How I Quit Anti-Depressants by Following My Dreams

This is my up close & personal success story of how I overcame fear and followed my dreams. Warning: high contamination risk.

There I was, finally doing what I’d always wanted to do: teaching English at a secondary school in Holland. I was living together with my boyfriend in a pretty nice house in a quiet part of town. Everything was just fine and dandy  – except for the fact that I was still taking anti-depressants for my anxiety disorder that I had picked up during teacher training college and was feeling generally bored, out of energy and especially unexcited at all times.

And then I found myself making out with a colleague who was twice my age and mysterious as hell.

This was wrong, this was bad, this was inappropriate and most of all it was disrespectful towards my boyfriend. But I was having fun again.

I realized I hadn’t felt like this for, I don’t know, forever and that was a serious alarm bell going off.

I was done

Once I got a taste of fun I couldn’t go back. I told my boyfriend about my little adventure and he didn’t like it – at all. The interesting thing was that, at the end, he said he did understand me though. He basically never got off the couch since he wasn’t willing to face his social fears and conveniently stayed at home at every occasion fun came his way. Well, I was done – and looking back, had been done for quite a while. It just took this step out of line to make me realize it.

Long story short, we broke up and I was single again after six years. The mysterious man turned out to be more of a disappointment than an inspiration, but that was fine. Now it was my turn to have fun, real fun.

What was it that I wanted to do?

So, I sat down and asked myself the following questions:

What was it that I wanted to do? What was it that would set my soul on fire, make my heart sing and make me feel so happy I could die?


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I’d been to Italy many times and every time I went there I felt a certain sense of happiness that I didn’t feel anywhere else. It touched me, moved me and lit up my heart. I felt seen, appreciated and happily soaked up the sun – and the Italian attention – everywhere I went. This was where I wanted to be and a couple of months after our breakup I decided I was going to follow my heart’s desire – and no one could stop me from doing so.

I made the decision

The decision had been made, now I had to think of how to go about it. I contacted the language school I had done a course at that summer and asked if they needed an English teacher to improve their Italian teachers’ level of English. They didn’t, but they did have the possibility to offer me an internship in which I could work as a secretary at the school and, in exchange, was able to study Italian for free. It was a done deal.

Now I had to save money to fund my project and I basically looked at all the opportunities I had. I managed to find new renters for my house, I sold them half my furniture, I moved in with my dad (a thing I honestly hadn’t ever imagined doing due to our, let’s say, not always smooth sailing relationship) and I set aside as much money as possible thanks to my steady teaching job. I wanted to make this happen at all costs – and I did.

There was something out there for me

I felt so driven, so motivated, so full of purpose that I was willing to take on any difficulty coming my way. Including the fear of not knowing how it would go. I just decided that I would roll with the punches whenever they came my way. I decided I could do it. I decided to go because it felt it was the right thing to do. I decided because I trusted my gut and I knew there was something out there for me. And to be honest, I just couldn’t stay in the old, boring and unstimulating world I had come to live in. The only way was up – or South, in my case, and I dove in wholeheartedly.

And down South I went. I’ve lived in Florence since 2010 and in these years I’ve worked as an English teacher, an interpreter, a guide, a translator, a Dutch teacher, a writer, and now I’ve set up my own life coaching business in which I help young, ambitious women who (just like I used to) feel bored, unchallenged and unfulfilled to overcome fear so that they can follow their dreams and lead the fun-filled and fulfilling lives they’re looking for.

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So happy I could die

Moving to Italy, or actually, steering towards my heart’s desire has changed my life completely. I feel like I’m a high-value woman now, I’ve developed my feminine side and I’m not afraid to let it shine. I’ve been on adventures, met people and felt things I never could have imagined possible. I’ve often cycled around Florence with an enormous smile plastered on my face feeling so happy I could literally die. I’m not kidding – this feeling of sheer bliss has really given me everything I’ve ever dreamed of and having already felt it makes me so happy, thankful and fulfilled that I would have no regrets if I were to die now. And that is pretty powerful.

By turning my dream into reality I’ve managed to light up my heart and set my soul on fire. I made the move to give myself what I needed. And it has given me so much that I was even able to quit taking anti-depressants. I haven’t had the anxiety attacks ever again and I feel stronger than ever. So strong, that after six years of living in Florence I’m starting to feel the itch again of moving, exploring and following my dreams – and the best thing is that I know I can do it because I’ve done it before. And this self-confidence, self-reliance and, in the end, self-care literally makes me feel on top of the world.

And now it’s your turn

It’s your turn to do & feel the same. Are you ready to follow your heart’s desires and find the fulfillment you’ve been looking for? Be bold, go beyond and book your first free consult with me to take the first step towards making your personal dream come true (and finally put an end to being bored, unfulfilled and out of energy for good).

If I can do it, you can do it. So go & contact me here.

Love & courage,




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Loved reading your story Sophie! Thank you for sharing with us.. so inspiring for others making a change:)

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Thank you so much Meagan! Great to hear I can be of inspiration to powerful women like you who dare to make a change as well! To bigger & better things,


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brilliant you! it’s important to share the good the bad the ugly the magic- thank you x

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Thank you Betty, means a lot! You’re right, even though it was rather scary to put it out there ‘nude & crude’ like this, but the response has been so positive! A great lesson & confirmation :). X

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From Florence with LOVE! Ciao Mariaclaudia

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Thank you carissima!!

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