Prelude to 52 Weeks of Allie

Summary of December-January

I’m sharing this for someone who has a mentally ill family member living with them. I’m sorry it’s long, but please: have hope.

This Year Vs. Last Year

After the events of last year (especially on Christmas) I was struggling to get out of this house, to do ANYTHING it took to get it. I resigned to find a job that could do that for me. I found a job the very last week of December as a recruiter. I struggled so much. Recruiting, especially in a high-volume environment, is 99% sales.

When September hit and I was let go, I realized that wasn’t the right job for me. I was very upset and sank into a depression. It’s like I had to find a new identity (again). I felt like a failure as a 30 year-old.

November-December 2015

I won’t delve into it (because it shakes me to my core thinking about it) but we all had a big argument the week before Thanksgiving. No violence, just talking.

My Mom told me she is really going to try and not disappoint us. She still denied she did anything wrong in the past few weeks (she seemed incoherent at times; not really paying attention and slurring occasionally).

For those two months, I cannot even begin to tell you how incredibly upset I was. I was watching my Mom like a hawk. She seemed to be, well, normal…but, I was always suspicious. Always.

It became later in December. I didn’t feel like I should be in the holiday spirit. I was so hung up with what could go wrong, I just ignored it. I felt like a tall, Oak’s trunk: my spirit wouldn’t bend, it was just existing for the sake of carrying on.

The week of Christmas rolled in. I was stressing out more than ever. Two days before Christmas, I was with my boyfriend. I remember waking up Christmas Eve morning and wondering if I should go home. I could not take that tension. I was about to burst into flames.

I drove home. I was in a great mood (as I always am coming home from his house). I called when I got off the highway. Everyone sounded cheerful. My worry, fear and anxiety that can only be described as a dilapidated house burnt into smoldering ashes. I started to let go.


I came home. I cleaned. My Mom was bright and happy and so was my Dad. In fact, we were all joking together. It was probably the greatest Christmas Eve is recent memory. I was so happy. Everything was going better than expected.

I woke up Christmas morning and couldn’t sleep. I watched Zoolander for the very first time (don’t judge). After I watched the movie and I sat in complete silence in our living room with only the Christmas lights on. I looked at our humble tree and felt joy in my heart.

It seeped in and stayed there. I laughed, thinking about the Grinch; I was so much like him in that way (“and Allie’s heart grew three sizes that day”).

A few days after Christmas, my Mom and I talked. She said I should make this the year of me. She got the idea from the show The Middle she loves so much.

(52 Weeks post coming soon)


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