EP 3 – Conquering Addiction, Rebuilding Life w/ Michael Quigley

In this episode of the “Begin Again” podcast, our guest, Michael Quigley, shares his inspiring journey of overcoming addiction and his struggles with dyslexia.

Mike discusses how his dyslexia led to alcohol and drug use at a young age, and how he eventually found help through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and has been sober for almost 23 years.

He talks about attending AA meetings and finding a sponsor, and also shares his vision for his own podcast, called the Sober Shares Podcast. The interviewer relates to Mike’s experiences and they discuss the impact of AA and their plans to expand the podcast. This episode provides a powerful and relatable story of resilience and the possibility of beginning again. If you’re looking for inspiration and insights on addiction recovery, this episode of “Begin Again” is a must-listen.


The views and opinions expressed by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the stand or beliefs of the host or the podcast. We aim to provide a diverse range of perspectives and ideas, fostering open and respectful discussions. We encourage critical thinking and forming your own conclusions. Enjoy the show!

About Our Guest (Michael Quigley)

Michael Quigley is an inspiring individual who has triumphed over addiction and dyslexia to transform his life. After struggling with alcohol and drug addiction for many years, Michael found strength and support through Alcoholics Anonymous.

He embraced its principles and has been sober for almost 23 years. Michael shares his personal journey and provides support and resources for others struggling with addiction through his podcast, “The Sober Shares Podcast,” and his website, SoberShares.com. Through his advocacy and dedication, he aims to break the stigma around addiction and spread a message of hope and recovery. Michael’s story serves as a testament to the power of seeking help, finding support, and persevering through adversity.

Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction to the episode and guest, Michael Quigley

[03:27] Michael candidly shares his experience with alcohol at 13, highlighting the allure, its impact on their life, and the desperate measures taken to obtain it.

[05:40] Michael opens up about their struggle with alcohol as people around them began to notice.

[06:18] Michael shares how his life took a downward spiral at 17, combining alcohol with illegal drugs, and reflecting on the challenges of maintaining a double life while attending college.

[08:22] Michael’s initial resistance to Alcoholics Anonymous, believing he wasn’t an alcoholic, but at 19 years old, he fell in love with the supportive community and the powerful message of Alcoholics Anonymous.

[09:37] Michael relapsed into drinking and drugs for eight years after feeling disconnected from the “sunlight of the spirit” he experienced during his initial 2.5-year sober journey in Alcoholics Anonymous

[11:05] Gary reflects on his past struggles with alcohol and how he started reaching out for help, attending AA meetings, and realizing the need to confront his drinking habits, leading him to find solace in Alcoholics Anonymous once again.

[15:39] Michael shares a transformative moment in Carlsbad, California, where he hit rock bottom and reached out to God in desperation.

[17:01] Michael calls the San Diego Alcoholics Anonymous central office, bravely confesses his struggles with alcohol and drugs. The powerful response from the person on the other end profoundly impacts Michael.

[20:41] Gary shares a similar experience of being in a challenging environment in Montauk, Long Island, during his early days of sobriety.

[24:02] Michael shares the significance of the first year of his sobriety.

[26:39] Upon reaching a year of sobriety, Michael made a bold decision to sell all his belongings, buy a one-way ticket to Hawaii, and start a new chapter in life with just a few essentials.

[28:02] Michael stumbled upon an International State Convention for Alcoholics Anonymous in Hawaii.

[30:14] Gary Menkes shares the impact of the God component in the program, particularly during steps four and five. 

[35:21] Michael highlights the importance of having a sponsor in the recovery journey.

[37:28] Michael  decided to start his own podcast, the Sober Shares Podcast, based on Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-step program.

[39:46] Gary expresses admiration for Michael Quigley’s clarity in choosing a sponsor and shares his own journey of finding inspiration from people he looked up to, including celebrities who found sobriety.

[43:10] Michael describes a pivotal moment in his life on October 9th, 2000, when he reached out to God for help, leading to a profound transformation.

[44:57] Gary expresses his gratitude to Michael Quigley for inspiring him with his words.

For more incredible and inspiring stories of those who have overcome alcoholism and addiction, tune in to the next episodes of The Begin Again Podcast through:

About Gary Menkes

Gary Menkes was born and raised in Port Washington, NY and struggled with alcoholism since his early teens which took him to places he never wants to go again and which took a toll on his health, relationships and professional endeavors. However, Gary completely transformed his life when he was given the gift of sobriety on May 13, 2006. Determined to break free from the cycle of self-destruction, he embarked on a remarkable journey of recovery.

Today, Gary is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous in New York, married to the love of his life and father of two amazing children of which he owes all to his sobriety. Gary is now launching his own podcast, The Begin Again Podcast.