Sometimes when I’m listening to music, my mind conjures alternate lyrics to songs I’ve heard thousands of times and have memorized like the alphabet. A few days ago, Carried Away, by George Strait came on my playlist, and for some reason, my brain heard “I take drinking whiskey to extremes” instead of “I don’t take my whiskey to extremes”. I thought that sounded like a good beginning to a poem about alcoholism and so I began with my misheard lyrics and let my mind wander from there.

I take drinking whiskey to extremes
To wash away these horrid, waking dreams
There’s nothing like the buzz of alcohol
To blind you to the darkness of the fall

It’s just another ordinary night
I wear my mask, and everything seems right
But when I close my eyes and try to sleep
I fall down a rabbit hole so deep

I get carried away by the hurt, by the demons inside
Before I even realize that I’m in hell, a part of me has died
I get carried away, nothing matters but numbing my brain
By whatever means I can, I cannot stand to feel this pain

I get carried away by this bottle, by the spirits within
Like a specter gone awry, I wanna die, let the demons win
I just wanna be free
Let me be free