Hey doll hey!!! How’s your day/night going?? Great I hope.
I have a lot of people ask me why I always say “Save a spoon for a bit of lipstick”. The reason I say this is that as a spoonie over the years I hadn’t always left spoons for self care. I would spend all my spoons, or energy for those of you who don’t know what that means. We who suffer from autoimmune illnesses call ourselves spoonies…. why you ask? Because we identify with an article by a fellow spoonie named Christine Miserandino who wrote an article entitled Spoon Theory where she explained to her friend who wanted to know what it was like to deal with an autoimmune illness. She used spoons in her explanation to symbolize the amount of energy someone with autoimmune illnesses has when they start their day and how each little thing we do takes away from this spoon supply.
Well for many years I would waste all my spoons before I got to doing anything for myself and this caused me to suffer horrible depression and caused me to have very low self esteem. After a few years of always feeling horrible about myself I realized the things I loved doing such as home spa days, painting my nails, playing in my makeup, getting dressed in actual clothes (I would take a shower and than immediately pop myself into a fresh pair of pajamas), and simply just wearing some perfume (I thought why bother I’m stuck in the house because of this stupid illness and why waste perfume on myself when I’m only staring at the same 4 damn walls). I finally remembered that I have value and I have the right to pamper myself even if I’m only going to be resting or just being around the house. So I started to limit myself to the things I do in a day. Instead of getting up and cleaning the full house everyday (yes I use to dust and mop and vacuum and the wash, and rearrange the whole house everyday on top of all of my normal responsibilities such as cooking and dishes). I started taking some of the energy and poured it into self care… I would take my shower and then do something for myself such as my hair (instead of just pushing a brush through my hair and pulling it into a bun) or giving myself a pedicure or spending time doing a face mask…. slowly this morphed into me wanting to do more beauty related things for my blog …. this led to me doing my makeup every day which in turn helped with my depression …. when you look put together, you just feel better. This led me to want to dress up more, instead of just living in pjs or a pair of my husband’s sweatpants.
I conclude every post with the tag line “Remember… Save a spoon for a little lipstick” as a way to remind my fellow spoonies to save time and energy for themselves.
This is so important for all spoonies to do. We tend to put the needs of everyone else before ourselves… we then get lost in all the daily coming and goings and before you know it we are a bit sadder, a bit more frustrated, a bit more hopeless….. this effects our self esteem and our mental health.
Now I’m not saying applying lipstick will instantly get rid of our depression and boost our self esteem… but it starts to help… just taking a few minutes and a spoon or two out of our days to get do something as simple as giving ourselves a face mask treatment or giving ourselves a new hair style or just simply popping on some makeup starts to make us feel happier and more put together…. this can lead to not wanting to wear pjs or sweats all day …. it starts to boost your self confidence and in turn improves your mood.
Now, this wont be a “first time you try it you’ll be all better” type approach to better mental health…. this is a “taking time out for me, because I’m worth it” type approach.
See when I first got sick …. I was down all the time. I felt useless and as if I was a burden. I couldn’t even shower on my own … my husband had to help me shower because I was so weak and in so much pain that just getting into the tub was a huge feat. By the time I was done soaping my body up and had no energy left to wash my hair.
On day hubby came home with a shower chair and said we were going to do this together…. he would hop in the shower with me…. help me lather up and whilst I was sitting on the shower chair he would take the responsibility to wash my hair. I still only wore buns for most of the time… except for on moderately good days where I could do my hair and makeup…. even though it took a long time to do the makeup portion of my day…. with tons of starts and stops.
I would get so frustrated because I would cook dinner and not have enough energy to do the dishes.. or get to the wash… or even make my bed (on the good days where I was able to get out of bed).
I started to get depressed because I hadn’t the spoons to visit friends or go to a movie, or even go out for dinner. We had Disney season passes … and I had no energy to even attempt to go to the happiest place on earth. I started to beat myself up because I no longer could tackle all of the house work in 1 go.
