Chatting about Anxiety.

So, some of you may know if you watched my youtube video, but many of you don’t, that I suffer from Anxiety.

Baking has always been something to help with it, and its always cheered me up seeing you guys bake what I post on here, and tag me in things, and in general enjoy treats baked from my website. However, being online can sometimes come with the ‘bad’ side of it, and it can be really difficult.

Anxiety is something that many people don’t understand, and many people simply can’t understand as they have never gone through it themselves, or they haven’t known anyone else to do so. Congratulations to those people, because they are lucky. I have suffered from various parts of it throughout my life from a young age, probably due to bullying for my hair colour, acne, or the fact that I wasn’t ‘cool’. When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with an Eating Disorder summarised to be ‘EDNOS’ and this was quite hard hitting on me as I was basically officially told I had a problem.

Often people will think “Oh just get over it” and it simply is not that easy. Anxiety is like a Chemical Imbalance in the brain, and it is something that people can’t help suffering from. It can cause physical illnesses, it can cause panic attacks, it can cause all sorts, which shows its a genuine illness that someone can’t just ‘get over’.

Some people have always said ‘how can you have an eating disorder if you bake so often’ and thats a prime example of just not getting it. To not have suffered through a type of mental health illness, can make it difficult to understand for some people. Prime examples being someone saying they don’t like how they look, they’re self conscious etc, yet they post a selfie. Just because they posted the selfie, doesn’t mean they aren’t self conscious, it doesn’t mean that they’re suddenly okay. When you have a mental illness, it can be completely different or very similar to others. There’s no rules on what you have to experience and if you don’t you don’t have the illness. It varies so much, you can’t say to someone that they don’t have it.

I recently signed up to see a therapist, and I know I need it. It’s a weird thing to think about as I always used to resist after a bad experience, but now I wish I hadn’t waited so long. There is no shame in seeing someone, there is no shame in going to the doctors. It’s perfectly okay to not be okay, and its perfectly okay to not be coping some times.

I have experienced panic attacks on the way to work some times, I have had absolute melt downs in my kitchen when a recipe hasn’t worked, and I’ve cried for hours when I’ve seen some nasty things written about me online from people that have never met me. It’s something that can outright control you, but its something you can bat down and lessen if you’re willing to be open about it.

All different sorts of factors can impact my anxiety, and even the smallest of triggers can push someone to have a bad day, a bad week, or even a panic attack in my case. I am lucky enough to get invited to some events and blog work days out with companies, and often I have said no just because ‘I couldn’t do it’ and Im determined to stop this happening. I shy away from it all, and it makes me create a habit of saying no. It’s not something I want to do, but I just say it, and then its too late.

When people say ‘how are you so skinny if you bake…etc’ they probably think they’re being nice, but to be honest, its quite upsetting. It’s almost insulting in a way? People have grown to have bad relationships with certain types of foods, and often what is on my website. I bake sweet treats, and people can think that they’re only allowed the smallest of slices because its SO unhealthy, but in reality its not. ‘Looks like diabetes on a plate’…’Looks like a heart attack waiting to happen’…’Looks like obesity’. These naive, and quite frankly ridiculous comments are an issue.

When people tag their friends in my posts and say “Oh mine looked better” or “that looks disgusting” I just don’t see the need. Its one of those things where yes you may not like it, but I feel like people online can forget there is someone (me) behind the blog, trying to keep people happy, and seeing something like that is quite hurtful. They don’t think that if someone said that to them, it would upset them as well.

I realise this post has been quite negative so far but along side these things, there is SO MUCH GOOD that comes from blogging. The community online is amazing. Even though I feel like an outsider, and I often don’t interact as much as others, I know there are so many people out there that have my back. People I have never met, people I have been lucky enough to chat to because of blogging, and many of you readers. The people have have bought my ebooks, and support me by sharing my posts and such, you are all wonderful.

When I receive comments, emails, or messages from my readers saying I have helped them through something with baking, or my anxiety video, or you guys baked something for someones birthday, or a charity bake sale, I get so so happy because its just wonderful. It’s these things that keep me blogging, because I know I have a substantial readership, that would be upset if I stopped.

Sometimes I don’t always reply to comments, or I go through phases of not posting as much, and its because I am on the go 24/7, and sometimes I need to stop and take a breather. I realise this post wasn’t something I’ve done before, and it might put people off to be honest. If it does, I’m sorry this post was too much, but this is a platform I have grown by myself and I think its time to raise awareness for Mental Health and try and beat down some stereotypes and stigmas about it all.

