Courtney Hanson On How To Achieve Great Success After Recovering From An Addiction

An Interview With Penny Bauder

Penny Bauder
Authority Magazine
Published in
8 min readNov 25, 2021


The very thing your ashamed of will eventually be the very thing that is your superpower. Often our gifts are buried or masked and used for dark instead of light simply because we are not taught to channel this energy.

When people are trapped in a severe addiction it can feel like there is no way out and there is no hope for a better future. This is of course not true. Millions of people are in recovery from an addiction and they go on to lead successful, fulfilling and inspiring lives.

Authority Magazine started a new series about women who were able to achieve great success after recovering from an addiction. The premise of the series is to offer hope and inspiration to people who feel trapped in similar circumstances. As a part of this series we had the pleasure to interview Courtney Hanson.

Courtney Hanson is an expert in transforming the lives of women all over the world. With a history of resilience in both the physical and spiritual realm, Courtney is equipped to get your mind, body, and soul to a level of divine joy. Courtney is a wife, mother of three, and successful entrepreneur. Her journey through life is the framework that has led her to help others. She hasn’t just overcome darkness, trauma, and depression — but she has used them as stepping stones to shape her into the woman she is today, helping others reach their goals physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?

I was raised a tad unconventionally. My mother left with the man she had an affair with when I was 2. My dad shortly after gained full custody of me. My older half-sister went with my mom I moved in with my grandmother and father. My grandmother was my everything. My person. At the age of 11 she was diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer and passed away when I was 12. We moved weeks after her passing to Illinois to a house my dad purchased down the street from his new girlfriend. We lived there till I was in eighth grade and I decided to move in with my mom back in Seattle. My mom had started a new life and I was not very high on that priority list. When high school hit, I got in with the “popular” crowd and associated parties, friends and drinking into my escape. I had experienced trauma and got in with the wrong crowd experimenting with drugs and in and out of rehab for the rest of my high school years. My sophomore year my mom kicked me out and I spent the remainder of the year living in a Comfort Inn Hotel with my dad til he could save up enough to get us somewhere more stable. I began to spiral — constantly running away from the verbal and physical abuse at home. I had a felony and 5 misdemeanors all by the age of 18. (The felony being for stealing my dad’s car — taking motor vehicle in second degree) I grew up never belonging anywhere but wanting so desperately to feel loved and wanted.

Do you feel comfortable sharing with our readers how you were initially introduced to your addiction? What drew you to the addiction you had?

My addiction really started when I was in my teenage years. I would dabble in things like cocaine, weed or ecstasy but my go to was always alcohol. Alcoholism ran very strongly in my family, but I refused to accept that I may have the same disease. I pulled my life together and opened my first business at the age of 21 in California, shortly after becoming pregnant with my oldest son. I had learned to become functioning within my alcoholism and make everything look good on the outside. Once I became a mother, I pulled myself together and only drank wine because that’s acceptable in today’s society being a mother.

As you know, addictions are often an attempt to mask an underlying problem. In your experience, what do you think you were really masking or running from in the first place? Can you explain?

My addiction was from trauma, abuse and needing to mask the feeling of abandonment I felt so deeply. I was running from myself. I hated me — I never felt like enough.

Can you share what the lowest point in your addiction and life was?

I have had several “rock bottoms” everything from being homeless and sleeping at bus stations to not eating for days on end. My personal life changing story though was when my youngest son was born. I had a beautiful life, drank wine in all the mom groups, husband is a fire fighter, 3 beautiful babies, I was the Pinterest mama everyone came too for advice. Inside though I was broken and had no idea who I was outside of being a mother. Courtney had died a long time ago. After my last baby I suffered severe postpartum depression and instead of reaching out or being honest that I was drinking two bottles of wine at night to cope I continued to push through. I had an affair, almost lost my home, my life was in shambles. I didn’t want to hurt anyone any longer and decided to lock myself in a holiday inn and drink myself to death. I didn’t want to cause harm. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I couldn’t stop this downward spiral pattern that kept continuing in my life.

Was there a tipping point that made you decide that you needed to change? Can you please share the story?

In that Holiday Inn I had a Divine Intervention and realized it was time to change. I was meant for more. My grandmother came through and spoke to me — I decided for the first time ever to go to a trauma therapist and face my demons head on. I shared with her things I had never told anyone. This woman changed my life.

Can you tell us the story about how you were able to overcome your addiction?

I persevered and made healing a priority. I needed to not find myself but create myself. For the first time in my life, I felt hope, I felt supported, I felt loved. I knew I went through all my struggles and pain to help other women. During my personal therapy she had inspired me to go back to school and I did just that. During this time, I became so fascinated with our subconscious and conscious mind, how the brain works and how we heal at a cellular level. I wanted to know every layer of trauma healing modalities to be able to help as many women heal as I could.

How did you reconcile within yourself and to others the pain that addiction caused to you and them? Can you please share a story about that? I cleared my side of the street but more so for me it was learning to not be a doormat, to learn to set my personal boundaries and feel strong enough to forgive and love certain family and friends from afar. I had to learn to love myself and teach others how to do the same. I carried a lot of guilt and shame and had to learn to forgive myself and cope in different ways.

When you stopped your addiction, what did you do to fill in all the newfound time you had?

My education and career. I became on fire to serve and help others. My business had taken off and I did a lot of healing through writing my book Within. I shared my personal therapy letters and the modalities I was studying in school. I also through this time became a Reiki master and got my 200 hour RYT (yoga) certs. I often tell people yoga saved my life. It taught me to connect my mind and body, how to be still and how to honor my breath.

What positive habits have you incorporated into your life, post addiction, to keep you on the right path?

Yoga, meditation, reading, spending time in Mother Nature and traveling.

Can you tell us a story about the success that you achieved after you began your recovery?

Since being sober I have written a book, hit several 5 figure months within my business, started a podcast, became a Reiki master, taught workshops, built relationships with my dream tribe of women, repaired my marriage, have the BEST and strongest relationship with my children, spoke at events and continue to set goals and obtain them. My mind is clear, and my heart is passionate.

What character traits have you transferred from your addiction to your current achievements? Please share both the positive and negative.

I must catch myself on being defensive and ask why to a lot of things — learning to extract my limiting beliefs and WHY I believe certain things about myself or someone else. I have become very laid back and accepting, I have learned to tap within for my strength, my connection to my higher power and my spirituality, and use my drive in a positive way now to help others succeed.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you share five pieces of advice that you would give to a person who is struggling with some sort of addiction but ashamed to speak about it or get help?

Let go of your ego and realize you want to LIVE not to just EXIST.

The very thing your ashamed of will eventually be the very thing that is your superpower. Often our gifts are buried or masked and used for dark instead of light simply because we are not taught to channel this energy.

You are worth love and feeling loved. Do not accept anything that feels less than this.

You are not alone in feeling how you feel, and your emotions and experiences are valid — even if you’re told they are not.

Everyone has something. It’s part of the lessons we are here on this planet to learn and navigate through.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Gabby Bernstein or Mel Robbins hands down.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

The best space to find me is on the gram

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.



Penny Bauder
Authority Magazine

Environmental scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Founder of Green Kid Crafts