Life's dynamism often throws curveballs that test even the most grounded among us, but when you're tethered to the anchor of addiction recovery, those tests take on deeper significance. Joined by Steven T Ginsburg from Restore Detox Centers, we unpack the multifaceted journey of staying sober—whether we're riding the high of a good day or grappling with the urge to fall back into old patterns during life's harsher moments. We share our own experiences and the profound realization that facing life head-on, without the haze of substances, only magnifies the richness of our human experience.
Navigating the turbulent waters of life's inevitable losses while holding firmly to sobriety can feel like an odyssey in its own right. In a candid reflection, I reveal the pain of losing my mother and how sobriety served as a lighthouse amidst the storm, guiding me to present strength for my family. We also contemplate how adversity often carves paths to unexpected destinations, discussing how my personal pivot from a real estate career to honoring spiritual commitments led to the genesis of this very podcast—a platform where hope and resilience echo, touching lives and encouraging those on their own path to recovery. With Steve by my side, we extend an invitation to our listeners to join us in this continual conversation, finding solace in community and spirituality amidst the ebb and flow of life's journey.
Learn more about Restore Detox Centers
Filling the Void book by Steven T. Ginsburg
Overcoming the Fear and Lies of Addiction e-book
How to Love and Set Boundaries Without Enabling Addiction e-book
Call Us for Addiction Recovery: 1-800-982-5530
Welcome to the Addiction Recovery podcast, brought to you by Restore Detox Centers. We are dedicated to providing valuable and insightful information on addiction recovery. However, it is essential to understand that the content shared in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for individual circumstances. The topics discussed in this podcast are based on general knowledge and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice or treatment.
It is important to note that the views and opinions expressed by the podcast hosts, guests, or contributors are their own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Restore Detox Centers. We strongly advise listeners to consult with qualified professionals, such as addiction counselors, therapists, or medical practitioners, before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided in this podcast. Please be aware that listening to this podcast does not establish a client-provider relationship with Restore Detox Centers.
It's about getting to it, getting through it and realizing there's no situation that a drinker drug won't make worse. And people have got to hold on to that for dear life, and that's why we can't do it alone.Steve Coughran:
This is the addiction recovery podcast with Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. I don't know about you, steven, but there have been times in my life where I set goals and I'm like, okay, I'm going to do this, I'm going to refrain from this or I'm going to do this better. And then you know, things are good, like you have a good day, and it's easy to keep those goals and those commitments. But then there's other days where you get like absolutely crapped on and it feels like your world is completely collapsing in on you and whether I do it or not, or act upon it or not, sometimes in the back of my head I have this attitude of like, screw it, I'm going to eat that chocolate bar, I'm going to go out for ice cream, I'm going to have that hamburger and fries and pizza, I'm going to just go off my eating pattern, I'm not going to work out or whatever. So I imagine the same thing is true when you're working with people from a drug and alcohol addiction standpoint, where they get sober and they're living this life of recovery and then all of a sudden, something, inevitably, is going to happen in their life. You know a family member is going to die, they get a divorce, they get fired from a job or some traumatic event triggers something in their head where they say, look, screw it, I'm going to go out there and drink or I'm going to go smoke that doobie or do that line of coke or whatever their drug of choice is. Talk to me a little bit about this, because I know you have experience from your side when your mom died and you were in recovery during this time period.Steven Ginsburg:
Steve, absolutely this. This falls right into the epitome of one of the, really one of the foundation pieces of ongoing sobriety, which really relates as well to life on life's terms. You know, things are going to happen when we get sober, life is in session. The world doesn't stop because suddenly we stopped doing the very behavior that was killing us, as you had mentioned. You know, jobs are had, jobs are lost, relatives die, good and bad occurs and one of the through lines is we just don't drink or drug, no matter what. And that has got to be something consistently that we carry with us, because it all boils down to acceptance and understanding that nothing can compromise that pursuit where we're taking care of and safeguarding our sobriety.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, I mean but aren't there some circumstances where it may be warranted? I mean, what about on the positive side? It's like woohoo, I just sold my company or I'm having my 50th birthday party in. Come on, it's just one glass of wine, like what's the big deal for?Steven Ginsburg:
