Diagnosed in 1996 with Bipolar Disorder, Sascha has made living with the disease her life’s work. It has not always been easy but her commitment to survival has made her the strong, focused woman she is today.
In 2009, after several hospitalizations, suicide attempts, and being deemed “med resistant”, she agreed to undergo Electroconvulsive Therapy. After thirteen bilateral treatments in less than two months, she emerged a shell of her former self. In the years that followed, Sascha has dedicated herself to rebuilding her sense of self and learning to live without the memories and life events that were erased by the treatments.
Part of that process involved repairing and rebuilding her relationship with food. Always confident in the kitchen previously, that place became Sascha’s safe space. From not being able to remember which cupboard the sugar was in to being able to remember the first steps of a recipe were huge in Sascha’s path to healing, and ultimately how she got to where she is now. As co-owner and executive chef of Skull & Cakebones, Austin’s first locally sourced plant-based craft bakery, Sascha and partner Yauss Berenji have created a safe space for everyone who enters. Sascha has honed her craft and helped to build a successful brand, but it has been challenging beyond belief and has truly tested the limits of her mental health.
By sharing her story in an open and honest way, Sascha desires to bring hope and help to those whose lives are affected by mental illness. Her intent is to help change the way we talk about mental illness so that together we can work to de-stigmatize and eliminate the discrimination that surrounds the mentally ill.