Your SAFETY FIRST! plan starts with three parts Awareness, Assessment and Action. Ensuring your safety first requires that you be Aware of situations that present danger or risk - both to yourself (in terms of the degree of risk you can tolerate) and to others (in the event that you have thoughts of killing or harming another person), and that you take appropriate steps to protect both yourself and others. Once you have identified dangers and risks and recognize the signals that your body and mind send out in response to these stimuli, you need to Assess why these signals are being triggered. What in your current environment is bringing these responses to the foreground? After connecting the cause (the triggering event, sign or behavior) with the effect (the signal or response), you will need to take Action in a way that restores a sense of safety both for you and for others around you.

Having this structure in mind and readily accessible as you live your daily life is essential to understanding and interrupting the destructive patterns of the past and replacing them with more healthy patterns. Remember that breaking the old habits based on unconscious scripts linked to your abuse means overcoming the tendency to do the same old (familiar) thing. At first it takes more energy to change, but it gets easier with practice and success.

Print the Awareness, Assessment, and Action sheets on pages 20, 21, and 22 to help you with this process.

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Survivor to Thriver, Page 19
© 2007 THE MORRIS CENTER, Revised 11/06