I got sober today.

At this point in my life, getting sober is a ritual I try and fail to accomplish every year, but this feels different. I’m not sure how much more I can take before my body collapses in on itself and my self pity hits a point that a young adult novel may praise. I’m not sure who I am or what that’s supposed to mean anymore.

It’s August 9, 2017. It’s been three months since my mother was diagnosed with cancer. It’s been a few weeks since her treatment ended. I watched one of the strongest people I know go through a horrendous experience and come out the other end. All without a drink.

It’s been 3 years since my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Three years of watching someone I’ve looked up to my whole life slowly pick up a shuffle in their step. All without needing to reach for a substance.

It’s been one year and two months since my girlfriend who I thought I would marry left me. And I have torn through countless bottles of liquor and other drugs trying to numb my waking brain of any and all feelings. Why does my brain act like a pain machine? Why can’t I cope with life the way my parents do? How have I made being the drunkest person in a bar a joke for people to call adorable?

I’m not sure why I’m writing this. Maybe this is me attempting to make a timestamped memory that I can read (hopefully sober) in a couple of years. Maybe this is me telling myself that I don’t have another bender in me.

Sobriety has been the brass ring on an old style carousel for me. Something I’ve reached for a thousand times and always blow right by. No matter how many times I’ve told myself that if I just reach a little further, it slips from my grasp. No matter how jealous I am that someone else grabbed it, I still can’t seem to make it mine.

I’d just like a little peace of mind. And I’d just like to believe that it’s going to be okay. I just hope I make it this time.