He was forced to connect with deity anyway, over and over again. Despite all of his issues, Richey was painfully polite with an inherent need to please. He did it, because he didn't want to put his doctors and analysts out.
But with a mind and personality like his - intellectual, obsessive, addictive, intense - Richey couldn't just dabble. He dived into spirituality with the same keen focus with which he did everything else. And THAT messed with his mind.
Or, as Nicky later put it, 'The Priory is a mixture of all pseudo-God and religious boll**ks and doctors trying to cure you. (Richey) quickly realized that the cure means having to destroy the entire entity that you are.'
Richey tried desperately to believe in something, which all his instinct and reason told him didn't exist. When he couldn't make the connection, it felt like yet more rejection and failure. Moreover, it was pretty much spelled out to him that if he couldn't participate properly - in one of the highest ranking health clinics in the country - then he would never be cured.
It was in this context that Richey wrote the lyrics in Faster: I know I believe in nothing, but it's my nothing.
The Priory might have helped with the physical self-harm, but he emerged with a brand new diagnosis of nervous exhaustion. It took him a while to understand again that it was alright not to have to believe in a god.
By January 1995, Richey James was deemed well enough to resume his position within the Manic Street Preachers. On the last day of the month, he and James Dean Bradfield checked into a London hotel, each in their respective rooms, ahead of flying out to America the following day.
The band were finally set to break the States. But when James arose in time to catch the plane, he found that Richey had already checked out. It was February 1st 1995 and that receptionist had the last confirmed sighting of the man.