#34: From Junkie to Judge: One Woman’s Triumph Over Trauma and Addiction – Mary Beth O’Connor Sun and Moon Sober Living October 20, 2022

#34: From Junkie to Judge: One Woman’s Triumph Over Trauma and Addiction – Mary Beth O’Connor

Podcast

Mary Beth has been clean and sober since 1994. She also is in recovery from abuse, trauma, self-harm, ptsd, and anxiety. Her history and her recovery are chronicled in her memoir From Junkie to Judge: One Woman’s Triumph Over Trauma and Addiction.

Mary Beth is a Director, Secretary, and Founding Investor for She Recovers Foundation. She also is a Director for LifeRing Secular Recovery.

She regularly speaks on behalf of these organizations and about multiple and secular paths to recovery. This includes conferences, podcasts, radio, and recovery houses. She also develops relationships with other organizations, such as Women for Sobriety.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Mary Beth’s recovery from abuse, trauma, self-harm, PTSD, and anxiety
  • The relationship between trauma and addiction
  • Choosing a secular path to recovery
  • Why there is no “one-size-fits-all” path to recovery
  • Her triumphant story from “junkie to judge”
  • The false hierarchy of addiction
  • Ending the stigma

In August 2020, Mary Beth had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, I Beat Addiction without God, where she described combining ideas from several secular programs to create a robust recovery foundation. In November 2020 she had an op-ed published in the Philadelphia Inquirer in support of a safe injection site, I was a federal judge, and I support Safehouse. Here’s why. Mary Beth’s memoir writings have been published in Memoir Magazine, Awakenings, The Noyo River Review, The Fault Zone, Carry the Light, and Ravens Perch.

Professionally, 6 years into her recovery, Mary Beth attended Berkeley Law. She worked at a large firm, then litigated class actions for the federal government. In 2014 she was appointed a federal Administrative Law Judge from which position she retired early in 2020.

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