Sometimes people ask what qualifies me to write self-help books, and in particular about relationships? I tell them that it’s all from personal experience. There’s no doubting that many aspects of my life have been extraordinary, and the same is probably true for many reading this now. Maybe the only difference is that I write about what I have learned? This week has been no exception.

Paul Thorn

Paul Thorn

I recently met someone really special, and as I’ve written before, sometimes one just can’t help the door to the heart moving slightly ajar, maybe even flying open with a thud! As well as being joyous, it can be frightening and leave us feeling exposed and vulnerable. Although things seemed to be going really well with the new person in my life, I had dared to think that maybe something wonderful was about to happen, then the dynamic changed. The person I had been seeing was suddenly confronted by overwhelming anxiety, the historic residue from a past trauma some years ago. Again, I had met someone unavailable in some way. This says more about me than anything else. Anyhow, they decided to finish things. It has hurt, but I recognised within myself the stages of withdrawal starting to come into play - exactly as I write about them in my book, The Broken Heart Toolkit. Oh the irony! I now have to follow my own advice!

Yes, even relationship and self-help writers sometimes struggle when a relationship ends. Withdrawal from someone is a bit like coming off a drug and going cold turkey. Very often this pain can become entwined with past rejections. Fortunately this hasn’t happened to me this time. I had only dipped my toe in the water and hadn’t fallen too deep and today I know that emotional independence is the answer. If I were to dwell in the pain, to try and change something that I cannot change, then I am abandoning myself and not taking responsibility for my own emotional well-being.

I chose to accept that I’m in pain today, but I know that it will pass. I’ve bumped up my self-care, staying close to friends and avoiding isolating. The important thing is that the pain is experienced, and wounds are allowed to heal. So in a nutshell; no contact of any kind, staying aware of my thinking, and acknowledging it’s going to hurt. Yet, why do we allow ourselves to get into such emotional scrapes? Because it is worth it! When we have the right relationship with ourselves and two people connect on a deep level, and fall in love, it’s a wonderful thing. I’m in no rush to get into anything new, I’m still raw, but Cupid is wilful and may have other ideas. It’s not up to me. At the very least I can remain open to possibilities, always.

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