Mina Starsiak Hawk and Husband Steve Share How a Family Tragedy Led Them to Give Up Alcohol

The couple revealed how Hawk's family history impacted their relationship with alcohol on her podcast

Good Bones star Mina Starsiak Hawk and her husband, Steve Hawk, opened up about what led them to become sober in the latest episode of her podcast, Mina AF.

Prompted by a question from a listener who wanted to know more about the couple’s decision to cut out alcohol, Steve shared how his family history impacted his relationship with drinking.

Mina began by noting that her husband has been “completely sober” for more than two years, while she’s had about a dozen drinks during that time.

Steve said his mother was a “full-blown” alcoholic, while reluctantly describing his dad as a “functioning alcoholic.”

“With them, it just got so bad at one point there was homelessness, multiple interventions, in and out of hospitals for my mom,” Steve said, noting that this went on throughout his twenties.

“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 said. “And my line was unfortunately, the relationship would kind of come to an end if things didn’t change. So we missed out on years of each other and that’s just what makes me sad.”

Mina also addressed how alcohol played a role in her early life, though she didn't go into detail on specific family members' use.

“For me, it’s just always existed," she said. "So it’s not this ‘What the heck happened to my life?’ It’s just always been present and problematic, but not in the way where jobs are being lost, homes are being lost. It’s always been very functional.”

“I think in my family it was again that term ‘functioning alcoholic,’" Mina added. "There was tons of problems. There was emotional stuff, physical stuff, mental stuff that was all ever-present, and I didn’t really think anything of it because it was just normal.”

Steve was in his early twenties when he says he got his parents into a homeless shelter for families, where they stayed for over a year.

Related: Mina Starsiak Hawk Reveals New Season of ‘Good Bones’ Will Be Its Last: ‘End of an Era’

“That rock bottom was pretty rough,” he said.

His mom decided to get sober while in the shelter, and they were able to “reboot” their relationship, he says. But a few years later, she relapsed.

While his parents were homeless, Steve took in his sister Stefanie, who was only 14 at the time. When their parents got back on their feet, she moved back in with them.

<p>Mina Starsiak Hawk/Instagram</p>

Mina Starsiak Hawk/Instagram

In 2018, Steve’s mother died from stomach cancer. His father died unexpectedly six months later after falling down the stairs. Stefanie began living on her own and working for Mina.

“She started to have a pattern of behavior where every Monday and Tuesday she didn’t feel good, she wasn’t coming in, she was isolating, she wouldn’t let anyone into her house, she wouldn’t come to anything," Steve recalled

“She’d been having this isolating behavior for quite some time," Mina added. “But it had gotten significantly worse.”

While filming Good Bones in 2020, Mina received a call from her brother, Tad, telling her that Stefanie had died. The cause was ethanol poisoning.

When Mina went to Stefanie’s home, she said, “There were so many bottles.”

“Just seeing how the last however long of her life had been was so incredibly sad,” she continued. “And then the guilt with not being able to do something about it, like, ‘Well we should’ve gone to her house sooner. We should have made her go to rehab. We should’ve made her move in with us.' But nobody knew.”

<p>Mina Starsiak Hawk/ Instagram</p>

Mina Starsiak Hawk/ Instagram

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when Mina was pregnant with daughter Charlie (they also share son, Jack, 5), she said it was common for Steve to enjoy some margaritas with the family’s neighbors.

Mina began keeping track of how many days in a row Steve would drink.

“We don’t have a problem,” she remembered thinking. “You don’t have a problem. But this is how problems develop, and it scares the s--- out of me.”

“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 added.

Steve recalled his own turning point. "What really did it for me was when I..." he begins, before getting choked up. "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 said.

“Because I feel like so many people my age and the generation before me have these gap years in their relationship with their parents, or maybe they don’t even have gap years, but they just don’t have relationships or they do, but it revolves around alcohol or just all these negative things surrounding the behavior that comes with alcohol.”

“So that was it,” he added. “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.”

Related: HGTV's Mina Starsiak Mourns the Death of Sister-in-Law Stefanie: 'She was Such a Bright Light'

Mina added that they might do “other things that are f---ed up,” but alcohol would never be something that distanced them from their kids.

“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,” Steve said.

<p>Mina Starsiak Hawk/Instagram</p>

Mina Starsiak Hawk/Instagram

Mina, who recently announced Good Bones would be ending after its eighth season, which is currently airing on HGTV, said the past five years of her life “have been very tumultuous for a lot of 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 said.

Related: Mina Starsiak Debuts New Sentimental Tattoos for Daughter Charlie and Late Sister-In-Law Stefanie

Mina went on to explain how she stopped using alcohol as a coping mechanism.

“It was the first three or so months where I was having to learn new behavior on how to cope with those feelings,” she said. “I like to stay busy. I like to drink a glass of wine and be relaxed again."

"And while I still have those other things where I keep myself busy, this was removing one of these coping mechanisms where I had to feel more of my feelings and sit in them for a longer period of time," she added. "And that’s super stressful for a while.”

On another recent episode of her podcast, Mina reflected on the end of Good Bones.

“It’s the end of an era,” she said. “I mean, I had to say goodbye to some people today that I have spent my last almost 10 years with.”

“Something I’m super, super proud of, and really grateful to the network for, is making a show for the last eight years that, for the huge majority of the time, has been super representative of who I am, who the boys are, what we’re doing, and it was really important to me from the beginning to do that,” she added.

She noted, however, “The end of anything is just hard.”

Mina AF is available to stream now.

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