The Mighty Logo

15 Memes That Nail What It's Like to Have Limited Energy With Chronic Illness

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

If you live with chronic illness, your energy levels probably don’t work the same as they do for your healthy friends. Those with chronic illness often have limited amounts of energy – and once that energy runs out, there’s no “pushing through.” Your energy reserves are 100 percent depleted until they can be replenished with plenty of rest.

This experience of having limited energy due to a health condition is what inspired Christine Miserandino to create the “spoon theory” – and why so many in the chronic illness community may refer to themselves as “spoonies.” You start each day with a certain number of spoons (or a certain amount of energy), but once you have used up all your spoons, there is nothing more you can do.

Having limited energy can not only be exhausting physically, but it can be taxing mentally as well to be constantly planning ahead and trying to “calculate” what you will and won’t be able to do. But humor can be a powerful coping mechanism for many dealing with these struggles, so we rounded up some memes that nail what it’s like to be a spoonie. Hopefully some of these will bring a smile to your face or, at the very least, remind you that you’re not alone.


when i run out of spoons: (dog sitting on couch wrapped in blanket)
via @myillnessmythoughts Instagram


when you run out of spoons: If you need me I'll be down here on the floor, dying
via painmanagementprincess Tumblr


when you push your limits and end up worse
via @chronicillnessmemes Instagram


when I overdo it and feel a flare coming on... what have I done
via disabilityhealth Tumblr


trying to decide what you want to do vs. what your body needs you to do... life's full of tough choices, isn't it?
via @chronicillnessmemes Instagram


when I run out of spoons: give me a pillow, give me some snacks, because I'm not going anywhere
via disabilityhealth Tumblr


when I end up having a bad flare-up due to overexerting myself... my body is like, go in the corner and think about what you've done
via @xxhaloxkittyxx Instagram


upside nike sign on shirt that says "I just can't"
via @chronicallycari Instagram


sorry, I can't hang out tonight because I want to do something a few days from now
via @migraineloretta Instagram


when you've been enjoying that pain free life for a few days and the fatigue hits
via @aspoonfulofrara Instagram


want to do something today? can't. I did a thing yesterday.


when I run out of spoons in the middle of the day... "help"
via tinyspooniechick Tumblr


when you are working on negative spoons
via @mychronicillnessdiary Instagram


when I'm out of spoons, but decide to go out anyway: I immediately regret this decision
via thegirlwhocriedlyme Tumblr


getting home with spoons to spare
via disabilityhealth Tumblr
Originally published: May 23, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home