September has been recovery month. “What’s that, Brian?” I hear you moan. Well, pull up a chair, kids, and I’ll tell you.

It’s a nationwide celebration of people in recovery from drug and alcohol problems, re-affirming their sobriety and acknowledging their steps forwards, upwards and sometimes sideways.

“Oh no! A sermon!” I hear you moan again. First, stop interrupting. It’s rude. And second, I’m not going to shout, “Can I get an AA? Can I get an NA?”


I myself am in recovery and will be for the rest of my natural life. Yeah, hard to believe. But as I sit typing this in Suite 777, Cardboard Towers, Prestbury, it goes to show that addiction touches tout le monde, todos, über alles, baby!

Some of the people I’ve met in recovery are the most kind, positive-thinking, resilient friends you could wish to meet. Every act of kindness and support, no matter how small, every laugh or smile is worth ten times those you might experience in civvy street. Stay tuned for a short film our group made with Glass Eye Productions of Salford, which I of course directed (ahem).

The point is that every aspect of society is affected. There is definitely more awareness of the issue due to the stink that is celebrity culture. If you want to get ahead, get a habit. Music especially has its so-called legends and heroes due partly to the stories – many apocryphal, surely – of debauchery, which only serve to glamorise a very dark place. And, believe me, it’s fucking dark in there.

Many a drunken tune has been played on an old fiddle, as they say. Who hasn’t had an intoxicated friend or stranger make a grab for a handmade, finely crafted instrument with the immortal line, “Oi, give us a go on that”? It’s hard to believe an inanimate object could tremble, but it’s true.

Anyway, like I said, it’s not a sermon. I would never, ever tell anyone not to indulge, but just acknowledge that staff and volunteers at recovery groups work tirelessly, sometimes with the knowledge that all will not turn out well, and should you ever be in need of them, as James Taylor said, “You’ve got a friend” [sic]. Sorry, that should be ‘[sick]’.

At this very moment, I am well. Thanks for asking, you heartless bastard. I just have to remember that the baby Jesus loves me. Not you, just me!

Brian Rooney