about it. That took a couple of spoons.