Overcoming Addiction: A Personal Journey with Adam Gunton
Hello everyone, I’m Doug Thorpe, your host for the “Leadership Powered by Common Sense” podcast. Today, I’m excited to share a compelling story from my guest, Adam Gunton. While our conversation may seem a bit off the beaten path from our usual leadership content, it’s a topic that resonates with many and is crucial to discuss – addiction.
Adam Gunton’s Story: From Addiction to Freedom
Adam Gunton, an all-American boy with a passion for sports, had a deep, dark secret. At the tender age of 12, he was introduced to cocaine. As he navigated through high school and college, his drug use escalated, leading him down the path of heroin addiction.
Adam’s life took a turn when he was found unresponsive from an overdose, facing the possibility of prison. Despite this wake-up call, his struggle with addiction continued, leading him to homelessness. After trying various methods to get clean, Adam finally found freedom from his addiction through spiritual experiences and the support of loved ones. This newfound freedom inspired him to share his story and help others who are suffering.
Quotes in the Show:
Adam Gunton, 00:03:24, “This freedom is actually real.”
Adam Gunton, 00:15:41, “If I met Jesus face to face at International House of Pancakes and I haven’t used drugs since I was there with my best friend, I was five days clean at the time.”
Doug, 00:28:58, “There just isn’t something on the planet more rewarding than that.”
Adam Gunton, 00:37:18, “And things don’t look as bad as they were yesterday.”
Doug, 00:41:46, “There was someone listening to this where their life is going to shift because those things don’t show up and try to stop us unless something real was supposed to happen, right? And I’m getting chills. That’s it. Yeah.”
Addiction in Professional Settings
Even in professional settings, individuals silently battle addiction. Adam shared an example of business leaders seeking his advice on how to deal with their own substance use disorder. This highlights the importance of raising awareness and sensitivity to those struggling with addiction, including business leaders and employees.
Leadership and Addiction: The Connection
Adam emphasized the need for leaders to have a specific group of people they are focused on helping. He also mentioned the characteristics that leaders should strive for in order to better lead their groups. His mentor once shared that a leader’s integrity and the way they operate is contagious within their organization. This was something Adam witnessed firsthand in his own organization, seeing the negative impact when leaders lacked integrity.
The Damaging Effects of Living a Double Life
Living a double life can hinder the overall performance of an organization. Leaders need to live up to a standard they expect of themselves, even when no one else is watching. Adam shared his personal turning point in his addiction recovery journey, describing a spiritual experience where he met Jesus face to face and felt a profound shift within himself.
Lessons from the 12-Step Program
Adam reflected on the lessons he learned from the 12-step program and how it applies to personal growth and leadership. Recognizing that there is always room for improvement opens individuals up to various personal development practices that can significantly impact their lives.
The Importance of Being a Leader and Thinker
Leaders need to guide and direct others towards a common goal, requiring constant self-improvement and a clear mindset. Adam compared an organization to an organism, where the health of each individual affects the overall well-being of the whole.
Redefining Identity Beyond Job Titles
I shared my own experience running a nonprofit during the economic crash in 2008. Many people had tied their identity to their jobs, and when they lost their employment, they struggled with a loss of purpose. My organization aimed to help individuals redefine themselves and find new meaning beyond their job titles or skill sets.
Adam’s Mission: Helping Others Share Their Stories
Adam’s book, which outsold the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous for a month, started helping people in jail and others who reached out to him. This led him to start helping people on social media and eventually coaching and training others in recovery to write and publish their own books.
The Power of Giving Back
Adam emphasized the importance of giving back and helping others in recovery. He believes that the fire and passion for recovery that existed in the past has been lost, and his goal is to build a community that is passionate about recovery and helping others.
Faith and Belief in Overcoming Challenges
Adam and I discussed the importance of faith and belief in overcoming challenges. Moments of divine inspiration or epiphany do not guarantee a perfect life, as there will always be trials and struggles. However, it is crucial to stand firm in one’s beliefs and do what is right.
Seeking Help and Support
If you’re struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help. Adam’s platform, “Recovered on Purpose,” provides a great starting point for those seeking assistance. You can follow him on Facebook at “Recovered on Purpose” and access his book for free at recoveredonpurpose.org.
Remember, I’m not a medical health professional, but Adam’s platform can offer support and guidance. Take advantage of the resources available and thank you for tuning in.
Adam Vibe Gunton is the bestselling author of From Chains To Saved, founder of Recovered On Purpose, and host of The Recovered On Purpose Show. After overcoming homelessness and drug addiction on November 6, 2017, he set out on a mission to help as many addicts find recovery as possible. On November 6, 2019, he published his book and it has now sold over 5,000 copies and he has given away the same amount. His nonprofit foundation, Recovered On Purpose, equips addicts in recovery to share their stories powerfully with the world to reach addicts suffering with a message of hope that helps them find recovery. With his Facebook page organically reaching over 40 million people per month, videos that have gone viral, and the many students now sharing their stories, Recovered On Purpose has helped over 1,000 addicts find recovery.