I’ve been doing this peer advocacy thing for about eight years. It’s been rough going at times, mind-bogglingly frustrating at others, and there have been numerous times (sadly) where I lost my way, I lost my faith, and I lost my passion.

And then there are those in my life who were more than guiding presences, they helped me see the good being done around me and my part in the good. I came to believe in myself again because without saying the words they believed in me wholly and without question. Because they loved me, I learned to love myself once again, and my peer advocacy reflected just this.

In my recovery journey, these two women have had such a lasting, nurturing impact on my life and my peer advocacy, more than anyone. This is why I will always love Carlee Bennett Philpot and Clare Clarissa Nina Castellano.

One year ago I was honored by the State of New Mexico with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation in Behavioral Health.

Thank you, Hua Hua and Duckee. Who you are helped me want to be more. My success is yours.