EP 49 – Michelle Curial: From the Shadows of Addiction to a Life of Sobriety

In this riveting episode, join Gary Menkes as he sits down with Michelle Curial, an inspiring woman who has battled and overcome substance addiction. 

Michelle bravely shares her journey from a strict religious upbringing, through her struggle with drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications, to her triumphant recovery. She vividly recounts her rebellious teenage years, her chase for fame in Los Angeles, and her descent into the grip of crack cocaine and heroin addiction. 

Listen as she details her harrowing experiences, from living on a trap house floor to multiple overdoses and hospitalizations, before her transformative journey through rehab. Michelle emphasizes the powerful role of self-awareness, the 12-step program, and the concept of ‘one day at a time’ in her recovery. She also discusses her work with the Breathe and Rise Collective on Patreon, where she guides individuals through detoxing their senses and subconscious reprogramming. 

This episode is a powerful testament to Michelle’s courage, resilience, and her commitment to helping others on their path to sobriety. Join us for this raw, honest, and deeply moving conversation about overcoming addiction and embracing change.


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 (Michelle Curial)

Michelle Curial is a courageous woman who has faced and overcome the challenges of substance abuse. Her journey, which began with a strict religious upbringing and a sense of loneliness, led her down a path of addiction. After struggling with drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications, Michelle turned her life around and has been sober since August 2019. Today, she is a beacon of hope, sharing her personal experiences and insights to help others battling similar issues.

Michelle has utilized her compelling story to create platforms of support and guidance for others on their journey to recovery. She runs a YouTube channel, ‘The Sobriety Playbook‘, where she discusses Alcoholics Anonymous literature and her own path to sobriety. Additionally, Michelle works with the Breathe and Rise Collective on Patreon, guiding individuals through detoxing their senses and reprogramming the subconscious mind. Her Instagram, also under ‘The Sobriety Playbook’, offers further resources and inspiration for those seeking help.

Follow Michelle Curial on her journey and be a part of her supportive community:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesobrietyplaybook/
Poplme: https://poplme.co/hash/jU7Mp7bB/1/s
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@thesobrietyplaybook
Patreon: (Breathe and Rise Collective) https://www.patreon.com/posts/overview-of-mind-100768640?utm_medium=clipboard_copy&utm_source=copyLink&utm_campaign=postshare_creator&utm_content=join_link

Show Notes

  • [03:22] Michelle Curian shares her personal journey of overcoming addiction, discussing her early life experiences, including her strict religious upbringing and the loneliness she felt during her school years, leading to her eventual struggle with substance abuse which she managed to overcome in August 2019. 
  • [08:16] Michelle recounts her rebellious teenage years, her early encounters with drugs, the consequences of her actions on her relationship with her parents, her surprising involvement in sports and cheerleading, and the dangerous allure of attention that began to unravel her life. 
  • [14:59] Michelle describes how cocaine temporarily silenced her intense sensitivity to dishonesty and negativity, and gave her a fleeting sense of peace and confidence, but ultimately acted as a band-aid to her underlying issues of insecurity and loneliness. 
  • [18:48] Michelle shares her personal journey of battling drug addiction, chasing fame in Los Angeles, and the cycles of destructive relationships she found herself in, ultimately leading to her addiction to crack cocaine and heroin. 
  • [22:41] Michelle candidly shares her harrowing journey from a bank employee to a heroin and methamphetamine addict, detailing how her addiction led to losing her job, home, and nearly her life, as she found herself living on a trap house floor. 
  • [27:13] Michelle recounts her harrowing journey through addiction, battling drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications, and the toll it took on her health and family’s finances, before her attempts at recovery. 
  • [29:50] Michelle talks about her multiple overdoses, hospitalizations, and the struggle to get clean, highlighting her journey through rehab, the impact on her family, and the life-threatening consequences of her actions. 
  • [32:27] Michelle and Gary share their personal experiences and warnings about the deadly risks of experimenting with drugs, particularly those potentially laced with fentanyl, emphasizing the drastic change in the drug landscape compared to past decades. 
  • [34:48] Michelle shares her addiction journey from overdosing, to being admitted to a psych ward, to ultimately finding her path to recovery through AA meetings and the guidance of a life-changing sponsor. 
  • [40:16] Michelle shares her challenging journey towards sobriety, her struggle with guilt and shame, and the transformative role of her sponsor in teaching her personal responsibility.
  • [44:58] Michelle emphasizes the importance of the 12-step program and the concept of ‘one day at a time’, while expressing how overcoming immediate gratification and focusing on the present moment were key factors in her recovery process. 
  • [49:26] Michelle discusses the importance of not allowing past experiences to influence present interactions, emphasizing the concept of every new encounter being a blank slate and recognizing the continuous growth and change in individuals. 
  • [53:10] Michelle discusses the importance of self-awareness and introspection in overcoming addiction, emphasizing that the root cause is not the substance but the individual’s thinking. 
  • [58:45] Michelle discusses the importance of open-mindedness and self-awareness in conversations, emphasizing the need to refrain from immediate judgment, control, and spiritual superiority. 
  • [01:00:44] Michelle discusses her decision to focus her YouTube channel and Instagram on commentary about Alcoholics Anonymous literature, her continuous journey of sobriety, and her work with Breathe and Rise Collective on Patreon, where she guides people through detoxing their senses and reprogramming the subconscious mind.
  • [01:03:18] Michelle talks about her social media platforms, her Patreon under Read and Rise Collective, and the importance of her series which offers breathwork and sound healing through a non-profit organization aimed at helping those suffering in hospitals and communities.

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.