I just read about this today, and it really amazed me. Her situation is different, of course, but the story can easily be changed to any other one of these "invisible" disorders, from autism to depression and anxiety, or whatever.
I felt really close to this post. I can't tell you how many times I have chosen not to do something because I was "out of spoons". And then I beat MYSELF up for not being able to just do whatever, because an adult "should" be able to handle and do it all, right? Especially when others who seem to have more to deal with than I do can do it. Why can't I?
It's even worse to think that other people are thinking that about me.
I wonder how many people wonder and complain that I can't go to their houses, or something. I wonder how many people get upset and don't visit me because I can't seem to visit them. I wonder if there are people who get frustrated that they always have to choose between "my turf" or nothing at all.
Maybe thankfully, I don't have many friends geographically close enough to me to bother visiting. I mean, for me, an hour isn't that far to drive for a friend, and I have done it on more than one occassion. In fact, I've driven twice to four times that distance for friends or family plenty of times, only to not have them return that respect in my direction.
However, to be honest, I just don't have enough spoons for that. It gets very exhausting very quickly. Usually I've used up tomorrow's spoons simply by cleaning the house and packing to leave on a trip somewhere. I'm only in the past few years learning enough about myself and my limitations to know that even though I have to plan to feel control over our travel, I need time/a day to do nothing and decompress and recover the lost spoons.
I still don't give myself enough of a break on this. I push myself until I'm past my abilities. I'm not very easy on myself about this! But maybe this idea will stick in my head and help me to be more aware of my limitations.
Now, if I only had a tool to know when I'm reaching my limit. You see, though I agree with the spoons, I don't know how many spoons I have, so I find it very difficult to know when I'm reaching the end of my spoons. It's like I'm working on spoons hidden in a locked drawer that I don't have the key for.
What I hope for the most out of this post, is that people who know me start to understand that I need you're companionship, but you gotta stop making me use up all my spoons to get to you. Come my direction every now and then. make it a little easier on me by doing some of the work. I will have a much better visit with you if you meet on my turf, and it's not selfishly, but because I just have more spoons left over when I don't have to pack up the kids, drive an hour (or more) and then worry about my kids getting into your likely non childproofed home. ;) Just trust me on this.