Josh was my boyfriend for only a month and a half, but we had been friends for five years. We met at a "bad kids" high school in math class. I was a sophomore and he was a freshman. Both of us were young, rebellious, oblivious and wild with a passion for music. We connected in class through the love of music we shared and cigarettes. I would find my self completely drawn to him, wondering what he was thinking and who he was. Asking silly questions just to get his attention, which he was always willing to share with me. After school we would spend time together, sitting and smoking. We would talk about life, friends, family and love. I had never felt so accepted by anyone. His image was so beautiful. He was dark skinned with black hair down to his shoulders, a big bright white smile and black/brown eyes. He was a scary teddy bear. He wore the same dark jeans with drawings on them every day, and his band t-shirts with a heart gram logo jacket. I was smitten. Our friendship grew over the years although we didn't spend that much time together after that class. But, there was always the occasional phone call or text. I hung out with him and his friends at the little shack in the back of this house and loved it. Spending time with him was like hanging out with a rock star that was so dark and brooding, but kind and sensitive at the same time. Even though we had no physical relationship I cherished every second I spent with him, and I remember it all like yesterday. He was a meth addict for a long time, and spent quite a few months in and out of juvenille detention. I was not part of that crowd yet even though I did smoke weed, and that was something we shared. But meth was not part of my daily diet and it was keeping him barley alive. I'm a grateful that we were living our lives separate this point, so I didn't have to see him withering away. We reunited when I turned 19 and he was 18. He had just gotten out of juvenille detention for the last time for meth. He had cleaned up and gotten healthy. I was an emotional disaster, who starting throwing my life away to men and cocaine. Then one day he called and we met up. We got drunk together and reminisced on what we thought was our lost childhood, and listened to our favorite bands and then he kissed me. After that kiss we were inseparable. He asked me to be his girlfriend and I could not deny him. My heart had never felt so safe and loved. The harmony and flow of our short relationship was interrupted very quickly. Heroin was slowly working its way through my home town and taking down our friends slowly. His best friend was addicted. The first time I went to meet him, I watched him loaded in front of me and I was shocked. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, but it took that one time of watching to engrave its image in my head. We promised each other that we would never do it. Every inch of our minds knew that everything would be destroyed if we put it in our bodies. I started to worry all the time about Josh being around his friend, he was already a recovering meth addict and I new that it called to him. Seeing people all around us so addicted and in love with heroin, it was hard to not be curious. Even with our promise I knew that it would happen. So I told him, as a stupid girl, that if he ever did it I would too, without a second thought. Within two weeks after seeing his friends get high, Josh starting getting weird. Sick all the time and clammy with no explanation. I knew what it was instantly, and I knew that this life I wanted with him was over. Some small thought in my head said maybe we can do this. Become addicted and just get high with each other. Then I could stay with him and we could run away from our homes and live together in happiness. I confronted Josh and he admitted it, but said of course he wasn't addicted. That he had only done it once or twice. I didn't believe him, but smiled and said ok in hopes that it would be ok. A day later, we were with some friends who were addicted. I had become numb to seeing people use it now and thought I would be fine around it as long as I didn't do it. The girl we were with that day made a joke about Josh using very recently and I snapped. He had lied again. My best friend, my lover, the boy with the most gentle heart and bright sprit I had ever known was lying to me about everything. That night I used heroin for the first time. I asked the people we were with for a hit so I didn't feel so alone. Josh freaked out, screaming and yelling at me and I didn't care, all I wanted to do was be loaded to. Any sense left in my head was gone and ready to be where they were. He walked out the door that night and turned around to look at me and said "you have no idea what you just did" then left. I was wrapped instantly into the drug. People like me, insecure and weak, willed it and it will destroy you. My heart was so sad for everything around me, that it didn't matter anymore what I did to myself. The last day I had with Josh was the second day I ever did heroin. He showed up at my house around noon and told me he had been fired from his job that morning, kicked out of his house and that his probation officer was looking for him. Everything about his life was falling apart. I had now used because of him and he knew that, he lost everything that kept him together in just a few hours time. Depressed and scared we decided to get some dope and do it together. We thought maybe it would lift our sprits and make everything better. While trying to figure how to get money with my friend, Josh just sat in the front seat of my old boat of car, quiet and still. I tried talking to him but he was catatonic and frozen. He told me he felt sick. I kissed him on the cheek and promised that everything was going to be ok. We were going to leave and live together away from all this craziness and heartbreak. It was around ten at night when we got what we wanted. We all sat together listening to music, smoking weed and getting loaded. It felt like paradise in this filthy room, lying on some strange girl's bed that lived in the house. We lied on the bed for what felt like forever, just holding each other, our sick romance lasted a few hours. Everything was so peaceful and calm, like the eye before a storm. It felt like our souls were so entwined so completely, every word out of our mouths was about being in this moment forever. So happy. Then he fell asleep. I got up and did more, I even asked him if he wanted more, but he just grunted so I ignored him. It was about two in the morning and I was ready to sleep. I tried waking him up, but every time I tried in the past he would never get up. He was a very deep sleeper. I rolled him off my friend's bed not even half a foot onto the floor where I had made a bed and curled up next to him to go to sleep. He was still snoring, I remember listing to the inhales and crash of his chest that put me to sleep every night. I woke up and it was still dark, but I couldn't hear anything. I called his name to see if he was awake and there was nothing. Again I called and I hit him in the dark to wake but all was silent. The girl woke up and turned on the lights and his face was pale and his lips were blue. I put my head to his chest to listen for his heart that I listened for hours at a time and there was nothing. I kissed his lips because sometimes he would wake up from play sleeping if I did that, but his eyes stayed closed. Josh was 18 years old when he died at three in the morning on February 20, 2007 from cardiac arrest caused by heroin slowing his heart and breathing. They came and shoved me in a bathroom, while I watched them carry him up the stairs with his arm flung out toward me and that was the last time I saw his body. I went to the hospital with hope that they brought him back, that maybe he was in a coma. But, after two hours of sitting and waiting and asking, a random lady came up to me and told me he was never coming back and that it was time to go home. And that was it, I will never see him again. That boy I met in math class when I was young, with his long hair and big smile was gone forever now. I went back to that girl's house and stayed in the room for days, doing more and more heroin and lying there like a breathing corpse. My family and friends would try to comfort and console me, but I couldn't hear anything. I was committed to a mental institution for a week, then sent to two different rehabs for sixty days. When I was released I went to sober living then moved to my mother's house, my soul was still broken. I had started spending all my time with Josh's best friend who was the first person ever saw get loaded. A month of time with him and I was right back to where I was when Josh died, even worse. Everyday I would use, I got kicked out of my mom's house and started selling myself for a place to live with meth. I lived in that house for one month and the heroin finally made me to sick too function. I lost all feeling in my right arm and couldn't stand with out vomiting or peeing blood when I went to the bathroom. I called my mother and had her take me back to rehab where I finally got a hold on myself. I have been sober now since Oct 2007. I didn't write this, for sympathy, or to make heroin seen like something to play with. My mind, my body and sprit were all destroyed because of these drugs. And a boy that I loved and was loved my so many people had to die . I am still rebuilding my life everyday to fight this addiction and make myself a better person. The loss I have in my heart will never leave, and I hope that one day when I die, I get to see his face again and tell him that I am sorry and that I missed him so much.
Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.
*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization. EIN: 52-1736502