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Jonathan Garcia: Addiction, Sobriety, Success, and Beyond

If you struggle with addiction, Jonathan Garcia is your Sober Companion.  

The light at the end of the tunnel is real, he made it there, and he’s coming back for you with a torch.  

“You have to build trust in order to be able to [make someone] feel comfortable sharing things and connecting. It takes time, it takes patience. Even if just a seed is planted, that’s good.”

Leading with kindness and leading with love starts with embracing our own vulnerability and openly acknowledging our imperfections. These are the main catalysts for growth.

When I first sat down with Jonathan Garcia, we immediately began discussing what that  looks like, tangibly,  and began reflecting on the journey it takes to find that, internally.

His calm and reassuring presence makes you feel instantly at ease. He's the type of person that has you smiling from ear to ear, without even trying. 

He is solely him, soul-y. 

It's a contagious aura and I'm happy to say I had the pleasure of hearing the story of a man striving to understand his humanity and transcend it. Sharing his experiences and the lessons he learned along the way, I was witness to his story about finding purpose, building connections, and embracing a new lease on life.

The Will is All

We jumped straight into the introspection.

Growing up, there was always this stigma around mental health. Many of us were barred from exploring our minds, pasts, choices, and intentions. Like many millennials, Jonathan has chosen to challenge that stigma by going to therapy, growing through it, and openly discussing it.

How'd he do it? Grounding techniques, writing, praying, and staying connected to supportive people helped him prioritize his mental health. But, above all, was the desire to become a better man, followed by the discipline to do it–every day.

"Willingness is indispensable. Willingness to change. Willingness to try something different."

During candid conversation, Jonathan reflected that therapy had made a huge impact, throughout the entire process: "I can't tell you if it was at the very end or at the beginning (or in the middle), but something big happened for me, and that was cool."

Having a safe space to explore his emotions and thoughts without judgment would leave a lasting impression of just how important such a space, and person, can be to someone suffering from addiction and abuse.

The Path to Paradise

"So I've been sober for almost five years. It'll be five years on May 24, which is fast approaching," he says proudly. From the early days of addiction, where he coped by drinking heavily, to the milestones of recovery, Jonathan's story is a testament to his strength and determination. He vividly described the chaotic nights and the foggy mornings, the cycle of escapism that alcohol provided. Temporary relief–and it came at a significant cost to his health and relationships.

"I would drink heavily all the time, like, from the get-go, getting blackout drunk. Drinking was a way to have fun, but it was also how I coped," Jonathan recalls.

His journey to sobriety was not linear: it's been filled with ups and downs, moments of clarity, and times of relapse. Jonathan candidly shared the struggles he faced during his early attempts to quit drinking. The cravings were intense, and the temptation to fall back into old habits was strong. Still, every setback taught him valuable lessons about his triggers and the importance of a strong support system.

The turning point came when Jonathan realized that he couldn't keep ignoring the impact of his drinking, on himself and his loved ones. Waking up in an unfamiliar place, unsure of how he got there, uncertain of what had (and might) happen was a wake-up call, and it prompted him to seek help.

Through it all, Jonathan remained committed to his goal of staying sober. A significant part of this was rebuilding his relationships with friends and family. He spoke about the healing conversations and the gradual process of earning back trust. It was that forgiveness and support from his loved ones that helped him heal. Realizing that continued sobriety takes maintenance, work, and love, he's now on the journey to help others come to the same conclusion: Support and love is vital, and it begins inside yourself.

Foundational, Generational Trauma

"I grew up in a Christian household where my parents were pastors. And underlying, as I began to understand who I was, was the reality that I'm a gay person." The AIDS scare was still a heavy part of the cultural zeitgeist as he grew up, his gay uncle being a major point of contention in conversations with his parents.

Being raised in a household where his very nature was under attack did little to bolster his self-esteem, self-image, and self-respect. Reflecting on his darkest moments, Jonathan admits, "I had to hit a pretty gnarly bottom."

Finding Purpose and Connection

"I always wanted to have purpose in life. I always wanted to be helpful and to give back, but I didn't have a whole lot to give at the time," he says. Sobriety allowed him to fulfill this purpose and connect with others meaningfully.

"Taking other people's hope for me and then adopting that as my own over the course of time was kind of what that looked like," he explains.

"Now, it's finding that hope and helping others who don't see hope anywhere in sight and trying to help them, like, muster it up."

It was a battle, and the support of those close to him were the only weapon he had to strengthen his resolve. Uncomfortable, heart-wrenching moments became distilled into the discipline he needed to overcome his addiction. He recalled a poignant conversation with a friend:

"I remember this moment when she was sitting across from me, and she was like, 'Jonathan, I don't see you inside anymore.'"

