Our stories matter – especially the messy ones. The stories we wish had never happened, the ones we hide or stuff down so far that we almost forget them, may be the ones that matter most of all. They matter most because within them we’ve tucked away our deepest shame.

In her honest and raw memoir, Sherry Danner — a former marriage and family therapist with specialized training in addiction and trauma — recalls her own teenage sexual assault, the memory of which was triggered by listening to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony at the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings; a love affair that started in rehab and ended in tragedy; an intense female friendship complicated by alcohol that ended messily; a spiritual awakening that kick-started a hundred-pound weight loss; and an unconventional addiction-recovery method that led to freedom from a decades-long battle with alcohol.

Questions designed to be used as prompts for writing or small group discussions follow each essay, inviting readers to consider their own lives from an empowered point of view and to challenge limiting beliefs they may hold about their self- worth. In the final chapters, Danner shares practical steps for overcoming the perfectionistic, shame-based thinking that fuels addiction and codependency and offers for cultivating self-love and setting healthy boundaries.


“This is a memoir in which we can all find ourselves. From her honest telling of her experiences with over-drinking, incompatible relationships, shame, and weight loss, Sherry gently nudges us toward thinking about our own self-worth. We all make bad decisions. Sherry helps normalize that in her compassionate voice. In sharing what she has learned, she’s guides us toward wholeness. Reading this book is like talking with a best friend about life and sharing our secrets with one another so we find the light together. This book left me thinking about my own relationships with food, alcohol, family, and friends. She encourages us to move toward a deeper relationship with ourselves to find the truth in everything else. I will read this one again. This is a book of hope.”

Ginger Rothhaas, compassionfix.com

“In this book the author, Sherry Danner, is vulnerable and authentic! Because of her vulnerability and authenticity, I believe we can all find parts of ourselves in Sherry’s stories. Sherry affirms that the real work lies in self-love and boundaries. There are so many great reminders and statements to hold onto in this book. I started underlining/highlighting passages even before I got to chapter 1. I also appreciated the introspective questions at the end of the chapters. If you are open to it, I believe it can heighten your awareness to opportunities for self-love, even in the smallest of moments. To Sherry Danner, thank you for writing this book and for giving voice to the things that we are told to keep in the shadows!”

Melissa Kincheloe, LCMFT, kincheloetherapy.com

“What gifts Sherry Danner has presented her readers in Nurturing the Light Inside! Gifts of honesty, courage, and authenticity–not only in the telling her own stories of addiction, relationship trouble, and living small but in the sharing of the steps she’s taken to lead a life of self-love and healthier choices. Through her gentle lists of questions to ponder, Danner, a trained therapist, now life coach, challenges her readers to examine how these themes show up in their own lives and to consider embarking on a different path towards self-acceptance and love. A beautiful hybrid of memoir and self-help, Nurturing the Light Inside is a resource to turn to when you need a wise and trusted friend.”

Diane Gottlieb, dianegottlieb.com

“Sherry’s passion and wisdom shine through in this amazing book. She shares the depths of personal struggles to the point you feel you are sitting next to her OR wait is it me she is talking about? It is so richly personal to us all. The last few chapters give the reader great insight into the way out and the tools to overcome. This is a must read for young and old. There is such wisdom that will help you or someone else to persevere life’s struggles to free one’ s self from their own prison of past shame back into self-caring love. Thank you, Sherry.”

Carol Swift, swiftstepsforward.com

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