Millennials and Adulthood

I think one of the most infuriating things about being a “Millennial” is the fact that the generation before us doesn’t seem to take us seriously.

Hearing comments from the Baby Boomers and Generation X like, “Welcome to Adulthood” “Adulthood isn’t all it has cracked up to be, has it?”, or the ever sarcastic, unwanted invitation of, “Welcome to the real world”. As if our struggles through finals week, in college was all just a bad hallucinogen trip.

We are put into a category of “entitled”, “lazy”, “selfish”, the list goes on and on, and yet, seldom do we fit this tight narrow minded view of ourselves. With these confounded credit cards, and the debt we had dug our way into trying to afford an education.

Not to mention the technology we are so attached to, neglecting the fact that we may, in fact, be checking work email, or comforting a friend whose parents don’t understand their mental illness.

It isn’t that we are failing expectations of past generations, or that we are somehow unsuited to grow into adulthood without past generations’ supervision, it is that we are different.

Our goal is no longer to be married with kids by the time we are 20. It isn’t that we don’t want a good house, car or job, but it has become exponentially more difficult. Healthcare prices, cars, education, housing, everything has increased in price. As Millennials, it is our decision to choose what necessities we actually “need”, and what gets cut off the list. Some continue to live with their parents, some decide to rely on other modes of transportation, we try and stay on our parents’ insurance for as long as possible.

We sit and do the math, living paycheck to paycheck, wondering what should be paid first and what can wait a little while longer. The decisions from past generations impacted where Millennials are today, but they don’t want to admit that. The fact that prices didn’t change overnight, and the adults that were supposed to be looking out for future generations didn’t screw us over….well guess what, you did.

I feel to be one of the few, one of the blessed. I graduated college on a scholarship. Got a full time job, with benefits, right out of college in the field I studied for. My apartment is small, drafty and expensive, but it has hot water, carpet, and everything else I could want. I am able to see my therapist every week, and it not costing me an arm and a leg.

This too, did not happen overnight. Baby Boomers and Gen X, you don’t get to take credit for my accomplishments, when you are the reason I had to work so hard to overcome it. I live paycheck to paycheck, I also work ~100 hours every two weeks, so it is not for a lack of trying. It is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t get ahead.

So next time you call us lazy, selfish, and entitled, I want you to look around. If you are at work, I bet there is a Millennial close by trying to get ahead. If you are at the coffee shop, I bet the barista behind the counter is a Millennial, trying to pay her rent, or car, while going to school.

 

Life is Funny Like That

Life is funny like that.

Not funny like when you and your best friend share an inside joke that leaves you both hysterically crying and red in the face. More like a funny that leaves you painfully grinning, forcing fake laughter, while you silently mouth the words, “fuck me” to the nearest person.

Yeah, life is funny that way.

First, I found myself at lunch with coworkers the Friday before Christmas. Looking around, I noticed I stood out like a sore thumb; being, I was the only female there. (Yay a job in the STEM field, AmIRightThough?….)

Today, I had a scheduled phone interview set for 9 am. Arriving to work at my usual time of 5 am, leaving me ample time to check my emails, reread methods, protocols, gather my reagents and prepare for my validation I was testing. Only to find out, half of my stuff was still frozen in the -80˚C ultrafreezer, and half of the method didn’t agree with the protocol. So, at 8:50, I found myself sitting in my manager’s office, checking my math, asking questions about the protocol, while he typed up an email.

My phone on vibrate in my lab coat. Waiting.

I made it out into the hallway quick enough to answer my phone. “Here it is” I thought to myself, and took a deep breath.

Overall, the interview wasn’t bad. Midway through a separate manager comes out in the hallway and whispers, “Do you have a minute?” He understood, and gave me a “don’t worry about it” wave of the hand and walked away.

So, you may ask, What is worse than being interrupted during a phone interview by one of your current managers?

Being told when you return to your desk that the boss of our entire department is able to hear everything people say out in that area because of how the walls were built.

Excellent.

Use Your “Science Mind”

There are umpteen articles out there that are titled, “What Not To Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder.” Or “What to Say to Someone Recovering.” “How to talk to someone with an eating disorder.” “What is acceptable to say to someone with an eating disorder.” Etc, the list goes on and on, some are probably titled the same thing, with a different font, different capitalization, different spelling.

One thing that I have been told, on more than one occasion, is to use my “science brain”. Some background on me, I hate compliments, hate positive affirmations even more, and was able to finish school and graduate, while spending half of my final semester in residential.