Don’t worry, theres another delicious recipe coming this week for you all to enjoy. And if you have survived this far down then thank you. xx

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27 comments

  1. I completely agree with everything you have written/said Paula. You couldn’t have summed things up more perfectly. Jane, you are sensationally talented, and anxiety or not, your recipes are splendid and you yourself and even better than your fabulous treats!! xo

  2. Brilliant post Jane. It was from the heart- honest, open and inciteful. You should be very proud of yourself. In this day and age there is so much pressure to be perfect in every way , it’s exhausting, it really is. I absolutely love your recipes and many people that have tried the cakes once I’ve made them would definitely agree. I know I can only speak for myself but hopefully people here would agree that talking out loud can really help, with a therapist, online or whatever means you want. I think it takes a lot of guts to make the call and quite possibly, by reading your post, this might encourage other people to take that step. I have a six year old daughter so I know that all the social pressures are to come, in fact there are already emerging which is very scary. She loves to bake with me and loves playing with icing so for her, it’s an outlet which is fun and completely free from pressure without her even realising it. You are a very talented lady, your recipes are fantastic. I am really glad I found your website! Well done Jane 🙂

  3. It was so brave of you to share this, I have anxiety too and I’ve had plenty of baking fail meltdowns. I’ve also signed up for counselling it seems like a step in the right direction.

  4. Well done Jane on writing this blog. I think you are so brave and your baking skills are too good not to be shared. Lots of Love Hilary Xxx😘🍰💗🐶

  5. Thanks for sharing Jane. Very brave of you! My daughter suffers from anxiety too. It can be quite debilitating as you mention. Keep baking your wonderful desserts! I always believed cake brings joy to many people, myself especially.

    And by the way, you have absolutely stunning hair!

  6. I know what you’re talking about. And sometimes, I don’t realize I’m having anxiety reactions until I stop to think. I find that the site No More Panic is a great help at the symptoms–http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/articles/symptoms/ Sometimes I just read through them and realize, Oh, you’ve been having anxiety symptoms. Good luck with it all.

  7. Wow! What an amazing lady you truly are! You create some amazing recipes. This is the first time I have read your blog and what a post to start reading. Your honesty is so heartwarming. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one going through such rollercoasters of emotions. Not enough people talk about stress, anxiety, depression or any type of mental health.
    Well done for being so honest, keep your chin up and keep creating those amazing recipes.
    Big hugs

  8. Hi Jane – thanks for sharing as I am sure it was difficult to do. I love all your recipes – don’t try them all but do love reading them. My cake mixer broke down – can’t afford to replace it but will do one day!

  9. Thank you for talking about what for so many people is a daily issue. I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I too have found that baking and cooking in general has been very therapeutic for me during some difficult times. It is true that so many people don’t understand how debilitating it can be. Things that many people can do easily and spontaneously can, for me, take hours of planning, positive self talk and relaxation techniques. I have undertaken counselling, specifically Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and can honestly say it is one of the best things I have ever done. To anyone considering this option I cannot recommend CBT enough, CBT is hard work but if you keep an open mind and push yourself the results are amazing. Something I have realised is that there is no cure for anxiety but there are things which can help you recognise the triggers and manage the behaviours. I signed up for your blog some time ago because I loved your recipies, you bake the sort of stuff I want to eat! This post really connected with me because I can relate to so much of what you have said. People like us are not weird or abnormal or alone, anxiety affects lots of people in a variety of ways but be reassured it can be controlled, I would encourage anyone to please ask for help when you need it .

  10. I just want to say that I think your blog is amazing, I have never tried a recipe that wasn’t delicious and unique and my whole family always loves your recipes. I have anxiety and an eating disorder too and it means so much to me that someone else understands because so far I have found very few people that do. So thank you x

  11. Jane, you are one of my favorite bloggers and IG pals. People can be just plain mean, without even trying to understand or be compassionate. As to the naysayers and trolls, apparently they were raised by wolves and their mama never taught them that “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. You are extremely talented and I am always forwarding your baking creations to my oldest daughter who loves baking. I am gradually learning to adapt ingredients to those that my poor tummy will tolerate. It’s not easy to change seventy years of eating habits….

