“This is in memory of my dad”

Aissa Hooper got in touch with The Big Issue to share the tragic story of her father

Hi, my name is Aissa. I’m 28.

My life changed a lot over the last year and a half. I wanted to share my story as I’m sure others can relate.

The 21st of July 2018 was a very normal day until the afternoon, when a police officer came to deliver some heart-breaking news.

My dad spent a lot of his life on the streets due to poor mental health which was brought on by heroin addiction. He got himself clean for about five years but then unfortunately got back in to it a few years ago.

Very sadly he ended his life last year because of his horrific addiction, health and financial problems.

I was six months pregnant at the time and found it very hard to come to terms with. I found writing helped, so I wrote a poem about my life with my dad. I hope you can understand.

This is in memory of my dad. He battled with heroin addiction for 20+ years. I wish people knew more about addiction, unfortunately it’s not spoken about as much as it should be. People are ashamed or don’t think others will understand how they feel.

All I can say is talk about it. You’re not on your own!

Here is a story for you and your friends
About something that may divide you from them
But the likelihood is that it will take one of you in the end.

Twenty years passed since you were yourself
You tried it once
There’s no coming back from that
Maybe by yourself or maybe at a party
The fact is that it crept up and you didn’t even notice. Hardly
Where have you gone
You were always caring
Now you’ve forgot you had a son

Take me to the shop
Three years old
Stuff vodka in my oversized baby grow
Coz that’s what you do when you don’t have a clue
And as you’re such a mess,
All eyes on you.
Distract the staff and stash it on your kid, who will ever notice as she’s only just turned two.

There’s a monkey on your shoulder
And a devil on your back
Five years have passed now
You can’t get out of that

It will leave you with nothing
But you will still be chasing more
With track marks up your body
And now you’re feeling sore

It’s an endless game of lies and for pain
The dealers will chance you
And play you like a game

From whiteness to grey
From pasty to green
Surely by now you don’t want to be seen
Pining eyes and missing teeth
Puffed up knuckles and withdrawn cheeks
Buckled knees and track marks up your shins.

For all of beauty while you were a kid
Or before this nasty muck ended you up on streets.
It will be gone in hours leaving you wanting more.
Now you’ve exhausted all of your sources and beyond.
There’s only one option left as the world hates you.
You’ve taken all you can now pull up a pew.
Your family over there and your family over here.
The ones that bent over backwards to help you too.
Take from them and rob their hard earned money.
After all now you’re a drug addict you think it’s owed to you.
It’s such a sad life when you have no one left.
Your pining eyes or your gouged out disguise.
But the truth is that this will take you in the end.
It will mess everything up and send your family round the bend.
Here is a lesson for you and your friends.
Never let a bad day make you end up in this mess.

Thank you for reading,

Aissa Hooper