The Key to a Spoonie's Heart


A cartoon of a jar labeled with the peach pink tag "spoonie hearts" with tiny hearts and words inside: health, family, rainbows, education, sunshine, friends, hindsight, love." The blog title "The Key to a Spoonie's Heart" is below the jar in dark blue against a peach pink background with white paper hearts floating up the side of the background. The FLAW logo is in the right hand corner of the image.

Everybody has a unique love language, and as spoonies, we often discover very specific and unique expressions of love that acknowledge our conditions. Authentic love and support can come from many places, not just romantic relationships – consider your friends, family, and even animals! To celebrate love this Valentine’s Day, we asked the FLAW community on Facebook and Instagram: how do people* in your life make you feel loved as someone with chronic illness? Enjoy some of the heart warming responses below!


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“I think one of my chronic illness love languages that my friends show me is always asking me to join in on their plans even if they know I might turn the invite down. They also never give me a hard time if I have to cancel at the last minute. A few of the many spoonie love language things that my husband does for me is carrying me around the house when my pain is too bad to stand or bear weight, doing all of the prep work before I cook to help me conserve energy, and helping to remind me when to sort my medicine.”


“One of my best friends has heated seats in their car, and not only do they offer to drive when we hang out, but they turn on the heated seat for me before I get in the car because they know chronic back pain is one of my biggest barriers to getting out and doing things. It's a small gesture that makes me feel really seen and cared for!”


“A small thing that one of my nieces did when she first saw me using my walker was hang back to walk with me because I was walking slower than everyone. She didn't say anything about it, or ask any questions. She just kinda slowly made her way back to me and put her hand on my hand on the walker and started talking to me about the most random things, like everything was absolutely normal! It really put me at ease because it was the first time my family had seen me since I got diagnosed and everyone was treating me like I was so fragile and gave me "the pity eyes," and I am still a bit self-conscious about using my walker. But she made me feel like a normal human being! Just loved for me. Like I was still just her Auntie Valerie, and nothing had changed.”


“My friend will come over for a movie night. Nothing fancy but just to keep me company. <3”


“Talking to me to distract me from the pain or deep breathing with me.”


“Asking questions to learn about my condition. <3”


“I really appreciate when my mum rubs my back or legs. It helps me feel peaceful.”


“When I am at a restaurant and my friends remind the waiter about my food restrictions if I ever forget. I very much appreciate this!”


“People going out of their way to still hang out with me or include me.”


“Quality time that adjusts to my physical needs and energy level.”


“People actually listening and not trying to give me advice as though they know.”


“Changing our plans to something that suits me instead of canceling.”


“Helping me get dressed when the fatigue is too hard.”


“Understanding when I’m not able to respond right away. It’s a little thing, but a huge relief.”


“Checking up on me whenever I disappear for a few days or am slow to respond. It means a lot as I struggle with brain fog on top of ADHD.”


“Simple words of encouragement or support always help me!”


“*Ryan Gosling voice* Hey girl, let me fill up your weekly pill organizer so you don’t have to.”


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This Valentine’s day, be sure to spread some extra love to the people and animals in your life! We’re grateful for our fantastic FLAW community and the answers everyone has shared. Warriors, you all deserve this kind of compassionate, thoughtful love. Happy Valentine’s Day!