Trey Anastasio has started the week with another new tune recorded during his social isolation period at home while the nation is gripped by the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The song is called “Are You There Colleen?” and it’s seemingly about his struggle with addiction and how he got through it (especially considering the long note he shared with the song, which you can read in full below).
Hear the new song and see Trey’s solo acoustic performance below:
In a note shared with the song, Anastasio references his addictive nature in reference to how many songs he’s been churning out, but he states pretty matter of fact that “writing helps me,” which was really shown off in various forms via the documentary last year Between Me and My Mind.
Read the full note below.
Lots of songs coming out. I hope they provide a bit of joy, or even distraction. The truth is, writing helps me. It feels like connective tissue with our community of friends.
Or maybe this is just another addiction? Who knows? It sure as Hell beats “that other addiction”. Which makes me want to say this: For those out there suffering with addiction, You CAN get off drugs. Keep the faith. life is joyous on the other side. This event could be your salvation if it lights a fire that leads to a life off drugs. Drugs and alcohol never even cross my mind today. There was a time when I couldn’t go 5 mins without thinking about that stuff. If you’re reading this and you understand, then you understand. If you don’t, I could never explain it to you in a million years. I hope you never have to know. But to those who are spending every second of this pandemic scrambling in sheer terror to get what they need, there’s a way out.
Winston Churchill famously said, “If you’re going thru Hell, keep going”. Help is there. Ask. Remember, you are a sick person trying to get well, NOT a bad person trying to get good. Part of the sickness is not knowing that you’re sick. Isolation is the main component of addiction and alcoholism. Zoom meetings are a good place to connect with a community. Hearing others talk can help. You’re not alone. 70,000 people a year die of overdoses in America. How many are sick, but didn’t overdose? A lot. How many are out searching, ignoring isolation rules right this second? A lot. How much money does addiction cost a week? A lot.
Even though your conscious mind is saying, “F*** this asshole, what do you know about me?” I believe that deep down you’d rather be free of this massive anchor that’s been weighing you down for so long. I know how hard it is. When I had 9 days clean, I told an older sober guy “I haven’t slept in 9 days. I’m losing my mind.” He said, “Luckily no one has ever died of lack of sleep, try writing in your journal.” That was 13 years ago. I sleep now. You’ll struggle. There’s no magic pill. You have to go thru it, not around. But you CAN get off drugs. Forever.