I am compelled and saddened to share this with you. It is a long script, please read to the end if you can? Please do NOT share this anywhere outside of CakesDecor, most specifically Facebook.
This is the desperately sad story of a victim with an eating disorder.
When I was invited into the Between Minds – UNSA 2017 Mental Health collaboration I gave much thought to the subject of my piece. For me, it had to be something I could express truthfully. I contacted someone very dear to me who has suffered from a mental health disorder since being a young lady, which presented itself in anorexia, bulimia and attempts at suicide.
This beautiful lady is married with two gorgeous children.
She was thrilled to be given the chance to be involved in the design and threw herself into sending me art pieces in the form of sketches, doll poses amongst other things around the house to express her thoughts and experience. During this time she told me how helpful she found it, therapeutic and was keen to do something to help raise awareness and bring about change.
I then drew up a finished design based on her images which she approved. My plan was to make it simple and to the point and represent her explanation through her personal art, not my own.
She was delighted with the final piece as in her opinion it did not beat about the bush. She gave me this set of words for the reveal and then a second set of words for when I posted it here. The first set of words were:-
“I have had a long battle with eating disorders since aged 12 and know only too well the battles of the mind. It’s not about vanity or the media but it’s a mental health difficulty. It’s the biggest killer of all mental health conditions."
On Monday she was struggling with her life and resolve to battle through her illness but despite that, she sent me these words of Hope for the reveal on my Facebook page and for CakesDecor for the benefit of others. I was scheduled to reveal this today.
“Throughout my illness I have never given up hope and that having faith that things do get better has been a driving force for recovery. The support from my family has encouraged me to never give up and their unfailing love has helped me stay well. Having a sense of hope has led to me going on to helping others in their recovery journey.”
Two days later (Wednesday) she was found hanging from a branch. Life extinct. All hope lost.
There is no need for me to explain the impact of this on her mother, her husband, children, family and friends. I immediately removed my piece from the facebook reveal out of respect for the family who, although the piece was anonymous, they had been kept informed all along of the project. The family did not ask me to take it down, it was my own choice.
Now, I do know for a certainty that she would NOT have wanted me to remove my piece. Quite the opposite, she would not have wanted all her work to expose the shocking truth behind mental illness to be all for nothing. So, rather than post it in my cake gallery, I have taken the unusual step (for me) of posting it in a thread here.
The family wish to be left in peace and privacy to grieve and come to terms with their loss and so I ask that this post stays strictly within the confines of this forum.
This need not happen to others. This loss of hope.
A vital missing ingredient needed in the help for all mental health conditions is money. Funds raised in this collaboration go to Project Semicolon. I therefore purchased two items of clothing in support of this. One for me and one for the lady behind the design as a thank you gift for her contribution to the collaboration. Sadly, she will not even know it was bought but another lady is going to take possession of it and wear it wherever and whenever she can.
As in all tragic and needless deaths, some good can come if we try. If you would like to contribute towards this, please follow this link where you can purchase clothing in support of Project Semicolon via this link: https://www.bonfire.com/betweenmindsunsa2017/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=campaign_page_share&utm_campaign=betweenmindsunsa2017&utm_content=default
Many thanks to Zawadi Parizek who is the brainchild behind this collaboration and works tirelessly to raise social issues and health awareness across the board. Many thanks also to all the admins and all the members of the group who have been really supportive. We have all learned so much about Mental Health as a result.
If you have read this far, thank you. Also, if you have a story to tell in relation to this you are invited to either share it in this thread or message me privately if you would like to.
With love and a broken heart.
'It Always Seems Impossible Until It is Done' Nelson Mandela http://www.facebook.com/CakesByFifi