I’ve come to realize over the last couple of weeks that I’ve become a pretty craptastic friend.  I’ve ruthlessly hacked my social life into something unrecognizable. I find myself hating that fact, and owning it at the same time.

Anyone who has been in the chronic pain community for long has heard the spoon theory: a modern parable about how a woman explained what it felt like to live with Lupus to her friend, while sitting at what I imagine to be a Perkins (cause that is where my college roommates and I ate many a bread bowl at 12am). She grabbed a bunch of spoons and handed them to her friend, explaining that each spoon was an activity during the day, everything from getting dressed, to washing dishes. When you have something like Lupus, or pain in my case, you have only those spoons to use each day. The amount of energy, sanity and physical ability is limited in a way that most people never have to consider. Add a couple of things beyond your spoon allowance, even fun stuff like coffee with your girlfriend, and you learn to regret it very quickly.

So that  sounds simple enough, right? Just stick to your handful and live a peaceful, relatively healthy life. The problem that I have with my particular bouquet of spoons is that they can in no way embody the person I imagine myself to be. In my soul I am a good friend, who always has time to make a birthday call, send a card, visit with cookies; I actually see my friends, in person. In reality, I spend my utensil allotment working full-time, entertaining my 5 year old and attempting to be an accommodating and loving spouse.  Once in a while I even manage to vacuum.  I have learned to celebrate the fact that I continue to live a fulfilled and purposeful life, I cannot apologize for the ways in which I have had to draw my barriers.

I guess this is my way of saying that it is not without regret. I acknowledge that I am an absent friend  to many whom I love and dwell on daily. Much like my pain, I have not accepted this as my foregone conclusion, but for today, it is my reality.


One response to this post.

  1. […] enough spoons in the world for this week. I’m awaiting an Oscar nomination for the performance I’ve […]


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The Littlest Rabbit

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