EP 13 – Conquering Demons: Aaron Gleadow’s Unforgettable Recovery Journey

In this gripping episode of The Begin Again Podcast, we delve into the harrowing journey of Aaron Gleadow as he bravely shares his unforgettable battle with addiction. Join us as we uncover the raw and unfiltered truth behind his struggle, his triumphs, and the road to recovery.

We explore the depths of Aaron’s addiction, the dark moments that consumed him, and the immense courage it took to confront his demons head-on. Through his candid storytelling, Aaron takes us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, sharing the highs and lows of his addiction journey.

From the initial allure of substances to the devastating consequences they brought, Aaron’s story serves as a powerful reminder of the destructive power of addiction. But amidst the darkness, there is hope. Aaron’s resilience and determination shine through as he shares the pivotal moments that led him to seek help and embark on the road to recovery.

This episode is not only a testament to Aaron’s personal strength but also a source of inspiration for anyone grappling with addiction or supporting a loved one through their own battle. We explore the challenges he faced, the support systems that played a crucial role, and the strategies he employed to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking insight into the complexities of addiction and the power of perseverance. Join us as we navigate the depths of Aaron’s story, shedding light on the path to redemption and the hope that lies beyond the darkest moments.


The views and opinions expressed by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the stand or beliefs of the host or the podcast. We aim to provide a diverse range of perspectives and ideas, fostering open and respectful discussions. We encourage critical thinking and forming your own conclusions. Enjoy the show!

About Our Guest (Aaron Gleadow)

Aaron Gleadow, better known as Detox Junkie, is a survivor, advocate, and inspiration to those battling addiction. Born and raised in a small town, Aaron’s life took a tumultuous turn when he fell into the grips of addiction. For years, he struggled with substance abuse, facing the darkest moments of his life. However, Aaron’s unwavering determination and resilience led him on a transformative journey towards recovery. Today, he is a beacon of hope, sharing his story to shed light on the complexities of addiction and to offer support and guidance to those in need. Through his vulnerability and honesty, Aaron empowers others to confront their demons and embrace the possibility of a brighter future.

As Detox Junkie, Aaron Gleadow has become a renowned figure in the recovery community. With his unique blend of personal experience and professional expertise, he has dedicated his life to helping others break free from the chains of addiction. As a certified addiction counselor, Aaron’s passion lies in guiding individuals towards recovery through evidence-based strategies and compassionate support. Through his podcast, speaking engagements, and online presence, he continues to inspire and educate, proving that there is always hope for a new beginning. 

Follow Aaron Gleadow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/detoxjunkie

Show Notes 

[01:13] Gary Menkes introduces Aaron Gleadow, also known as Detox Junkie to share his incredible addiction recovery journey.

[03:06] Aaron, a resident of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, shares his background growing up on the west coast of British Columbia and his move to Saskatoon.

[03:45] Aaron shares his personal journey of growing up feeling different and isolated, eventually leading to his addiction to alcohol, which began at the age of 15, and how his perception of the world contributed to his struggles.

[05:53] Gary reflects on his early experiences with alcohol, starting at a young age and the warning signs that his family noticed, highlighting the difference between experimentation and potential addiction.

[06:51] Aaron reflects on his teenage years, where his addiction to alcohol led to a decline in his academic performance and athletic abilities, until a conversation with his father prompted him to drop out of school and embark on a journey to Europe at 17 years old.

[08:13] Aaron shares his personal experience of being approached about his drinking habits while backpacking through Europe and the Middle East at the age of 17.

[10:12] Aaron shares his wild travel experiences, including living on a boat in the Red Sea, partying with fellow travelers, and the struggle to readjust to normal life upon returning to Canada.

[13:28] Aaron shares his experience of first entering the rooms at 19 years old in downtown Toronto, where concerns about his drinking arose from those close to him.

[16:56] Aaron reflects on his journey of finding himself, both mentally and emotionally, as he moved between Toronto and Vancouver in his twenties.

[19:46] Aaron shares his journey of addiction, relapses, and the ability to blend in with different social groups, keeping his addiction a secret, ultimately leading to worsening outcomes each time he relapsed. 

[23:18] Aaron shares his personal journey of battling addiction for 24 years, which led to self-destruction and a deep sense of shame and hate towards himself, resulting in smashing mirrors to avoid facing his own reflection. 

[24:15] Gary Menkes discusses the importance of passing the mirror test and finding acceptance with oneself, while also sharing his personal experience of overcoming anxiety and fear associated with phone calls in recovery.

[25:20] Aaron reflects on the importance of appreciating the small moments in life and discusses his experience at Cedars at Cobble Hill.

[28:53] Aaron shares his personal experience with sobriety and relapse, where he planned to take his own life but was saved by his addiction to alcohol. 

[31:12] Aaron shares a powerful and emotional moment of catharsis in a field, which ultimately leads him to find the will to live and begin his journey towards recovery from addiction.

[34:00] Aaron shares his journey of seeking help for his addiction, trying various outpatient treatments, and ultimately realizing the need for intense and immersive therapy to start fresh and rebuild his life.

[37:32] Aaron shares his powerful journey of transformation, from being broken and at the end of his rope to finding hope and purpose in treatment, rediscovering his heart and soul, and developing a burning desire to share his story with the world.

[45:16] Aaron expresses his gratitude for being invited on the show and commends Gary for his accessibility and presence across multiple platforms, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and unity in challenging addiction stigmas and changing perceptions.

For more incredible and inspiring stories of those who have overcome alcoholism and addiction, tune in to the next episodes of The Begin Again Podcast through:

About Gary Menkes

Gary Menkes was born and raised in Port Washington, NY and struggled with alcoholism since his early teens which took him to places he never wants to go again and which took a toll on his health, relationships and professional endeavors. However, Gary completely transformed his life when he was given the gift of sobriety on May 13, 2006. Determined to break free from the cycle of self-destruction, he embarked on a remarkable journey of recovery.

Today, Gary is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous in New York, married to the love of his life and father of two amazing children of which he owes all to his sobriety. Gary is now launching his own podcast, The Begin Again Podcast.