Sonya Johnson's childhood started off like many others. She was an only child raised in a safe and happy Christian home.
When she was just eight years old, her life was flipped upside down when her parents got divorced.
"After they got divorced, I think I was just looking for that father figure in my life," said Johnson. "I went through some trauma in my teenage years. I was sexually abused. I was with a guy who turned out to be the first person that I ever knew to overdose. He got me pregnant, and I lost that baby."
After that loss, Sonya found herself in an abusive relationship.
"When I found drugs and alcohol, that was my solution. It covered up the ways that I was feeling. It made me feel like I could come out of my shell," Sonya explained. "I thought we were teenagers, that's just what we do, but what happened is, when the other kids went back to school, I didn't want to do that, I wanted to continue to party all day, every day, and that's what I did."
Johnson was eventually able to leave her abusive boyfriend and decided to move from Florida to Georgia.
"At this point, I already knew I was an addict. I had already been in a detox centre. I knew I couldn't stop using. I had already stolen from family and stores. I knew that I had a problem. I thought if I could move away from where I was, I would be okay," said Johnson. "It turns out no matter where you go, there you are."
Sonya and her boyfriend at the time decided they wanted to start a new life in Georgia. They were able to do that for a few months until drugs crept back into their lives.
"We were functional for a little while. We got pregnant, and I decided I did not want to lose this baby, so I got clean long enough to have a baby, and then my husband and I got married and had another child. We were using substances, but we weren't out of control."
It didn't take long before Sonya and her husband were hooked on drugs again, and to keep their kids out of foster care, Sonya sent them to live with their grandmother.
That's when things started to spiral out of control. Sonya's husband ended up in the hospital. He was diagnosed with heart failure and told he would only live for five years. Days after being released, he was arrested on a misdemeanour and put into a recovery program.
Sonya's world continued to spin out of control until July 19, 2018, when she was arrested and put in jail.
"I am so grateful when I look back on that today. That is the reason that I found recovery. That started the sequence of events," said Sonya.
She was out of jail within days on supervised release. About 30 days later, she was back in jail, and they were not letting her out.
"One thing that happened while I was in there was these ladies from church would come in and they would play songs for us. One of the songs that I heard was 'Rescue' by Lauren Daigle," said Sonya. "I knew when I heard that song I had been rescued, not arrested. I knew that God had rescued me from that situation."
She was put into treatment and was eventually let out of jail. She has since managed to get her kids back, and together with her husband, they recently bought a house.
Today, Sonya is sharing her story in hopes of helping others going through a similar situation.
Today on Connections, Sonya shares her testimony. She'll also share how she intends to help others moving forward.