Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Notebook Theory

There are a lot of different ways to describe what it's like to live with a chronic illness, and the spoon theory is one that's gone around the internet quite a bit. I find it doesn't quite work for me, however, so I've come up with my own theory.

Being a writer, my first instinct was to refer to notebooks.

So, imagine that each day, you are given a small notebook. It has 24 pages in it. Each page has 60 lines on it. You get one line per minute of the day. Your job with the notebook is to detail how you spent each and every minute of that day.

Your notebook quality varies from day to day. Some days, it's a gorgeous leather-bound journal, well-made to the point of near indestructibility. Other days, it's a simple spiral notebook that may or may not have missing pages. And on yet other days, it's a cheap glue-bound notepad from the dollar store that has pages that fall out at the slightest touch.

How do you detail what happened on those missing pages?

Let's go back a moment. How, I'm sure you're asking, does detailing every minute of your day have anything to do with living with a chronic illness?

I'm glad you asked.

The quality of the notebook is what determines the quality of your day. The better the quality of your notebook, the less your illness(es) will impact your day. There is a major caveat, however. The more you take advantage of the better quality notebooks, the more likely you are to receive one that is falling apart the next day.

So, back to the question - How do you detail what happened on those missing pages?

The short answer is: To the best of your ability. Some people gather up the missing pages and tuck them into the notebook haphazardly. Translated to real life, this would be a chaotic and hectic but not terrible day. Basically an average day with a chronic illness, if none of the pages actually go missing.

Sometimes you can't find all of the pages, or some have become unusable. The best option is as above - gather what you can and tuck it into the notebook. The real life counterpart would be a bad day with regard to the chronic illness.

When you are given a notebook that is incomplete to begin with, and pages go missing due to the poor quality of said notebook, these are the days that the chronic illness is at its most debilitating. Chances of getting these are higher when you've already gotten one, or when you've recently received a really nice notebook.

What kind of notebook are you using today?

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