Site menu:

About Felicia

I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
The Best Fibromyalgia Blogs

Site search

Post Archives

Post Categories

Grab My Button!

Felicia Fibro - Life with fibromyalgia, EMPOWERED!

Common Topics

Communicate how You Feel Using Marbles

Years ago The Helpful Hubby and I took a class on living with fibromyalgia offered by my then local branch of the Arthritis Foundation. Our teacher, who also had fibromyalgia, taught us how we could use marbles to communicate how we feel. The idea is that you take a glass jar and fill it with marbles. A full jar of marbles should indicate how you feel on your best days, with your highest mental and physical capability. As the marble level in the jar decreases those around you can see that you are not feeling as well. You may not be feeling as well for many reasons; fatigue, pain, fibro fog, etc… The level of marbles may change throughout the day as well, so it is helpful to display the jar somewhere where your family can easily see it.

By communicating how you feel it lets those around you understand why you may be acting a certain way. It also lets them know that it might be nice if they could offer their help to you and work together as a team. I would suggest that it may even help you realize how you are acting. For example, if you become easily aggravated because of how you are feeling. Not communicating pain at all can make loved ones feel disconnected and uninformed.

Another way of thinking about the jar of marbles is to think of the marbles as being the amount of physical and mental capabilities you have to get through the day. When there are less marbles in the jar you won’t be able to do as many things. When this happens you have to prioritize and do what you can. This latter dimension is similar to The Spoon Theory, but I like the jar of marbles better because it is more encompassing and multi-dimensional. My teacher said she used the jar with her family and that it especially helped her kids understand.


Comment from FibroGurl
Time July 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Another option they mentioned at the Fibro Day Program I attended- using the magnetic/sticky numbers for children and putting them on the fridge. (i.e. 1 is a bad day, 10 is a good day). Just an idea- I like the marbles though and the spoons. :)


Comment from Amy
Time July 26, 2010 at 1:04 am

I love the marble trick. I have used spoons in a jar as well. It’s a wonderful way to express how easily we run out of energy. When you are out, you are out.
Thanks for sharing your stories!-Amy


Comment from Felicia Fibro
Time July 26, 2010 at 10:19 am

Thank you both for sharing alternative methods that I hadn’t heard of before!


Comment from Tami Stackelhouse
Time August 27, 2011 at 7:52 pm

As a Health Coach for women with fibromyalgia, I’m often asked for ideas on how to communicate what we fibromites feel with our family & friends. I hadn’t heard the marble idea before. One of my clients just mentioned it today! What a great visual for every day. I also like the numbers that you mentioned, FibroGurl.

It really helps when those around us understand where we’re at. The hardest thing for my husband to understand was that I might not be able to do something today that I was able to do just fine yesterday. Having a visual like this would really have helped him. After all, *I* looked the same, so why was I needing help? =)


Felicia Fibro Reply:

Ya, I fully believe that keeping others in the loop of how we really feel helps all those involved.


Comment from Shannon
Time September 28, 2011 at 12:28 am

this is so helpful! thanks for sharing Felicia :) I may do the numbers on the fridge thing though. Hubby is not likely to miss that lol
Shannon recently posted: No inspiration


Felicia Fibro Reply:

Thanks, Shannon! I’m glad you found a solution that fits your needs. Let us know how it works for you!


Write a comment*

CommentLuv badge

*Comment Policy