In honour of National Recovery Month, I wanted to share with you the women who have inspired and nourished me along my sometimes horrific path. Long gone are the days of hiding away in shame—anonymous and afraid that someone may find out we have had issues with addiction, mental health, domestic violence, eating disorders, various kinds of trauma and sexual violation. We women are recovering and thriving in the face of multifaceted adversity, and at a time in HERSTORY, where it’s never been more important to join together in solidarity with our sisters. The fierce feminine is arising in all walks of society.

I have been fortunate to come in contact with women who taught me that recovery, independence and real freedom is possible.

My decision to seek a better life and different understanding of the world opened up infinite possibilities for me. Some of the women I have met are directly connected to the recovery world. Some are not. Nevertheless, each of them has given me invaluable gifts in the form of wisdom, knowledge, support and encouragement.

Here are some of the women who have inspired me to change my life forever:

Anna David: Best-selling Author and Creator of After Party Chat

In 2013, when I had just started blogging about my own recovery journey from substance abuse and mental illness, I approached Anna. I was in awe (and still am) of her success and work ethic. I wanted to know her secret. It so happened she was on the lookout for writers for her new website, and so I became the first ever writer for her Afterpartychat.com website. She gave me the confidence to really give writing a shot and became my mentor. Without her taking a chance on me, I wouldn’t be writing today. Listen to our podcast here.

Trista Hendren: Creator of The Girl God

I met Trista through social media in my quest to redefine my femininity. Trista created The Girl God series of books after a conversation with her young daughter about God being a girl. Trista produces books on all aspects of Femininity, Female Divinity and the struggles of women in modern society. I have been lucky enough to have my work published in two of her books. Her memoire “Hearts Aren’t Made Of Glass” tells her story of living with an alcoholic and trying to recover hers and her children’s lives after complete devastation. She has encouraged and inspired me deeply and is the personification of The Goddess in all of us. Listen to our podcast here.

Jamie Marich: Author & Clinical Therapist

I was introduced to Jamie through In The Rooms, and had the privilege of meeting her in 2015. The first time I heard Jamie speak it felt like at last someone understood what was going on inside my head and heart. I knew all about my ill mental health and substance abuse, but there were some issues at the root of this that I couldn’t fully articulate. Jamie Marich provided the language and held the space for me, and many others, to finally communicate the full extent of my pain. Listen to our podcast here.

Carolyn Elliot: Author and Creator of WITCH and several online courses

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am drawn to witchy stuff like a moth to a flame. Therefore, when I came across Carolyn online, I fluttered straight to her, unafraid of getting burned. And boy, was I set on fire. Through her course, Influence, I discovered the true power of our shadow side, our unconscious. It’s the driving force behind our entire lives. Love and light is all fine and dandy, but we have darkness too that cannot be ignored. Carolyn Elliot changed my entire perspective on the world and I shall never be the same again…….thankfully! Read her interview here.

Dawn Nickel: Creator of She Recovers

Dawn is one of those no bullshit business women that I have always been in awe of, but with a ginormous heart. She and I share much of the same philosophy regarding women in recovery. Dawn has dedicated herself to creating and holding space for women in recovery to connect with themselves, and with other like-hearted women and she does it brilliantly. It is her, no-such-thing-as-can’t, energy that inspires me to be the best I can be. She and her team hold retreats around the world for recovering women. Listen to our podcast here.

Of course there have been scores of women whom I have connected with – friends, family, health professionals, passing strangers who offered a smile, writers, poets, activists, therapists, lawyers, women in the rooms of recovery from all over the world, who have helped me along my way. I am convinced that a reignited connection between women is the way to heal the world and all it’s inhabitants.

Today I wish all of the wonderful women in my life love, freedom, empowerment and strength. Thank you for showing me the way.

Nicola O'Hanlon
Author

Nicola is a health & wellness coach with 20 years experience helping people heal and find their path. She is a qualified reflexologist, masseuse and life coach nd has created content for intherooms.com for 7 years. She was editor at iloverecovery.com and has written for many recovery publications online and in print. She is also an author at The Girl God books. She is currently studying yoga and Ayurveda specific to Women's Health. She has lived with type 1 diabetes for 38 years, since she was 7 years old.

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