From Junkie to Judge: One Woman’s Triumph Over Trauma and Addiction

Health Communications. Jan. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780757324567. pap. $16.95. MEMOIR
In this harrowing, yet affirming, memoir, O’Connor (director of the She Recovers Foundation and of LifeRing Secular Recovery) shares her traumatic tale in page-turning prose. Abandoned by her mother within her first week of life and dropped off at a convent, where she lived until she was six months old, O’Connor endured years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, leaving her suffering from PTSD. What began as teenage rebellion, smoking and drinking cheap wine, led to drug use of LSD and ultimately meth, which became her drug of choice on and off for 15 years. While she managed to graduate from college, she dropped out of law school due to her addictions and worked in low-level jobs that she could never hold for long. Finally, entering rehab, she achieved sobriety. After returning to law school, she worked in corporate law and ended her career in the legal profession as a federal judge.
VERDICT This is a sad but ultimately uplifting story. Recommended.
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