WESTFIELD — Addiction is everywhere but still the topic itself remains taboo.
“It's very shameful," Katie McHone-Jones, of Fishers, said. "It's very hidden. It's very behind closed doors."
So much so, that McHone-Jones herself didn't even know her spouse several years ago was struggling with a drug problem.
“It was a nightmare. It was just like living in the worst world ever,” McHone-Jones said. "I didn’t know what was happening. I would come home every night and he would be blue and I didn’t know why.”
For her, she was naive to some of the signs of drug abuse, but she had a gut feeling that something wasn't right in her marriage.
“There was a lot of lying, a lot of deceit,” McHone-Jones said. “I was never allowed to go in his car. I was never allowed to go in his wallet. I was never allowed to do any of those things, never allowed to look at his phone.”
And she just accepted that as her life at the time. Still, to the outside world, it appeared nothing was wrong.
McHone-Jones worked in the wedding industry, helping couples plan their special day. Her husband also worked and his coworkers did not know he was struggling.
It wasn't until an emergency room trip that McHone-Jones understood the reality of addiction and why things in her life seemed off.
“I came home and he was foaming at the mouth and it had gotten past his shoulders," McHone-Jones said. "He had taken 48 pills within a three-day span.”
So her husband admitted finally he needed to get help and checked into Fairbanks for their recovery program.
There was a support group there for families of people who substance use disorders, and so McHone-Jones decided to stay by her husband's side and attend the support group.
That is where she met another young wife, Jessica Miller-Bock from Westfield. Her husband was an Iraqi war veteran and also sought treatment for his disease of addiction.
“Ya know our life wasn’t madness all of the time. It was good like 90 percent of the time,” Miller-Bock said. “Just little things were off.”
Like McHone-Jones, Miller-Bock's husband kept his struggles silent, but a pawn receipt it was tipped her off that he was in trouble.
“I think the big thing for me was starting my own recovery,” Miller-Bock said. "I think it's helped me accept who I am and my story more.“
Miller-Bock said in her support group she learned that she can be supportive of her husband's recovery but she also has to focus on her own well-being and recovery. Part of that meant sharing her story with others even though it is hard.
“From my perspective, it's very hard to share. But if you can just be brave enough to share once, it gets a lot easier as you go,” Miller-Bock said.
While in their support group, the two young women spotted another young spouse in the group.
“So it was probably Katie who made the first move I'm sure,” Shannon Sullivan, of Indianapolis, said. She had been attending the support group for some time as her husband also took part in his recovery journey at Fairbanks.
For a while, she was the only younger spouse in the group, but quickly hit it off with the other two young women.
And like them, was naive to her husband's drug problem for some time.
“There was always a good explanation, like oh I’m really tired, it's been a long day at work,” Sullivan said. “Like an iPad had gone missing and there were just like not explanations for like, why do you have no money all of a sudden.”
She says rent wasn't getting paid and her husband finally admitted he needed help with addiction.
“Trust yourself, if you think something is not right, and there is help out there,” Sullivan said. “That was what I gained from the support group was people who have been in your shoes, like it just helps.”
The three started meeting for lunches as they journeyed through recovery, relapses, pregnancies, separations and more.
“I was needing a lot of lunches,” Sullivan said. “Ya know, thank God we have each other to do this. Think of all the other people who don’t.”
And that got them thinking. They started bringing a microphone to their lunches and meet-ups to record their discussions and a secret podcast using aliases was born called Boy Problems Podcast. The three share their stories and provide support through the good and hard times. They started getting feedback from more people in their shoes, and they realized there is a lack of support for families and spouses of people battling addiction.
So the three made a decision to be bold and brave, and go public.
Through that journey, they created a website called Recovering Too.
It is an online platform and community to provide support groups, resources, websites, books and more to people like them.
You can visit their online community by going to recoveringtoo.com
And WRTV compiled a list of resources for you, or anyone you know battling addiction and substance use disorders.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a substance use-related emergency, call 911.
For more information on a recovery organization near you, you can visit the Indiana Recovery Network website.
You can call 211 for help 24/7 in Indiana.
You can call the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-622-HELP (4357).
To find where you can get Naloxone near you, click here.
To learn more about NaloxBoxes, click here.
To view more resources from NextLevel Recovery Indiana, click here to visit its website.
Click here to learn more about substance use disorders.
Substance use disorder-related data from the state.