Safe Harbor Programs
My recovery with you has been life changing. It has been an awesome transformation from darkness and despair to beauty and life. At SHP, I found what I so desperately needed–a safe place to open my heart, and a comforting place to explore my feelings and search my soul.
It was so wonderful to finally feel understood again. Your support team has such a great understanding of the disorder and the suffering that lies behind it. The various programs made it so much easier to re-connect with myself. Between art classes, group and individual sessions, I stopped feeling so lost and lonely, and I started feeling whole again. When I started the program, my heart ached. Now, my heart feels warm and I’m able to smile again (a real smile–the kind that comes from deep within).
At SHP, I learned how to love again. I learned how to believe in myself again. And most of all, I remembered how blissful it is to be alive. For everything you’ve given me (including a second chance), thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I decided to come to Safe Harbor because, the very thing that gave me a sense of control, had taken total control of me. I felt trapped and couldn’t see a way out. Every ounce of energy I had went into the disorder, and I was desperate. I didn’t want to give anymore of my years to a disease that had already stolen so much from me.
Safe Harbor has helped my recovery process in so many ways. The team of therapists and dietician focus on healing the whole person, not merely the symptoms of an eating disorder. This coupled with the groups and the art therapy, has helped create a wonderful launching pad to facilitate lifelong healing and recovery, and has paved the way for a much brighter and free future.
Denise Age 29
“I have taken off my armor. I can feel the sting of every arrow and the heat from every blast. But I am not dying. No, I am living.”
I wrote these words in my journal on the last day of the Intensive Outpatient Program at Safe Harbor. It felt like graduation. There were so many confusing emotions; things I hadn’t allowed myself to really feel in ages. I felt liberated yet trapped, right but somehow wrong. It was heart-wrenching but hopeful. I felt ready and expectant. It is often terrifying, but this is what recovery has to feel like. The easier option would be to run back to my eating disorder. Getting better always seems scarier than staying sick. But to cling to an eating disorder is to cling to false hope, and to cling to death.
It’s been a long process, longer than I want to admit sometimes. It requires great patience. But there will come a moment when recovery belongs to you, and you choose it, all on your own. It may be a life-long process — my Achilles’ heel of sorts. But I will get through it as a survivor, not a victim. Right now I feel like a young child, learning how to walk, and experiencing the world for the first time. I take a deep breath; take another step forward, despite the warnings exploding in my head. Holding fast to courage. Before I know it, I’m turning around and thinking, “What took me so long?”
The counseling, support, and encouragement I’ve received at Safe Harbor have been amazing and I am so grateful for the growth I’ve experienced here.
J, age 25