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“S” Is For Safety

By March 22, 2018May 15th, 2020No Comments

“Dear 2016 Chloe,

You are probably wondering how in the world you are getting a letter from 2018! I’m Chloe from the future and here to warn you about the place you are in right now. And before you even think you are fine and know what you’re doing, you don’t! You are on a path of destruction. You are unsafe and not healthy…”

Before Chloe graduates her treatment program in Utah, she is required to complete seven compentencies of SUCCESS. The SUCCESS program is comprised of 84 individual skills which are reviewed weekly by a treatment team of clinical psychologists, therapists, the nurse, educational director and staff supervisors. There are 12 skills per competency that need to be mastered before a girl is allowed to develop and present a project to the treatment team.

During the past few months, Chloe has been working hard to earn her letters and is striving for the final phase of her program in which she earns back her phone usage. The first letter she completed in the program was “S,” which is for “Safety.” The beginning of this post is part of her project – a letter from her future self to her former self. It continues:

“…But your future is gonna get better. You will go to a school called Maple Lake. You will learn to be safe here by building trust with others, not lying, eating healthy and no drugs. You are getting the things you need in a positive way and getting therapy. You learn vital safety skills here and are okay with learning new things. You have gained the trust of others and you have no idea what warm feelings you’ve gained until you experience them yourself. Take this information seriously. Because it will change your life.

Love, Yourself”

I am so proud of Chloe. The wisdom and insight she has developed about herself and others makes me grateful every day. She has developed skills that most adults don’t possess, much less teenagers. We could probably all learn a thing or two about communication and self awareness from Chloe!

The second part of her project for Safety was a letter from her future self to herself in present day.

“Hey current me! How is the present?

I am in the future and things are awesome. I’ve made friends, built trust and I’ve gone home. I have graduated high school and am driving!

I have managed to stay out of drama and am not on Facebook anymore. Those safety skills are coming in handy. You have a lot of trust with your parents and sister…oh, and by the way, your relationship with your sister is awesome! I don’t know what to tell you other than your life is awesome, even with a few small bumps.

Just make sure you talk!!!! Your power to speak wisely will help you with some hards things and help others. See you soon!

Love, Yourself”

Andrea Berryman Childreth

Author Andrea Berryman Childreth

Andrea Berryman Childreth is an award-winning author of the book, ON THE EDGE: Help and hope for parenting children with mental illness, founder of The Lemonade Project, advocate and parent coach. She has first-hand experience with parenting a mentally ill daughter and has struggled with mental illness, herself. Her goal is to help empower people to openly share their stories and improve access to equitable mental health services.

More posts by Andrea Berryman Childreth

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