EP 15 – Sober Gangster: Jason Williams’ Triumph Over Addiction

In this episode of The Begin Again podcast, we delve deep into the inspiring journey of Jason Williams as he triumphs over the clutches of addiction. Prepare to be moved as Jason fearlessly opens up about his personal battle, offering a raw and honest account of his experiences.

Join us as we navigate the complex world of addiction, shedding light on the challenges, triumphs, and the unwavering resilience that fuels the path to recovery. With Jason’s unique perspective, we explore the depths of addiction, unraveling its grip on individuals and society as a whole.

Discover the transformative power of self-reflection and personal growth as Jason shares his profound insights, gained through his arduous journey towards sobriety. Through his story, we aim to inspire and empower those who may be facing their own battles, offering a glimmer of hope and the knowledge that recovery is possible.

As we unpack Jason’s story, we also delve into the broader societal issues surrounding addiction, shedding light on the importance of compassion, understanding, and destigmatization. Together, we strive to create a space where conversations about addiction can flourish, fostering empathy and support for those in need.

Whether you or someone you know has been affected by addiction, or you simply seek a deeper understanding of this pervasive issue, this episode is a must-listen. Join us as we embark on this transformative journey with Jason Williams, reminding ourselves that no matter how dark the path may seem, there is always a glimmer of light at the end. 


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 (Jason Williams)

Jason Williams, also known as The Sober Gangster, is a beacon of hope for those struggling with addiction. Having battled his own demons, Jason has emerged as a symbol of strength and resilience. Through his website and Instagram page, he shares his personal journey of overcoming addiction, offering support, inspiration, and guidance to those in need. With his unique perspective and unwavering determination, Jason has become a powerful advocate for destigmatizing addiction and promoting recovery. 

Follow him on his website, SoberGangster.com, and IG @sober.gangster to join his community and gain valuable insights on the path to sobriety.

Show Notes

[02:27] Jason Williams shares his transformation from being a scumbag criminal to living a life filled with light and gratitude, reflecting on the stark contrast between his past and present, and the immense potential he couldn’t have imagined while sitting in a jail cell. 

[04:14] Jason shares his personal journey of addiction, recovery, and the impact it had on his life, highlighting the chaos and wreckage he caused, as well as the transformation he experienced when he first got drunk at a young age. 

[07:39] Jason shares his journey, from his first drink at a young age to his transformation into an addict and alcoholic

[10:23] Jason shares his experience of going through multiple rehab facilities, escaping from some, and feeling a sense of incomprehensible demoralization; he discusses how he took his addiction to extreme levels and the influence of his peers and criminal acquaintances in trying meth at a young age, leading to a stronger addiction and a shift from alcohol to drugs. 

[13:15] Jason shares a harrowing story of his reckless behavior in high school, involving drug use, getting sick in class, and his parents relocating him to Idaho in an attempt to save him, only for his troubles to escalate further. 

[15:38] Jason shares his involvement in theft, violence, and frequent arrests ultimately led to a sense of indifference towards consequences. 

[18:28] Jason shares his experience of getting a fresh start after turning 18 and leaving juvenile hall, only to quickly fall back into a life of addiction and crime, leading to another arrest and time in prison. 

[22:23] Jason Williams shares how a pivotal moment in jail led him to surrender and seek help through a 12-step program.

[25:12] Gary Menkes shares his personal journey of overcoming addiction and finding sobriety through the 12-step program. 

[27:55] Jason emphasizes the importance of one’s own “bottom” moment, regardless of how severe it may seem, as the catalyst for change and sobriety. 

[32:19] Jason shares how he learned to live a fulfilling life without the need for alcohol, building relationships with both sober and non-sober individuals, and finding admiration and respect from others by being open about his sobriety and the impact addiction has on families.

[34:53] Jason discusses his experience with sobriety and the impact of sharing his journey on social media, highlighting how his openness has led to conversations and inspired others to consider their own drinking habits. 

[37:54] Jason shares the importance of being open, honest, and vulnerable in order to potentially help others who may be struggling. 

[43:55] Gary Menkes shares his experience of reaching out to a recent guest, Julian Bryant, who had been in jail and was now sober, highlighting the impact of small actions and the importance of staying true to oneself in podcast promotion, as it can change someone’s life without even knowing it. 

[45:31] Jason shares his inspiration for starting Sober Gangster, a platform to share his story of overcoming addiction and to help others find solutions, and how he stumbled upon the perfect name for it during a website project. 

[47:36] Jason talks about his journey of sobriety and how he embraces both his light and dark sides, referring to himself as a “sober gangster,” and shares his experience sponsoring a big rock concert in LA to support a nonprofit organization called Rock to Recovery. 

[50:32] Jason shares his experience of wearing his “Sober Gangster” outfit to a recovery event, receiving overwhelming positive feedback and affirmation for his mission to help people in recovery, leading him to start a Sober Gangster Facebook page and a private community for anyone in recovery to join and share their stories. 

[56:06] Jason discusses the Sober Gangster Facebook community, a free group for individuals in recovery.[58:41] Gary Menkes expresses his admiration for the guest, Jason, and highlights the beauty of his journey to sobriety, emphasizing the importance of their long-term relationship and promoting Jason’s work.

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.