the quote unquote normal world who does not suffer from the ailment of addiction and alcoholism? There is no big deal. And and to your point that that really will be a celebratory moment. You know there's a big promotion, there's something tremendous that happens, there was a wedding, there's a baby that's born and they toast with a glass of champagne. But you know, always me and then we, for the rest of the world, people like myself, I'm not going to have a glass of champagne. What I'm going to do is have a glass of champagne, finish a bottle of champagne, then find a drug dealer and then the very party that's celebrating my 50th they're going to be like where did Steven go? Yeah, and that is just the difference between myself, anyone like me, and the rest of the real world. And yes, there's some celebratory moments and there's some cultural events that are tied into, and I think it's a shame, but that's probably a whole nother conversation for you and I. You know that very, very often, whether it's mourning a loss or celebrating a gain or a birth, you know we tie that in that moment of celebration. And with alcohol, or even for some people, with drugs and alcohol, I think, especially with people who suffer from addiction and alcoholism, you're going to do nothing but diminish the beauty of the world, the beauty of the moment, because now you are back to your age, old struggle, which is one is too many and a thousand is never enough. And that is just where the rubber meets the road for people like myself, who struggle and who are also blessed and chosen for recovery Right.Steve Coughran:
Well, let's get a little personal here. Let's talk about your mom's passing. How old were you when your mom passed away.Steven Ginsburg:
You know, my mom passed away almost two years ago, so I was 52 years old and it was very sudden. She got very ill literally within 24 hours. It was sad to say that she died. The blessing in that is that she was no longer suffering, and I think it's a really good talking point. And here's where it's a good talking point there was. This is a literal statement. There was never a moment amidst that crisis where I thought a drink or a drug would somehow make it better, would somehow give me the ability to cope with this devastating circumstance in a more efficient way. As a matter of fact, what I knew and I knew this from the years of trudging, from the years of sobriety is you know, when you have a crisis of any sort. Yes, I lost my mom. It's tragic. If I go and I relapse, I can't even get to the tragedy of the loss of my mom. I can't even get to the mourning of the loss. I can't even get to a space where I can help my family, who also is mourning that loss, because I've just encumbered my entire family with the fact that, oh my gosh, stephen just relapsed. How am I supposed to be of service to them or come alongside them or help them at all when they're sitting there thinking my gosh, I hope he doesn't end up killing himself with drugs or alcohol. I'm the tragedy of mom's passing. So any crisis, any circumstance, that is a problem. You are making it worse and you're perpetuating a terrible result because you have to deal with the relapse that has just been sued.Steve Coughran:
Okay but hashtag real talk here. Steven Sure, I mean when you got news of that, I mean when you discovered that. I mean it was so sudden, out of nowhere. I mean, you did your mind at any point like right when it happened or any point thereafter did it tempt you to go back to that? I mean I know like rationally you're like yeah, it's not gonna solve any of my issues, I'm not gonna go back there. But you're like animal side of you or whatever you wanna call it. It was like hey, come do these drugs, like come drink this booze or whatever.Steven Ginsburg:
You know, Steve, I can actually go back to some of that moment. I remember, look, we're in San Diego, my mom's in Arizona. I was on the plane and flying out there and there was so much, everything was so fast, like we knew she was critical. I was gonna have to hurry up and get on the plane, get out there. I wanted to see her before she died. That's the bottom line and we're just having a very transparent conversation here and I got into some feelings and I got, I started to shed some tears and I was having some dialogue with Nicole, with my wife, and it defaulted to something that I believe in the feelings, the tears, the hurt. That's not gonna kill me, I'm gonna survive through that and that will pass. And Sometimes those things come up, even today, those feelings. But drugs and alcohol can and will kill me. So it's a very permanent Solution and potentially a very permanent solution to a temporary set of feelings or issues and circumstances. So, yes, there is that human side where you want to be comforted or seek comfort, but that is part of the beauty of sober lifestyle and sober repetition. You want to have it ingrained in your DNA. So your response and your reaction, the trials and tribulations, defaults to how you work your program. The solution is within that and it is life, again a little bit repetitive, but it's important, and repetitions the key to this whole deal. It is about living life on life's terms. It is about acceptance and spout understanding. Our lives are at risk. You I've got to use an age-old analogy and I'll stop here, but I want to share this with you. You know you've got someone with a real serious peanut allergy. Like it will kill them, not just like a pee pen, like it's gonna kill them Six years from now when they have an issue they're not gonna suddenly try a peanut and see if that helps. Yeah that peanuts still gonna kill them. Drugs and alcohol are the same they're gonna kill me. They weren't gonna bring my mom back. They weren't gonna help me deal with the pain of losing her. I needed to continue to live life on life's terms. Call my sponsor, get into prayer time, look at what I can do to be there with and for my family, and realize that better days lay ahead.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, because there is that false notion where it's like, okay in the short term. You know, maybe I can ease some of this pain with you know this, these drugs and alcohol I can numb myself. But to your point, that peanut allergy, I like that analogy where it's like ultimately it's gonna kill you.Steven Ginsburg:
