All my life I wanted to help people. It took some detours and a lot of self discovery before I finally started to walk my own path instead of what society expected of me.
My mission is simple: empower women with a late diagnosis of ADHD to embrace your neurodivergence and thrive in your career and personal life.
If I tell people about my ADHD struggles and symptoms now, I’m often met with: “Wait.. You RECENTLY discovered it?” “You didn’t know this before?” Or one of the funniest responses I got: “How could anybody have missed this? It’s written on your forehead. It’s as clear as the fact that a dog barks and a cat meows!”
TW: My dad committed suicide* when I was 6. Which inherently made me “different” from all the other kids.
Every mood, every behaviour got liked to: “Ow it’s probably because her dad died and she’s struggling”.
Etc etc etc.
Never had anyone ever taken the time to sit down, talk and look at ME. I was always looked at through the lens of my past. Or just seen as a nuisance by my teachers.
I actually had multiple teachers yell at me, finding me annoying by the questions I asked (challenging the status quo) and even calling me stupid. Highschool was a nightmare. Friends? I had very little. Even though, I passed with above average grades. Another reasons why nobody ever suspected anything.
After changing my major a couple of times, I actually flourished in uni. I was an Honours student, graduated with merit, took part in a number of extracurricular activities. I was an active member of my student society and I was board member of some committees. And yes, I also had a student job… I had a busy life but I loved it.
What nobody saw:
The first couple of years I was able to coast and cope with my ADHD symptoms. My first job left me with enough time to decompress from my office days on my off days.
The idea of being in the office 5 days a week from 9-5 made me feel anxious at the start. But I was coping quite well. Also, because the pandemic had just started. So because I had to work from home I could curb the overwhelm to a minimum. I could plan my own days, so it wasn’t that bad.
I was still creating huges sums of revenue for the company so no-one (except for my closest co-workers) saw I was struggling a lit. At some point I was even in between managers for months with no one to actually check up on me. This was one of the reasons why I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
Long story short: Moving abroad, trying to start a business, struggling financially and living with undiagnosed ADHD was taking its toll.
When I came back to Holland it went all down hill. The job I took turned out to be in toxic and nearly sent me into a burn out and the stress from working in such a command and control environment gave me severe physical symptomps. Add to that I was being bullied… You might be able to imagine how miserable I was feeling.
Because it showed me I couldn’t continue this way and I actually had to do something about it. TikTok funny enough actually showed me some answers I was looking for and I started researching ADHD and neuro-diversity. (Yes, I did buy a shit tone of books. Classic.)