Chronic pain affects many people, either directly or indirectly. If it's not something you suffer from, there is a good chance that it affects someone you care about. Christine Miserandino suffers from Lupus, and when out with a friend, she invented The Spoon Theory to help her friend see life better through her eyes.
Dealing with Chronic Pain: The Spoon Theory
Chronic pain can be extremely hard to explain to loved ones, but The Spoon Theory is an easy to understand breakdown.
I personally suffer from Fibromyalgia, along with a few other pain causing health problems. I have often been accused of faking it, or exaggerating. It is frustrating not being able to explain to people just how life feels from my end.
Then I found The Spoon Theory. I was in a support group on Facebook and someone linked to it. As I read it, I finally felt like someone understood. It wasn't long before I had my husband read it. I could see by looking at his face that he was finally starting to get it. The conversation we had afterward was a very emotional one.
I would advise everyone to read The Spoon Theory. It will help bring you some understanding, and possibly some new empathy toward people that have chronic pain disorders. In her Cafepress Store, you can find gifts to show your support to someone suffering, and posters of The Spoon Theory to hang up as a reminder.
Helping others understand isn't the only benefit. I've talked to people who have better realized how to manage their pain, or budget their spoons, and have improved their lives because of it. Being able to tell yourself it's alright to take a break, is a huge relief and can cut down on stress.
As someone who has dealt with this since I was thirteen, I can't express how painful disbelief can be. Being treated like a faker, and not being taken seriously, can sometimes be more painful than the physical pain caused by the health ailments. Having some support and understanding can go a long way toward changing someone's life.
When I'm going through a flare, there really isn't much my husband can do to get rid of my physical pain, but helping me realize that I don't have to feel guilty about taking it easy and focusing on not over doing it really does help a lot. I often try to force myself to do things I shouldn't to better take care of my three girls, so having someone telling me that they'll be just fine snuggling on the couch with me when I don't feel well is beneficial.