Slaying Fibro & Other Invisible Illnesses

Encouragement, Tips, and Ideas from One Slayer to Another

What’s a “Spoonie”?

Spoonie? Painsomnia? What on earth are we talking about?

If you are new to chronic illness – whether for yourself or because of a loved one – you’ll notice that we use a completely different language when talking about our lives. It isn’t just the medical terminology that surrounds us. We have our own way of describing our lives.

Our lives. Our terms.

What is a Spoonie -


So, what’s a “spoonie?”

In an effort to explain what it’s like to live with a chronic invisible illness, writer Christine Miserandino developed the spoon theory. Essentially, each action or expense of energy that we do in our normal, everyday lives such as shower, fix dinner, or work cost us a spoon – the equivalent of our energy currency.

Wash your hair and shave your legs – on the same day? Spend a spoon. (Maybe two.)

Walk your dog around the block? Spend a spoon.

Go to the grocery store? Spend a spoon.

The hard part about living with a chronic illness is that you only have so many spoons to go around. If you spend them all, you have no more reserves from which to pull. And, you can’t borrow them from another day. It’s a magical balance of learning to cope with what you have rather than what we’d like to have.

You can read the entire article here.

My spoons aren’t like your spoons.

Chronic illness is like a rainbow. It’s a rainbow of pain, but still a rainbow. Your life experience may be completely different from mine, so you may have a different spoon count than I do.

This keeps us different. It keeps us interesting. (That and the uber cool side effects, medicines, medical paraphernalia, etc.)

We might have to deal with a different set of requirements to make it through our days, but we can count on each other to understand how it is affecting our lives. I can reach out to my spoonie friends on social media with a quick text about my pain or fatigue, and suddenly support appears.

We are different, yet we are the same. We are a community.

We spoonies hang together.

If you are new to chronic illness, I encourage you to reach out to others through blogs, social media platforms such as Twitter, and video sites and apps like YouTube or Periscope. We chronic illness slayers have the market cornered on social media because it’s something that many of us rely on.

What's a Spoonie?

We can’t always depend on our bodies to take us outside the house, but we can connect with others as long as the Internet is working. (This will not become a rant about Time Warner, I promise…)

You will find us offering support through Twitter chats and videos, shout outs and convos. We add to our language through special hashtags like #spoonieproblems and #chroniclife.

If you need support, reach out. We’ll be there.

So, how do YOU describe being a spoonie? Share it with me in the comments.

About Stephanie Pitcher Fishman

Stephanie Pitcher Fishman is a writer of fiction and family stories who battles fibromyalgia and other invisible illnesses every day. She’s the author of Finding Eliza, The Widow Teal, and many genealogy guides in the Quick & Easy Guides for Genealogists series. You can find her author page at She writes about her experiences with fibromyalgia at

Taking care of yourself is not optional.

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Slaying your dragon (aka your pain) takes a lot out of you. Those of us with chronic illness really need time to heal and care of not just our bodies but our mind and soul as well. Let me help by giving you my best tips and ideas in my eBook Self Care 10 Ways (When You Just Feel Like Lying in Bed)for FREE.