That's right. It's very definitive. I don't know. So I like it too. The topics top, but, but this is an important topic. Because we get sober, the rest of the world doesn't stop Revolving because we get sober. The world is coming in. This world will have trouble, but, like you know, for me, my higher power, my Lord and Savior, and sobriety overcomes the world. It's about getting to it, getting through it and realizing there's no situation that a drink or drug Won't make worse. And people have got to hold on to that for dear life, and that's why we can't do it alone. That's why we've got to be in community, that's why we've got to be communal, that's why we've got to be at meetings, that's why we must have a sponsor, that's why we must have a relationship with some conception of a power greater than ourselves, because therein lies the solution.Steve Coughran:
So what would you say to somebody, Steven, who's sitting here thinking you know what? Screw it Like why do I try? Why do I do? All this Bad crap always happens to me. I can't believe I lost my job. You know, they totally screwed me over like, mm-hmm, I'm giving up. Screw it, like why do I care? Why do I care about myself, why do I care about my future. What would you say to them?Steven Ginsburg:
First and foremost and most importantly, I empathize with any plight. I Am never here to deny people's feelings and very often, as as you and I both know, life is not fair. It is just not fair and that's okay. I empathize with the plight, I Ampathize with the pain. I and I will come alongside anyone and support them as they try to process and overcome those feelings. But I will say, you know, you can always find a reason To get higher, to get drunk. The ultimate reason to maintain your sobriety Is because one of the things that's important is that we do not leave before the miracle, and there is so much that people will miss out on. That best day that is yet to come is just ahead of any of us. Or that best hour that is yet to come, or that next breakthrough that is yet to come is just ahead for any of us. That all gets derailed. We miss that entire event if we compromise our sobriety.Steve Coughran:
Well, I love how you said earlier, where the pain may be excruciating like no doubt I've been terrible time, so view, but it's not gonna kill you now. You know I don't take that lightly and I don't mean to diminish anybody's feelings, because never you're in dark days Like it's seriously dark and you feel like the world is like Collapsing in on you. And it's real in person. It's real.Steven Ginsburg:
Yeah, Steve, I want to. I want to mention one more thing very quickly because it just came to me, it's on my heart and I'll make it quick. You know, I had a very long, substantial career in commercial real estate, and a company that I was very Invested in and that I worked a long time with and had very good results with Decided to eliminate my position Because I had made a choice that going to church was going to be a priority for me and they wanted me to work on Sunday. That's all okay, but this was a 31 year career. I wasn't with this company 31 years, but 31 years I had been in this end of things as far as work goes in commercial real estate. There was literally never a moment. This was in 2018. There was never a moment amidst that and I was devastated. I never considered Drinking or drugging or relapsing, because I knew there was a plan. I knew there was a greater power than myself at work. I knew this was happening for a reason and I knew if I was going to get to resolution and get to the solution and get into the promises and if you don't know the promises, just do me one favor, guys look up the 12 promises in AA. They're all true. I knew if I was going to get to the promises, I had to, amidst this chaos, maintain my sobriety, and I did. And you know what, steve, you and I are sitting here in real time, living out part of the blessing of that event, because I would never be on this podcast with you. We're doing the work that the Lord's chosen me for and chosen you to come alongside restore with if that didn't happen. So what a gift that turned out to be. I would have never gotten to the gift without the trials and tribulations of them eliminating my position, yep and that stuff's always gonna happen.Steve Coughran:
And look how beautiful your life is now. So it's such a great testament to what we're speaking about today. If you're listening to this and you want to connect with us, it's very easy. You can email us at hello at restore detox centers calm. Also, be sure to check out the resources that we've prepared for you on our website at restore detox centers calm. We'd love to hear from you, steven.Steven Ginsburg:
Great doing another episode with you, as always, Steve thanks for tackling such a huge and imperative topic and if you are out there and you have anything on your mind, your heart, we really do want to connect with you and just everyone. Stay safe, stay sober and realize that we all have the opportunity to day at a time, to live in the solution.