I woke up, and I smelled smoke, and my first instinct was horrible, gut-wrenching fear. Blind panic.
And suddenly I realised I just couldn't face it. Not even so much that I couldn't face public transport and Central London - or even leaving the house, really. But more that I couldn't face newspapers, endless parades of disaster pr0n, one minute silences, two minute silences, the public displays, the contest to see whose sympathy can be the most shrill, whose commentary can be the most pithy and navel-gazing.
So I stayed in bed, pillows over my head, mostly sleeping. I left the house once, forcing myself to go to the park to prove that London wasn't on fire - in fact, the burning smell was a construction site down the road incinerating some rubbish. I wrote in my diary, dug out old diaries to see what I was feeling on other anniversaries. It's all mixed together for me, the horror of Being There (no, sorry, watching it on television was *not* the same as seeing it in the flesh, in the sheer "I was there. I saw this" disasters of war sense) and the personal holocaust that followed, only tangentially related.
My mum is on this new kick about "not rehearsing negative emotions, because it reinforces neural pathways" which just smells to me of that whole, blinkered, American wilfully mindless positivism, like you can hide all of life's negative aspects behind a neural net curtain.
But on this topic, it might just be something to turn away, close the door and just not dwell on it.