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Defeating Demons: Stories of Overcoming Addiction with Adam Gunton

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Adam Vibe Gunton, the founder of Recovered on Purpose, sharing his stories of overcoming addiction

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Summary: Addiction can make you feel powerless. Adam Gunton’s profound stories of overcoming addiction offer insights to fuel your journey towards sobriety.

You’re walking on a tightrope. Each step teeters on the edge of a hundred-foot drop. 

Addiction is that tightrope, and every addict balances precariously between falling into the abyss or crossing to the safety of sobriety. Imagine having a guide who has walked that tightrope, fallen, got up, and crossed to the other side—welcome to the stories of overcoming addiction, inspired by Adam Vibe Gunton’s own experiences.

Adam is a former addict-turned-life coach, author, and entrepreneur. In a podcast interview on Honest Conversations with Kristina Mӓnd-Lakhiani (a part of Mindvalley’s podcasts), he shares how he took his worst nightmare and transformed it into his life’s work. (The interview is available for replay for Mindvalley Members.)

He’s essentially the Gandalf of the addiction world, helping others navigate the winding paths of their personal Mordor. His experiences are raw, real, and loaded with insights that can shift your perspective on addiction.

While this isn’t intended as a substitute for professional advice, it does serve as a source of inspiration. 

Because you’ve got to have a purpose in life that’s bigger than the addiction. That’s the theme in Adam’s own story as well as the fundamental belief he shares with those he works with in recovery.

A mockup of Adam Vibe Gunton's podcast interview on Honest Conversations with Kristina Mӓnd-Lakhiani sharing stories of overcoming addiction
Honest Conversations with Kristina Mӓnd-Lakhiani (tune in with the Mindvalley app)

Adam Vibe Gunton’s Story

Unless you’ve gone through it personally, the struggle of addiction can be difficult to imagine. 

So let’s look at it this way: you’re Frodo, and addiction is the One Ring. It’s an unending, relentless burden. Your own personal Mount Doom seems insurmountable. 

This was the life of Adam Vibe Gunton, a real-life Frodo in the war against addiction.

Adam’s journey wasn’t simply a walk in the Shire—it was a crawl through Mordor’s darkest trenches. His relationship with addiction led him to incarceration at a young age, the bars of his cage reflecting the chains of his affliction. 

The thing is, addiction often leads to imprisonment, as indicated in the 2021 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It found that “nearly four in 10 state prisoners and three in 10 federal prisoners reported using drugs at the time of the offense.” And that’s a chilling echo of society’s toxic culture

Yet, in the shadow of his personal Mount Doom, Adam found a spark of hope. His story of overcoming addiction wasn’t some magic spell—it was a trek of endurance and determination. 

As in the depths of Mordor, he found his purpose amidst the chaos, becoming the architect of his own journey to sobriety. He emerged not just victorious but with a new mission: to redefine the societal norms surrounding addiction and help those struggling through Recovered on Purpose.

As Adam says in his interview with Kristina, “What we have to do as a community is shift the focus completely away from everything that we can’t do and refocus on everything that we can do.” This conviction powered his path toward becoming a life coach, author, and entrepreneur. 

But he didn’t stop at just narrating inspiring stories; he provided a roadmap to navigate addiction’s treacherous terrain.

3 Ways to Fight Addiction: Insights From Adam Vibe Gunton

Saying that getting sober is challenging and daunting is an understatement. Yet it’s not an impossible feat. 

There are plenty of stories of overcoming addiction, Adam’s included. And taking inspiration from his (and others’) experiences, here’s how you, too, can rise above.

Note: While Adam’s experience is just one of many stories of overcoming addiction, it’s crucial to remember that it’s a serious issue that affects many individuals and families. Always seek professional help if you or a loved one is struggling. This article is meant to inspire and shed light on the issue, not to replace professional advice.

1. Surround yourself with a strong support system

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to rally a strong support system. After all, Frodo didn’t go on his quest alone; he had a fellowship to ensure he carried out his mission.

In the battle against addiction, having the right comrades by your side can make all the difference between faltering and flourishing. These are the people who’ll not only help you detour away from the slippery slope of old habits but also with feeling worthy.

It can be a support group, like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. It can be your friends (the non-using ones, of course). Or, as it was with Adam, it can be your family.

Adam Vibe Gunton’s insights 

Know that a support system will always champion you with love. But “it goes in waves,” says Adam.

There’s the element of shock, he explains to Kristina in the interview. They may offer their help. Then, it can get to the stage where they feel they can’t talk anymore because they don’t want to enable you—a “tough love type thing,” in Adam’s words. And as your recovery starts happening, they may come right back in again.

