I recently read Victoria’s Voice: Our Daughter’s Wish to Share her Diary and Save Lives from Drugs. I have to admit, it was tough for me to even pick it up and start to read it. Don’t get me wrong: I’m an avid reader, but to read the diary of a young girl who had died of an overdose and to have her parents, through their agony, share their experience, was an emotional adventure. Victoria was only 18 years old when she passed away.
The book is a very personal account by Victoria’s parents, David and Jackie Siegel, of what their daughter was like and the experience of emotional stress that they went through as they saw their daughter struggled with anxiety, addiction, depression, and anorexia, and the inevitable fallout that all of these issues led her to. They also share the agony of their daughter’s passing, and the struggle to figure out their next steps, as they tried to make sense of such a tragic event.
It was right after their daughter’s death that the Siegels received a text from Victoria’s friend that changed the trajectory of their lives. Victoria had asked this friend to share the text with her parents, in case she ever died. In this text, she directed her parents to search for her diary, and to share it with the world. The Siegels struggled with this decision, but ultimately they decided not only to share her diary with the world, but to become educators and advocates, so that no other parent would have to go through what they went through.
They shared that since their daughter’s death, they learned so much. In fact, they wish that they would have known what they know now before Victoria’s passing. They can’t turn back the clock, but they can help save another family from tragedy. They want everyone to learn about this issue so that it is not too late for a family who is experiencing this issue. They want everyone to recognize the signs: Addicts can become very good at hiding their addition. They want everyone to advocate for a safer environment for young lives.
David and Victoria Siegel have worked tirelessly to promote laws that protect children, implement ample access to Naxolone (a drug that can save lives from overdose), and advocate for safe-keeping of even day to day drugs. They have testified before Congress and have advocated for more comprehensive rehabilitation for individuals who are suffering from addiction.
Victoria’s Voice is full of insight. I recommend it as a family reading. Families who are going through the pain of addiction are very special families that need the support of our entire village.
If you are interested in the book, you can buy it here. Proceeds from the sales of the book benefit the Victoria Siegel foundation. Please visit their website (here), to learn more about drugs, addiction, the Siegels, and their advocacy, or simply to get help.