Proud2Bme | Early Intervention is the Key to Recovery

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Early Intervention is the Key to Recovery

By Tori Lilly--Early intervention is the key to recovery from eating disorders—but unfortunately, many people do not get the early intervention that can help their road to recovery. I was one of the unlucky ones who did not have an early intervention; my intervention came when I was deep in my eating disorder and needed to be hospitalized in order to stay alive. While recovery is still possible without early intervention, there are many ways that an early intervention would have been beneficial in my recovery process.

Trigger warning: Descriptions of eating disordered behavior.

If there had been an early intervention, I would not have ended up in a treatment center where I missed school for two months. I would not have had to have a feeding tube. I would not have had to almost repeat a grade due to missing school.

There were early warning signs that were missed: I was working out every day, cutting foods out of my diet and pushing everyone away. I had started exercising every day in April and no one said anything about my excessive exercise until October. I can’t help but think that if someone had said something earlier, I may have listened and gotten help.

I was also eliminating foods from my diet—it started with cutting out snacks, and slowly moved to cutting out everything. I could have benefitted greatly if someone had intervened when I first started cutting out foods, and told me that everything is healthy in moderation.

The more I struggled with my eating disorder, the more I isolated from other people and pushed them away. If someone had intervened, I would not have hurt so many relationships with others. The more I delved into my eating disorder, the more relationships I lost. I chose ED over everyone and it hurt a lot of people. Had I not been so deep in my eating disorder, I could have saved many relationships and would not have damaged so many other people

Many people say that once you develop an eating disorder you will live with it for the rest of your life. I do not believe that. I believe that full recovery is possible. Having said that, I believe that recovery is a long process and is different for every person. For me, it’s been a long journey. I have been in recovery for a little over 4 ½ years. If I had gotten early intervention I could had a very different kind of recovery. I think that the earlier someone gets help, the easier recovery is, and the sooner you can move on with your life to do the amazing things you were created to do.

Struggling with food or exercise issues? Take our free, confidential online eating disorders screening

For recovery resources and treatment options, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 800-931-2237.

About the blogger: Tori Lilly has been in recovery from anorexia nervosa for four years. She is currently attending Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois. She is majoring in dietetics with a minor in psychology. She intends to become a dietitian for girls with eating disorders. 

For more on recovery, check out:

Undiagnosed but Not Without a Voice

Fighting for Recovery

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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