From Recovery to Serenity

"My path to recovery was in the rooms of AA doing twelve steps. I didn't want to get involved in that because I was like, this is all so God-driven, and I left that a long time ago," he said. Overcoming pride and embracing the support of AA was difficult but critical for his recovery.

This became evident in his dedication to attending meetings, working the steps, and building a support network: "Addiction is so isolating, and it wants me to be alone, alone with my thoughts, alone with my problems."

The connections he made in AA were instrumental in his journey and his understanding of how to help others, addicts or not.

Rebuilding Bridges and Strengthening Relationships

"When I got sober, most those things started to just kind of resolve as I took the next step, you know, and then the deeper stuff followed, like restoring relationships and reconnecting with family," he reflects.

One of the most touching moments in our conversation was when Jonathan spoke about reconnecting with his brother. "It was like the first time in my whole freaking life that I didn't have just a surface-level conversation with my brother," he says, "we're like the best of friends now."

It provided a sense of belonging and support that he had missed for years.

Barista to Business Owner

Professionally, Jonathan has made significant strides:

His journey from barista to social media entrepreneur is as inspiring as his journey to sobriety.

Honey Bear Socials began as a small side project while Jonathan was working as a barista. Recognizing the growing importance of social media for businesses, he seized an opportunity to combine his creative skills with his professional ambitions.

"I started Honey Bear Socials, and now I'm navigating the early stages of being an entrepreneur, a business owner," he shares, "I just ran with it, and it wasn't something that I had done before."

His initial clients were local businesses looking to enhance their online presence. Jonathan's knack for understanding his clients' needs and his ability to create engaging content quickly sets him apart.

As Honey Bear Socials grew, Jonathan began to offer a wider range of services, including social media management, content creation, and digital marketing strategies. His approach was always client-centric, focusing on building authentic connections between brands and their audiences.

"Now that I have this new position that is so flexible, I'm able to build my business, and I'm also able to help other people through one-on-one support in recovery and mental health," he explains.

One of the keys to Jonathan's success has been his ability to stay adaptable and innovative. He regularly updates his knowledge on the latest social media trends and tools, ensuring that his clients receive the best possible service.

"I'm continuing to learn and evolve as I navigate this."

Creativity in Sobriety

Sobriety has also unleashed Jonathan's creativity: "When I got sober, man, I wrote probably 50 songs versus the handful of songs that I wrote when I was in my addiction," he says. This resurgence of creativity has been a cornerstone of his recovery.

The artistic pursuits he once abandoned were now flourishing.

"I feel like I'm rediscovering who I am," Jonathan shares. His creativity became a source of joy and expression, providing a brighter outlet for his energy and emotions.

Work, Balance, and Continuous Growth

"I'm still figuring that out, to be honest. I work two weeks on, two weeks off, so right now I'm in the middle of my off-season, if you will. I'm continuing to learn and evolve as I navigate this, but the cool thing is, now that I have this new position, I'm able to build my business," he says.

It's not by luck that he got to this point. It's through hard work, introspection, and willpower that he's not only overcome his own demons, he's helping others to fight theirs, through knowledge, kindness, and support. Jonathan Garcia's journey speaks to the human spirit. From the depths of addiction to the heights of personal and professional growth, his story is one of hope, connection, and continuous evolution.

"The opposite of addiction is connection. Addiction is so isolating, and it wants me to be alone, alone with my thoughts, alone with my problems."

He hopes that by sharing his story, he can encourage others to seek help and believe their ability to change. Jonathan’s journey is a powerful reminder that with determination, support, and a willingness to embrace new beginnings, recovery is possible, attainable, and sustainable.


Jonathan Garcia

Instagram: honeybearsocials

Check our Jonathan's music on Spotify

Jonathan is a beacon of hope and resilience, boasting over 4 years of unwavering sobriety.

His journey through recovery ignited a fervent dedication to guiding others along their own paths to healing. In his free time, Jonathan expresses himself through drag as Frida Khulo and has even snatched a crown as the reining Little Miss Pink Cloud.

As a seasoned musician, his melodies echo tales of triumph and introspection, woven through the art of songwriting. You can catch his soul-stirring tunes on all major music streaming platforms. Not just content with melodies, he's the proud founder of Honeybear Socials, a thriving social media management business. Jonathan extends his hand beyond the digital realm, serving as a compassionate sober companion to those battling addiction and mental health challenges.

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