The story and reason Joshua’s Voices For Recovery (Facebook page) was created to bring addiction and overdose awareness to the light. Here is Joshua’s story.
December 17, 2014 I met the love of my life, my soul mate, my best friend for the first time. We came across each other at my job. It was like any normal day. Never did I think such a shy handsome man would become the very man I gave my whole heart to. Shortly after we decided to become a couple. Never did I know what I lingered ahead of me. I fell so much in love with him. But he held a secret I did not know. He was a drug addict. Shortly after we met he started using Heroin. Which I didn’t later know until he decided to get clean and moved back home with his sister. Which I came to know later that he stole from his family to support his habit. Meanwhile decided to get clean and things became wonderful again. He asked me to marry him May 2, 2015. Everything seemed perfect in every way a young couple could have wanted. I knew that Joshua came to have a problem a problem with drugs which he openly disgusted with me. He told that started when he was in high school at the age of 16. It all started with pills and over a first bad break up. But meanwhile I didn’t knew that the man I came to love with all my heart would later turn into someone I didn’t know. He later relapsed after being almost seven months clean because a “family friend” began to offer him prescription pills and later turned into heroin. Which later became a turn for the worst. I later came to realize I was pregnant but I realized to late which I ended up having a miscarriage and Joshua was heavily into using it Heroin. Shortly after he got kicked out of his sister’s house. Because his sister feared of drugs in her home around her children and feared for him overdosing in her home. Living in a car and me alongside him for 2 and 1/2 months. Though those two and half month I witness the reality of addiction. I witnessed seeing the man I love at his depths of his addiction. I witness one time and one time only of seeing the man I love shoot Heroin/crack into his arm without being able to do anything to stop it or change his mind. Witnesses his terrible withdrawals him cry in pain at times begging for me to kill him so they would go away. I knew that the man before me wasn’t my Joshua. Until he made the choice he wanted to go to rehab to get help because he knew that he couldn’t do it one his own. We drove to the hospital and they later said that the detox program wouldn’t take him because of health concern. Heartbroken I had to watch him cry and have a look of fear and of no hope. Until the hospital decided to admit him. That night his withdrawals almost costed him to go back on his decision. Joshua successfully completely both detox and rehab. Being away from him a total of 9 months was hard. Once he completed rehab he was my Joshua again. Started working with his dad everything seemed great again. Until one day he relapsed while living at home with his parents that agreed to allow him to move back home. When he relapsed it got extremely bad for him. His family not sure how to approach the situation and he ran off for another binge of using it Heroin. He wanted only to make everyone understand that didn’t want to be that way. he later returned home but we all had the fear he wouldn’t live through that night. He got clean once again. A few months later he started picking up drinking alcohol it start with a beer on occasion. Which others including himself stated that it was better than doing drugs but I felt it wasn’t that simple that he was substituting. The occasional drink turned into an everyday drinking binge. From beer to liquor. He later got arrest for a DUI to where he received jail time for. Though that time I back off and didn’t speak to him until the last month his was in there because I missed him too much. When he got out of jail he was the man I saw deep down in him. The my Joshua that I saw in him when he didn’t see it in himself. He got a job interview which I took him to and started working but through a company. Once again everything seemed to be getting on track until his addiction came clawing back to the surface this time with more of a vengeance. A relative of Joshua’s family (not immediate family) once again introduced him back into iv Heroin/crack (speedballing as he called it). That same relative wanted to get me hooked on iv Heroin and crack but I refused and Joshua kept telling him no to never go near me with it out of protection of me. Time and time again at his worst in his addiction he turned into someone I didn’t recognize by threatening me if I didn’t give him money. He would take my bank card and get money off of it to support his habit amongst other things his addiction made me do. Fear and terror what he was saying was true I would cry and fight with him because his addiction was take a hold of him in the worst way and was affecting our relationship. Fear that something would happened to him. At times I came to hate him and his actions because his addiction turned him into a person he was not. One night his family member who provided him with the drugs at the time I did not know what they were. He called Joshua saying a girl he was with overdosed and was checking on Joshua because apparently it was the same supply. The look of terror in Joshua’s eyes was enough to take action and I flushed the drugs he had down the toilet so he couldn’t use any. That enough was enough no more. The next day he was in withdrawal all day until I got off work to find out the family member took him and bought him drugs once again without me knowing about it. Heartbroken and crying he told me he was sorry and that he wanted to go back to rehab. I asked him if he had any more of the drugs on him he told me no. That he did not. We went shopping for his daughter’s birthday and on our way home we stopped at Sheetz because he said he had to use the bathroom so he went in. And was in there for a while so I messaged him asking him why he was in there so long. The reply was gut wrenching. He was in the bathroom shooting up. Tears coming out of my eyes when he got back to the car I asked him one more time if he had anymore he told me he did not. I made him undress and I searched every place he always told me he hide it. He had nothing. So the very next day January 21, 2017 I left for work having a bad feeling I knew he would be withdrawing. At work, I spoke to him on my break. Later in the day He messaged me that he needed me like he always did message me So I called him. He seemed tired and like he was falling asleep. He kept apologizing and told me he loved me. I said I would see him after work. After I got off of work I received a phone call a phone call that forever changed my life. The call was from his sister asking me what I took Joshua to go get. Which I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me he overdose and was at the hospital. Pulling over my car I started praying that he would be okay. Then I received a text message with two words “HE’S GONE.” I screamed. My world was turned upside down, shattered. I couldn’t breathe felt like every ounce of air was knocked out of me. I didn’t want to believe it was true. He passed away two days before his daughter’s birthday. Later I found out that Heroin/ crack laced with fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl took my fiancé, my soulmate, my best friend, my rock, safe haven, my everything. And his daughter lost her father. Along with his family…. a son, brother, and uncle.
To this day many people blame me for his death. But I knew the truth of what really happened. The last words I heard him say was I love you and telling me He was okay. I carry my own guilt along with the blame of others. But I did one thing today I thought I would never be able to do. I told his story. It’s not about me or them. It’s about JOSHUA’S story and memory and spreading awareness to save another from the same fate as Joshua did throughout his life.
Please for those active addicts reading please choose to get help. You are worth it. You are somebody’s someone!
Us Against The World Joshua. If your story saves one person I would be doing my purpose you always told me I would 💜
Joshua Eric Bonner
3/9/1994 – 1/21/2017
Story by Kirsten Miller-Bonner