For quite a while now I’ve been a real fan of buying handmade. I do a lot of my xmas and birthday shopping on etsy and buy things at markets or small shops throughout the year. I feel like handmade, even when bought, feels so much more personal and special compared to mass-produced carbon copies.
I’m also part of a facebook group, “Too young to feel this old”, which is for people who have chronic, most-often “invisible illness” (illness that might not be obvious just to look at the person). I know several of the members have etsy stores and I was so delighted recently when one of the members posted a picture of a pendant she’d made to sell. It was a simple silver pendant, hand-stamped with the words “Keep Calm and Save Spoons”. A spoonie* pendant! It had never occurred to be that I could have spoonie or chronic illness related accessories.
I love the idea of raising awareness for chronic pain, chronic illness in general, and particularly invisible illness and the able-ism that often comes along with it. I don’t want to draw attention to myself or my illness (I understand this to be quite common) but at the same time I want to raise awareness for people in my position so we have more support, more acceptance and fair treatment and, most importantly, to support research funding to help treat chronic illness.
The creator of the spoonie pendant had also made another hand-stamped pendant saying “Keep Calm and Support Chronic Illness”. I contacted the creator, ordered both pendants, and giddily kept an eye on my post-box.
I was so happy when they arrived, I really love them. I’ve been wearing one or the other every time I go out since I received them. I feel like the spoonie one is almost an inside reference that most people wouldn’t know unless they themselves are, or know some one who is, affected by chronic illness; I can wear it on days when I might feel low on spoons. Whereas the Chronic Illness one really is more about raising awareness.
The wonderful creator of these, and many other lovely items can be found here.
* “Spoonie” is a term widely used in chronic illness circles to refer to chronic illness sufferers. It comes from a metaphor used to explain to healthy people what it’s like to have a chronic illness, using spoons as a measurement for energy. It’s the best way I’ve ever found of explaining to people what it’s like to have chronic pain. The original story and metaphor can be found here.