I am a Biology Major, with a Chemistry Minor. After graduation I got a job offer several states away, after interviewing, weighing my options, and looking at the hefty benefits that went along with it, I took the offer. I am currently working as a Biochemist, specializing in HPLC Method and Development. All of this to say, I have been called “smart” for as long as I can remember. I am nothing more than average. I got a C in Inorganic Chemistry, passed Virology with a disheartening B, and that is nothing to the hell I endured through Cell and Molecular Biology, with a professor I referred to as “Dr. Douche Fuck.” (Only behind his back, of course).

So, when people tell me to use my “science brain”, it, well, it pisses me off.

Yes, I can tell you that carbohydrates are needed for the cell, as well as lipids, protein, etc. I can tell you glycolysis, the one letter amino acid codes, the vitamins and what the body uses each for. Logically, I know food is fuel, that you can’t gain anymore than you consume, I know basal metabolic rate.

I know people die from eating disorders.

My science mind is great and useful for information about health, bacteria, the works. My mind is also great at using denial and deception, along with ED. I believe that I am the exception, I believe that it will never happen to me. I spent years in denial, I craved my morning runs and the lifting, I still don’t believe I’ve done any long term damage to my body. To some morbid degree, that bothers me.

I wish I could sit here and tell you that I was the frail, feeble, weakling with the feeding tube. Knees knocking as I wait for the elevator because I am unable to climb one flight of stairs. That I had some miraculous story to tell.

I don’t.

I fight with myself and my body daily. Wishing I was thinner, that my stretch marks would go away, that my thigh gap was more obvious and my collar bone would protrude a little more.

It is very difficult sitting in program, in a room full of sick people, comparing my body to theirs. She may not be allowed to take the stairs. He may need help carrying his tray.

Me? I did 5 miles before program. I did push ups, I did crunches. You name it.

I am the heaviest patient in the room, I am nearly sure of it.

I wouldn’t say I am “ok” with it- but I am accepting of this fact.

I could probably also dead lift their body weight no problem.

It is this morbid sense of comparison that is so difficult to me. You are the heaviest one here. Yeah, but I lift and run. Or are you justifying the reason you are fat? No, I tell myself. I wonder how they see me though.

ED’s never ceasing manipulation.

Hershey- Not the kisses

Hey guys!

It’s been a while. Life has continued, the dog and I are still getting settled, and not sure where I left off on the blog.

So, I think I officially have a boyfriend, he is super great, super supportive. Also good looking. We talked about ED, figured I’d give him time to jump off the crazy train, but he hasn’t. We will go out to eat, he has spent the night. I really like him. He went to Florida this week, but will be home soon.

I found an ED support group and have been going to that once a week. Life has been great, my eating- not so much. After going to the group a few times, and enjoying it, I checked in with a few people, and didn’t think the group was enough support and accountability for where I am. My restricting got worse, my purging became the worst it has been in a long, long time.

So, with a loving push, I made an appointment at the Hershey Penn State ED facility. I wore my heaviest boots, three shirts and a hoodie, and walked into the office. We talked for a while about the usual introductory stuff, my family, my eating disorder, the behaviors, treatment, etc. She thought I needed to stop running and eat “at least add a tiny bit more…”, stop taking the diet pills. You have othostatic hypotension….. yeah, that was fun.

I finally thought I was about done. ED was still sitting in the front of my mind reminding me of how fat I was, how I didn’t, and shouldn’t, be here. The doctor turned to me, handed me a gown and asked me to change for a blind weight.

Ah, FUCK. Nobody said anything about a gown.

So, did that.

I was expecting some kind of nice rejection speech, “You don’t fit the criteria.” “I am sorry, but…” Anything that would reinforce the fact that I’m not sick nor skinny.

“Just curious, what was your lowest.” Uhh, I don’t know, probably between xxx and xyz.

“Ok, well you are sitting at xxx right now.  I don’t think outpatient will be enough. I’d strongly suggest PHP.”

Oh hell no, I thought. I don’t have time for that shit. I moved to PA to start a life and career, not go back into treatment.

I explained that my work schedule would not allow that.

“Well, I think IOP would be a good start. They have dinner together, group….”

 

Sorry guys, I’m getting bored and stressed writing about this…. I start IOP tomorrow.

On my fun-o-meter, IOP is sitting somewhere between Dentist and Gynecologist….

