Name: Allison Polesel
Social Media Handle/Username: QueenRegnant_2
Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: I’m Allison “Allie” Polesel. I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Connecticut, doing outpatient children and family work at a local hospital. The thing that is kind of defining my life at the moment is my grief. My father, Steve, passed away on November 22, 2020. He was and continues to be my role model. He was also a social worker therapist. Strangely, I never really and truly knew how much of an impact he had on people’s lives till I was getting cards and messages from past clients of his after he passed. To me, he was just my Dad. Like everyone’s Dad, he woke up in the morning, got dressed and went to work and came home and helped with homework, etc, etc. All that time he was creating safe spaces for his clients to work through some really hard things.
What Inspires You Every day? : Honestly? Anyone who is going through a really hard time in their life and can work through it just enough to take care of themselves and their family to make it through another day. That inspires me. My Mom and Dad were married 41 years, and she inspires me daily to still get up and go to work (most days anyway) to help others.
What is some words of wisdom you live by?: I was fortunate enough to be able to take FMLA that last week before my Dad passed to spend time with him and have some deep conversations. He was the wisest person I know, even though I am biased. He worked so hard to protect me and my younger sister and older brother from generational trauma. He told me to forgive people…everyone you come across is fighting a fight you know nothing about and that everyone is trying their best. He said get to acceptance as soon as possible and to remember to try to have a fun life.
What is your ultimate goal in life? : I don’t care about money or titles. I just want to be comfortable enough to be able to take a drive down to the shore on weekends and to buy a nice bottle of wine. As I talked about before, my father is my role model. He made it clear to me that the most important thing he did in his life was help people. He wanted his legacy to live on and wanted us to continue to help. I believe we are. My older brother is a paramedic who is going to nursing school and my younger sister is also a therapist! The ultimate goal is to be able to look back and feel good that I helped someone.
How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : 2020 was the worst year of my life. Not only did my Dad pass away in November, but my boyfriend’s Mom also passed away suddenly in June. Neither of our parents had Coronavirus at any point. I wrote two obituaries 5 months from each other.
Before Dad passed away, I began working from home so I could take care of him along with my Mother and siblings. His treatment was just different with the pandemic, we weren’t permitted to go and sit and be with him during dialysis or chemo. Any of that. When he went to a convalescent home, we weren’t even allowed to enter the building. We had to speak to him through FaceTime for weeks. That’s probably the part that hurt the most. I feel like he would have done better and possibly lived through this if we were allowed to go through it by his side. He grew depressed and sad and he got weak. At this point with all of my “What If’s” Dad would tell me that self-doubt and recriminations are part of the process and he would not want me to do this to myself. He was alive when my boyfriend’s mother died and he told me that, so I know he would say the same thing in regard to himself. We intend to hold a Memorial Blood Drive in his honor later this year in lieu of having a funeral
What is a message you would like to give others? : Time passes, no matter what you do with it. You can let it pass and do nothing and the time will still pass. Or, you can do something with the time you are given and be happy with how you spent it. Even then, forgive yourself for whatever time you feel you’ve wasted and make a resolution today to use your time to help others and make your soul happy. Even if you think you “slipped up,” you haven’t. Just try again tomorrow. As long as you keep trying…
This pandemic will pass, even if it takes time, and endless strife, it will eventually go away.
What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: I was so honored to be asked to do this interview. I had so many other things I thought I would say, but I’m glad I spend most of it talking about Dad. He was awesome. His birthday is today, February 10 and I really wanted to honor him. He was gentle yet mentally tough, it was his body that was the problem. People always noted how “at the moment” he was with them in every conversation and that is now one of the most important things I want to give to my friends, family and patients.