Want to Know More About Me?
You know how moms are made, so here's the extended version.
From The North
Hi. I’m Allison. Born and raised in what most people refer to as the armpit of America: Toledo, Ohio. I had the typical middle class childhood alongside 3 brothers, mom and dad. I attended a private K-12 school and went to church whenever the doors were open. We snowmobiled in Michigan every winter, visited the Florida beaches every spring, and camped throughout the Mid-West every summer. I had the privilege of growing up with two sets of grandparents and seeing my extended family regularly. I was an average athlete and played volleyball through high school, and I was classically trained in piano. Now to the good stuff.
As much as we tried to remain together, life happened and our separation was painful. My heart was broken and I cried myself to sleep for months. That’s when I found alcohol and food to help me feel better. I loved to drink, and smoke, and eat…well, eat and abuse laxatives. I dated other guys, he dated other girls, but we still knew we loved each other. My relationship with food continued to grow through high school and escalated in college when I learned to starve myself and binge and purge. I could literally have my cake and eat it too. The more I tried to control my new secret relationship, the more out of control it became.
During my college years, Scott was in and out of my life. His drug and alcohol addiction began in junior high and steadily increased just like mine. He lived in Georgia for awhile and returned home to claim me once more. I graduated from college early and we were finally together again. Our love was undeniable, but we were both completely lost in our own addictions.
In the summer of 2005, I told Scott to leave for Georgia and start his recovery at a 10-month regeneration center and I promised him I would find help too. I did the best thing I knew to do with my religious upbringing and found a Christian counselor. Although it seemed helpful at the time, that guidance was just a band-aid. While Scott had truly hit his rock bottom, I had further to fall.
To The South
In the spring of 2007, Scott completed his internship and knew he was called to become a staff member at the program, which forced me to make the biggest decision of my adult life. To leave everything I knew and follow my love to Georgia, or stay and continue the half-life I was numbly living. I gave my landlord 30-day notice, my employer 2-weeks notice, and a month later I was driving on 75 South with mom and dad behind me hauling my belongings [that’s right, they helped me move to Georgia]. I still don’t know what it felt like for my parents to leave their only daughter who had serious issues with a man they barely knew; but I’m forever grateful they did.
The moment I stepped foot on the program property where Scott now worked, I felt something I had never experienced, especially in a “religious” environment: pure love and acceptance. Anyone who had ever met me and knew about my addictions saw me as a problem. They wanted to fix me. The men of this program who had never met me, but knew more about me than most through Scott, welcomed me with open arms. They saw past my struggles and failures and loved me for who I was.
This unconditional love and acceptance helped reveal not only my self-hate and shame, but also my self-worth, beauty and freedom to love myself as a woman. I signed up for their women’s inner healing class and that’s when I found myself. I dealt with the abuse, rejection, hurt and unforgiveness that haunted me since childhood and I met God in my most shameful moments. Mind you I was raised in a Christian home, school and church my entire life and yet I had no concept of, or relationship with the fluid being we call God.
Because I faced the real issues behind my addictive life, I no longer had reason to cope and my body healed from the inside out. I now carried the light and life I saw in Scott many moons before and I was a free woman. A few months later I was working with the program and enrolled in a counseling training class because I wanted to give to the world what had been given to me.
Soul Mates Unite
Remember those rings Scott and I bought for each other at 14 years young? 10 years later from the day he asked me to be his girlfriend, he asked me to be his wife with that ring. In 5 short weeks, all our friends and family gathered in Georgia to celebrate our lakeside, barefoot wedding. Six weeks later, I noticed a strange exhaustion and daily nauseous feelings and surprise!; we were pregnant.