Awareness is very important to me." - Annemarije

I am Annemarije Boersma. I keep discovering new pieces of myself and my life. I say sometimes that I live with one foot stepping on the brakes and one foot on the throttle. But ultimately everything revolves around finding balance.

I am now 31 years old and it has been 4 years since I was diagnosed with autism and ADD. I had not been feeling that good about myself for a while. After initial diagnoses of depression and social anxiety, I suspected there was something more going on, and I got myself referred to a specialist.

Neurodivergence is part of my entire life. For example, I notice I come quickly out of balance because I want to do (fun) things, but at the same time I will become overstimulated. I also lose a lot of energy at adapting so I can hold my own and belong. In (social) situations I often unconsciously turn on some kind of protective mode, and this layer, or mask, feels so strong that I can hardly take it off. Because I have been doing this for years, I lost who I was, became somber, and I got an autistic burn-out. Things are better now, but I still keep my cards close to my chest. Except with my boyfriend and cat ;).

Awareness is very important to me. Since this year I have been following a year long course in Ayurveda, and this helps me getting to know and understand myself better. This way more and more pieces of the puzzle fall into place. I’m proud that I continue to motivate myself, and create a life that suits my needs. I regret that I have long felt ashamed of my diagnoses. And I still find it hard sometimes to accept things don’t go as well as I would want them to.

My tip to others? Learn to known yourself, and let go of who you think you should be. Focus on your qualities. Because if you know in which situations you feel good, you can put your energy there.

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