we went to the uk

We've been to the UK!

Two and a half weeks. It's been so incredibly rich, so colourful, so bright.

We went to Manchester, Leeds, Brownhills, Huddersfield and Liverpool to see friends and family, and to Cornwall and Somerset for touristing (I had never been to the South before!). There are always people we would have loved to see, and places we would have loved to go, that we couldn't fit in this time (Scotland, for example, was just too far away now that we had decided to go to the South, and London was ruled out due to Liam's burnout - London can be so much, you know). But other than that, this was the perfect trip for us right now. I'm very grateful.

We got quality time with some of our closest friends and with Liam's family. It's so valuable; we've felt so welcome. I went on some truly astonishing walks (Liam comfortably installed at a café somewhere, in the shade, with wifi and a cappuccino - although Rafi and I actually managed to drag him out to Ilkley Moor with us) and to my first ever beer festival. We had long, luxurious breakfasts, went to a fabulous concert at Bridgewater Hall, stayed at a couple of wonderful bed & breakfasts (and one that was pretty grotty), watched the Great Pottery Throwdown, taught a balboa class, drove around Liverpool to see every house Liam has ever lived in, had a delightful stroll around Bath, played board games, visited two national parks and spent many hours in the car, listening to the news or to music, chatting, being quiet together.

It took a few days, almost a week, for Liam to sink into the vacation and become ... well, himself, again. I've seen it happen before; every time we go on a long vacation like this, he sheds layers of anxiety and slowly unwraps calm, energy and joy underneath. A weekend or a long weekend is not enough for that magic to happen, it has to be longer, and has to be away from home. Just before we went, my therapist explained how common burnout is among undiagnosed neurodivergent people. I reacted with OHHHH OKAY this makes a lot of sense, as did Liam as soon as I told him. We just hadn't thought about burnout as a factor in the joyous cocktail that was already ADHD, depression and anxiety. But, we've learned a lot about Liam's mental health in this past year, and there's so much hope on the horizon, now. More on that and on the long term plan later; for now I'll just bask in the joy of having him here with me, present, with a light in his eyes again, the way he was when we met.

Every single day of this trip, I thought about how I must genuinely be the luckiest person in the world. Can you imagine the privilege? Having the time and money, the health and the relationships, to do a trip like this? Feet to hike with, eyes to see with, a nose to smell the sea. The sun on my face, the fog around the cliffs at Land's End. Incredible. The heart and mind to take it all in and keep it. I'm so grateful.

Coldplay | feelslikeimfallinginlove

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