My Eating Disorder Wears Many Masks
Every time I think I’m recovered, I find my eating disorder hiding somewhere new
CW: Eating disordered behavior.
My knee is all messed up.
My sister, who is an athletic trainer, says it’s most likely a PCL sprain, the less intense counterpart of an ACL tear. It hurts if I walk or stand for too long. It hurts if I overextend the knee joint. It hurts if I sit in the gargoyle-like, curled up posture that feels most comfortable to my autistic little brain. It hurts if I do anything but keep my knee elevated and ever-so-slightly bent. It’s been hurting for a couple weeks now and I’m starting to flip out.
Every online resource says I shouldn’t run, walk, or use an exercise bike if my PCL is sprained. If I want it to heal, I have to take it easy. That scares me a lot. I need exercise to get out my anxiety. I need long walks or runs to clear my head. It’s a mental health issue, I swear — it’s not anything compulsive or unhealthy, not this time. I just need to get all my frenetic energy out. I need to stay in good mental shape. I need to stay in good physical shape. I need to stay healthy inside and out. I need to keep moving.
Oh, fuck. This isn’t actually about mental health, is it?
It’s my own fault that my knee hurts. I’ve been using a standing desk every day, all day, for well over a year. Some of my other colleagues have desks that can convert from sitting to standing but most of the time, they sit. They only put their desks into standing mode if they need to stretch their legs for a few minutes.
I, on the other hand, deliberately use a desk that can’t change from standing to sitting. All it can do is stand. I don’t want to have the temptation to sit so I stand all day, every day. I thought the standing desk would keep me alert. I hoped it would keep my legs strong and toned and looking…
Oh, shit. This was never actually about strength, was it?
Now, my knee is totally fucked up. From what I can find online, PCL tears often occur during sports but they can also result from gradual strain. Sometimes, a PCL injury can start out so subtly that the patient can’t tell they’re in pain. Then suddenly, it’s too late.