By Dr. Anne-Marie Wickham

I am once again tasting the bittersweet tears of success. This time I caught those self-pitying tears within a few minutes. There is no room for tears.

I’ve done my crying; I’ve let go of my story. There were always going to be times when I revert back to my old programme of being that sad, rejected, dejected, abandoned little girl that was taken to a children's home at the age of 2 and left there without a glance backward.

Today was one of those days when I did am immediate autopilot back to those sad days. The day that I spent the last 47 years getting over.

Today I published my very first book.

FLOW, from Fear to Love, so very befitting that I should be writing this article because it really does embody the title of my book and the journey I have made. I spent two years writing this book, procrastinating, crying, listening to my inner critic, believing I was not good enough, believing I had no right to write a book, because who would want to read it anyway?

I fought with those demons. They did not stand a chance. I have been surviving all my life. I have been holding up my ‘resilience shield’ and stepping into my Teflon suit of armour for as long as I can remember. But in truth, I was not able to defend myself from my greatest attacker - because she lived inside of me.

I was 6 years old when I came to the conclusion that I was in this world all alone. I was sitting on the orange 70’s style seating in the waiting area of Eros House, Lewisham Social Services, for those who remember.

We were high up on the 13th floor (definitely unlucky for me, and I was just about to be rejected and abandoned for the 2nd ime in my very short life. My foster dad after 4 years of cruelty, physical and emotional abuse had finally decided to hand me back to Lewisham Social Services citing my unreasonable behavior. I was dumped there on the day and as I watched his back walk away from me to the lift I knew I was never going to see him again. And that I was on my own. At that point, I did not even think I would ever see my siblings again, wrenched away from my sister and my brother who both got to stay…but I was too much.

At 6 years old I knew what it felt like to not want to be here anymore.

That day in that waiting room was the loneliest feeling in the world. To know at that age that there was not a soul in the world who loved me was heart-breaking and I don’t think I could fully comprehend it at that time because it was just too enormous. So I smiled through it, as I always do. And I carried on regardless. Except that throughout the next 43 years I constantly revisited that moment. I spent a lifetime searching for something to fill that void of love that I never found because I either suffocated it or rejected it before it rejected me. That didn’t stop pushing myself to achieve that elusive praise for doing something worthy, for being special, for being amazing. I achieved that in a million ways, too many to mention. That’s not modest; it’s a fact. I don’t need to be modest because all of those accolades did absolutely nothing for me. They certainly did not fill that massive black hole of sadness, loneliness and rejection.

Fast forward to age 47, and discovering my talent for Life Coaching and Clinical Hypnotherapy. Why wouldn’t I be successful?!

I’d been practicing every one of the lower vibrations all my life- shame, guilt, envy, disgust, hate, fear.

All aimed at me.

So of course I was able to unpick those feelings for others and reconnect them back to themselves. To be you, I teach people how to fall in deep, satisfying, love with themselves and along the way I continually practised what I taught, eventually writing the Flow Life Achievement programme as I experienced my self-love blossom into a torrid and satisfying love for myself… and it feels so good after all these years. Euphoric even, but every so often I get caught.

I unconsciously drift back to that day which catches me off guard. A moment like today. Today I finished my first published book and released it on Amazon. I wanted someone to lift me up high, to tell me how great I was.

I wanted to be spoilt, pampered, just like all those other times I yearned for approval, parents evening, getting married, achieving my BA Honours, having my children. A moment when you want a parent to hold you, to hug you and say "you are amazing darling. You are everything I knew you would be. I have never been prouder of you than at this minute now," to see that unconditional look of love in a parent’s eye…. or just a hug.

I cried today for that little girl, for my bittersweet success. Until my darling 15 year old son, my angel, so wise, always said “Mum, we are proud of you, but we can never give you that, but we are proud of you, and anyway it’s like you to tell us Mum. "It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks "you did it for you, and you are proud of you right?" You are the most important person that needs to be happy with what you do, but I am proud that you actually finished the book Mum”.

I just looked at this amazing son of mine and smiled, because I had no other response. A perfect FLOW moment, the perfect answer, when your healing and your own truth comes back to you in such a beautiful way. I just had to smile at him and love him. Of course he was absolutely right and very much his mother’s son, as are all my amazing children.

Yes, I am super proud of me. I did it. I wrote a book. Little Annie, who was destined to amount to nothing became her own superhero?

And as I drove back home in my little green convertible, I smiled up at the sky and that wonderful feeling of happiness expanded right through me up to the sky.

I realised I have become my own student of FLOW, and now I know how every client I have ever worked with felt in that moment of really appreciating and loving themselves.

I am celebrating all day, just me, and that’s just fine because I am more than enough for me. I just hope I don’t keep myself up too late. It’s a school night…

If you want to start your own journey to FLOW – contact me, listen to my shows below. And I recommend you check out my self-help book FLOW - From Fear to Love

Please visit Anne-Marie's website.