EP 42 – Paul Summers Jr: Triumph Over Addiction & A Journey to Sobriety

In this riveting episode, Gary Menkes delves into an intimate conversation with Paul Summers Jr. about his harrowing journey from addiction to sobriety. 

Seventeen years ago, Paul’s life was spiraling out of control, with suicidal thoughts, a failing marriage, and a powerful addiction. His remarkable transformation from a man on the brink of despair to a successful builder, author, and beacon of hope is a testament to resilience. They discuss the devastating impact of addiction on family life, the crucial role of self-awareness in recovery, and the profound influence of faith. 

Paul’s story is a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to change your narrative, and that every setback can pave the way for a comeback. From his darkest moments to his triumphant recovery, Paul’s journey offers invaluable insights for anyone battling addiction. 

Tune in to learn more about his inspiring journey, his book, and their shared experiences with 12-step programs. 


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 (Paul Summers Jr.)

Paul Summers Jr. is a beacon of resilience, having journeyed from the depths of addiction to the heights of sobriety and self-improvement. Seventeen years ago, Paul was on the brink of suicide, trapped in the throes of addiction and a failing marriage. However, his life took a dramatic turn when he chose the path of recovery. 

Today, Paul is a successful builder, author, and an inspiring figure who openly shares his experiences to help others battling addiction. His book, a testament to his journey, offers valuable insights into overcoming addiction and the importance of self-awareness and faith in the recovery process. 

Paul’s story is a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to rewrite your narrative and that every setback can be a setup for a comeback. 

Follow his inspiring journey on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/paul_summers_jr/) and visit his website (https://www.paulsummersjr.com/) to learn more about his work and story.

Show Notes

  • [01:55] In this candid podcast episode, Paul Summers Jr. shares his journey from contemplating suicide due to addiction struggles 17 years ago to becoming a builder and aspiring to live off the land, while Gary discusses Paul’s book and his impressive 17 years of sobriety. 
  • [02:52] Paul shares his deeply personal struggles with addiction, suicidal thoughts, and his failing marriage 17 years ago, highlighting his darkest moments and the impact on his family life. 
  • [04:54] Paul recounts his struggle with addiction, his move to Oregon to escape it, and his complex relationship with his father, a rage-filled yet deeply loving and musically talented man, who played a significant role in his life. 
  • [09:32] Paul discusses his regret over an overblown confrontation with a family member who criticized his living condition. 
  • [11:51] Paul and Gary discuss the challenges of overcoming addictive behaviors, emphasizing the need for self-awareness, patience, and constant self-evaluation in the recovery process. 
  • [16:57] Paul shares his personal struggle with alcoholism, the impact it had on his family life and the fear it instilled in his young daughter.
  • [18:51] Paul shares his personal struggle with substance abuse, the impact it had on his young family, and the wake-up call he received when he came home to find his wife and daughter gone, sparking a journey towards recovery and self-improvement. 
  • [22:11] Paul discusses his struggle with addiction, his journey to sobriety, and the devastating impact of a restraining order on his relationship with his daughter. 
  • [25:01] Paul discusses his journey to sobriety, the motivation behind his book aimed at helping male addicts, and his personal experiences as a single father raising his daughter amidst challenging circumstances. 
  • [27:41] Paul shares the challenges he faced with a restraining order, missing his daughter’s birthday due to court delays, allegations made against him, and the involvement of child protective services, while also dealing with recovery from addiction. 
  • [30:25] Paul discusses his struggles with balancing fatherhood and recovery, highlighting his experiences with attending meetings, handling a hotline service position, and dealing with the harsh realities of addiction, while attempting to maintain a strong relationship with his young daughter. 
  • [33:40] Paul and Gary discuss their experiences with overcoming addiction, maintaining sobriety, and the personal growth that followed, with Paul sharing his journey of becoming a writer and author after 12 years in a steady job. 
  • [42:46] Paul shares his personal struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic, including his fear and anxiety about the future, which led to him stockpiling food and preparing for worst-case scenarios. 
  • [45:04] Paul discusses his desire for self-sustainability, his struggles with gardening, his frustration with how 12-step programs are perceived on social media, and his defense of the inclusivity of these programs.
  • [47:30] Paul and Gary discuss the detrimental impacts of misinformation and lies within their communities.
  • [49:07] Paul discusses his personal journey with recovery through the 12-step program, highlighting the importance of sponsorship, the benefits of group meetings, and the challenges of maintaining sobriety.
  • [53:23] Paul and Gary share their personal experiences about the importance of their relationships with their higher power, God, in their journey towards self-improvement.
  • [55:53] Paul discusses the recent release of his book, available on Amazon and his personal website, and shares his challenging experience of creating an audiobook.

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.