Success stories

Triumphing over their illness is one of the hardest things that someone who suffers from an eating disorder can do. But it is possible, and it is most definitely worth it. At Imani we have faith that with determination and honest work, our clients can successfully enter recovery and live their best and most fulfilling lives.

We have this strong belief because we’ve seen peoples’ lives transformed with the gifts of recovery many times. Some of our past clients share their success stories here, to show how possible and wonderful the healing journey has been for them – just as it is both possible and wonderful for you.

“I’ve always had reservations with the business of recovery in Cape Town. It’s hard to trust that anyone has your best interests at heart what with the high turnaround of clients in the numerous treatment facilities in and around the city. When I found myself at Imani’s front door, bag in hand, I was broken and truly desperate for help. I was met with love, compassion and understanding. Reassured that life was going to get better if I was prepared to put in a little effort. I found structure here, a sense of belonging and access to a wealth of information and experience. Imani fast became my home, the first I’d had in years, and my time there was nothing if not life changing.” – David C

“I came to somewhere focused on ED treatment because having been in primary for addiction, I found that my ED could not be treated or managed in the same way.

I needed care and support of people who knew about ED so that I could not slip back into old behaviours. I wanted to be exposed to other people with ED who wanted recovery and with whom I could relate to, people who battled with the same things I did on a daily basis and understood the very specific insanities of my thoughts and habits around food.

I needed groups and therapy specifically orchestrated to bring down the walls that my ED had built up around me and to help me start to see myself in a different way. In other addiction centres certain rituals and ED habits around my food had gone undetected but these were keeping me enslaved.

I chose to go to an ED specific centre like Imani so that I could be given the specific tools needed to break these habits, and in doing so break free from my ED.” – Anorexic 25

“Being at Imani gave me a safe space to begin fully dealing with the underlying issues of my addiction and eating disorder. Imani helped me implement structure, and develop a balanced daily routine, which I carry through to my everyday life. I began to form healthy relationships for the first time and learned about the importance of trusting myself and the boundaries I set. The counselling team assisted me with my family interactions and taught me valuable coping mechanisms to deal with tough situations. Imani literally gave me my life back and I am forever grateful.– Tamara (Eating disorder)

“I was referred to Imani by my counsellor from an addiction treatment centre where I had landed up in desperation after my fourth alcohol and drug relapse. I had spent 4 years in the rooms of AA, NA and OA and would have periods of clean time, but I could never find lasting abstinence. My biggest struggle was with my eating disorder, which completely ruled my life and had me at the point where I felt recovery from it was impossible for me.

At Imani I was introduced to a loving and sustainable way of eating, which I found hard to adapt to at first, but with all the help from the staff and other patients, I was able to get through my initial fears and obstacles in a safe and nurturing environment. The programme helped me to start facing myself and the real issues underlying my eating disorder behaviours and attitudes. I completely trusted the highly competent staff who challenged me when I was stuck in self destructive patterns and nurtured and built me up when I needed it.

I have been for some time now on my eating disorder and coping with huge changes in my life, thanks to the solid foundation of recovery and ongoing support given to me by the people at Imani.” – Anonymous

“I remember coming into Imani and being so sure that I would only be staying for two weeks. I ended up staying for four months. In that time I went from being sure I could not be helped to being sure I could be if I was open to it. I began to see what was possible. It all grows more every day, the longer I stay connected and committed. I learn more about myself and how I want to make my way in the world. And really, that all started when I came into recovery, which started when I came into Imani.

I needed help learning how to face and deal with things in my past and with life in general. I was shown a way that worked for me and helped me to do it. I felt held as I learned and unpacked. It was often painful and still is, but with the support I received – and still receive – I have been able to keep going. Often stumbling but still going forward. I feel so grateful for this journey, challenging as it is. For me it has been so worthwhile. I think about how much I have been able to gain and grow and I am almost moved to tears.” – Kyla

“Over the years I have had repeated hospital admissions, constantly going in and out and never getting anywhere in this revolving door. I was desperate. My family was desperate. I needed therapy rather than simply re-feeds. After 17 years of illness, I needed a more long-term treatment. This was not available on the NHS and private was just not a possibility. I was written off as a ‘chronic’ case and switched to a more palliative type of care.

I gave up hope.

Then something in my mind told me to give it one last chance. I came out to South Africa and have been in intense treatment for 15 months now. In this facility I found hope, kindness and nurturing. Here were people who specialized in ED and some who had also experienced them, working hand in hand with me, slowly and incredibly patiently to get me where I am today.

My journey to recovery is by no means over yet but now I can see a future. I have dreams. And no tube-feeding was involved. I cannot express my gratitude enough.

I have my life back.” – Kath W

“We know that recovery is not easy. But we also know that it’s worth it.”