I came into Montrose desperate and wounded by my eating disorder. I was relieved that I was finally able to get help. I was scared but motivated to recover. The first few weeks were difficult as I struggled to share what my troubles were but the team continued to persevere and eventually, I started to trust the process.
Some of the things I've learned about recovery is that recovery is for everyone, it's non-judgemental and it is always ready to welcome me with open arms. It requires hard work and teamwork. I cannot do recovery alone. My advice to newcomers and those still suffering is to be as honest as possible so that you can be helped and supported in your healing journey. This was not easy to do at first but the more I did it, the easier it became.
I'm grateful that I was given, and gave myself the opportunity to face the destructive voice in my head, dig deep into myself and learn to cope with my feelings in healthy ways. I'm thankful that I could do this with a community that were brave enough to trust, risk and share their experience and hope.
After seven weeks of the programme, I have a much better understanding of my eating disorder, underlying issues, and tools to help me move forward in recovery. I appreciated the carefully thought out balance of lectures, therapy and exposure sessions and time set aside to process my thoughts and feelings on my own and with others. This would not have been possible without the care and compassion shown to me by the team, the staff and my fellow residents.
I'm coming to believe that I can love again, not just those around me but most importantly, love myself. I think the only way that I can thank Montrose without saying "thank you", is to enjoy the freedom that comes with recovery by being present in life, sharing my joys and struggles at Aftercare and letting go of my eating disorder.
Nicole (Cape Town)