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Trip to Holland?

Posted Nov 23 2009 10:00pm
An interesting allegory is being passed around at the Around the Dinner Table Forum, about parents coming to grips with the fact that their child's eating disorder has changed the family. It's called " Welcome to Holland," and it was originally written for parents of kids with disabilities. Basically, you plan on a trip to Italy all your life, only to find that you are now stuck in Holland. You will miss Italy, of course, but it's also important to find good things about Holland. It's said much more eloquently than that, but this is the gist of it.

I know this piece was written more for parents, but to be honest, I relate to it, too--quite a bit. My life now, with the eating disorder, is so different than I ever thought it would be. I never thought that I would likely be turning 30 while still living with my parents. I never thought that I would live to 30, to be totally honest. I never thought things would be this hard. And I see my friends, who are getting married, having kids, climbing the ranks at their jobs, and I get a little bit irked. I know life isn't fair and the fastest path to unhappiness is trying to make it so. But I can't let go of wanting to see Italy.

There are some good things that have come out of the eating disorder. I don't know if I would have discovered my love of writing, for starters. I've met some awesome people. And I have a lovely kitty. Which is all well and good, but it's like being crowned Miss Congeniality. It is, perhaps, better than nothing, but dude, it's not the prize you worked so hard for.

Holland has many nice things--tulips, legal marijuana, and lots of tall, thin blonde people to give me a massive complex. It's not Italy and it's never going to be Italy. I want to be okay with that. Just like in the article, I'll probably never stop wanting that trip to Italy, but I'm in Holland now, and I need to make the best of it.

My life itinerary got massively changed, and I hope to simply accept that there's nothing I can do about the change and move on the best I can.
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