  12. Jane,
    I follow your blog and enjoy all of your posts. This one is particularly poignant and important and you ought to be commended for it. Many assume (consciously or sub-consciously) that because one is not missing a limb or is not disfigured in some way, one’s condition is not serious, delbitating, life changing or impeding….

  13. You’re a star Jane and I really feel for you. I myself am in a similar boat to you (diagnosed AN, love baking but am not public facing in anyway) and completely understand the hurt that people’s comments can make. I hope the therapy sessions do help you. Your positive outlook on life is great.

  14. Thanks Jane for sharing your experiences. Anxiety is so difficult to explain to others if they have not experienced. So much of what you say sounds familiar to me. It can be hard to ask for help especially if you have had a negative experience. I am glad you are seeing a therapist as a good one can help so much (in my experience). Take care and be kind to yourself. P.S. I make so many of your cupcakes and they are such a favourite among all my friends and family. My dad is hugely appreciative of your blog as he is gluten free and loves the cupcakes I make from your gluten free recipes.

  15. I could of written this myself – apart from my finished products are nowhere near as good as yours or im a trained professional!! I so get you regarding comments from other people. Some think they are “helping” some just dont think. Actually im off to the doctors myself today to have a “chat”!
    Keep up the fantastic work and take care.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this…….so brave and helpful……its people like you will help break the stigma surrounding mental health once and for all! I have had several short bouts of anxiety/depression and it is so isolating as people just think you are “weird” “moody”and just not a good person to be around.
    Thank you so much xx

  17. Well done you for speaking out! I think when we blog, we just need to accept that we’re setting ourselves up as a target and that some people are just rude JEALOUS and ignorant. Unfortunately I’m not as brave as you and I’ve backed off from blogging so well done for keeping going. Don’t let one rotten apple spoil the enjoyment for the rest of us. I think your work is amazing. If people think it’s too fattening, they don’t have to eat it! Common sense! Thanks Jane. And, by the way, your hair is beautiful!!

  18. I just want to say Thankyou, this was a courageous post and you summed it up beautifully. I am a baker and love your recipes, but I am also a Mum to a daughter who suffers with a Personality Disorder, High functioning Autism and anxiety is a huge part of it, and so misunderstood, it’s a very lonely world as people just don’t understand. Please carry on doing what your doing because your amazing. Xx

  19. Wow! What an incredible and inspirational lady you are. You have come so far , and what you are doing is truly amazing.
    Well done ❤️😘

  20. Please keep posting your recipes and pics, they brighten my day! My mantra is that if you’re going to eat cake, then have a big slice and enjoy it! There’s no place for piddly excuses, just move/run/jog/dance a little more 🙂 Be kind to yourself Jane and thank you muchly for sharing your gorgeous recipes. If the job of chief taster becomes vacant, I’m sure you’d have a queue of applicants around the corner and up the road!!
    Be happy x

  21. Great post. Baking is only part of you, it’s doesn’t define you. We all have degrees of issues. The fact that your out there, seeking help etc is a foot forward. My daughter also has anxiety issues and has had problems for over twenty years. This year she finally took the step to see a counselor, she has not regretted it. I’m not saying she’s cured, but she’s now got better coping strategies

    Best wishes to you

  22. Hi Jane

    Firstly can I say well done on your post. You may not believe it but you are so great for writing this post. As a mum of a son who died from suicide age 20, can I say thank you. I can now, with hind sight, see that he probably did suffer from Anxiety but would not admit it. We always said that he was just shy and lacked confidence but now I can see it was more. Unfortunately when he went off to university it became too much for him and instead of talking to us or asking for help he made a wrong choice. So please keep talking about this subject because then more people will be aware and hopefully will be more switched on than we were.

    Secondly, as someone who bakes to help my cope, can I say thank you for the great recipes. They are always great , so reliable , easy to follow and so tasty. When I bake I can focus on that and nothing else. Luckily working in a school I always have willing tasters who enjoy your recipes.
    So thank you for helping me get through the last 2 years and please keep going.

  23. 😘 I have three daughters who have all been diagnosed with anxiety. We are what they refer to as a perfect anxiety family. Yay! I totally understand what you go through. having three daughters, I’ve had to learn each ones’ dance, as you say not everyone shares the same anxiety. I have found that many people with anxiety are very creative, talented, funny, and smart. I’m sure you are all of these things! Sending love to you, and good luck with your new therapist!

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