I wanted to take the time to share with all of you about my past year.  My name is Sharon.  I attended SAFE during October/November of 2007.  My last injury occurred before entering the program in late September.  I have officially reached my one year anniversary of graduating SAFE.

There have been many complications, set-backs, and unexpected trials during the last year.  However, I would like to share with everyone that as a self injurer, we always, always, have choices.  I have chosen not to step backward and physically injure myself.  I have chosen to face each day as it comes–sometimes moment by moment.  I can tell all of you are are currently still injury…  YOU CAN FREE YOURSELF.  Do not be bound by your past, your fears, your emotions.  Let them out of the darkness and into the light where they can be looked at critically yet honestly.  We all have the power within ourselves to heal ourselves.  Tears can heal and cleanse us.  Anger can motivate us and move us forward.  Shame can reveal to us our fears, insecurities, and secrets.  But we no longer have to live in fear.  We no longer have to keep secrets.  We are our own protectors, guides, and safekeepers.  We need not rely on the maladaptive coping mechanism we call self injury.  It hurts us in more ways than the physical marks it scars us with.  It needs to go.

Have no room in your life for self injury.  Yes.  You will think of it.  But thoughts cannot hurt you.  Actions hurt you.  Don’t let your thoughts of SI become actions.  Stop it is its tracks.  Do whatever works for you.  Toss out your tools, make a pact with yourself, your friend, your family member, your therapist… or even an invisible, caring loving friend.  Reach out when you don’t want to… it will get easier every time that you do.

Keep a routine or schedule for your life.  However, do not go overboard and plan everything down to the minute.  Just have a rough idea of what you are supposed to do everyday…. and make sure that you leave time for something fun, rejuvinating, and uplifting.  To me, that makes a great deal of difference.

To all of my friends, I thank you for your long term support.  To the staff at UBH Denton, I salute you.  To all of the women and men who can gone before me, I thank you for the hope you left behind.  And to the many more who will seek help, I send you my love, my thoughts, and my undying wish that we all become–and maintain–lives that are self injury free.

Thanks for listening.