Spoon Theory

If you aren’t familiar with Spoon Theory, go get a copy of Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson, right now. Also, start reading her blog. Gods…. if you haven’t been reading The Bloggess, what rock have you been hiding under all these years?

In Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson explains “Spoon Theory” in detail. I’m giving her full credit for it here because it makes so much sense and explains the whole “I just can’t…” part of Depression. Let me explain.

First, let’s take a young, perfectly healthy person. This person wakes up in the morning with a full set of spoons. All the things they have to do that day require energy. You have a spoon for everything you need to do. You already got out of bed. That’s a spoon. Eating, caring for people, going places, cleaning house, working…. you get the idea. And at the end of the day, this young healthy person has spoons leftover as he or she goes to bed. When they wake up, the Spoon Fairy has arrived with this fresh supply of spoons for the day. Voila! Infinite spoons!

I Googled "Spoon Fairy" and really found this image.
I Googled “Spoon Fairy” and really found this image. The Spoon Fairy does exist. PROOF!!

But if you’re sick, that affects the number of spoons you get that day. If you’re battling mental illness, you start to see those spoons dwindle. There will be days you wake up and the fairy only left you 3 or 4 spoons. That’s all you get for the day and you have to make them last. You have to be selective with your spoons.

You haven’t seen a post from me since … oh …. June of last year, because I haven’t had the spoons to write. Today, I sit and write about Spoon Theory. I’m still in my pajamas. I haven’t had a shower or brushed my teeth. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t brushed my hair. If my husband hadn’t called me to ask me a question, I probably wouldn’t have said one word to anyone. By the time this post is complete, I may be out of spoons; I’m not sure yet. I may have a couple more. I hope I do.

You always seem to get 1 spoon. You woke up. You aren’t dead today. But, yes, that requires a spoon, because the energy that comes pouring in when you wake up…. all the mind chatter and the self-talk you have to fight.

“OMG, can’t I just lay here?”

“No. you have to get out of bed. How can you tell your kid he can’t stay in bed all day if you just stay in bed all day?”

So by the time you guilt trip yourself, you’ve spent a spoon just waking up.

If you only have 3-4 spoons that day, you decide how to spend them. Personal hygiene may have to be put off until the next day. Or the next. Or the next. Some day when you have enough spoons or until you just can’t take it anymore.

You start valuing relationships on a whole new level. Friendships change. Long-term depression will do that to people. But it comes down to talking about what’s wrong and why you don’t feel like this person doesn’t have your back. You tell yourself that this person just has too much going on right now and it isn’t the right time to talk, but in reality, you just don’t have enough spoons to have a conversation.

There are days when I wake up with one spoon and I just want to cry. I know I have to get out of bed anyway and I don’t have the spoons to do it. Those are the days I have to fake it. I have to put up a façade. I become Duch.

Duch is smart, confident, outgoing. She’s anything but depressed. She can damn sure get out of bed in the morning. I put the face on. Oh, and Duch would want to dress up pretty. But, damn… does she have to wear those uncomfortable shoes? So what if they’re pretty? Ok, but she does tell me I look good.

She drags me outside & we go somewhere. Anywhere. Even if it’s to a freakin’ coffee shop. Although, recently, she made the mistake of dragging me to the grocery store (trying to accomplish getting something done while getting me out of the house), but that only resulted in me having a panic attack. Too many people, too crowded. So Duch and I went home with just a few items, got back into the pajamas and drank beer. I was now at negative spoons.

Negative spoons is not a good thing. This doesn’t go away the next day. There is no magickal reset to zero. When the fairy brings your spoons the next day, she subtracts the spoons you “borrowed” against… you know, those spoons that took you into the negative? If you don’t have enough, she leaves you one. She carries the balance over to the following day.

If there is a way to earn spoons, I’d like to know.

But that is Spoon Theory, in a nutshell. Now go read Jenny Lawson’s book. But if you haven’t read her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, go read that first. And, for chrissakes! Get out from under that damned rock!

SpoonTheory

Symbolism

I’ve always enjoyed watching commercials. When I was a child, it was because the commercial jingles captured my attention. As an adult, I like to identify symbolism used in a marketing campaign. You know, those visual or audio queues (or combinations of both), used to gear a commercial to its target audience. All ad campaigns use these techniques, but it seems the easiest to identify and the most amusing are the ads for Erectile Dysfunction.

