I shared some old posts from Tumblr this morning here on this site. I was just rewinding and going back over what I posted ( I mean actually created, and not just re-blogged) that was meaningful and not just pictures of cool stuff (mainly Doctor Who and Star Wars), cartoons, insanely breathtaking women, softcore Tumblr porn, .GIF files of stuff (Mainly Doctor Who, Star Wars and softcore Tumblr porn) , or some hipster art photographs. There was a lot of digging. It was like an archeological expedition into the pastel, SJW, world that Tumblr has become and that is easy to get lost in. I love to go there and look, but it’s hard to create there.
But, I have digressed.
While sharing some of the posts that I found on my Tumblr, there was one that I remembered and it’s subject matter has probably impacted me the most with my mental health issues. I was reading a post by The Frogman regarding his chronic fatigue syndrome. In that post, he referenced “The Spoon Theory” and after I read the post detailing that, I immediately saw that this theory worked with almost any disorder. I wrote a post on Tumblr that, at the time, detailed how I felt it applied to me. As I sit here and type this out, I am wondering if the theory still has the same application to me, or is it different, or does it still apply at all?
I remember reading this first part from “The Spoon Theory”:
“Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.”
Just from the first sentence, I see that this now applies to me differently. One, because I am older (I will be 39 in 6 days and I then plan to just quit aging) and two I do not have an unlimited amount of possibilities due to my accepting my mental illness (and other health factors) as a disability. And just like back in 2012, my mental illness still has control over me (less now than back then). I came across this part of my post and I definitely saw a change from then and now.
Now, most days (with the help of medication, cognitive therapy tools I have learned, and meditation) I function like a “normal” human. I get up, I fix breakfast, I perform daily tasks, rinse and repeat. But, I took this from the days when I am just not feeling it or when I don’t/forget to take my meds or when I wasn’t medicated.
Now days, it’s an unusual thing that I miss a day of meds. It happens, but not like it used to where I would miss days; however it is a struggle at times to get up and do these “normal” tasks. Some mornings I just don’t feel like cooking breakfast. So, I just make coffee and have a protein shake. When/if I get the energy I may get up and make something like eggs and toast or a bowl of cereal. My morning spoon count is down these days.
The other part from “The Spoon Theory” that I took to heart was this:
“I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.”
And that’s how it is now days. I wake up and I don’t feel the “On Demand” spoons that I mention in my post. I feel like I only have a few spoons to get me through getting to the bathroom, taking care of the dogs, finding something to eat quickly so that I can take my meds, and then planting my ass on the couch. It’s not so much “on demand” anymore as it is “as needed”. The one thing that still rings true today though is when I get hypomanic or manic, just like I wrote then:
Then, something would happen and all of the sudden … I would have OVER 9000 SPOONS AND I HAD TO USE THEM RIGHT THEN!!
I am going to change my position on my depression though. When I am depressed, I don’t care about spoons. I don’t need spoons. I don’t want spoons. Fuck spoons, just leave me alone is pretty much how I am now when I hit a depressed state. My anxiety is a bit different as well. Because I may have all of the spoons I need, but I am just sitting and staring at them because I am fearful of using them. What if I use them wrong? What if they are the wrong spoons? Are these spoons even good enough to use? So, a lot of the time I just sit and stare at my spoons and worry about their quality and correct usage. By doing this the spoons go to waste.
The one thing that I have noticed from reading this old post is that I do not rapid cycle NEARLY as much as I used to. It happens on occasion; however it seems like it was a daily happening just a few years ago. I would seriously do this daily:
…I would have the “normal” level at the “on-demand” level again. Then , I am pissed off and and I only have 20 spoons to use to vent my rage. Then, I am watching TV , back at the “normal/on-demand” level but, a commercial came on and I am now laughing hysterically for no real reason. Now, I am crying uncontrollably for no real reason and back down to to the 13 spoon range.
I would seriously swing between anger, hysterical laughing, and uncontrollable crying within the span of a TV show. In that post I describe this:
…MY GENERAL ANXIETY DISORDER HAS KICKED IN AND I HAVE BARRICADED MYSELF IN THE APARTMENT BECAUSE THERE ARE BAD THINGS OUTSIDE!!
Yep, that actually happened. My anxiety was out of control and I was anxious to go outside at our apartment complex because of some unseen evil/doom that was awaiting me. Trash was piling up, we now had rats because of it and my mania was in full swing and I was going days without sleep. So, at one point I barricaded the front door with the garbage and waited for the “doom” to occur and all I could keep saying to myself was “The Kitten is in the Pudding”. I don’t know if this was a code word that my brain had concocted or what but I kept saying it all day as I frantically watched out of my blinds. I undid my barricade when the wife was heading home and then proceeded to scare the shit out of her with my actions.
Like the old post, I still agree with the fact that I do not get to control my spoons. I still either don’t get enough, get too many, don’t care about them, or I sit and stare at them in terror. I also still struggle with what people consider “simple tasks” and therapy and a good medication regimen can definitely help stabilize you; however that line about “and a bit of fuck you”, yeah…no. That’s what leads to shoving things down, and having them fester and then eventually you have a major break. So, it’s not a “bit of fuck you” it’s a lot of dealing with the issues and getting shit taken care of.
So, take care of yourself and use your spoons wisely.