Spoons: Close Reading the “Spoon Theory” of Mental and Physical Health

July 10, 2016 | Bridget Moynihan

What does a spoon have to do with mental or physical well-being? How can a metaphor or other form of figurative language help someone communicate an experience that might otherwise be very difficult to explain? How do the existing resonances that surround our everyday objects, like spoons, inform and empower our chosen metaphors?

I chose to focus on these questions in my presentation for the 2015 “SAY ANYTHING” Blethers event, because the holistic health of students and faculty in academia, as in so many other high-pressure environments, can often be overlooked. I believe that saying something, saying anything, about physical and mental heath challenges is a small but necessary step in the effort to create more compassion and space for well-being in these environments.

Full credit for the “Spoon Theory” goes to Christine Miserandino and her original publication can be read at www.butyoudontlooksick.com. For both her story and her willingness to share it, I thank Christine from the bottom of my heart.


About Bridget

I am currently a PhD researcher in English at the University of Edinburgh studying the archives and scrapbooks of Scottish poet Edwin Morgan. I have a passion for printed texts that push the boundaries of what it means to “be” a book, and am fascinated by the emerging role of digital media in our cultural imaginations. Running this site is my first foray into academic blogging, but it certainly won’t be my last!

 

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