Until he got clean in 2016, shortly before Thursday returned after a five-year hiatus, Rickly spent the last several years of his addiction trying desperately to salvage his personal life while putting on a professional front that still managed to move forward. He joined No Devotion, a Welsh alternative bound formed from the ashes of Lostprophets, in 2014 and signed the band to his Collect Records label. Whatever success he enjoyed, however, was eclipsed by the growing realization that his drug problem was slowly consuming everything.
“The last few years of using heroin, of course I wanted to stop, but it was literally impossible,” he said. “They tell you (in recovery) to take it a day at a time, and I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to make it another 10 minutes. What are you talking about?’ It was so hard to imagine having to be without the thing that made me feel like a person, because unless I got really high, I didn’t really feel connected to people. If I wasn’t high, every sensation, every thought, was another expression of unbearable pain. Spiritually, I was so empty.”