Alternate Version of Reality

Reality is not my forte.

My version of what is real and what actually is, are two completely different things.

I didn’t mention last week that I was experiencing a lot of edema. And when I say a lot, I did confirm with my medically trained husband that there was A LOT of excess fluid in my legs; like 8 or 9 pounds of fluid from when I first woke up to when I went to bed.

Normally I get swelling in my lower extremities so I am used to a bit of discomfort, but holy shmoly a very visible 8 or 9 pounds caused me to have some mental issues.

It first started on Wednesday evening, after a long day at work and then having my family over for dinner, which meant I was on my feet prepping and baking for another few hours after my normal day was done.

So when I finally sat down around 7:30 my ankles and knees were so puffy I could barely bend them.

Ryan and I just decided I would elevate my legs, and see how things were in the morning.

At 6:00 a.m. the puffiness was there, but not nearly as bad…

Until later that evening when again, my knees looked like an elephant.

This cycle continued for the next few days and I am still experiencing fluid retention especially in my thighs, calves, and knees.

This is VERY uncomfortable physically, but in my mind it is worse.

I keep thinking everyone is staring at my ginormous hippopotamus legs.

I didn’t want to eat at the Christmas Eve Party (I wanted to eat in privacy) because I felt like people were judging me, thinking “look at her with those fat thighs, she does not DESERVE those shrimp.”

My meal plan obviously needs to be lowered since I am gaining nearly 8 pounds a day…that is what the scale says!

HOLD THE PHONE, CJ.

These are my thoughts. This is what went through my head for days and days and days; a tape of incessant negativity, self-hatred and criticism of my body because I felt like I was blowing up like a balloon, and from the physical evidence of my larger than “normal” legs, I was, but I pick and choose my reality.

REALITY: My legs were puffy.

But this did not mean I gained a legitimate 8 pounds on my meal plan, in such a short amount of time.

This did not mean I didn’t DESERVE to eat.

It did not mean that my legs were so large and gigantic that people were looking at me snickering and laughing because I looked like a cow.

But despite these facts, I truly believe that my meal plan is too high and it needs to be reduced, which this weekend translated into me not following it, and then more swelling because my body still does not trust me.

This is what happens; the eating disorder is awesome at taking things that are facts, and twisting them for its benefit.

When a person is malnourished, brain function becomes distorted (any of you experience being obsessive, ritualistic tendencies, hallucinations, etc.) and so any time, opportunity, or instance for bad habits, destructive behaviors and irrational beliefs to creep back in, they will barge right back into your life, full-force and start another cycle of false-reality.

Thankfully I have a good support person to help bring me back to earth temporarily but it’s hard because my mind will automatically revert back to the negative as soon as Ryan leaves, and it is immensely frustrating to him that my neuro-pathways are so stubborn and just can’t seem to change.

24 years of irrationality is hard to un-do.

Don’t you wish there was a delete button in our brains for the unwanted knowledge, we sometimes tend to accumulate?

I do….

Nutrition facts, good-bye.

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10 thoughts on “Alternate Version of Reality

  1. I get severe edema in my ankles, CALVES (!!!), and my entire belly.
    Seriously…when I was a “healthy” and fit weight , my calves were much smaller. Now, at 20 lbs less than that weight, my calves are huge —and you know what that means? in my mind I’m like: oh, i don’t need to gain then..if i gain now, then my calves will grow 10x bigger….that’s what pisses me off…my upper body is gaunt as hell, but my lower body is normal or swollen 😦
    i can’t even bear to touch or look at my belly at night because its huge…i can just feel it there when i get in bed…

    I’m still stuck at a certain caloric level and stuck in life (not sure about my future)…i’m finding it difficult to increase those cals…i am sick of not exercising (i walk…but that’s it…and now with snowstorms i am house-bound for days on end unable to leave because of ice and frozen car)…i’m freaking lost in life and just tired of it all 😦

    i think u would help yourself by sitting a lot more…resting and easing up on your tired legs…me , i sit 24-7 it seems…so i am at the extreme…jeesh

  2. Cj… I really enjoy reading your blog. I sincerely appreciate the honesty and care you take in your writing. ED’s are such terrible diseases, a cycle of physical and psychological damage that is extremely difficult to get out. We can all fall into traps where we create our own realities… I’ve been there too. You should be so proud of how you’re doing, and, please, keep up the writing!

    • oh my goodness davis it is so good to hear from you!!! thank you for the kind words and I really appreciate you reading 🙂 please send me an update on what you are doing…my gosh you are probably graduated and everything by now!!! thank you for commenting 🙂

  3. I also get edema because of a kidney issue and can put on 8+ lbs in a day. It feels TERRIBLE and I swear my skin is about to bust open. I get the same feeling – obviously I should diet like crazy, which will just throw off my sodium balance and make it worse. Brilliant, really.

    It is important to remember that even if your thoughts and feelings don’t match up with reality, those thoughts and feelings are very real for YOU, and while you can work to eventually change those thought patterns, it is important to acknowledge them and not brush them off or think of yourself as stupid or whatnot.

    • its nice to know someone understands how miserable it can feel (although i wish you didnt have to go through it either!!!!) thank you for being so supportive 🙂

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