I never liked going out because I hadn’t the energy to put myself together … I hated leaving the house in pjs or sweats and hated that I always wore my hair in a bun with no makeup…. makeup was always a big part of my soul …. I am seriously passionate about makeup …. it’s my favorite hobby.
As time went on I started to adjust to the medications and treatments for Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis and was able to do more… but I still wasn’t able to get to do things for myself …. this is when I realized I had to figuratively die to my old life and begin to accept and improve my new life as a spoonie.
This is when I took time to see just how much I could do before my spoons were gone and learned to adjust life so that there was enough spoons for both myself and my household.
I learned it’s ok to do the wash and not fold it or put it away until the next day (although there are some times that when I do the wash I end up in a flair and have to put off putting the clothes away for a few day …. and I have learned over the years that this is OK… it’s OK to need to rest …. allow yourself to rest …. you deserve to rest). I learned that I could ask for help with the cooking and washing up afterward. I also learned to take short cuts … such as purchasing paper plates and cups and disposable utensils to make washing up quicker and easier for me. I learned to accept that it’s OK to serve left overs the next day if I am having a spoon shortage. I learned that it’s OK to dust biweekly instead of everyday … I learned it’s OK to wash my hair every 2 to 3 days instead of everyday …. in fact my hair has never been better …. apparently forgoing washing my hair for a few days (even though I still brush it and put it together nicely) actually leaves my hair softer and easier to manage.
I still longed for my old life but set out to find life hacks to help me get back to as close to my old life as I could.
One of those things was implementing more self care things into my daily routine.
I started to do the wash weekly instead of daily…. vacuuming weekly instead of daily …. I learned that I could make my bed daily without having to furnish the bed with all the extra decorative pillows and duvets , that just simply fixing up the bed with the bed sheets and cover where OK. I learned that not every meal has to be a 4 course extravaganza … that just a simple steak and mash potatoes was good enough. That dessert didn’t have to be homemade every night….. dessert could be a weekend adventure and that I didn’t need to make it from scratch if I didn’t have the extra spoons for it. I learned that if I needed to soak the pots and pans (since we now were using paper plates and cups and disposable utensils) for the night …. this was OK ….
I simply learned to let go of my super structured life and just relax into the new life of needing to watch my spoon count for the day ….
Before I knew it I had extra spoons that I could use for my own self worth. I was able to take time to do hair styles for myself … take time to sit down and play in my makeup and feel good about that ….. before I knew it I was waiting to wear outfits instead of PJs (even thought there are still days where I just don’t have the spoon count to get dressed up … and that still is OK …. I allow myself the bummy days when I need them). I was wanting to take the time to sit down a blog more … I found myself feeling confident again, happy again, more put together again.
This is the reason I tag line each post with “Remember save a spoon for a bit of lipstick”. It’s to remind my fellow spoonies to save some energy for something for themselves …. To save a spoon to do something for their own well being … not just whatever one else needs. To take the time to practice self care …. even if it’s just a simple pedicure or manicure …. it’s 1 thing out of all the things you do that is simply just for you …. you DESERVE to do something for yourself too. I chose to do my makeup for myself because it makes me happy and I love playing around with looks …. that’s the thing I choose to save my special spoon for …. so even if you don’t like makeup save a special spoon for YOURSELF….. or are just starting out with makeup use that special spoon to practice and hone your makeup skills ….. it could be anything …. you could use that spoon to crochet or knit …. to do a puzzle or read a book …. you could use it to shave your legs or color your hair …. use that special spoon to go for coffee with a friend or go see a movie, or pop into the mall for a bit of retail therapy….the possibilities are endless … the important take away is that you save a special spoon for an activity that is just for you …. So when I use my tag line …. I am in no way trying to down play that we have limited energy as an autoimmune person … I’m simply reminding you to save some of that energy to treat yourself well.
Well…. that’s all for this post dolls…. I hope an pray you are having a good day/night …. that you are low in pain and are in good spirits….
Remember dolls …. Save a spoon for a bit of lipstick.