You’ve said this before. You always say this.

That’s not fair. I can’t explain it, but this time it’s different.

That’s it, that’s what you always say. We always return back here, it’s circular.

Maybe you need to go to Al-Anon or at least talk to someone. My therapist says that you all are too caught up in my sobriety and are the biggest threats to me getting sober.

This is all part of it. Sometimes I feel like I could write out exactly how it will all play out down to the very details of our conversation. Each time you decide you’ve reached supposed rock bottom again and “own your disease,” no sooner are you shifting responsibility of your sobriety onto someone other than yourself. I mean, even the fact that you call it disease is a way, even as you supposedly take responsibility, to keep it at a distance. A disease isn’t your fault. A disease merely exerts its power, you are at the complete whims of its strength. So to “own your disease” is basically a fake fucking ownership.

What did I do to deserve this? Is this because you don’t go to church anymore? You just seem so angry all the time, it’s like I can feel that you hate me when I’m around.

We’ve had this conversation so many times before! I am a happier person. But I know that it makes you all uncomfortable, it sets me outside something that is so significant for all of you. I’m the black sheep, I know that. I have always been that I think, this was sort of one of the last commonalities we shared though.

You are not the black sheep! Why do you always say that? No one feels that way; we all love you.

I know everyone feels that way. Whenever we are apart you miss an idealized version of me, maybe a former me or a me that never actually existed, and when I return I’ve changed, I’ve continued to become and often it is even further from this idealized version of me you have. And each time I feel everyone’s disappointment with the confliction of who I am/becoming and who everyone wishes I would be. And so I slip back into old roles of what you might expect of me.

Honey, no one feels that way. Honestly, that’s all in your head.

Do you realize how fucking patronizing that is, though? This always happens, too. You don’t listen to me, instead you just tell me that my expressed feelings are false. We’ve gotten so far from the point. But that’s exactly the point, we are always coming back to here. This circulation of moments. It’s almost like this moment has happened before. Or this moment that has happened before — that is perpetually happening — is coming to overlap with the moment that is apparently present.

You always over analyze everything.