In the latest episode of her podcast, “Mina AF,” Mina Starsiak Hawk, a prominent figure from “Good Bones,” along with her husband, Steve Hawk, delved into the reasons behind their journey to sobriety. They shared intimate details about their decision to abstain from alcohol and the factors that influenced this choice.
Prompted by an inquiry from a listener curious about their motivations for giving up alcohol, Steve opened up about his personal history and how it played a pivotal role in shaping his perspective on drinking.
Mina initiated the conversation by highlighting that her husband has been in a state of “complete sobriety” for over two years, while she herself has consumed roughly a dozen drinks during that same period.
Steve revealed that his family background significantly impacted his relationship with alcohol. He recounted how his mother’s struggles with alcoholism had a profound impact on him, and he reluctantly acknowledged that his father had battled with being a “functioning alcoholic.”
Steve candidly shared, “With them, it just got so bad at one point there was homelessness, multiple interventions, in and out of hospitals for my mom.” He emphasized that this tumultuous situation persisted throughout his twenties, leaving a lasting imprint on his life.
The couple’s willingness to openly discuss their journey to sobriety sheds light on the complex dynamics surrounding alcohol and its effects on individuals and families. Their personal experiences serve as a testament to the power of introspection and growth in the pursuit of healthier lifestyles.
Steve Hawk reflected on the emotional aspect of his past, particularly the moments of estrangement from his parents due to a decision he had made regarding his mother. He shared, “What I get emotional about is the time that I lost it with my parents, because I had drawn a line in the sand about my mom and I felt that I needed to stick with that.” He expressed regret over the years of missed interactions with them, explaining that his stance had essentially resulted in a distance between them.
Mina Starsiak Hawk also touched upon her experiences with alcohol within her family, without delving into specific details about individual family members’ consumption. She mentioned that alcohol had always been a presence in her life, noting, “For me, it’s just always existed.” While acknowledging its problematic nature, she described it as functional and didn’t view it as leading to drastic consequences like job loss or home instability.
In Steve’s early twenties, he assisted his parents in finding a shelter for families, where they stayed for an extended period. Reflecting on that challenging period, he shared, “That rock bottom was pretty rough.” His mother took steps towards sobriety while in the shelter, allowing for a restart in their relationship. However, she later experienced a relapse.
Steve’s parents’ homelessness prompted him to take in his younger sister, Stefanie, who was just 14 years old at the time. After their parents regained stability, she returned to live with them. Tragically, in 2018, Steve’s mother passed away due to stomach cancer, followed by his father’s unexpected death six months later from a fall down the stairs. Stefanie, now living independently, was employed by Mina.
Stefanie’s behavior began to show signs of isolation and withdrawal, with Mondays and Tuesdays being particularly challenging for her. This pattern intensified over time, leading to concerns among her family members. In 2020, while Mina was filming “Good Bones,” she received devastating news from her brother, Tad. Stefanie had passed away due to ethanol poisoning. Mina visited Stefanie’s home and was confronted by the sight of numerous bottles. The heartbreaking reality of how Stefanie’s life had unfolded left Mina with profound sadness and a sense of guilt, wondering if there were actions that could have been taken to prevent such a tragic outcome.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a period when Mina was pregnant with their daughter Charlie (in addition to having a five-year-old son, Jack), she observed Steve’s habits. It was common for him to enjoy margaritas with their neighbors during this time.
Mina took note of Steve’s consistent drinking streak and began to reflect on the situation. She recalled her thoughts during that time, saying,
“We don’t have a problem. You don’t have a problem. But this is how problems develop, and it scares the s— out of me.”
The fear of potential issues arising from this behavior prompted her to contemplate the situation more deeply.
She acknowledged her concerns, stating, “I don’t want to not say anything and regret not saying anything for two weeks, two years, two decades, and then us be in a place we can’t come back from since it’s so far gone.” She was resolute in her stance, recognizing the importance of addressing the issue before it escalated further.
Steve recounted his own pivotal moment, revealing his emotional turning point. He explained,
“What really did it for me was when I…” He paused, his emotions evident as he continued, “This is going to be hard to say, but when I realized that I don’t want to give my children a reason to not have a relationship with me.”
He expressed his desire to break the cycle of strained relationships that often result from alcohol-related issues, aiming to foster a healthier bond with his children.
“So that was it. I’ve always used internally the term ‘gift,’ but I don’t mean gift in a positive way. I just mean I’m not going to give them the gift of not having a reason to not have a relationship with me. I’m never going to give that to my children.”
Mina affirmed their commitment to ensuring their children’s well-being, acknowledging that while they might have other flaws, alcohol would not be allowed to drive a wedge between them and their kids. Steve echoed her sentiments, emphasizing his determination to maintain a positive and nurturing relationship with their children. He stated,
“I’m never going to allow my children to have a negative relationship with me on things that I can control, and I can control my alcohol intake.”
Mina, who recently made the announcement that “Good Bones” would conclude after its eighth season, which is currently being broadcast on HGTV, shared that the past five years of her life have been marked by significant turmoil for various reasons.
“There were so many days where I’d come home and it was like, ‘I could probably do a whole bottle of rosé on my own. Cool,'” she expressed candidly.
Mina proceeded to describe her journey of transforming her relationship with alcohol from a coping mechanism to a healthier approach.
“The initial three months or so were about learning new behaviors for handling those emotions,” she detailed.
“I used to keep myself occupied, enjoy a glass of wine, and attain relaxation. While I still engage in these activities to stay occupied, I consciously chose to relinquish this coping mechanism. This meant I had to confront my emotions more directly and sit with them for longer durations. It was quite stressful for a while.”
In another recent episode of her podcast, Mina offered reflections on the conclusion of “Good Bones.”
“It’s the end of an era,” she acknowledged. “Today, I had to bid farewell to people I’ve spent nearly a decade with.”
Mina expressed pride and gratitude for the show’s representation of herself, her family, and their endeavors.
“I’m incredibly proud and thankful to the network for producing a show over the past eight years that, for the most part, accurately reflects who I am, who my family members are, and our activities. This was an important aspect for me from the outset.”
However, she also acknowledged the inherent difficulty in the conclusion of any endeavor. “The conclusion of anything is challenging,” she remarked.
Mina’s podcast, “Mina AF,” is currently available for streaming.