“Today is a big day for me. I’m moving on to the next step of my journey to recovery. Whilst this is a huge achievement it is also a very sad day, because I am leaving Cortijo Care. The place that has been a ‘home from home’ to me over the past three months.
I came here because my amazing therapist Alex threw me a lifeline when I found myself emotionally shattered. Only very special people can do what Alex does; and that is to give people hope when they have none. There are many words that my family and I could use to show her our appreciation; caring, nurturing, insightful, professional. These words however do not do her justice. Her abilities to understand, empathise and to get to the true essence of a person are rare in the world. She has maintained, what I see, as an unbreakable connection with integrity and trust. She is a credit to herself, to Cortijo Care and to her profession. I cannot thank her enough for what she has done for me and what she continues to do. My family and I love her and are indebted to her for being the incredible woman that she is.
Gemma and Hannah have supported me when I had no internal support from within myself. You have made me feel as if I am part of a family by getting to know me so very well, sharing in my sadness and joy and leading the way when I didn’t know if I could take a step further. You have honoured me with your own truths and generously given me your time when you didn’t have to. Thank you, and thank you also to Bill and Jill who have gone out of their way to share their love with me and allowing me to experience life outside the centre in my second spiritual home; Costa Cosmetica. 🙂
Belen, your unwavering smile and positivity etches a enduring sense of hospitality throughout the house. Thank you for your sunny disposition and ability to make me always feel at home. Antonio, your gardens extend the warmth of the house into the beautiful outdoors. Their calming beauty make the grounds feel like such a special sanctuary.
Thank you to Gini and Patrick for your flexibility and warmth. Again you have gone out of your way to ensure that my stay has been as stress free as possible and that makes such a difference when the focus should, quite rightly, be on recovery. The business side hums quietly in the background and allows your clients to continue to with their focus on recovery. No mean feat, but expertly done.
Keith – thank you for your culinary comforts. Your chocolate mousse is the best and, if we’re being honest, is down to me because I asked for it and it has become the most popular dish in the house. I think that warrants me to have the recipe please?! 🙂
Finally, to the wonderful Caroline and her dream team… The nurses here are on the front line day in day out and I’ve experienced first-hand their compassion, skill and professionalism. Sometimes the lowest parts of the week can be the evenings and weekends. This is often when I have needed an extra crutch. I’m not sure if I’ve let many of you escape the clutches of ‘Belles Beauty’, but thank you for patiently sitting whilst I take my anxiety out on your hair, nails, eyelashes and eyebrows! Well above the call of duty but always so generously given. You have held my hand whilst I’ve cried, hugged me when I’ve been sad and laughed with me with a humanity that makes me feel like a person and not a walking illness. You are kind, brave and wonderful people.
The rarity of this place stems from its attitude. You have cared for me with your hearts and not just your minds. All of you have picked me up from some of the most frightening and lowest moments of my life with tenderness and celebrated my progress, even if has been just one inch.
I used to work in a place that didn’t care very much about the quality of their clients lives. I would commute with a heavy of heart because I often wondered if I was making any sort of difference to the world. Please know from my experience that every single one of you, too many to mention by name (OK, Raquel, Patricia, Alicia number 1 and 2, Christina 1 and 2, Javier, Steven, Antonia, Anna…), all of you have gone above and beyond for me and there are no words to express my gratitude for making such a huge and wonderful impact on my life; saved it, supported it and nurtured it until I was strong enough to feel my own essence; something I have struggled with all my life. Few people in the world have the right to say that they make a positive difference to people’s lives. Each and everyone one of you at Cortijo have that right. Feel proud, you deserve every blessing life can give because of who you are and what you do.
I always wanted a guardian angel and yet only knew I had one when all I thought was left for me was to take my own life. It picked me up, and, eventually it brought me here. All of you are like guardian angels and I thank God for carrying me here because you make me feel like it’s Ok to be me. And that is the most precious gift I or anyone else could ever receive. Thank you. All my love and gratitude, Claire xx”
‘To the entire Cortijo Care team – From the moment I arrived, I was welcomed here with such warmth and kindness from everyone. Never had I felt so much love and sincere compassion from a group of people who didn’t even know me. I started my journey here scared and desperate, but everyone made me feel so at ease and comfortable that I came to see you all as my family. You helped me find my inner strength, and for the first time in my life I feel ready to take on the world with complete confidence. You have shown me how to love and accept myself, and for that I can’t thank you all enough. You will forever hold a special place in my heart that no one can ever take away, and I am truly grateful that I had the opportunity and pleasure to get to know each and every one of you. This has been an amazing journey for me, and I can’t imagine having gone through it anywhere else but here. I will forever think of you all every step of the way during this next chapter in my life, and I know I can reach my dreams and goals because of the strength you have given me. From the bottom of my heart I thank each and every one of you, and I genuinely love you all for showing me so much positivity, gentleness, and love throughout my stay. You guys have a truly amazing team, and I’m so happy my life brought me here to you. I wouldn’t have changed a thing for the world. Sincerely, Mo Zaatar, Los Angeles’ (May 2014)
“Dear Cortijo employees, associates and management! I’d like to express my feelings of utmost relief towards ALL of you who has made this journey of mine becoming healthy again with medication and Dr. Jaime Galan’s effort and expertise! I have never experienced a psychiatrist that has such passion for what he does! His long nights and days work taking care of multiple and various patients of all walks of life. As I’m writing this….tears are filling my eyes as I know being discharged is around the corner! Thank you for believing in me to pull through thank you for my rocks and anchors here giving me hope everyday! I don’t want to mention names here but YOU know who you are! I have gratitude towards all of you putting up with me when I was at such a bad place upon arrival and it turned out to be the best days of my life knowing that this time round I’m fully equipped with what I need to do to recognize the safe place as well as the red flags. I believe one of my dreams came true as I know I can face this big or small world out there again with no anxiety whatsoever. If only we can live in dreams, if only we can make of life what in dreams it seems, but in the real world there are things that we can’t change and something’s come to us in ways that we can’t rearrange! I shall certainly miss you ALL. Love, Janine” (September, 2014)
“I would like to say how I appreciated my time at Cortijo Care. I wasn’t able to stay long as an in patient but the wonderful care of the team, in particular my fantastic therapist Alex, whom I cannot praise highly enough, really started me on my road to recovery. I must also highly praise Hannah the key worker and in fact the kindness and care of all the medical and psychiatric staff. I am extremely lucky to live near the clinic which gave me the opportunity to see Alex for one to one sessions and also to attend group therapy. Dr Galan the psychiatrist must also be mentioned as I found him to be particularly empathetic and easy to talk to.” R.R. (March 2015)
“I leave Cortijo Care with a mixture of sadness and happiness. It has been quite a journey over the last four weeks, entering an unknown area but knowing it was a last resort towards some kind of help with my desperate and spiraling addiction.
After a few days I started to feel stronger physically and my mind less in a murky for of confusion. I still have an appalling loss of short memory but hope this will improve with time. I have laughed a lot and cried at times but now I feel more positive and a stronger person than I have for years.
I eventually said to myself: “Fin you are nothing but a constantly washed up piss-head. Time you did something about it.” Well I have done and it seems just about in time. I want my recovery to continue and also where to turn if this recovery starts to flounder. I thank everyone involved in this process including the clients who have become friends. It is so much easier to climb a mountain with others climbers collectively to achieve the same ambition. Thanks to all of you for this.
I wish you all a happy future as well as for me.The mountain summit has not been reached yet, but I will get there one day. Thank you. FC.”
‘Having an eating disorder is so painful but Gemma has supported, guided, explained and helped both me and my family’ – David Y, Manchester