When SM North graduate Lee Wolfe Blum returned home after a few months at the University of Kansas in 1990, a member of her family made a glib joke about gaining the “freshman 15.” That remark set Blum on dark five-year struggle with eating disorders and depression that culminated in a suicide attempt.
Nearly 20 years after that rock-bottom low, Blum is sharing the story of how she overcame her struggles in a book released late last year. Blum will be coming back to the Kansas City area next week for a reading from the book, “Table in the Darkness — A Healing Journey Through an Eating Disorder,” at Barnes and Noble in Leawood.
Blum started writing the book eight years ago after deciding that others could benefit from hearing her story of recovery.
“When I got the contract, I actually hesitated signing it because I got terrified,” she said. “I thought, I’m really putting the grossest parts of my life out there. But I wanted to offer people with these struggles a hopeful message, and show them that you can be hungry for life.”
Blum said it took a little more than a year for her to recover from the suicide attempt and the eating disorder, but that the experience reframed her view of life and put her on the path toward her current career as a health educator at an eating disorders hospital in Minnesota. She also keeps a blog with advice on helping people with eating disorders.
“I see the people who fight these issues, and I want them to know that they’re not alone,” she said.
Blum will be at the Town Center Barnes and Noble May 15 at 7 p.m.