Besides ED, my life is great. Support group, making friends, boyfriend. I feel kinda useless at work still, but I love being a BioChemist…. Dang, so nerdy. Love it.

 

Anyway,

Trust the Process!!

Terrible Twenty-Twos

 

Overall, life is going great.

I can throw on the fake smile and explain to you how crazy it feels to have a career starting.

A career as a Biochemist.

Honestly, How fucking cool is that?

I can sit here and tell you about this guy. Not just the first date we went on, but two, within three days. How he makes me laugh, his gorgeous eyes and teeth.

I’ll go ahead and tell you how I love my apartment.

Candles,

Decorating,

Cleaning.

I’d even go so far as to take a picture of my fridge and all of the fresh produce in it and post it on social media, with the caption, “Not gonna lie, my fridge makes me happy.”

I can also sit here and tell you I ate under 800 calories today.

That the thought of buying laxatives and diet pills flooded my brain, more than once.

Feeling constantly torn and pulled in two completely opposite directions.

Thinking about higher calorie foods I need to                                                                                                       get, so I can get the calories in.

Then making a bet with myself                                                                                                                           I can go the rest of the week without eating.

It has gotten to the point where I just don’t want to talk about it.

It annoys me,

it annoys K,

it annoys T.

I am waiting for them to say the “Just fucking eat.”                                                                                                                 Cure all remedy.

Not to be mean, but just because they are out of things to say.

This is how I imagine a two year old would have a fit.

In this case, it is a recipe, of pure denial, mixed with shame, sprinkled with a dash of apathy.

But hey, I can act like a two year old, ignore it, get upset when it gets brought up.

Then, act like a twenty two year old and completely immerse myself into my work to avoid anything else.

Two Weeks

I should never make big decisions when I am upset. Today I talked to my boss and put in my two weeks notice. I am filled with a mix of dread, fear, excitement and guilt.  I love my children. They wear me out and infuriate me at times, but I love them just the same. 
I honestly believe it is a matter of time until I pass out behind the wheel. I never thought I’d say that. On the way to and from my house I can feel my eyes getting heavier, my driving becoming more like that of a drunks and getting closer and closer to the guard rail. My vision is still kinda blurry, my mind is fuzzy, my legs crampy and achy. My mom and I actually had a brief talk today about my eating disorder, that didn’t end in a fight… CAN I GET A HALLELUJAH?!?! I called her between sobs and classes today. I wanted her opinion on quitting and told her that I was looking into treatment in Raleigh, NC.
“You mean, stay at a treatment facility?”
“Yeah.”
“For what?! Your eating?”
“Yeah.”
“Um okayy???… *awkward silence*… I mean.. I mean… ok…”
“I’ll be by in a few minutes, it’s a long story.”
I stopped by the house. I already had a mental pep talk going on in my head on the drive over there, “Mom, I’m not asking for your permission or even your support. This is kind of what I am planning, and it may go through, it may not…Yeah, yeah, that’s what I’m going to say.” I thought to myself. I was already mentally dressing myself in armor and bulletproof vests to deflect any words that would come stabbing out of the vile beast’s mouth (yes, I did just call her a vile beast). 
Telling her the whole story of what was pretty much an ultimatum that was thrown at me. The stress of work, and my possible plan. I told her that if it worked out I’d be gone in December. My little sister, who was standing right there, began to hand me anything in sight. I don’t cry and she didn’t know how to handle seeing her big sister having a melt down.  “Please eat something.” mom would say between my sentences of work. “Mom, I can’t.” “Please, something, the pasta is good. There is fruit, here take fruit.” My sister began to hand me a cashew, then glitter glue, then an orange. She just wanted me to be my peppy self again and stop with the break down, anything to see a smile on my face. She is a ten year old nut, a mini-me, she means the world to me. “I can’t eat, I will throw up. I had something last night, but other than that I ate Monday.” So, I left my house with saltine crackers and cut up melon. I grabbed my purse as I was headed out the door and realized my sister had shoved about 3 oranges inside. I looked up at her to see her laughing with her big grin and playing dumb.  
I talked to my boss and found out what I had been told from the director, versus what the principal herself had to say to me, were two totally different things. Still, I handed her my two weeks notice, and went on with my day. Still full of fear, slight regret, but a tad bit of excitement, guess I will see what is to come in the next few weeks or so. 

Accident Prone Lately.

