A Resilient Journey to Joy

Note: The following post mentions thoughts of suicide. If you or someone you know needs 24/7 immediate support, call 1-844-493-TALK (8255), text TALK to 38255 or visit the Walk-In Center at 4353 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver. For more information and additional locations: coloradocrisisservices.orgFor support outside Colorado, call 988.

Jesse’s weight of despair was so heavy that it led him to a mental health crisis where he contemplated heading towards the edge of a building with thoughts of ending it all.

Yet, in that pivotal moment, he made a choice to rewrite the narrative and called for help.

Jesse spent 72 hours at the Denver Health psychiatric ward. Upon his release, he was connected with a WellPower case manager who became the beacon of light guiding him toward recovery. Case Managers at WellPower provide comprehensive psychological and behavioral case management services designed to help facilitate recovery and succeed in the community.  

Together Jesse and his case manager addressed his immediate needs including creating a safety plan to assist him with steps to take if he experienced suicidal thoughts. Additionally, the case manager connected Jesse with a therapist and psychiatrist, forming a comprehensive support system to help address the underlying conditions of his struggles, including a decade-long battle with addiction.

Finding Fellowship

However, it was the connection to WellPower’s Adult Resource Center that proved to the be key player in Jesse’s recovery. The Adult Resource Center provides food, clothing, hygiene products, books, activities and more to the people we serve. It was there that Jesse discovered a new world of possibilities. After living a lonely existence, the fellowship offered at the Adult Resource Center was crucial to rebuilding his life.

Jesse jumped into as much as possible at the Resource Center – playing bingo, participating in fitness classes, meditation groups, utilizing the food bank and experiencing the joy of picking out his own clothes for the first time in decades. “It sounds small but for someone in my position, being able to pick out my own clothes was a blessing,” commented Jesse.

From Pain to Purpose

Motivated by community support and newfound purpose, Jesse seized an opportunity to apply for the vocational trainee program at the Adult Resource Center. “I spent all day asking the floor counselors if they needed help and if I could volunteer,” Jesse said. “I ended up applying for the vocational trainee program even though all I wanted was to return the gift that was given to me.”

For the first time in over a decade, Jesse is employed and thriving.

The supportive community at the Adult Resource Center has become Jesse’s anchor. He has learned the power of connecting with others and finding joy in being relied upon. His workplace, free of judgement and stigma, provides an environment where he can thrive. “I think everyone I work with knows my story, they know about my drug history and my experience with houselessness,” Jesse said. “But they still opened opportunities for me. It helped me not to place stigma on myself, if others don’t place that on me, I don’t have to either. I felt free to succeed and move forward from my past.”

Jesse also found programs at WellPower’s Next Chapter (formerly 2Succeed) that have been essential for his well-being. NextChapter is a WellPower employment and education training program that acts as a bridge to the greater community. Jesse has participated in math and art classes as well as the group outings that are arranged around town. “I have loved taking the art classes at NextChapter,” said Jesse. “When you are just trying to survive day-to-day, art isn’t something you can even be able to entertain the idea of.”

Emerging from the Chrysalis

Jesse has boldly embraced uncertainly, taking leaps of faith and willingly walking through each open door that has presented itself to him. “I have been sleeping on someone’s couch for eight years,” commented Jesse. “And in all honesty, I accepted the idea that I was just going to die an unaccomplished drug addict and did not think there would be anyway out of that.”

Today Jesse has no fear about his future because of what he has gained from WellPower and the inner strength and hope to know that wherever he does from here, he will do his best. He has actively sought out opportunities that guide him towards change and growth.

“Even though I didn’t jump off the building, I still feel like that person passed away that day,” said Jesse. “Life has been different; it’s as if I shed all the baggage I have been carrying around my whole life and emerged as someone new.”