Hi, I haven’t looked at the blog in awhile, but it is so good to hear from people! I was at safe back in sept; I can’t believe it is April already. Wow. I remember while I was inpatient reading letters alumni had written to encourage new people in the program. I kept reading that SAFE was the first step on the journey towards healing. I remember thinking, “I plan on being done with SI and to be on the easier side of the healing journey when I leave SAFE.” Deciding to come to SAFE (and staying the whole 30 days) WAS one of the hardest things I have ever done. I have realized, though, that it was just ONE step in the MIDDLE of my journey to be whole, neither the beginning nor the end. The last 6 months I have had to fight for my life like never before. I never imagined I would have to fight this hard; I never imagined I would be strong or courageous enough to continue to fight and be here today. Somehow, by the grace of God and the grace of other people (including SAFE staff and friends) I have made it one day at a time, one step at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. I have not SIed in 4 weeks. It’s sort of disappointing that it has not been 2 months or 6 months, considering how much I have invested in being free from SI. But, I hear that steps backwards are a part of the process!

I just never imagined the path my life would take after leaving SAFE. I have been through hell, I think almost literally, but I am still here. Even though the pain overwhelms me so often and it feels like it hurts to just exist, I know that every time I use words instead of SI and speak outloud the secrets I have kept hidden for so long I am becoming more and more free. It’s a strange paradox. Maybe you just have to experience it to understand. I don’t always believe this – but tonight I do – and I would just tell everyone: the pain will subdue in time, it might be a long time, but when it does (even if it’s just a little) the peace inside and glimpse of freedom is worth it. I listen to this song over and over sometimes that says “No more sorrow, no more pain / I will rise on eagles’ wings / Before my God fall on my knees / And rise / I will rise” (chris tomlin).

There will be a day when all will be made right, we will be whole, our pain will not define us, we will have words for what is inside of us, and we will rise. Until then, we have to fight, put one more foot forward, and lean on our friends’ hope when we can’t find ours. At least that’s what I’ve found to keep me alive and fighting the last 6 months. If I can do this, I know you can too.