This is not me

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Granted, you may look at this photo and think it’s me. But it’s not.

It’s an android. It’s pretending to be me.

You may not be able to spot the clues but I can.

– She looks really happy. If this was the real me, I wouldn’t look so happy. Just a few months before this photo, I had been sitting at the desk in my student accommodation with a bottle of my mother’s strong painkillers on the desk in front of me. It had been my plan to take them at a point where there was no risk of being found and saved. This was when Android Dawn took over.

– You can tell it’s Android Dawn from the optimal physical state. If this was real Dawn then the body would reflect the inner turmoil. It would have layers of protection. This version of Dawn doesn’t need protection.

I get such a mixture of feelings when I look at this photo. Mainly, I don’t know this person. This is not me. When I went to University I changed. I was about 18 in this photo. I am 45 now. I learnt that if I was to survive, I needed to stop being me. I became an actor rather than the real me.

It was a great strategy. I went into my career with no limiting beliefs or fears. Because everything was scary, I learnt to listen to nothing. I just kept going, no matter what.

I was successful. My career took off. I travelled all over the world. Android me had everyone fooled. I was happy and outgoing.

However, all along, the real me hid inside. That version of me was in hell. This is not me being melodramatic. All the pain was bunched up in one small core.

Over the years the pain grew until it could no longer be contained. The real me began to come through. I wanted kids but I was too scared to get close to the hubby. He found a therapist for me and I started going to see her. After about 18 months I got to the stage where my fears had gone enough to get pregnant. It was terrifying to be pregnant, but I loved my body for what it was able to do. For the first time I saw my body as something good. Until I got pre-eclampsia. My body let me down so badly that after 26 weeks, Adam was delivered by C-section. He never really had a chance and he died.

But now I had a bigger problem. Android Dawn was now gone and I was left having to cope with everything. With hating myself and wanting to die, with losing my first child. The hubby and I had already talked and knew we would try again. This kept me going.

My daughter came along. For the first time it wasn’t about me. There was no escape now, I just had to be me. And I realised that wasn’t good enough. I was going to screw her up.

Once more I went to therapy, but this time it was different. This time it was Trevor Silvester, the founder of Cognitive Hypnotherapy.

Now I was on an entirely different path. A path that led to me giving up my career and start a totally new one as a therapist. A path that led to me accepting me and finding true peace and happiness with that.

It has been an intense experience. It is said that you can’t stop energy, you can only transform it. All that pain that was contained all those years had become quite some force. And now it has been transformed from pain into passion. Passion for helping others with their pain.

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So this is me. This is the real me. Inside and out. This me I recognise. I am happy and I am at peace. I look forward to each day. I look forward to the future. Equally, I enjoy the present. I enjoy the moments. I smile more now than I have probably ever done in my life. I don’t need Android Dawn any more.

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