This study explored seven Canadian women’s journeys of healing from problematic substance use in relation to their experiences of social, political, economic and health inequities. Critical feminist methodology clarified the gendered nature of power in modern society and the social construction of gender in women’s relationships. A composite of women’s narratives demonstrated how disruption to family cohesiveness as well as an array of physical, psychological, social or spiritual abuse contributed to women’s altered sense of self and resultant shame, damaged self esteem and diminished self confidence. Women also uncovered their incredible strengths and resilience as well as their abilities to embrace health and wellness. Academically this study exemplified emancipatory nursing practice as a grassroots relational approach promoting women’s health through awareness, self-discovery and ongoing community involvement.