I haven’t forgotten that I intended this blog to post recipes. I still plan too. But I have limited energy, and other blogs, most of which have little more posted on them than this one. It’s also easier to write posts like this because I know how to write. But, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t know how to cook. My mother sent me a link to today’s daily post writing prompt from wordpress:
Basically, the idea is to add on to, or write about, Alanis Morrisette’s song, “Ironic”, from the album Jagged Little Pill. I love that song. It’s not my favorite from the album and it does bother my writers mind that most of the examples given in the song are not remotely ironic — they’re just unfortunate. But I’m a child of the 90’s through and though, and that’s one of the few albums I’ve ever heard in which I think every single song on it is excellent.
On a blog that at least claims to be a cooking blog, it would make sense for spoons to refer to teaspoons, tablespoons, or measuring spoons. Not so much. Did I mention I don’t know how to cook? In the past few years, spoons have taken on an entirely different meaning for me. I highly recommend reading about spoon theory, written by Christine Miserandino here:
It’s a little more complicated than how I’m going to summarize it, but “spoons”‘ are essentially a measurement system for units of energy. Most people don’t need to worry about spoons because they’re healthy and their energy depletes at a normal rate — or, if you’re like me before I got sick, at a slower than normal rate. So, for normal people, yes, cooking, cleaning, and working wear out their energy. But it doesn’t usually completely wipe them out. And doing normal, every day things like changing their clothes or taking a bath or shaving don’t significantly drain their energy. But If you have a chronic illness, they do. If you’re very, very lucky, you can work. If you’re not, you can’t. If you’re reasonably lucky, you don’t have to constantly reschedule doctor’s appointments (which would prevent you from working anyway because there are so damn many of them) because you are either too exhausted or in too much pain, or both to be able to make it to your appointments. If you’re blessed, you have family and friends to share the workload in our house — and usually to take over most of your share, too.
There is a line in Alanis Morrissette’s song that says, “It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife”. I remember the days when I didn’t have limited spoons. Right now, ten thousand spoons sounds like an infinite supply. I remember when sleeping or relaxing would truly replenish my energy and I would be raring to go again. Even then, there were hitches. I wonder if I have the genetic version of this disease because even when I was healthy, I would burn out easily. It took me longer to do things than it did for other people. Even if I don’t, I have a learning disorder and I struggled with depression and other mental health issues when I was younger. I overcame them, but chronic illness, chronic pain, and a forced complete change in how you live your life are prone to bringing depression back with a vengeance.
I wish I had essentially unlimited spoons again. I wish I could easily replenish my energy again. I would love to even have ten thousand spoons, and forget about the unlimited supply. But I don’t. I started the day with maybe twenty. I used up some talking to my mother and texting my friend. I’m very glad I did both of those things and I enjoyed them. But they do eat spoons. I want to take a bath and I haven’t shaved in weeks. I feel grimy because I’ve been wearing the same outfit for the past three days and my shirt is now dirty. I still have to call my father. I don’t know how many spoons writing and publishing this will eat up, but I’m very, very glad I’m doing it. Today isn’t a great day, energy wise. But it’s a far, far, better day than most of the ones I have lately. BUT, it comes at a huge cost. I have more spoons today partially because I slept until three pm. I tried so hard to drag myself out of bed this morning and it just didn’t work. Now, not only is my sleep schedule messed up (which is supremely hard to fix with a chronic illness — in my experience, anyway), my med schedule is also messed up, AND I missed going and getting fasting blood work done that I need to do by Friday. I have doctor’s appointments on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, which means it needs to be on Monday or Thursday. I’ve had about a month to try to get this blood work done.
I wish I had the spoons, but what I really need is a knife. I need a knife to cut through the constant fatigue that is so thick as to be almost tangible. I need a knife to slice away the brain fog that affects my memory, focus, concentration, and sometimes, it seems, even my IQ. I need a knife in my hand to have a weapon, to be armed for life and all I need to do. I need a knife as a utility tool to do all the chores and housework, maintenance and scheduling, all the communications and errands that I need to do and can’t. I need a knife to cut through all the b.s. and bureaucracy and red tape. I need a knife… I need to be a knife to have a sharp mind, to cut my way through trials, to avoid taking crap from people, to say “enough is enough”, to organize, to schedule, to plan, to get up in the morning, to stand throughout the day, to cook, to go to sleep at night. I really, really, need a knife. And if I can’t have the spoons, I’ll try to take the knife — or make one out of cardboard if I have to. But even though what I really need is a knife, I’d happily settle for ten thousand spoons.