Lately I feel like a lot has happened. There has been one job, school, my other job, looking into treatments, etc. 
I found out Sunday that C is no longer going to be working with the place I had been going for outpatient. I wish nothing but the best of luck for her, and I am so grateful that she called me and told me herself. It is odd. I am thankful she made a point to say it was nothing I did/said, and gave me a few options. I struggle so bad with a fear of rejection and upsetting people that it meant so much to me that she called me herself and told me.
I had told C a couple of days ago about my horrible leg cramps and that my foot had locked up. It was like a charley horse, but 100x worse, I couldn't just stretch it or rub it out, and it lasted for what seemed like eternity. C expressed concern during our short talk Sunday. She said that one of her nutritionist friends explained it could be a precusor to something in the future and the next time it happened I needed to go to the doctor ASAP. 
One of my jobs has been so busy, and the other one is at a school with kids.
I think I am getting sick, mainly the whole kids back in school, everyone shares germs, kinda sick. 
I haven't been eating at all again, Last night my "dinner" consisted of a cup of hot tea and a handful of laxatives. Day before that? I consumed grapes. I'm not eating, I don't want to eat, and I wish my body wasn't so damn resilient.
I have also become extremely accident prone recently though. I'm not sure if it is just related to the foggy brain and light headed-ness, just being so tired, lethargic, or malnourished. It has been awful though. Bruises, clumsy-ness, falling, running into stuff. This has become daily, and painful. 
Yesterday I was carrying something at work and ran right into a pole with my hip. Holy crap that hurt so bad, I have a huge bruise.
Today, I was covering a Moomba boat after I had driven it from the dock onto the trailer. I was covering the front part and was under the cover putting the poles in there. I turned my head and bashed it right on the windshield. As if my head wasn't hurting bad enough from lack of food and water. Then, I was inside a ski nautique, driving that on the trailer, I fell back and landed right on my tail bone, *CRUNCH*. I saw stars and got that nauseating feeling in my stomach. Walking/sitting/ pretty much anything right now hurts so bad. Blacked out at work today, I was so sure I was about to just pass out. I got very dizzy, weak, my vision began to go; I sat down (the best I could with my ass hurting) and sipped some ice coffee my boyfriend-ish, had brought me for lunch. I am pretty pissed that I hurt myself so bad that I won't be able to run for a couple days because the impact and jarring from walking hurts my lower back and butt so much.... damn tailbone... 
 

Getting Ready for a Date

Well, today started the comments again… my boss was helping me at work yesterday and asked what I had eaten. She knew the answer, so I looked at her and said, “Do you want the truth or do you want me to lie to you?” She then returned with some shortbread cookies which reeked of fake vanilla flavoring and looked even less appealing. I took one to humor her.

then one of my guy friends pulled up and him and I began to talk. About an hour later he returned with lunch for me, (which I didn’t ask for, or want.) Him and my boss both stood there as I held whatever boxed food he had just brought me. I began to get sassy since they were both just staring at me.
“I am not a stray dog who needs to be fed! I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself!”
She responded with “You haven’t eaten anything all day.”
He chimed in, “You have to eat something, you are skin and bones.”
Which is total bull shit. I am not skin and bones, I desperately wish that I was, but I am not, and I am so damn tired of people trying to feed me. People need to quit trying to fucking feed me. GRRRRRRRR
Well, today that same guy showed up, brought me lunch, and asked me to a date. I hesitantly said yes.
My boss, decided to come “help” again, and was there for the round 2 of yesterday’s show.
She piped in and said, “Well yesterday I couldn’t get her to eat anything until you showed up, so you must be someone special for her to eat for you.” The word spread around my work quickly about my date.
As I was leaving my other boss, we will call him “fucking Bob”. Well, even he had something to say, “He seems like a nice guy, he even got you to eat something, I’m impressed.”…. fucking Bob -_-
So, when I got home the anxiety and stress began to fill up. I got in the shower, and laid on my bed, in my towel, for a good half hour, dreading having to get dressed. Tried on two dresses. They were ok… One was iffy, the other I really liked, I just didn’t want to be cold. I tried on jeans. Holy shit that sent me into panic mode. So after trying and trying I decided on leggings with a shirt and scarf. Oh well…. Clothes suck anyway. Wish I was normal, able to get dressed, go on dates, etc without freaking out. Wish, just once, I could get dressed and not see a huge fat heifer staring back at me. I want coffee.

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