2. Talk to someone who’s gone through it

There’s something about connecting with others who’ve battled similar demons of addiction; it’s like being part of a group, with each member having their own unique roadmap to sobriety. There’s a shared understanding in these circles that fosters comfort and reduces feelings of isolation.

When you’re walking the tightrope of addiction recovery, having a companion who’s been there can offer invaluable balance. They might share grounding techniques that helped them maintain stability or even how they explored alternative methods for healing trauma and PTSD.

Research supports this approach, suggesting that shared experiences of recovery can significantly enhance the chances of sobriety. It’s as if each shared story strengthens the safety net under your recovery tightrope.

Adam Vibe Gunton’s insights 

I wish that when I was 12, 13, 14, maybe 15, a man would’ve come into my life that had been through what I was about to go through and shared with me where it went,” Adam confessed in the interview. His experiences made him realize the vast difference between an authority figure simply detailing a list of substances to avoid (like in the D.A.R.E. programs) and a person who has personally experienced drug use sharing their journey. 

He underscores the importance of speaking with those who’ve walked a similar path. He believes shared experience and personal understanding can offer a lifeline during the recovery process. 

The takeaway here? Don’t shy away from these conversations. They’re not about highlighting failures; they’re about pooling collective wisdom and turning recovery into a community effort.

3. Find a new purpose in life

When you’re embarking on a road trip, it helps to have a destination in mind. Similarly, when you’re overcoming addiction, it’s beneficial to have a beacon to guide you. 

Adam suggests that finding a new purpose in life can be that guiding light, illuminating a path towards fulfillment and away from addiction.

What does that look like? It could be anything that gives your life meaning and direction. 

Maybe it’s committing to a healthier lifestyle, diving into a hobby you’ve always loved, or pursuing a new career. It can even be like Adam—helping others tell their stories of overcoming addiction.

Essentially, it’s about replacing the harmful with the wholesome, creating a healthy space that addiction has no room to occupy.

Adam Vibe Gunton’s insights

It’s about taking the focus away from what addicts can’t do and instead, re-focus on what they can, according to Adam. He says, “It’s all about what areas of your life [and] what strengths you have in your life to grow on to become the best version of who you possibly can.”

This concept isn’t just Adam’s personal philosophy; it’s rooted in research. A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment validates this strategy, highlighting that having a sense of purpose helps improve outcomes in addiction treatment.

And when someone in recovery has this dream for their life, they’re less likely to give in to their triggers, Adam highlights. So remember that each step you take towards your purpose is a step away from addiction. 

3 Ways Mindvalley Can Help Bolster Your Sobriety Journey

Navigating the road to sobriety is a bit like embarking on a great expedition. It’s challenging, sure, but it also comes with moments of triumph that would make even the most captivating stories of overcoming addiction blush. 

The great thing is, Mindvalley is ready to tag along for the ride, offering a trusty trio of practical strategies with expert guidance to help you along on your journey. 

So let’s delve into detail with these methods.

1. Finding authentic connections with others

There may not seem like a correlation, but personal growth can greatly help you understand what you want and need. This, in turn, helps you surround yourself with people who’ll uplift you.

In fact, relationships are the number one predictor of happiness, according to Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, the co-founder of The Happiness Studies Academy and trainer of Mindvalley’s The 5 Elements of Happiness Quest.

In fact, Harvard University researchers observed 724 men in an extensive study between 1939 and 2014. The main thing their findings concluded was that good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

As Dr. Ben-Shahar added in his Mindvalley Quest, it’s not who the relationship is with that really matters. It could be a romantic relationship, a friendship, a professional relationship, or a connection with family members; what matters is that the relationship is real.

How Mindvalley can help: Going through his Quest can help you get familiar with the elements of happiness—relational being one of them. And as creating new connections becomes easier, relationships become one of your biggest sources of happiness, support, and fulfillment.

2. Transform self-destructive thought patterns

The mind-body connection is a powerful thing. As Marisa Peer, an internationally-recognized psychotherapist and trainer of Mindvalley’s Uncompromised Life Quest, says, “Every habit of action is run by a habit of thought; we first make our thoughts, and then our thoughts make us.”

Simply put, positive thoughts equal positive actions, and negative thoughts equal negative actions.

So let’s say you’re dealing with addiction. These negative thoughts could be like a broken record, constantly repeating things like “Quitting is too hard” or “I’m not strong enough.” These thoughts then lead you to continue the bad habits.

Breaking the cycle starts with transforming the negative thought patterns. How? By recognizing your limiting beliefs and stepping into an abundance mindset.

As the saying goes, you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

How Mindvalley can help: Marisa is all about helping you find out why you’re stuck in harmful habits and how to deal with them head-on. She gives you practical tools to beat challenges like addiction.

The real magic of her Quest is how it builds your confidence and changes your thinking. It arms you with the mindset you need to conquer personal battles.