We all recognize this image, don't we?
We all recognize this image, don’t we?

My favorite is a Viagra ad they’ve been showing, lately. You know, that new one with Kelly Hu? This commercial must be popular because they’re playing it all the time.

Kelly Hu Viagra Model

I couldn’t help myself. Everything was right there in front of me. The symbolism was so blatant! Subliminal? HA! There is nothing subtle about this ad, much less subliminal. Let’s get started, shall we?

You have the water imagery. It’s not a two-bathtub reference, but it is a very nice poolside/lakeside shot. The line of the water is a soft, flowing line, similar to the line of the fabric in Kelly’s dress. In contrast, the lines of the deck, umbrellas, and everything “wood” are straight, hard and rigid.

water

In fact, the lake house, itself, continues the symbolic reference with the hard wood as the commercial shows shots from both inside and outside the retreat.

Trust me… the wood in this house is staying up for longer than 4 hours.

All of this symbolism, I get. I understand. I even understand why they chose Kelly Hu for this ad. Do a Google search on her modeling career. She’s pretty hot.

kelly hu

But someone please answer me this… Why the lighthouses?

lighthouse

Karma

I heard the news fourth-hand.
I can’t say from a friend of a friend;
The original source is merely an acquaintance
Kept at a distance for good reason.
I heard you were dying today.
A wasting death… poor dear.

After the fifteen years I held onto
Too terrified to leave
Me finally standing up to you…
I didn’t see your rage building with my confidence
Until it was too late.

You tried to kill me.
You wrecked MY son’s home.
You can’t call him yours anymore, thank God.
Holding him hostage in a standoff…
You took his childhood that day,
His friends, everything….

And now you are dying.
A wasting death… poor dear.
I smile every morning as I cherish the news.
You are terminal.
You will slowly waste away in pain
Knowing there is no cure.

October-Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Writer’s Paralysis

Writer’s paralysis. It’s not quite the same as writer’s block. With paralysis, you have so much stuff in your head to write about, you don’t know where to begin. You pick up your laptop, open up your program of choice, and you’re faced with the blank page. You can’t pick just one thing to start with. There is no gentle flow of writing or a coherent flow of a story. There is no river of creativity flowing from you. If you write, the dam will break and the flood will come forth. Chaos will ensue and all you will have is … the wreck that was in your mind. No one will understand. Possibly, not even yourself.

My son writes. He showed me this tool to get past the paralysis. I hope it works. It’s a website that doesn’t allow you to see what you’re typing. You can’t backspace, either…

… That was the beginning of a lengthy entry I wrote on July 6th. I decided not to post it because the rest of the entry contained a lot of very personal information (everything going on in my head right now causing writer’s paralysis).

But the tool my kid showed me was amazing, and I want to share it with everyone. As writers/bloggers, we all run across writer’s block or writer’s paralysis every now and then. When you can’t figure out what’s causing it or you can’t see a way around it, this should do the trick. Just sit down and start “blind typing”, and regurgitate whatever is in your head. Eventually, something will come out.

http://ilys.com

Happy writing, and I’ll see y’all again soon!

— Duch

Watching Apples Grow Into Trees

I didn’t realize just how long it’s been since I’ve posted here. Yes, I’ve been AWOL. Trying to get my head together kinda’ does that. As in any journey through recovery, we always make new discoveries. Yesterday I didn’t just stumble across one; no… it was a brick wall I ran into at full speed – and it wasn’t about me. It was about my kid.

Continue reading “Watching Apples Grow Into Trees”

Letters Never Sent

Eight years ago today, I finally got out of an abusive relationship. I spent fifteen years with that man, and it ended in an event I refer to as “the bad thing”. This year was the first year I didn’t have nightmares about my ex, or the bad thing. That’s progress.

Today’s post is about letting things go, and saying things I want to say to someone who can no longer hurt me. A letter I’ll never send, because he’s really not worth my time, and because I have to get it out.
Continue reading “Letters Never Sent”

Still Crazy After All These Years…

… but aren’t we all just a tiny bit crazy?

In my last post I brought a very difficult topic to light. I’m happy to say to all of you I’ve made it 2 weeks and 2 days without an incident.

menopauseexpress.com-2-weeks

I won’t lie to you; each day is a challenge right now. But today is probably the first day I’ve actually felt good about myself, and that’s a huge change.  Continue reading “Still Crazy After All These Years…”