PART I – I am stuck.

Hi, my name is Bonnie and I am stuck.

I would really like to be un-stuck.


If you have been here before, you know that I once had a blog for a short while. I was in between jobs and I tried to give my life purpose after some ups and downs. After about 6 weeks, a teaching job landed in my lap. I went from jobless without the intention to find a job to managing a class of kids within one week. This job came with some serious challenges and it triggered a huge anorexia relapse. Within 3 years it broke me to my core, and it has knocked me down until this day. Since then (almost three years ago), a lot but also nothing has happened.


I had to quit in 2021 because I literally couldn’t go on any longer. I was at my wits’ end and tumbling down the next relapse (after already being admitted one year earlier). Although the relapse subsided the moment I quit, mentally I felt like a plant. In the first few months the world felt “muffled”, like how everything sounds after a loud concert. I wasn’t able to do anything, but I kept reliving events from work over and over, every day and every night. I was so tired but I couldn’t sleep.

The brain attack 🧠

After 3 months, I ended up in the hospital after waking up with the weirdest symptoms I had ever experienced; headaches, nausea, and bursts of adrenaline that got more violent and frequent very fast. I felt like fainting whenever I tried to stand up. The doc’s diagnosis: aftermath of stress. I couldn’t believe that something so physically violent could be caused by “just” stress. Since that day, I had a nervous tic, sometimes multiple times a minute, and extremely overactive senses. Every loud sound would startle me so bad that it felt like my soul got knocked out of my body multiple times a day. The tics subsided after six months. My brain being in panic alert overdrive mode, did not.

Birthdays and parties 🥳

I wasn’t really able to do anything, but I thought I just needed time to get better. So I waited, for a very, very long time. In the meantime social activities didn’t get easier, they actually got harder, and I was afraid to leave my house in fear of running into former colleagues. My mental capacity and flexibility seemed to have diminished into non-existence. Which is hard when people expect you to act like a normal human being because you look like one.

Birthdays got impossible to attend, especially when they’re far away, and when they’re crowded. Everything that was hard before (a lot of noise, food and waiting) had become impossible. Whenever we needed to go somewhere, my mind screamed “I don’t want to and I CAN’T do this!!” But I kept trying and I kept failing (as in complete breakdowns whenever we arrived at the party).

I soon started to think something was seriously wrong with me. I cancelled most events, and started to say no when people wanted to come over. At which I also failed at times, because I am very prone to social norms and expectations. I had to leave my FRICKING SISTER’S WEDDING because the immense effort it took to hold back tears led to a hysterical panic attack. Every failed attempt made it worse, and every two hour birthday cost me weeks to recover. Or, well.. recover to my “normal” non-functional state. After my sister’s wedding, one of my best friends married. I didn’t but also couldn’t go and I felt horrible.

In the meantime, trauma reliving still happened, and also, I was and am SO forgetful.

Stimuli + my brain = chaos

Long story short; literally everything felt too overwhelming. And this also happened in other areas. I got very sensitive to stimuli; everything feels intensified and leads to intense emotional reactions; sudden loud sounds, drilling or hammering, screaming kids, someone eating, loud neighbors, but also smells (cigarette smoke 🤢), lights and physical sensations. Dont get me started on the (illegal) fireworks right behind my backyard every fricking day from October to January, it will make me say things I’m not allowed to say. 🤬

I found out that I can’t go to the cinema, concerts and amusement parks anymore; too loud, too bright, too crowded, too unpredictable, too wild. A Pentatonix concert (postponed 2x due to covid) ended in me running out hysterically because of all the loudness, lights and people. At an amusement park even the attractions for little kids were a horrible experience as the g-forces felt 100x more intense than ever before. The latter made me realize once again that my brain really is broken; I generally don’t trust mental symptoms, because maybe I’m just an imposter who is making it all up, but physical symptoms feel more like “proof”.


BUT, in the meantime, this happened. Two years ago, my awesome sis-in-law mentioned that I might have ADHD. Never ever had someone told me this before. But I researched it, and I was baffled. Only in recent years, ADHD in women has gotten more attention and publicity. ALL the studies have always been done with boys, who have very different symptoms. Actually everything that has ever been “weird” about me could be explained with ADHD. I signed up for testing, and about 9 months of waiting list later, I indeed got the diagnosis. My life changed forever, because now all of my weirdness and stupid traits had a reason, and also: meds! Meds made things partially better; they worked better for my mood than any anti-depressant ever did, and they gave me motivation to get things done. But they didn’t work for the anxiety and overall lack of mental capacity.

Answers please…

Although ADHD can also explain the current state of my brain, it doesn’t explain the fact that it isn’t getting any better. What I’m experiencing isn’t normal, nor livable. Something is obviously wrong with my brain! So I visited my GP and I told her; either my burnout OR the weird brain attack three months after quitting my job did something to my brain and now it’s broken. I asked if I could be seen by a brain doctor, because what I would really, REALLY want, is acknowledgement for the fact that I am not making this up. And that I am not staying home because I just don’t want to go to that birthday, but because going feels literally impossible. And that my senses really are messed up, and that my brain really is out of order, and most of all: that it can be fixed.

She didn’t say any of this. 😑 She ran some tests, concluded that I didn’t have brain damage, and gave me some options for therapists. This was last November. We spent the first three months of 2024 in Spain, and she called me at the end of March with some bad news; she had forgotten to put me on the seven-month waiting list in November. Don’t get me wrong, she is an amazing doctor and she (although in vain) really tried to fix it. Also, no crisis this time (no starving nor a deadly depression). But yeah, no therapist for me until the end of 2024. So I am stuck with myself until then and something needs to happen.