The story of Tirza – Part 1

Tirza Haasnoot/ August 7, 2019/ 2- English, Depressie/burn-out/ 0 comments


Girl (18) looking goofy, sitting on a bed
Me, aged 18

Let me set off this blog by telling you my story. It’s not a particularly special story, it’s not the worst one or the happiest one. It could happen to anyone, which is why I think it is good to read.

My story leading to this blog started in my second year of college. I started to get really tired doing normal things. Even going to the store became a huge chore for me, tiring me out for literal days. My panic attacks started to get a lot worse, and I started to withdraw from my social activities.

Long story short, I ended up dropping out, moving to a town closer to my (then) boyfriend, with practically no notice to anyone. Basically I just packed up my life and left.

Basically I just packed up my life and left.

I spent a few months in therapy, trying to work a little, and trying to find out what I wanted to do next. I decided to try college again, with a different degree. I hoped that living near my boyfriend and feeling supported by my church would help me succeed this time. I also had the illusion that I had previously just been doing the wrong degree, resulting in my first burn-out.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the degree, it wasn’t the closeness to home, it wasn’t being so far from my boyfriend… It was just mental illness. It happened again. This time I took a year off, found crochet and sewing, got married to the boyfriend and moved again. This time I stayed in the same town, so I guess that was an improvement.

man and woman, both wearing glasses
Me and my husband on our honeymoon to Paris

I then decided to try out that same degree, but on a different university. I made sure to get a special needs contract, to have less pressure, I made very careful arrangements to not overexert myself, and I kept crocheting.

I made very careful arrangements to not overexert myself, and I kept crocheting.

It was, once again, not meant to be. After the first year I started sinking back into depression, but this time I tried to hang on as if my life depended on it. It felt like my last chance, and if I didn’t finish this time I would be left with nothing but a hefty student loan. I tried for nearly three years. I saw therapists, I had a coach, asked for help, tried only taking one course each semester… Nothing worked.

I decided to drop out again, except I called it a break then. I decided to see if I could find something to do that would make me feel happy, and that wouldn’t cost me all my energy. I turned to making project bags and podcasts.

colorful handmade fabric pouches
One of the first few pictures I posted on Etsy

I absolutely loved doing this, and to my great surprise, after a lot of hard work people actually watched my videos and bought my bags! This was not as easy as I make it sound here. At first nobody bought anything. So I dropped my prices to basically cost. Then people started buying stuff, but I wasn’t earning anything, so I had to figure out how to raise my prices, I had to figure out what else I wanted to do, and so on and so forth.

But more on that in the next part to this blog…

As you can guess, my ‘break’ turned out to be dropping out of college again, and actually turning my little bits of sewing into a business. I was in love! I didn’t want to change a thing, except maybe get a few more sales…

Up next:

  • My own company
  • Pregnancy
  • Motherhood
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