What’s cool about this course is that it doesn’t just offer quick, temporary fixes. It sparks a real, deep change in how you see yourself. It encourages you to live a life where you believe you’re deserving and powerful enough to defeat your challenges, including addiction.

3. Redefine your view of the possible

Imagine having a roadmap for life—one that clarifies your aspirations in all vital areas and guides you through your journey to self-healing and recovery. That’s what Lifebook Online Quest with Jon and Missy Butcher is all about. It’s like a lightbulb moment in your life, illuminating the path ahead with brilliant clarity.

Jon and Missy have carved out 12 key dimensions of life, ranging from health and fitness to relationships to careers and finances. Each of these dimensions is like a unique puzzle piece. 

Only when you understand each piece and how they fit together, can you see the bigger picture of your life, complete and whole.

How Mindvalley can help: In your quest to define your life goals, you might just stumble upon new passions or discover unexplored paths. These newfound interests can act as a positive distraction from past addictive behaviors and create a strong deterrent against relapse.

Thinking is the foundation of achieving your extraordinary life,” says Jon. “The life you get is going to be the result of the choices you make and the actions you take.”

Overcoming Addiction Quotes: Illuminating Words From Adam Vibe Gunton

Sometimes words from people who’ve been through a similar harrowing experience can help see us through our darkest hours. It can provide inspiration, and motivation, as well as serve as the guiding starlight in the inky black Mordor sky.

So turning to the interview on stories of overcoming addiction, here’s a compilation of quotes from Adam, akin to a treasure chest of wisdom tucked away in the heart of the Shire.

On talking to kids about drugs

The number one thing that you have to watch is the influences on your children, period. And the conversation has to be had in the home a hundred percent of the time because you can’t count on the public school system or wherever they’re going.”

On helping someone who’s an addict

The best thing you can do if you have somebody in your life that’s struggling with addiction that you care about is at least once a month, just text them and tell them you love them and that you’re thinking of them. 

And in any conversation with them, when you have the opportunity to talk to them, never bring up their addiction. Don’t bring up drugs, don’t bring up alcohol, don’t even bring it up. Because that will make it so that it’s not a safe space for them to bring it up.”

On realizing you may have an addiction

If you are somebody that when you drink or use, you don’t know how much you’re going to drink or use, and you are not able to stop once you start, that’s what makes you an addict. That’s what makes you an alcoholic.”

On giving addicts a wake-up call

What I found working with addicts that are suffering, babying them and telling them that it’s all gonna be okay—that kind of communication doesn’t work, period.

You have to grab somebody by their shirt and say, ‘You’re dying; you have work to do; you have to heal; you have to do this. Or you’re destined for suffering the rest of your life.’


It has to be really, really directed at them.”

On finding help

Doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have about addiction and about your own addiction, it’s not enough to stop. You end up having to get help. And the beautiful thing now is that there’s a lot of help out there.”

If you need help, visit your local recovery center. You can also visit Adam’s Recovered on Purpose to learn more about overcoming addiction.

From Chains to Change

Navigating through life can sometimes feel like stepping into an epic adventure. But unlike a fantasy novel, there are no magic rings or wizards to lend us their wisdom. 

Our battles are fought within. And the orcs we face? They’re our personal demons, like addiction.

That’s why stories of overcoming addiction like Adam Vibe Gunton’s are sources of inspiration. Here’s a man who’s wrestled with these demons and emerged victorious.

Now imagine having mentors like Adam who share the wisdom you need (or didn’t know you needed) to guide you from chains to change. 

That’s where Mindvalley comes in. Offering a collection of quests designed to inspire personal growth and self-discovery, it’s like having your very own fellowship supporting you every step of the way.

You can learn how to…

  • Foster authentic connections in The 5 Elements of Happiness Quest with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar,
  • Overcome your limiting beliefs in Uncompromised Life Quest with Marisa Peer,
  • Design the life you want to live in Lifebook Online Quest with Jon and Missy Butcher, and
  • So much more.

When you sign up for a free account, you can sample the first few lessons so you can get the gist of how powerful the knowledge truly is for your recovery.

There are all kinds of different treatment centers and communities and things, but it takes the person working,” says Adam. “There’s a spiritual awakening that happens where you realize a total conscious shift towards drugs happens inside of you.”

So let this be the nudge to help you turn your struggles into one of the many success stories of overcoming addiction. And Mindvalley can help you get there.

Welcome in.


Featured Image: Recovered on Purpose / Facebook

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Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. She brings a wealth of experience in writing and storytelling to her work, honed through her background in journalism. Drawing on her years in spa and wellness and having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Picture of Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. She brings a wealth of experience in writing and storytelling to her work, honed through her background in journalism. Drawing on her years in spa and wellness and having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.

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Fact-Checking: Our Process

Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.