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Building Hope from the Ground Up

September, 25, 2023 / by Victor Staff

young woman looking into the sunset

In the realm of human psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a well-established framework that has helped us understand the stages of human development and fulfillment. The foundation of this pyramid of needs begins with essentials like food, shelter, and safety. It’s this very foundation that provides the stable ground upon which individuals can embark on journeys of healing, growth, and self-discovery.

Sam’s journey demonstrates that this solid footing is not only a catalyst of transformation for oneself but can also multiply to inspire hope in others. Her inspirational story and pursuit of wellness and hope also highlights the transformative power of Victor's Transitional Age Youth program and services.

The Start

Sam came to Victor seeking support struggling with a mood disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Her journey began with a great deal of difficulty, both physically and emotionally. Simple tasks that most take for granted, like paying for gas or going to a store, were overwhelming due to the severe impact of her symptoms and anxiety. She was facing daily battles that left her feeling isolated and afraid.

When Sam joined Victor's program, she was motivated but found difficulty piecing together the tools needed for her wellness journey. The lack of stable housing made every aspect of her life more challenging. Then Sam was connected with Rebecca, one of our dedicated clinicians.

A Transformation Unfolds

Rebecca began working with Sam and their journey together was nothing short of inspiring. To accommodate Sam's needs, Rebecca was able to schedule evening appointments. It wasn't just a job for Rebecca; it was a commitment to helping someone truly dedicated to their own growth.

Sam's determination shone through every challenge she faced. She started experiencing stability in her life when she secured stable housing, and it was the turning point. With this newfound stability, Sam was able to see how the pieces of her life fit together.

Nature, art, music, mindfulness, and meditation were her passions, and they became essential tools in her wellness journey. Rebecca and Sam worked together using metaphors and self-reflection to help her recognize the potential within herself.

The Aha Moment

Approximately a year into her program, Sam had her "aha" moment. She started to see her own growth, both physically and emotionally. The way she carried herself changed, and she embraced the process of gradual, mindful change. It became clear to her that wellness and recovery were not quick fixes, but lifelong journeys filled with small victories and occasional setbacks.

Rebecca celebrated every step of the way, highlighting Sam's progress, no matter how small it may have seemed. The impact was profound, and Sam realized that seeking help and embracing the journey was not a sign of weakness but a testament to her strength.

A Letter of Hope

In Sam's own words, she wrote a heartfelt letter to people who might be hesitant to seek help, who might not know where to start or what to expect. She wanted to destigmatize seeking assistance for mental health challenges and to provide hope to those who needed it.

Her letter below encourages others to take that first step, just as she did, and to understand that the journey to wellness is a series of small changes done mindfully. She wanted to normalize the idea that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can benefit from support and that it's okay to have bad days.

I’m not quite sure where to start.

When I first came here, I felt as though I didn’t want to exist, waking up and starting a new day
felt like a punishment. Honestly, scared and hopeless, that’s how I lived my life. Like my entire life has been endlessly walking on eggshells and feeling as though every little drop of anguish was an entire downpour.

From where I started to where I am now has been quite the journey of ups and downs. But with the support and understanding I felt from the interactions I’ve had here, I realized I want to live.

After my first month here, of finally taking steps to become myself, I realized I was tired of grieving in advance and anticipating pain. After months of self-reflection and self-care I felt for the first time in my life, love for myself.

I cannot possibly explain how grateful I am for every interaction I was able to have here. Through the support of the people here I was able to be me.

Here I am small and can be quite weary and I suppose you don’t really know me soul-to-soul, and this is past long winded and makes little sense…

But listen…read…please remember that we are quite brilliant and capable, we have and carry so much radiance inside us. We can do anything! I hope one day in time every one of us can feel it unabashedly.

From when I started to where I am now, feels so greatly immeasurable. Like a deep breath that fills your lungs with the air you thought you couldn’t find and resonates like the kiss of warm summer sun on your skin.

I hope you will find it and feel at home too.

I hope that if you can’t yet see, you could find the strength to try.

We may be small compared to life, but here gives us a chance to see that we have a love so radiant that every star in the sky can feel it.

I’m quite sure I would not have felt this all by myself, to have found such care and support, I am thankful.

I’m not sure how to end this so...

Thank you.

Looking Ahead

As Sam turns 25, she’s ready to embrace her future with newfound confidence, and her story has inspired hope not only in herself but also in others in her community, especially within the Native American community, where mental health challenges often go untreated.

Sam's experience is a testament to Victor's commitment to excellence and its ability to transform lives. Our programs are designed to provide individualized, community-based, and strength-based support that genuinely changes lives. We celebrate Sam's success and look forward to continuing to inspire hope in countless other individuals and families throughout California.

Join Us on the Journey

If you or someone you know is seeking support, remember that it's never too late to take that first step toward a brighter future. At Victor, we believe in the power of relationships, results, and resilience. We invite you to join us on this journey towards sustained improvement in the lives of those we touch.

Together, we can inspire hope, embrace growth, and celebrate success. Contact us today and become a part of the Victor community, where every individual is given the best chance possible for success.


*All names have been changed to respect the privacy of the staff and client


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Topics: Therapeutic Behavior Services, Staff Stories

Victor Staff

Written by Victor Staff

Victor Blog:

This blog is a place to share our Victor stories, events, highlight employees and celebrate the success we see in our communities!

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