I have always spoken openly about my mental health issues. I feel we need to continue the conversation and the more we do, the more others will understand. It also helps those of us who suffer to talk about how we feel. Sometimes though we need to escape our own minds. I’m not talking about avoidance as that does nobody any good but every so often the burden and weight becomes so heavy we need a release and we need something else to focus on.

For me my first child had passed away and I had PTSD which I wasn’t diagnosed until many years later, I went on to have another child and then I was hit with post natal depression too. Life felt so hard and such a battle. This feeling that I wasn’t good enough or worthy to be happy. My daughters first birthday was coming up and I wanted to make her cake. I felt I needed to do something I could focus on and be proud of. I purchased some beginners piping tips and fondant smoothers. I watched tutorials and read magazines. I started to feel a focus. I wanted to get good at this. I found this drive that I hadn’t felt for such a long time and a way to silence the voices in my head, if only for a short time. I found a release.

As the years went on my skill set expanded. I felt joy from my creations and that I was good at something. Last year I discovered the cupcake bouquets and I just had to learn how to do them. I’m so glad I did. Piping is so therapeutic and the pride you feel when you pipe a rose or a peony is amazing. You stand back and think “I did that. I made that with my own hands”. It’s a great feeling.

I still battle with my mental health issues daily but finally this year I set up my own cake decorating business with the bouquets being the main focus. I haven’t looked back. It’s helped me so much to keep my anxiety under control. I can’t recommend baking and cake decorating enough if you have mental health issues. I’m not saying it’s a magic wand, if only it was that easy! However if you challenge yourself and learn a new skill, you may find it becomes part of the pathway to life getting a little better. xx

By Kirsty Ede

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