For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a daddy's girl. I used to dream of being the one who grew up with a strong protector, one who's there for every major life moment, picks up the pieces when things go wrong, and encourages me to always keep going. But that dream never became my reality, because you had another love in your life when I was little, one that took priority over me. The first time I realized you drank more than the average person was when I was in middle school. I remember wondering what coffee tasted like, grabbed your mug, and was met with the burning sensation of vodka hitting my throat. That moment is not something I have forgotten about, even after all these years. Apparently, this had been your preferred method of drinking for longer than anyone knew or cared to admit. Every one of the four times you've been admitted to the hospital for almost drinking yourself to death, I wished and prayed you could just be "normal." I held out hope that each time would be the moment you decided to choose your family over the bottle, and actually stick to it.
I tell myself (and other people) that you've used up all your chances with us, but no matter how many times I say I'm done, I always manage to let you back in. I tell myself that this one more chance is going to be the one that changes everything. But I learned early that your promises were meant to be broken, and the only people I could depend on were those not at the bottom of a vodka bottle. But despite you never following through on those promises, you not calling on my birthday, and your general view that I can't be bothered with you, I somehow remain hopeful.