I can remember first walking into Montrose Manor, terrified and broken with no idea what to expect. After over 10 years of living with an eating disorder, I knew it was time to try and let it go for good and I had heard that Montrose Manor was my best bet to help me over-come my biggest fears.

I was welcomed with open arms by the community and the team. I was in a bit of a daze from the flight and from being in the depths of my eating disorder and felt very overwhelmed, but being greeted by friendly faces and arriving in the beautiful scenery and peaceful energy surrounding Montrose Manor made a huge difference.

My first weeks at Montrose Manor were certainly a struggle as I was slowly trying to let go of control and learning to trust those around me, but there was constant support and I never felt alone. The nurses and team were always there to pick me up when I felt that my pain would never end.

Slowly after a few weeks of being on the programme, things started to shift. With the use of the tools we were being taught and my 1:1 sessions with my counsellor and the dietician, hope started to emerge and I no longer woke up with the fear and shame I was so used to. With the help of the community and the weekly community outings in beautiful Cape Town, I learnt how to properly laugh again and feel genuine happiness. Living in the community also helped me learn how to love and build close bonds & relationships I never thought possible.

Montrose Manor has taught me more than I knew possible. It has definitely not been an easy journey, and I had buttons pushed that I didn’t even know existed, but without the struggles, I wouldn’t be where I am today, feeling more free of my eating disorder than I even believed possible, and with a feeling of self-worth and self-love.

I am desperately sad to be leaving the nest of Montrose Manor which has become my safe place, but with everything I have learnt from the Team and community I feel more ready than ever to go out and live the life that I deserve, the life free from the monster that is my eating disorder and I am filled with excitement and gratitude for my life that lies ahead.

It’s safe to say that Montrose Manor has saved my life.

Tally – UK – 2016