I drink lots of different types of coffee, but Café Direct was the first fairtrade certified coffee in the UK and they don't stop their work with a certification, so I like to keep buying from them. That little mug I picked up in the Design Museum gift shop in Copenhagen a couple of years ago, thinking it would be a gift to my part-Danish ex-boyfriend but since we never survived my return from the holiday, I kept it and love it so much! It's by Studio Arhoj and on finding the link for this post I've realised it's stocked in Islington at Twentytwentyone! The Denby has sentimental stories as my family all bought bits for me in waves when I was starting to build my nest solo, so my crockery doesn't match but I love it all. And that's a terrible cafétiere; I don't know who thought metal ones were a good idea, they scrape every time you plunge and it kills the coffee moment.
When I was about 11, I crashed a quad bike. I was looking behind me to see how far ahead I was and, when I turned back around, there was a tree approaching. So I shut my eyes and put my arm out. The arm broke. It turned out the brakes would have worked better.
I remember adopting this most excellent strategy at various times when I got divorced; I shut my eyes. My amygdala didn't have a more suitable approach to adopt in its library. (Or however the brain works.)
I wouldn't read things that came to me -- letters of advice from vicars I had met once, or letters of empathy. I put legal documents quickly in a black envelope folder, reading as little as possible. When asked questions, I agreed to things I probably should have challenged. I was maxed out on confrontation. I froze at a party, with tears running down my face, as a friend questioned me how I could have done that; he had thought we were cut from the same cloth.
There are so many feelings at play with any break up, and they combine to make something that often feels too big. The feelings that have come to mind as I write this don't sit alongside each other well, and I think therein lies the problem. They combine to create a massive version of 'I want the hide under the duvet'.
Pain -- you part from someone you love(/d) and with whom you have entwined your life.
Excitement -- at new paths ahead.
Confidence -- in a decision you think is right.
Guilt -- at having confidence in a decision others think is wrong.
Liberation -- as you step away from something weighing you down.
Frustration -- at the weight of baggage that remains, and that it's not a blank canvas straight away.
Surprise -- at the level of public interest in parts of your life that are deeply private.
Urge to explain -- the situation to people whose business it isn't.
Confusion at the collision of these.
I haven't got a magic strategy for negotiating this time, and your amygdala may do something different, but equally useless. Friends can be rubbish, faith doesn't always help, and Gods sometimes don't fix things. But, with time, we contemplate coming out from under the duvet, having a shower, a cup of tea, and going for a walk. Trust me, we really do.