It wasn’t really a surprise that Amy died, but it was shocking to hear that she had. I got into recovery when I was 28…(I’m 49 now) it’s tough going, it takes courage, it takes being around people one can trust, and above all, people who know what they are talking about. ‘Just Say No’ is so simplistic it must have been coined by someone with absolutely no idea about addiction. So for me it’s not just that Amy wrote great songs and had an amazing voice, it’s that she represents the people I belong to, she’s One of Us, and never got to appreciate what recovery could be like. That’s why I feel sad about her dying.
I’ve just had a couple of weeks of being on a lovely creative roll, it’s come to an end though, as it will, and the last three shed sessions have been a bit difficult, made worse because I didn’t realise that I had to have a break from melting glass so that I could go back to it fresh (I’m a bit slow around things like that). I was in the shed last night, struggling to make attractive beads to sell at the bead fairs next month, if I had had any sense I would have shut everything down and watched a film or something, anything but flog a dead horse. The news was on and I was thinking about Amy in her yellow dress, I had a sudden urge to depict her in bead form, out came the rod of yellow glass and off I went. It went so well, I could hardly believe it myself, but I felt terribly grave as I made it, and still do 24 hours later. Her death feels like another significant marker in my own recovery, because she didn’t make it and that could have been me. I know that sounds a little self absorbed, sometimes I am (it’s a selfish programme ). Making the bead you see in the picture was as much an acknowledgment of my own survival from the devastating illness of addiction, as it is a tribute to Amy.