SOW #13 Accepting Incremental Progress with Special Guest Mary Beth O’Connor

In this episode we look at childhood abuse, trauma, addiction, recovery, relationships, career, and the incremental progress that is a HUGE part of the healing journey. This is a powerful episode. I’m so grateful I got a chance to read an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of Mary Beth O’Connor’s upcoming memoir, From Junkie to Judge: One Woman’s Triumph over Trauma and Addiction. It is one of the best memoirs I’ve read on trauma and addiction. She takes you right into her journey, and it’s not pretty. Her book will bring hope to addicts and educate non-addicts on how a child can dive deep into the world of addiction. It was amazing getting to talk to her from the place she is now. Just AMAZING!

You can watch the extended YouTube version of this interview where we dive deeper into the connection of trauma and addiction or you can listen or watch the condensed 20-minute version on one Facebook, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and more.

Who is Mary Beth O’Connor?

Mary Beth has been clean and sober since 1994. She also is in recovery from abuse and trauma. The details of her story can be found in her memoir, From Junkie to Judge: One Woman’s Triumph Over Trauma and Addiction.

Mary Beth is a Director and Secretary for She Recovers Foundation. She is a Founding Investor, founding member of She Recovers Support for Legal Professionals, and is active in the She Recovers Sharing Circle Bay Area.

Mary Beth also is a Director for LifeRing Secular Recovery.

She regularly speaks on behalf of LifeRing, She Recovers, and multiple paths to recovery. She also develops relationships with organizations supportive of the multiple pathways approach, such as participating in San Francisco’s Methamphetamine Task Force, and working on joint projects with Women for Sobriety.

In August 2020, Mary Beth had an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, I Beat Addiction without God, where she described building a personal recovery plan by combining ideas from Secular Organization for Sobriety, now LifeRing, Women for Sobriety, and Narcotics Anonymous. And 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. Mary Beth is seeking a publisher for her recently completed full‑length memoir From Junkie to Judge: Recovery without God.

Professionally, 6 years into her recovery, Mary Beth attended Berkeley Law. She worked at a large firm in Silicon Valley, then litigated class actions for the federal government. In 2014 Mary Beth was appointed an Administrative Law Judge. She recently retired, so she could devote her time to her writing and recovery advocacy. Mary Beth can be reached at and her website is

Accepting Incremental Progress

If you can’t see the YouTube video, try this link:

Mary Beth O’Connor’s Memoir

(Click on image for book details)

Follow Mary Beth




Up Next…

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff, author of Letters from a Better Me and host of the From A Loving Place with Author Rachael Wolff podcast

One response to “SOW #13 Accepting Incremental Progress with Special Guest Mary Beth O’Connor”

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