The Grammy's were a big night for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being that it marked Demi Lovato's return to the stage for the first time since her overdose in July of 2018. The performance served as the debut of Demi's new single "Anyone," a song she wrote four days before her overdose. And the performance did not disappoint.
Demi started the ballad only to stop a few seconds in to pause after becoming emotional. She carried out the beautiful and chilling account of a young girl struggling with addiction with tears streaming down her face the entire performance. Her vocals and vibrato alone are enough to bring chills to anyone who listens. Add in the haunting lyrics that perfectly showcase the experience of someone at their own personal rock bottom and it's no wonder this performance received a standing ovation from the audience.
Demi has long used her voice to shed light on some of the more stigmatized aspects of the human experience including mental illness, eating disorders, self-harm, and addiction. Her single "Sober," released weeks before her overdose, recounted some of the more shameful feelings associated with relapse. "Anyone" follows the track beautifully by recounting the feelings shared by so many recovering addicts and alcoholics.
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The song opens with the lines, "I tried to talk to my piano, I tried to talk to my guitar / Talked to my imagination, confided into alcohol / I tried and tried and tried some more, told secrets 'til my voice was sore / Tired of empty conversation, cause no one hears me anymore." These words pack a punch for anyone that's lived through the rollercoaster of addiction. When you're that sick and have been fighting the same battle for so long, it can feel like there's no one left to confide in without feeling like a burden. Of course, there is always someone. But our disease tells us that there isn't.
We're all looking for "anyone." Anyone to help us. Anyone to sit with us. Anyone to look us in the eye and say, "I see you." Addict or not.
And there is always someone. And to the "anyones" and the "someones" out there that have a loved one struggling, be it with addiction or something else, listen.
Listen to the song and listen to your loved ones. Really, truly listen.
There are a hundred million stories that echo Demi's to a T. And too many have ended in that hospital room. But they don't have to.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, find help at SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), text Crisis Text Line at 741741, or look for resources in your area at To Write Love On Her Arms.