At first single life was panic attacks and crushing loneliness. It felt shameful. It felt like failure and rejection. It felt as if society had labelled me defective. Yet when, after days that became months and years, I had found my calm and peaceful centre, there was a new perspective. The universe was giving me time to heal, healing that was all the faster for the lack of old negative influences. It gave me time to learn how to rise from such a challenge and trust myself. It gave me time to grow in confidence and grow in psychological maturity. It gave me time to become kinder to others who find themselves in peril and difficulty. And so, though the flames were hot and the ashes so very cold, I did arise with more wisdom, more courage and greater resolve. I appreciate myself more. I appreciate others more. Panic attacks are no more. Lonely feelings transformed into a confident contentment with solitude. Failure became chances to learn new ways of living and behaving. Shame was a label I tool off and burnt because it was never mine. "Defective" became comprehendible as scars from trauma - scars inflicted and survived; I learned to see them as part of my proper functionality, of a reasonable response to hardship. And so, after time, the single life became lovely. A partner could become a welcome luxury, an addition to an already good life. I can love with more freedom, with loving arms that are capable letting go, of standing back and seeing the other person for who they are too. Gone is the fire and ice, the push and pull of trauma. Now there is passion, yet without the panic of yesteryear.