Here I am. I am 20 years and a recovering alcoholic. I am my father. I’ve heard it from my mother’s mouth. I’m cruel just the way he is. Ironic, he said I am my mother. They hate each other. They hate me. Everywhere I go things fall apart. Things go bad. I don’t even know how to feel anymore. Literally, if something is supposed to be really sad and painful or if I am supposed to heal it and recover, it doesn’t happen. I don’t know how. You say I’m playing victim, that I have tunnel vision and don’t see who I am. You say I think I’m perfect. You’re so wrong. I am so deeply broken that I can’t even piece together the words I want to say to you. The moment I feel hurt, my voice fades away. My thoughts fade away. I don’t know how to fix anything. We are a product of our environment, right? Well, my family never acknowledged the disgusting truth of our lives. I don’t know how to feel. That’s what an alcoholic is. Numb. Not in touch with reality. I don’t even know what reality is, how can I share one with you. You think you understand. I don’t even understand, so how could you. You hate me for something I couldn’t control. The control my past has over me. How could I see I’m hurting you when I don’t know what hurts you. We just aren’t the same. I don’t know how to explain myself. I can say the words, write the words, but as soon as I’m put down, as soon as I’m dismissed, the way I’ve felt, the words I wanted to say, they all disappear. In my past, it was easier to not try to explain how I feel. It was easier to just not feel at all. My family is sick. I’m sick. Sick in the way that all we know how to do is hurt. We don’t know how to be ok. We are all the victims. We are all the destructive. I thought I was better. I was just in denial. You can’t be better. You can’t pretend to be someone else and pretend your ugly past, which formed the person you are just doesn’t exist. Right? Is that why my dad always left? He thought if we just moved to a new place that he could just be someone else. Someone else who wasn’t horrible. Who didn’t drink until he couldn’t see. Who didn’t beat his wife and kids. Who didn’t hate every bit of himself. Who didn’t know no one could ever love him because he would never let them. I’m him. I run away. I’m a coward. I love to travel because no one knows the fuck up I am. I love to move because if they don’t know my name they can’t talk badly about me. I try to cling to everyone then push them away. Why? I want to be loved, but I don’t know how to let someone love me. I don’t even know how to love correctly myself. Love for me was hate. They were the same thing in my life. Self-hatred and hatred toward the person that you want to understand, but never could. How could anyone. Poor me, right? My life is so sad, right? I disgust myself when I feel bad for myself. Don’t get me wrong. I am the most grateful person I can be for my life right now because I know exactly what it can be. I lost a friend. I almost cut again. I lost hold of everything I had gained. Self-control, happiness, feeling. I held it to my skin, pressed it on my skin. I almost relapsed, just the way I do with drinking all the time, but here I am. I’m not dead. I’m alone. The only way I know how to be. And it’s okay. In denial or not, insane or not, all I can do is keep living. There’s no way out. I won’t let myself find a way out. If it’s insanity to be happy when everything is wrong, to pretend your past doesn’t exist, to pretend you don’t ruin everything you care about, to pretend your travels are simply to become more educated than so be it. I choose insanity over numbness, over sadness. Maybe this is numbness. I’m really not sure. All I know is I will be okay. Whatever that means.