Years ago, when I first moved to London, lived in a dilapidated Victorian house with four other culprits. The most expensive things I owe was a £80 mattress. I was really proud of myself because it meant I could just get up and leave whenever I wanted. One day, standing it front of a shop window, me and my housemate were admiring beds, spread in front of us on the other side of that window. “They are lovely” –she said- but… We looked at each other and finished together “too much commitment”!

And indeed, that how I could characterise my life. I spent it running away from possessions, romantic relations, family ties. Opening to somebody meant they could hurt you, so I made sure I went out with people who were least interested in getting know me and I could keep it casual. I limited contact with my parents to occasional phone call once a month. I didn’t want them to participate in my life-that was easier.

I’ve strained my memory trying to remember any accident in my childhood which made me so emotionally walled –off. I couldn’t remember anything. I was just this weird creature who could talk about everything and anything.. as long as you didn’t expect her to open up about her emotions.

I always kept my options open waiting for something better to come along, until I hit my 30s and decided to grow up. It was a conscious decision. I realised that I can’t continue floating. There is famous Polish poem which talks about a ghost of a girl who spent her life flirting and having fun. When she died she was condemned to wandering around the earth forever, never allowed to touch the ground because she’d never touched it when she was alive – that’s how I felt-always present in body, never in my spirit.

So when I turned 30, I decided to make an effort. I bought a couple of lovely pieces of furniture (thought no bed yet). There was a guy at work I liked for years and he had recently become single. We went out and he broke my heart. It was horrible but it made me feel alive- as strange as it is, it was first time in my life I could genuinely say that I was in love.

Three years on, I’m dating somebody else and I’m about to buy my first house. I’m freaking out about it. Last night I had a panic attack. My current beau, who was away that week, stopped on his way home from a train station just to talk to me and calm me down. He sat there holding my hand and, like in a cheap romantic movie, it downed on me- he really is committed to me….and it didn’t bring and feeling of panic at all.

Kasha, 33, London