Who are you? 

Such an easy question that shouldn’t really be as hard as it is to answer. My easy answer is I am Cathy, a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, writer. The harder answer is I am still trying to work out who I am.

Tell us about your business or creative pursuits?

I am in the process of discovering my what’s next. Some of the what’s next looks like. I am working on a business plan at the moment and as “trendy” as it is I am working on something around “empowering women be the best they want to be.” What that looks like I am not sure right now.

What I know is that living in a regional area women’s empowerment is something we really need.  This is an area that is really lacking. I really want to do something in this space for Regional areas.

 My creative pursuit is my writing. I write about my recovery and I have a couple of books in me. The book that is bubbling closest to the surface is around Women and Addiction.

What inspired you to get started? 

I have always liked to write. Though having a breakdown in 2015 meant that it was easier to keep people up to date with my recovery through writing and it has evolved from there.

 For the what next I am inspired by my kids to show them that you can hit rock bottom and find your way back up. It takes time and a lot of bloody hard work, especially re-building trust but when it is important to you, it can be done.

 What is your biggest goal? 

Goodness to narrow it down to just one is hard. I can narrow it down to one creative and one business. The creative would to be a published author of a book that sells!!!  The business would to be working in the space that is empowering women be the very best they WANT to be.

 What has been your greatest achievement to date? 

 Without a doubt my kids, but also my ongoing recovery. It is all hard work but I am not shying away from what I did and doing the hard yards to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

 During the times when you feel lacking in motivation, what helps you get motivated? 

I will try to go for a walk, find some sunshine, listen to some rocking tunes – my current favourite playlist is Tracey Spicer’s Good Girl Stripped Bare Spotify Playlist. If none of that works I will whack on a podcast there are so many on that list The Hot Flush (Kayte Murphy & Kim Berry)is at the top at the moment or anything that involves Glennon Doyle or Brene Brown. I find that when I am lacking motivation I really need to change things up and find something else all together to do because fighting it only makes it worse for me.

 What is your favourite song for getting motivated? 

So What – Pink

 Who inspires you?

So many but all strong women. My mum for one – she decided at 43 to go to Uni and earn a degree in Health Science (Gerontology).  Then there are so many women out there doing good things for other women to name a few Kylie Ostle (Mum Society), Kayte Murphy (Mrs Woog), Tracey Spicer (Journalist, Feminist, Author all around kick arse chick), Layne Beachley, Kylee Fitzpatrick (Team Women Australia), Glennon Doyle, Brene Brown, Kate Sutton (Uberkate), Sonia Stackhouse (Life, Love & Hiccups), Rochelle Courtenay (Share the Dignity), Talitha Cummins for speaking out about things that are normally hidden behind closed doors.  Connie Johnson (Love your Sister) for all that she is and has done to raise money to cure cancer, Sam her brother because seriously what’s not to love. Rosie Batty for speaking out about Domestic Violence. I could go on and on. My kids are a constant inspiration to me to want to do better and be better.

 What is your magic place, where you go to relax and unwind? 

The beach. Or somewhere in the sunshine. I love the feel of the sand between my toes and the sunshine recharges me. I think I might be a solar battery really lol.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Be true to who YOU are and find that before you go any further. Stay true to your values and don’t stray away from those because you want to be liked. The reality is you are not a jar of nutella so you can’t be liked by everyone. And you are better to be loved by a few who love you for staying true to you than be liked by many and be soulless on the inside because you are not living a life that is true to what you believe.

 What is your life motto or positive affirmation?

Don’t be ashamed of your story it will inspire others.

 What was the key for you to overcome a challenge?

Tenacity, love, support, and getting help. The help is important but without the unconditional love of my family especially from my husband and parents it would have all felt for nothing.

 Have you ever had a disappointment that ended up leading you to something wonderful?

My breakdown is probably the biggest rock bottom, and the something wonderful is that I am still here, still working on it and I just know there is even better to come.

What do you like to do with your free time?

 All the old favourites – baking, knitting, crochet, reading, writing. Most of all I love hanging out with mates you know the perfect ones where you are so comfortable with each other that you can bake or crochet or whatever and not talk just hang together that is my most favourite.


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5 comments on “Cathy O’Brien – Don’t be ashamed of your story it will inspire others.”

  1. Yes, you stuffed up which caused the breakdown but it has made you a better person. Stay strong my girl and true to the real you. I want to read that book before i die, love you mum x

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