They’ve questioned what happened that winter night. “Why did she turn to drugs?” “What caused her death?” “What was her mindset?” The media plastered it all over the newspapers “another young drug related death” in an attempt to sell my story for the price of the black and white paper. My parents wept in a televised plea for an Antidrug Campaign. “We didn’t know what was going on. We knew she was going to a party but we had no idea she was involved with drugs”
Two people shaking hands to disguise a subtle trading of goods, an Elizabeth Fry for a small plastic zip-loc and you’re guaranteed a good night, to experience something completely different to the normal routine of everyday life. To look at an ordinary pattern and to see it move, change into something you would never even imagine whilst sober. Being able to disconnect yourself from reality and see life how you want to see it- to see dolphins swimming around your feet on the bathroom floor.
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, LSD, Acid. A tab on your tongue to help you feel the music, a quick fix to forget about your self-consciousness, it’s a small card square soaked in the resin with the ability to give a sense of colour, sound and objects becoming distorted.
The stereotype that people who use drugs are troubled addicts is a misconception believed by drug virgins, with the media and the law quick to broadcast the connection between taking a pill, sniffing a line or smoking a joint and the negative events of teenage nightlife. However, although some users have “gone wrong” on drugs, the others have not. A bad trip is what you’re trying to avoid and to do this you need 1 thing: self-control.
It’s strange to think that people everywhere, like me, are getting incredible kicks from things most people will never know. LSD was the key to unlock the hidden chambers of thoughts in your brain- and it was incredible.
Addiction is a strong word, ‘a Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance.’ Becoming dependant on drugs to have a good time was something I always said would never happen to me, and it didn’t.
However, taking a drug is a decision you make yourself in which you take full responsibility for. Except, the responsibility for what happened to her that night in December is in fact, partly mine.
I sat next to her talking for over 2 hours. It’s been 6 months on since the incident and I still couldn’t find the right words to explain to her how sorry I was. Blossom from the tree above fell on her from the light warm breeze. It was summer now- and the sun was burning down and reflecting on the tag on my ankle but I didn’t dare glance at it- I hated the constant reminder of the tragedy I had caused. She always loved the summer, Daisy did. While I was there I thought about what we would be doing if she was still alive. Sharing a joint on the seafront probably-we loved it there... we had a special spot in direct view of where the sun would set. We weren’t just sisters we were best friends.
Nothing compares to the feeling of grieving. I never thought I would lose her- but now she’s gone and there’s nothing me or anyone else can do to bring her back. It’s just her body now- not her. Not her bubbly, funny, beautiful self. Am I the one who took her life away? I don’t feel much anymore- the feeling of guilt, regret and grieving overpowers everything. The amount of times I’ve re-lived the events of that night in my mind is unbearable- if only I had changed one action that evening and everything could be different. What if the money I used hadn’t come through to my bank that day? What if the dealer hadn’t answered his phone? What if I had hidden it better? What if I had locked my room? I had to stop torturing myself.
After an hour and a half of sitting next to her grave, tugging at the weeds which disrespectfully grew around the gravestone, I remembered even if I was to blame, we were still sisters and we loved each other “Oh Daisy…” I exhaled “I’ve searched my mind for six whole months trying to find the words but I can’t. Why couldn’t you have just spoken to me about it? You shouldn’t have taken something which you didn’t know anything about! I’m sorry. I’m not angry- I just miss you. But it’s my fault- but I can’t bear to think of what you went through that night. Did you have a bad trip? I hate to imagine you scared. The worst thing is that unlike Mum and Dad I know firsthand of what you could have gone though.”
Whilst speaking to her I had to drag my thoughts away from my memories of my “bad trip” last year. It was difficult having an idea of the possible feelings she went though. Confusion and panic overpowering every feeling she had, I hated to think of her scared, frightened, out of control. The worst thing was that I know no one was there to help her, I wasn’t there to help her- she was completely alone. She died alone.
“I remember when I found out you where gone” I choked trying not to cry. “Mum got a phone call that night. I was awoken by the sound of the telephone ringing- I wouldn’t usually hear it except that night I had left my door open so I would hear you go into your room, so I could sneak in and ask you about your night. I didn’t hear you come home that night- because you didn’t, you never came home.”
“I remember when the realisation that the voices from downstairs had turned into cries dawned. I remember running down stairs in my pyjamas, I remember seeing Mum and Dad crying next to the home phone, I remember when Mum told me what had happened to you. I can only compare my reaction to the feeling of slipping down the stairs, first the overwhelming shock of falling and then one of the stairs hitting you hard in the middle of your back. It was painful. You were gone.” I hung my head trying to pull myself together, trying not to break down. “I just wish you spoke to me first before just stealing the LSD from my room. What were your last thoughts? I over-think the last words I said to you before you left for that party... that hurts even more. I shouted at you for drinking all the orange juice. It sounds so petty now.” I exhaled. “The only comfort I have is the voicemail you left me that night, before you took the blotter soaked in the hallucinogenic drug. I listen to it most days to remember your voice- I would never forgive myself if I forgot it.
I looked at the gold engraving on the gravestone.
“Daisy Summers 1997-2014”
Our baby girl- taken too soon
You are our angel. We love you”
A vast selection of flowers surrounded the grave. I had bought Daisies for her, and a card in an envelope. “Goodbye Daisy. I love you, see you soon” I said.
That brings me to now. I looked out to sea; the tide was out, sand stretching from my feet to the edge of the water. I was completely alone. Today I was released from a Youth Prison for possession of and supplying a class A drug, let out early for good behaviour but disowned by my parents. People complained I was “let off easy” but I disagree. Is the death of my sister being let off easy?
What was I supposed to do, resume my life as normal and carry on with my drug habit? Get an office job and work 9 til 5, build a family and start a new life? I couldn’t do that there’s too many ghosts. I couldn’t cope with it; I didn’t know where to start.
It should have been me in that grave; it should have been me who took that bad tab of LSD. Prison was the only thing keeping me alive, and now I wasn’t in Prison.
I light my last cigarette as I began to walk towards the edge of the water.
I had my addictions, or did my addictions have me?