EP 16 – Resilience Unleashed: DJay McGrath’s Path to Recovery

In this powerful episode of our podcast, join us as we delve into the inspiring story of DJay McGrath, a remarkable individual who battled addiction and emerged stronger than ever.

DJay McGrath, a former addict turned motivational speaker, shares his deeply personal journey of addiction, recovery, and ultimate redemption. Through his raw and honest account, DJay takes us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, shedding light on the dark realities of addiction while offering hope and guidance to those facing similar struggles.

With a unique blend of vulnerability and strength, DJay reflects on the pivotal moments that led to his spiral into addiction, as well as the turning points that propelled him towards recovery. He shares the challenges he faced, the rock-bottom moments he experienced, and the unwavering determination that fueled his transformation.

Throughout the episode, DJay offers valuable insights and practical strategies for overcoming addiction, emphasizing the importance of seeking help, building a support system, and developing a strong mindset. His story serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that no matter how deep the darkness may seem, there is always a way out.

Whether you’re personally affected by addiction or simply seeking inspiration, this episode will leave you feeling empowered and motivated to conquer your own challenges. DJay’s authentic storytelling and genuine desire to help others make this a must-listen for anyone on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Tune in to this captivating episode as we explore DJay McGrath’s experience with addiction, and discover the resilience and redemption that can be found on the other side of adversity. Don’t miss out on this transformative conversation that will leave you inspired to create positive change in your own life.


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 (Djay McGrath)

DJay McGrath is a remarkable individual who has overcome addiction and emerged as a beacon of hope for others. Once trapped in the dark grip of addiction, DJay has now transformed his life and become a motivational speaker, inspiring countless individuals with his story of resilience and redemption. DJ is passionate about advocating for mental health and addiction support in the hockey community, particularly for young athletes, and shares his story and message with the audience. DJay shares his deeply personal journey, shedding light on the realities of addiction while offering guidance and hope to those facing similar struggles. His raw and honest account serves as a reminder that no matter how deep the darkness may seem, there is always a way out. 

Follow DJay McGrath on Instagram and TikTok @djaymcgrathhockey to stay connected with his inspiring journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Show Notes 

[01:16] Gary introduces DJ McGrath, a former junior high hockey player who overcame drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues caused by hockey injuries.

[03:32] DJay shares his personal journey of growing up in a small town, moving away to pursue his hockey dreams, and the impact alcohol had on his mental health and well-being. 

[07:21] DJay shares a vulnerable moment from his teenage years when he faced academic struggles and the pressure of living with a strict principal.

[10:20] DJay shares his struggle with addiction, depression, and anxiety while maintaining a facade of success and popularity, until his draft year to the Western Hockey League brings everything to light. 

[12:34] DJay shares his struggle with homesickness, substance abuse, and mental health issues while pursuing his hockey career. He also reflects on the importance of speaking up about mental health and the regret of not doing so earlier.

[15:42] DJay opens up about his struggles with mental health and alcohol abuse during his hockey career, including a knee injury that led to a downward spiral in his life. Despite becoming the captain of his hometown team, it was the worst year of his life. 

[20:23] DJay reflects on his journey when he hit rock bottom, battling addiction, and the emotional toll it took on his life and hockey career. 

[23:50] DJay shares his deeply personal story of battling depression, contemplating suicide, and the pivotal night when he finally reached out to his parents for help and how their unwavering support and his mother’s words of pride saved his life. 

[26:33] DJay shares his personal journey of struggle, vulnerability, and triumph, as he overcame anxiety and depression to become a motivational speaker.

[29:02] DJay shares his experience of running a successful three-on-three tournament focused on mental health in his small community, emphasizing the importance of speaking up, seeking help, and opening up about one’s feelings to create a supportive environment for everyone. 

[31:06] DJay emphasizes the importance of addressing mental health and sharing personal experiences to help others.

[34:11] DJay expresses his gratitude for being given the opportunity to share his story on the podcast.[35:17] Gary Menkes emphasizes the importance of speaking up and being bold in your messaging, praising Djay for embodying this mindset and expressing gratitude for being part of a like-minded community.

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.