I’ve been in a rut for the last few months. It’s no secret, and there is no point in hiding it. You graduate from college on this high where it feels like anything is possible because you just survived the last four years. You have a degree, you’re smart, you feel like a good person, but the truth that is waiting for you is this: the real world is hard. And it doesn’t matter how many times you’re told that beforehand, it doesn’t really make sense until you emerge from the bubble. People can warn you all they want, but you have to fall on your face a few times before you figure how to navigate this new terrain safely.
When I came back from Europe it was as if these dark clouds started to roll in. For awhile I tried to pretend that I didn’t notice them. I went about my business the best way I knew how; with my nose to the ground aggressively trying to sniff out leads, and so sure that my big break was going to arrive any minute. It’s been almost a year now since I walked across that stage and my life is nothing like I thought it would be. I’m now fully aware of the storm clouds over my head and spend nearly every day trying to see clearly despite all of the rain blurring my vision.
I’ve never thought of myself as someone suffering from depression. Mostly because I don’t want to throw that word around lightly, as if it just means sad. I’ve seen up close what depression looks like, and how other chronic illness can hollow people out, leaving only a shell. And even though it’s not the same, this is a time in my life where I feel like that shell. That I’m just not really the same. When I first started to feel a little rain fall I bought a copy of Jenny Lawson’s book, Furiously Happy. The whole book is about her struggle with mental illness and she spins it off into this hysterical read.
In her book she mentions this concept known as, The Spoon Theory. A theory that is actually created by another woman named, Christine Miserandino. Christine has lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks the healthy tissue in your body. A nasty disease that can completely knock the wind out of you, but on the outside you often look fine. One day Christine was out to eat with a friend and when asked about her disease, she strived to find a way to adequately explain what she was going through.
The Spoon Theory is the idea that you’re allotted so many spoons in a day. These spoons represent the energy you have to complete your daily routine. Each activity requires a spoon, sometimes more than one spoon depending on what it is. And because you have a limited supply of these spoons you have sometimes have to choose what you do wisely. It can seem unfair. Actually, it’s totally unfair.
Today was one of those days where I found myself in bed late this morning wondering where all my spoons had gone. It was a struggle to be productive, and even to convince myself to get in the shower this morning took more spoons then I was expecting. I don’t have days like this often, but when it happens I always feel disappointed in myself. Sometimes I push through it, and sometimes it pushes me to the ground instead. I guess what it comes down to is this, sometimes there are just not enough spoons.
But tomorrow is a new day, and you’ll live to find that allusive spoon.