EP 17 – From Darkness to Light: The Tim Lodgen Story

In this riveting episode of our podcast, we delve into the depths of addiction and the inspiring story of Tim Lodgen, a remarkable individual who has triumphed over his battle with addiction. Join us as we unravel the complexities of addiction and explore the path to recovery.

Tim Lodgen, a survivor and advocate, shares his personal journey of grappling with addiction, offering a raw and honest account of the challenges he faced. Through his story, listeners gain a profound understanding of the power addiction holds and the immense strength required to break free from its clutches.

With an empathetic and compassionate approach, we explore the underlying causes of addiction, debunking myths and shedding light on the societal factors that contribute to this pervasive issue. Tim’s experience serves as a catalyst for a deeper conversation about the importance of destigmatizing addiction and fostering a supportive environment for those seeking help.

As we navigate through Tim’s journey, we uncover the pivotal moments that led him towards recovery and the valuable lessons he learned along the way. This episode offers a beacon of hope to those currently battling addiction, as well as their loved ones, by showcasing the transformative power of resilience, determination, and a strong support system.

Whether you or someone you know has been touched by addiction, or you simply seek to broaden your understanding of this prevalent issue, this episode is a must-listen. Join us as we embark on a profound exploration of addiction, recovery, and the indomitable human spirit, guided by the remarkable story of Tim Lodgen.


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 (Tim Lodgen)

Tim Lodgen is a survivor, advocate, and an inspiration to all who have faced the daunting battle of addiction. He is a former US Marine MMA fighter and junior Olympic boxer with an incredible story of overcoming bipolar disorder, alcoholism, drug addiction, and multiple suicide attempts to become a fitness and health coach, traveling the country to raise awareness about addiction and mental health. Having triumphed over his own struggles, Tim has emerged as a beacon of hope for others seeking recovery. With unwavering resilience and an indomitable spirit, he has overcome the clutches of addiction and now shares his story to empower and uplift those still fighting. Tim’s journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of determination, resilience, and a strong support system. 

Follow Tim Lodgen on Instagram @tLodgenn to stay connected and be inspired by his ongoing journey of healing and advocacy. 

Show Notes 

[03:27] Tim Lodgen shares his personal journey of growing up in Baltimore, experiencing his parents’ divorce at a young age, feeling abandoned by his father, using addiction as a coping mechanism, and finding solace in sports and skateboarding until his focus shifted to relationships in high school. 

[07:33] Tim shares about staying away from drugs and alcohol until his first experience with them at a high school party, leading to a phase of experimentation with various substances, ultimately shaping his decision to join the military. 

[10:16] Tim shares his experience in the military, where he engaged in drinking culture and witnessed the effects of war in Somalia, leading to mental struggles upon returning to civilian life. He faces a career decision due to a recurring ankle injury. 

[13:19] Tim shares his personal struggle with depression and loss of identity after leaving the military.

[15:44] Tim shares his journey of struggling with mental illness and addiction, going on and off medications, losing jobs, and finally finding purpose in mixed martial arts at the age of 32. 

[18:26] Tim talks about his journey as a cage fighter, the thrill and addiction of the sport, and the devastating injury that led to a battle with oxycontin addiction.

[22:09] Tim shares his harrowing experience of addiction, where he would consume large amounts of OxyContin, beer, and weed, leading to a moment of realization and a desperate attempt to quit, enduring the painful withdrawal symptoms and vowing to never take pain medicine again. 

[25:30] Tim reflects on his struggle with faith and purpose, recounting a powerful moment at a tree memorial where he encounters his late best friend’s father after 21 years, seeking a sign of hope and connection. 

[27:39] Tim shares how his addiction to alcohol and drugs continued to spiral out of control despite the signs of protection and guidance he received. 

[30:43] Tim reveals his dangerous routine of consuming 60 to 80 shots of Fireball and a six-pack of beer every night, leading to a blackout drunk episode where he damaged his brand new truck and put himself and others at risk. 

[33:50] Tim shares a harrowing personal story of hitting rock bottom, involving getting kicked out of his house, wrecking his truck, getting drunk, rear-ending someone, contemplating suicide, and finally receiving a life-changing phone call on March 5th, 2021. 

[36:23] Tim shares a powerful and emotional moment when he receives a call from his childhood friend, Brandon, who offers him a chance to go to a rehabilitation center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

[39:57] Tim shares his incredible journey of overcoming addiction and finding hope and spirituality in a life-changing moment at the airport, leading to his decision to seek rehab and ultimately save his life. 

[43:28] Tim reflects on his journey of transformation, emphasizing the importance of making recovery a top priority and how it has positively impacted his life, even in the face of unimaginable challenges. 

[47:06] Tim shares about reaching out for help and taking care of himself after realizing that he had been neglecting his own well-being while helping others through his podcasts and speaking engagements, leading him to attend a mental health retreat where he gained new coping skills and found a renewed purpose in reaching more people with his story. 

[50:00] Tim reflects on his past as an addict and the impact it had on his family, acknowledging the lasting scars caused by hurtful words and destructive behavior.

[53:36] Tim shares how he overcame challenges such as addiction, suicide attempts, and marital infidelity, and now dedicates his life to helping others as a substance abuse and mental health counselor. 

[58:08] Tim shares a story about the impact of his podcast where a listener from Ohio, who served with him in the Marine Corps, reached out to thank him for inspiring him to get sober after 18 years of addiction.

[01:03:49] Tim shares how the messages he receives from listeners around the world thanking him for helping them through their darkest times fills his heart and gives purpose to his work. 

[01:11:35] Tim shares more about his experience in overcoming addiction and finding purpose in helping others at a recovery center

[01:15:43] Tim emphasizes the power of simplicity in achieving sobriety and the importance of utilizing resources such as podcasts and support groups to maintain long-term recovery. 

[01:18:37] Tim shares how he uses his Instagram platform, @Tlodgen, to raise money for veterans and first responders through the Overwatch Collective, and to support mental health and addiction recovery through the Rockstar Testimony nonprofit.

[01:24:13] Gary thanks Tim for coming on the podcast, expressing his gratitude and appreciation for Tim’s contribution.

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.