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Be a woman who empowers, uplifts your peers

I have never been the type of person to think much of myself. I am sure I could attribute this to low self-esteem or lived experience. The thought that I could be powerful only crossed my mind while playing superheroes as a child. When I became a Peer Support specialist, I was surrounded by women who seemed to have magic inside them. The way they walked, talked and carried themselves was like watching an action movie. These women broke down barriers. They lived lives that forced the narrative of stigma to be rewritten. They shattered the silence left from feeling unheard, unvalued and unimportant. These women seemed to battle villains I had not yet found the courage to overcome.

I found myself gravitating to them to hear what they had to say. The open conversations about getting help, having support and acknowledging the struggles of life all came from those interactions. Their stories never made my problems feel small or minute, but instead empowered me to be bigger and stronger and to overcome the challenges I faced, like my sleep pattern being a wreck or life’s responsibilities becoming too heavy to carry. Motherhood no longer sounded like a vast, lonely wilderness when they explained their struggles. They never once made those problems look like anthills. These remarkable women taught me to climb mountains, fight villains in the shape of addiction and become vulnerable — the most courageous thing you can be. 

They are superheroes with the power to change lives. Learning from them empowered me, and now, I empower others. It’s a ripple effect that I hope never ends. Strong women, who may not even feel like they have such power, are the reason I am here. They paved a path of acceptance, compassion and resiliency. The women of Peer Support made seeking help possible by meeting individuals where they are when they need them most without shame, guilt or judgment. They called me Wonder Woman, and although I felt like the one who needed saving, they unleashed the power within me to bravely stay and fight daily. The women of Peer Support showed me that strength lies within leaning on others. And thanks to that, I will continue to share love, light and the power given to me by the women who walked the path before me. 

Natalie Moore is a certified peer support specialist and WRAP (wellness recovery action plan) facilitator with the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi. Reach her at

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