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Baking for Therapy!

Last year, I submitted a story to a cake magazine about "Baking for Therapy". It never made it into the magazine and I kept this story saved to my computer. But instead of it remaining buried on my hard drive, I thought I would share it here. To give you a better understanding of who I am. So here it goes....

 

I get tonnes of messages daily through social media.. some people just want to say hello! Others want to know about consistencies and recipes. Others, well, they just get deleted! But most of the time, people want to know how I do it all.

"Mary, how do you manage everything?"... "How do you run a business and take care of your family?" They want to hear my story about how Emma's Sweets got started......

Let me tell you first hand -- it's been really hard- and is still hard!

I have two small children who constantly demand my attention (9 year old twins). A pile of laundry that never goes away! Housework that is neglected for weeks on end!! And the list goes on... (I am sure most can relate!).

What started off as a hobby turned into something larger than I could have ever dreamed off. I am grateful for everything that I have accomplished, but will not disregard that it has taken a lot of hard work, commitment and determination. There were times when I wanted to pack it all in because of the pressure I put on myself to be perfect, and the pressure others put on me with their nonsense.

With all of that being said, everything that I now have has come at a hefty cost. My physical and mental health has deteriorated, and that is a heavy price to pay.

I have suffered from debilitating anxiety all of my life. It only got worse as I got older. Nobody warned me that being in my mid 40's would be so challenging. Some days I struggle to take a deep breath. Catastrophic thoughts ruminate in my head on the best of days. It is a vicious cycle - and just when I think I have overcome it -- the little voice of anxiety taps on my shoulder and says "Uh no - I am not going anywhere!"

I worked in the financial industry for 15 years and that just added to my stress. That's when I began to bake on a more regular basis.

Eventually I discovered the world of "cookie decorating". And this is where my life began to change. Did it cure my anxiety disorder? Of course not. But did it provide me with relief? ABSOLUTELY!!

After leaving my banking job in 2017, I began to pursue baking and decorating on a full time basis. Decorating cookies has become highly therapeutic as I can channel all of my energy into creating edible works of art! It truly is a win win for everyone involved. For me, a tonne of stress and emotion is released and for those receiving them - well they get to eat a cookie that not only looks pretty, but tastes delicious!

It is so important to take time for yourself on a daily basis, as in not doing so can prove to be damaging to your overall health. I am the worst at this and need to remind myself of how important this is. I encourage everyone to find a passion and pursue it! For me, baking and decorating cookies has proven to be an effective activity in a meditative sense. And if I can make others happy in the process, it makes it all more worthwhile!

 

I want to create a community, both here and on my social media.. a community that uplifts and supports one another. A place where you can just be you and not be worried about what others are saying or thinking of you. There is enough stress and hardships in our day to day lives, and we simply do not need the added drama that comes with social media..

Leave your comments below if you can relate.. I am going to send a small gift to 1 random individual who comments - giveaway will close on August 9th :) thanks for reading!

 

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Mary xo

5 comments

  • Your story has come at just the right time for me. My world changed almost two years ago and slowly took me down a path of numbing sadness and occasional anxiety attacks. My mind was in a bad place but I didn’t want to stay a victim and I wanted to stay alive and be whole again for my boys. I believe God sparked the idea of cookie decorating and starting my own little business to show me that there was still life and creativity in me to share with others. I can’t even begin to say how therapeutic it has been to create beautiful cookies and see the reactions of those who receive them with such joy. I love your story and completely agree baking is so therapeutic. I’m happy to say I’m hopeful for the future again.

    JP
  • Thank you for sharing your story. Five years ago my life changed forever with the onset of an array of auto immune issues…fibro, sjogrens, joint hypermobility. To top it off I too suffered for years with anxiety and mild ocd. To say I was stuck for a long time is an understatement. Then one day I started watching Instagram cookie videos, especially yours. I have always loved baking, so I was very intrigued. Finally, I made the jump. I just bake part time, but it has changed me forever. I can feel all the stress and worry leave me behind. The pain is still with me, but when I make cookies I can distract my mind from the pain. I feel my life is coming back to me! Thank you for sharing not only your story, but your expertise and knowledge to help new people find their way.

    Leslie
  • Mary – A friend posted a saying from Atticus “The trick to life is to have the courage to walk down the path that’s lit up in your heart” …. you definitely have found that light within your heart and have shone it on so many of your followers by your kindness, openness and willingness to teach us. You truly are a blessing!

    Laura
  • I still have to find my passion but I have tried meditation and it helps a little. Hearing your story gives me hope that one day my anxiety will get better and that I’m not the only one.
    Xoxo

    Angela
  • Mary, Thank you so much for your story.
    I just really found it so relatable to hear you say that your cookie decorating was therapeutic. I re-discovered cookie decorating again a year ago. I have been enjoying the creative process decorating cookies and have been challenging myself with techniques. I have been gifting the cookies to family members and friends. I tell people that I don’t want to do it as a business because I work full-time and I’m also a caregiver for my dad. I have told my family that it is my therapy.
    As a caregiver it’s very difficult to set aside time for yourself. Who would’ve thought that rediscovering cookie decorating at this busy time would actually be therapeutic and help me focus my energies on something creative and fun. And the wonderful responses to these cookies that I gift is the best!
    Thanks again for sharing your story.
    Clare

    Clare

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