Mary Beth's memoir, From Junkie to Judge: One Woman's Journey to Recovery without God, will be published by HCI on January 24, 2023, and available for pre-order in August.
The memoir is written like a novel and immerses the reader in the neglect, abuse, and other traumas that primed Mary Beth for her descent into substance use disorder. She describes her path from alcohol to pot to pills to acid, and then to her drug of choice, methamphetamine. Mary Beth takes the reader into the depths of that addiction and then through her first three years of recovery. As an atheist in a 12-step world, she had to seek out alternate approaches. By synthesizing the ideas she felt would be of value, Mary Beth created a robust foundation for her 27 years of sobriety. She also addresses her efforts to recover from the traumas and resulting anxiety. Professionally, Mary Beth progressed as well, went to law school, and was appointed a federal Administrative Law Judge in 2014.
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In August 2020, The Wall Street Journal published Mary Beth's opinion piece, I Beat Addiction Without God. The piece appeared in the Houses of Worship column online, in the print edition, and on Facebook. The op-ed generated extensive interest, hundreds of comments, and the editor congratulated her on the "strong reader reaction." This piece was reprinted in Freethought Today. Flipboard, Head Topics, and RealClear Religion posted a link to the piece.
In November 2020, the Philadelphia Inquirer published Mary Beth's opinion piece in support of a proposed safe injection site, I was a federal judge, and I support Safehouse. Here's why. The piece appeared online and in print and resulted in robust reader discussion and commentary.
I Never Said No, Memoir Magazine. https://memoirmag.com/metoo-2/i-never-said-no/
One Diary and Two Cars, The Ravensperch, https://theravensperch.com/one-diary-and-two-cars-by-mary-beth-oconnor/
I Never Said No, Awakenings, Issue 5. https://awakeningsart.org/2017/08/24/i-never-said-no-chapter-from-memoir-in-progress-by-mary-beth-oconnor/
The View from Erroll's House, Carry the Light (anthology), Vol. VI
My Top of the Mountain, Fault Zone (anthology), Uplift
I Never Said No, Noyo Review Review (anthology), Vol. 5. Included as First Place winner, Mendocino Writers Conference, Book-Length Nonfiction/Memoir
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