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Home Is Within You: A Memoir of Recovery and Redemption

Dear Son,

when I visited the angels,

you were there.

My father’s inspiration carried me through years when I thrived working in my element. A little brown girl who simply wanted to save the world, I became a passionate attorney and school board member in the city he grew up in.

“Young, smart, and beautiful,” they said, “an up-and-comer.”

I wanted to bring warmth and light where the dark was winning.

So when a desperate mother begged me to help free her innocent son, I went into autopilot.

Many said I was crazy. Well, frankly, I am. At least now, I happily admit it.

“A young inexperienced lawyer? Who the hell does she think she is?” they asked. Um, sir, doing the right thing doesn’t require permission or tenure, I thought.

Go ahead and call me nuts. But the truth isn’t, and it had to win. The fight to free a wrongfully convicted kid was off and running. Hundreds joined the effort and the press followed.

Yet it all could have come to an end the night of the accident. A big rig hit my car, hauling it off into a triple flip, landing in an embankment out of sight. I wasn’t breathing when they finally found me. Twenty-two broken bones, a punctured lung, and a bleeding brain later, it took a mighty toll I’d fail to recognize for years to come.

Dear Son,

You were there that night I died, long before any human idea of you ever came to be. Engulfed in an infinite, formless warmth, love, and light, “It” is where no fear or judgment exist. “It” is a magnificent and all-knowing peace. My father’s soul and innumerable others shined and thrived whole, perfect, and complete. I didn’t want to leave.

But then a message came so clear, “Now is not the time.” An indelible mark of that home within was etched into my being.

Another’s breath was forced inside me and a thump of my heart was heard again. My soul returned to a body that would struggle for years to survive.

But now I know the reason it did. It was to carry your life.

Truth is, I had no clue how to live in this life before my body was shattered. Navigating emotional, mental, and physical pain thereafter was beyond difficult and my choices were not all smart.

Any normal person would’ve taken time to heal before returning to public life. Me? No, I had to prove my worth. And thoughts are crappy things when you believe they are really you. My mind was alive and kicking before I could even take a step. Fueled by a hospital IV line of morphine, tap, tap, tap, it rang. Just accept you’re a broken body. You’ll never walk again.

Outside rumors fueled the agony. “She’ll never be the same. She’s a goner now, out of our way.” I didn’t know any better then and responded inside, Screw you and screw that. Hey! Watch me now. I’ll get back on my feet again, just like my daddy did.

Plus, an innocent kid was still behind bars, and I was still free.

Sure enough, my body got up and walked again. Years of hard work brought prestigious titles, awards, and accolades. Then I ended up in the arms of the most powerful man in the State of California. But none of that erased the fact that I was struggling deep inside. I was so gravely ill-prepared for all that would happen in my life next.

Tragedy after tragedy hit, back-to-back, and out of the blue. Death and trauma reared their ugly heads, and I never could seem to catch up. Perfect fodder for a sociopath and highly addictive drug, I fell into a swamp of terror and saw absolutely no way out.

Worse, the press marred the truth and turned my agony into a scandal. The system denied justice and the hell only continued. Shame consumed my entire being and I nearly let it kill me too. All connection back to the truth within was stuffed down deep and forgotten. Once the “up-and-comer,” my life became treatment, jail, and hospitalizations. Bumps and falls, hopes and gains, the road to recovery was filled with challenges.

All along there you were, dear Son, waiting for Mommy to get better. To say I am sorry will never be enough. All I can do is strive to give you a healthier parent and the things I have learned today.

It was only in you that hope and commitment remained.

It was only through you that I could barely breathe again.

It was only from you that I saw glimpses of that home within.

It saved my life in the darkest hour, as I cried on my knees.

Please, oh please, please, infinite one, please show me how to live. I’ve tried so hard. I’ve tried so long. I’ve tried every possible way. Please take away this shame and pain. My children need me thriving again. Please show me the truth of what I am, please bring me back to that home within for them.

And there “It” came, dear Son, to break down the chains. I saw what was real, illusions erased. “It” whispered so gently, Wipe your tears now. Get back on your feet. Your true self and home are right there within you. Step by step, walk again. Remember, you did it before. This time, remember there are lights along the way always there to guide you. It’s time to free yourself now, dear, just like you did for that kid back then.

Everything changed. A seven-year journey came to an end. Another phase of life began, thankfully now in wholehearted living.

Dear Son,

Please stay here with me,

knowing the one and only truth within.

We are infinite beings of love, light, and warmth,

that nothing can change or hide.

It is here where your true self remains the same,

no matter what anyone says or does.

It is here where your life’s challenges

hold purpose and beautiful rhythm.

And it is here, dear Son, where we first met,

and will forever hold hands in time.


Nadia Davis is a mom, attorney, victims’ rights advocate, kundalini yoga instructor, and author of Home Is Within You: A Memoir of Recovery and Redemption. She is a survivor of trauma and abuse, of a near fatal car accident, of addiction, and of public shaming.

Nadia has a lifetime record of passionate work and of dedication to improving the lives of others, and she has received numerous awards. She is most well known as the attorney who fought tirelessly to free Arthur Carmona, an innocent victim wrongfully accused and jailed for a crime he didn’t commit. She is developing a nonprofit to support mothers in the justice system and to end the public shaming and stigma they face for struggling with addiction and mental health. Nadia has a BA from UCLA and a JD from Loyola Law School.

Find her at


An excerpt from Home Is Within You by Nadia Davis, published by Girl Friday Books. Copyright © 2023 by Nadia Davis.


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