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This is why I drink

By Jamie Ramsay

By Jamie RamsayPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - August 2023

Tonight, I told myself the reasons why I drink again,

And drink again,

And drink again,

And drink again,

I explained to her that I drink again to make up for lost time.

I told her that it’s to revisit what felt right coming out of my mouth last night, but feels like shut the fuck up in the morning, so I drink again in the afternoon to clarify what I meant.

So I drink again to understand why I said those things in the first place.

And the world ends.

And I drink again so my heart feels something other than disgust,

I drink again so my heart can be satisfied with the weather, the time passing too quickly, the new fan in my room, the eyes that hold me up as much as they can muster,

but they’re the eyes that have to go home; the eyes that put sunglasses on as they walk out the door because the weight of my heart is too much to look at for too long.

It’s a metal ball I slip into their pockets,

It’s a decision I watch myself make,

And I watch them walk away off balance;

And I watch them wonder why.

And I drink again to feel dizzy, to dumb down the noises; to assist the unity of what’s physical, what I taste, what I smell, what I think.

I drink again to make my thoughts less jarring.

I drink again because my thoughts are predictable here.

The words, be gentle with yourself, only ever apply themselves without effort, here.

When I don’t drink,

The things that happen present themselves like lightning,

The decisions are actually only reactions to being violated by nonconsensual energy.

My day consists of nonconsensual sounds that my ear buds cannot dissipate no matter what song I play.

Nonconsensual moods people wear on their faces on the bus.

All the words unspoken, all the sounds unmade, I hold my breath until I get home.

I scream every time I walk through my door.

Every single time.

I ask myself

Is this knowing myself completely?

Is this what it should feel like?

Is that why I pull my hair out?

I drink because I either am or I am not.

I cannot meet myself half way in the middle.

But I think, maybe that’s understanding. Maybe that’s agreeing with myself to disagree.

I think,

agreeing with myself is softer than disagreeing with myself, and that’s okay. Right? That’s okay, right?

I’m sorry for apologizing in my head and out loud, written all over my face, if I could melt into a person and take over their body, and say what I need them to say, over and over again until it’s stops, I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry like some kind of obsessive compulsion I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry if I say it enough times the noise dulls. It’s like tapping my foot, it’s like squeezing your hand over and over and over again until we get to school.

But school’s over now.

The only place that felt familiar is walking out the door with it’s sunglasses on, not meeting my eye, and I don’t even get the chance to apologize once more because he’s already walking out,

and I wonder what he’s thinking about and I think maybe he’s embarrassed of me and my stomach is upset because it's only been familiar with alcohol for the last three days.

I drink again, and I think one more day, just to make it to tomorrow, just so I can sleep it off

And then one more day happens but I accidentally feel worse than I did before, so, it’s a bandaid today, just so I can breathe properly, just so I can live as far away from the tile on my bathroom floor, just to make my walls feel a little further away.

It’s like the coal in a dying fire.

It feels like blowing on the coal and watching it glow.

I am a light switch, do you remember trying to balance it between on and off, and you never could?

I understand myself too deeply.

I share too much.

I got so used to lying,

Now I tell the truth like scraping out a cantaloupe.

I scrape myself clean of my secrets because I don’t want them to whisper at me when I’m alone.

I tell the truth like a council prepares the victim before the trial.

A preliminary inquiry of the mind.

I over explain because I want you to have every version of the truth, every genre that chooses me when the light switch is off, and every version that chooses me when the light switch is on.

I empty out my truths until my stomach hurts and I’m nauseous and I regret the mess I’ve left at the table, and then I clean it up with apologies.

I set apologies on the table like candles and I light them, and I say I’m sorry as I sweep the floor, as I wipe the table, as I dispose of the truth I wretched up that nobody wanted to see,

a nonconsensual truth,

a violation.

I want physical punishment for my truth.

I want to be yelled at, instead of having to guess.

I want to hear a voice other than mine, that yells the truth at me in simple shapes and simple forms.

I want the truth to be less tangled.

I want the future to shut the fuck up

Sometimes the future feels like early afternoon sun against a hangover like

Shut the fuck up

And people talk about it so casually,

People say the next few years without acid burning their mouth as they say it.

I drink again

because it’s a friend that doesn’t say much.

It’s fresh laundry and inspiration to write a song.

It’s gentler.

Maybe it’s excuses or maybe it’s truths,

But it makes the blanket feel softer, it makes the noise of the day feel further away,

Far away like stars in the sky.

Far away like stars in the sky,

Far away like darkness behind you at a campfire,

Warmth close to my skin as I blow on the coals and watch it glow.


About the Creator

Jamie Ramsay

Every word is chosen from my throat, in the moments I feel too human.

I am your guide into the sinkhole.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (16)

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  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    Cycle. Repeat. This was extraordinary in what you got down here. Self-loathing with no way out. I liked the honesty of it but it made me sad.

  • Manisha Dhalani4 months ago

    I appreciate you for penning all these thoughts down. Heartfelt.

  • Gina B.4 months ago

    All too relatable.

  • Aynur Yusifova4 months ago

    I am a new one pls support me

  • Aynur Yusifova4 months ago

    Congratulations on top story

  • Nice and Congratulations on your Top Story💖🎉🎉🎉👌🎉🎉

  • Kimmiekins44 months ago

    I love this <3 i relate to this so much, and I feel like you took all of my feelings and wrote them out in this poem.

  • E.K. Daniels4 months ago

    Raw and heartbreakingly beautiful.

  • Celia in Underland4 months ago

    This is raw and beautiful. Exquisite. Exactly why I read . Thank you x

  • Rachael MacDonald4 months ago

    incredible use of imagery. I love the complexity of the excuses, and resentment, and anger almost without apology. It's dark truth without an "ill stop, ill be better".

  • Babs Iverson4 months ago

    Courageous raw and so emotional!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!

  • CleverWordz4 months ago

    A worthy Top poem indeed. Its like all your journals into a movie script as the scene acts accordingly fit!!

  • I feel this will be well placed as an after read ❤️✨ https://vocal.media/longevity/could-you-be-sober-curious

  • Heather Lunsford4 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your raw and crushing truths with us. I think you may find your words resonate with many more than you anticipated. I wish you nothing but peace and love.

  • Margaret Brennan4 months ago

    My brother always said that one drink is too many and too many isn't enough. Your story helped me understand better my brother's frame of mind. No, the drinking didn't take him from us. Cancer did but I'm sure his drinking didn't help. Thank you for sharing this. You have no idea how it has help me understand him.

  • Michaela Delaney 4 months ago

    You took me through a hallway of emotions with this. Really raw. Great read.

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