EP 4 – The Gift of Surrender: Healing and Hope with Charlie and Jason

In this captivating episode of the Begin Again podcast, host Gary Menkes welcomes Charlie and Jason, the hosts of The Way Out podcast.

Join this powerful conversation as they delve into the importance of breaking the stigma surrounding addiction and sharing personal recovery stories.

Be inspired as Jason opens up about his courageous journey from the depths of addiction to a life of sobriety, highlighting the role of therapy and seeking help.

Through their raw and heartfelt stories, Charlie and Jason emphasize the power of vulnerability and reaching out for support. With gratitude, they reflect on the positive changes that have enriched their lives, offering hope and encouragement to anyone struggling with addiction or seeking a fresh start.

Don’t miss this engaging and uplifting episode, as these trailblazers in the recovery world share their insights and inspire others to find freedom and healing.

About Our Guests (Charlie LeVoir and Jason Rudeen)

Charlie LeVoir is a co-host of the Way Out podcast and a passionate advocate for recovery. He has overcome immense adversity in his life, including childhood trauma and addiction, and has found strength and resilience within himself. With seven years of sobriety under his belt, Charlie has become a certified recovery coach and uses his personal experiences to inspire and support others on their own recovery journeys. Through his podcast and work in the recovery community, Charlie amplifies the voices of individuals in recovery, breaking the stigma surrounding addiction and offering hope to those who are seeking a way out. 

Jason Rudeen is also a co-host of the Way Out podcast and a dedicated advocate for addiction and mental health recovery. He has faced his own battle with addiction and understands the challenges and triumphs of the recovery journey. With over seven years of sobriety, Jason uses his podcast platform to share his personal story and provide encouragement and guidance to others. He actively seeks opportunities to expand his knowledge and understanding of addiction and recovery, ensuring that he can provide the best support possible to those on their recovery journeys. Through his work, Jason offers hope and inspiration to those who are still suffering and searching for a way out.


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!

Show Notes

  • [01:14] Gary Menkes welcomes special guests Charlie LeVoir and Jason Rudeen from the Way Out Podcast, two individuals he has been following in the recovery community.
  • [02:10] Charlie expresses his gratitude to Gary Menkes for looking up to their recovery podcast, the Way Out Podcast. He highlights the alignment between their podcast’s genesis and the Begin Again Podcast, both rooted in humility, the desire to serve, and the importance of sharing as many recovery stories as possible.
  • [03:39] Jason expresses his gratitude for Gary Menkes’ kind words and reflects on his journey in the podcasting world. He recalls feeling nervous and unqualified when he first started as a co-host on the Way Out Podcast, but he learned from Charlie and made the role his own.
  • [05:15] Gary acknowledges the importance of sharing recovery stories out loud, inspired by Charlie’s perspective.
  • [06:18] Jason discusses his personal journey of recovery from addiction. He shares that he stopped using drugs and alcohol in July 2016 and joined a residential treatment program. Initially, he still drank a bedtime beer but didn’t consider it a big deal.
  • [08:02] Jason talks about a day when he had a few beers and felt guilty about it. He called someone to confess, and although the person laughed at him, it motivated him to quit drinking. This incident became the start of his sobriety journey, making July 23rd his clean date and the best birthday present he ever gave himself.
  • [08:48] Jason discusses his difficult childhood, including his mother’s severe motorcycle accident and his experience of being sexually assaulted by his cousin at a young age.
  • [10:07]  Jason discusses his experience of taking on a parental role for his younger siblings at a young age due to his mother’s struggles after surviving an accident. He also talks about his early exposure to drugs and alcohol, starting with smoking weed and drinking at the age of 11 and eventually trying heroin at 13.
  • [12:06] Jason discusses his troubled past involving drug addiction and selling drugs. He talks about how he blamed his mother for his lifestyle and dropped out of school to pursue his drug-selling business. 
  • [13:31] Jason Rudeen discusses his struggles with addiction and how it affected his relationships and family. He shares that he became a father at a young age but was unable to maintain a stable family life due to his addiction.
  • [14:34] After years of not seeing his children, Jason hit rock bottom and turned to alcohol for comfort. Eventually, he relapsed and faced legal consequences, leading him to finally realize the need for change.
  • [18:20] Jason discusses his role as a supporter and coach for individuals in recovery. He shares that he has received certification as a recovery coach and continues to educate himself through additional trainings.
  • [21:29] Gary shares his struggle with addiction and his experience attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
  • [24:14] Charlie discusses his experience with addiction, which he believes was triggered by his mother’s death when he was 11 years old.
  • [26:15] Charlie  admits to seeking numbness and escape through drugs and mentions that he went to treatment at the age of 16.
  • [27:17] Charlie reflects on his addiction and the consequences it has had on his life. He shared the two truths he’s learned.
  • [30:05]  Charlie talks about how his partner confronted him about his drinking problem and how he attempted to quit for 30 days.
  • [31:53] Charlie reflects on a pivotal moment in his life when his son confronted him about his alcoholism.
  • [33:23] Charlie discusses his decision to surrender to his addiction and alcoholism.
  • [33:58] Charlie discusses his experience with a higher power. He explains that he initially had a hatred towards God but was willing to run an experiment and wipe the slate clean.
  • [39:07] Gary discusses his past struggles with time management and the impact it had on his ability to eat and prioritize his responsibilities.
  • [39:53] Charlie discusses his experience with EMDR therapy and how it helped him move through his trauma in a safe way.
  • [45:29] Charlie Levoir discusses the genesis of the Way Out podcast and his motivation behind starting it.
  • [47:55] Charlie talks about how he reached out for help in finding a co-host for his recovery-centered podcast on a Facebook group. Jason responded and joined the podcast, bringing a unique style to the interviews.
  • [49:13] Jason Rudeen shares his personal experience related to treatment and therapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). and how they played a significant role in his recovery.
  • [52:11] Jason talks about his experience with finding support for healthy love and healing from childhood trauma. He mentions attending a meeting called Healthy Love with Rachel Levy, which is a derivative of the 12 steps program and incorporates elements of shadow work and Iago relationship therapy.
  • [56:12] Jason discusses his experience speaking at an adolescent treatment center in Minnesota.
  • [01:00:25] Gary emphasizes the importance of sharing one’s struggles and experiences with others in order to seek support and guidance.
  • [01:02:34] Charlie discusses how he finds help and guidance from his higher power through other people. He emphasizes the importance of listening and asking for help.
  • [01:04:16] Charlie’s message to newcomers, to find people who have what they want and emulate their actions. And to just run the experiment.
  • [01:05:38] Jason talks about his initial reluctance to share and engage in recovery meetings.
  • [01:08:40] Gary Menkes discusses his personal experience with attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.
  • [01:11:07] Gary Menkes expresses his gratitude to the guests for their mission and what they are doing.

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.