Because We Went To The Movies

The emotions have been all over the place this weekend. One minute I’m participating fully in the present moment, completely engaged and feeling content with life. Then, out of nowhere, the heartache and longing hit me out of nowhere and I feel my eyes fill with tears. Or, without any obvious trigger, my mind begins to race, my stomach churns, and my chest feels like a car is resting on top of it. Then everything settles for a moment… only for the madness to start all over again.

I was fully riding that roller coaster last night as the kids and I drove home from dinner with some friends. At one point, I was singing along to the music with the kids, and then I saw Burger Republic out the window, and I fell apart.

An Unforgettable Movie Night

If you weren’t aware of this already, Emily and I share a love of all things psychology related. We always went to that section in McKay’s, we frequently pulled our DSMs during discussions over what mental health condition we thought a TV show character had, and the majority of the memes, links, and videos we shared with each other were somehow mental health related.

Anyway, given that information, it should be no surprise that I wanted to go see Words on Bathroom Walls when it came out in August of 2020. It also shouldn’t surprise you that I asked Emily to go with me and she said yes without hesitation.

For your reference, the film is about a high schooler who is diagnosed with schizophrenia and has a hard time talking about it and coping. There’s also a love interest and other sappy things. So, the perfect movie for girls who enjoy tearing apart films that get mental health conditions like this wrong.

Back to the story…

We planned to start the night with dinner at Red Robin, but they had over an hour wait. So, we ran down the road to Burger Republic. We ordered, enjoyed our food, and talked. Unfortunately, we left pretty much immediately after we saw a mouse run through the restaurant, which meant we still had time to kill before the movie and we both didn’t get to finish our boozy shakes.

I can’t remember which one of us thought of it, but we decided to go to the liquor store and get some nips that we could sneak into the movie theater and add to our fountain drinks. We wandered around the liquor store for a bit, then bought what we came in for and headed to the movie.

The movie ended up being much better than I expected, and the company was obviously even better. I think her chillness with our rebellious move of taking the booze into the theater caught me off guard since she usually seemed to panic over anything that might get her in trouble, but it also made me see what a badass she really was, which made me fall for her even more. I felt like I was in high school or actually getting an authentic college experience (music majors who are working to pay for school don’t have time to be a “college kid”). It was so much fun. Emily was so much fun.

Movie For One

Since Emily died, I’ve seen a couple movies advertised that I wouldn’t have minded seeing. But every time I contemplated going to the theater alone, all I could think about was that magical movie night. Although I know I could sneak alcohol in (I’ve gotten good at that lately), I don’t know if I could make it through an entire movie by myself without wishing for my Emily.

Thanks to Emily, I have so many incredible stories like this one. And because of her, I relearned what it’s like to have fun, laugh, and enjoy life.

Yet, without her, I can’t seem to find the joy in life. I can laugh for a moment, smile through a two-hour ballet, or have fun with my friends for an evening. But eventually, it all comes back — the heartbreak, the overwhelming sadness, the anxiety and despair. It all engulfs me until I can’t feel anything else. Maybe soon I’ll learn how to breathe without her. But for now, I’m going to try my best to turn the tears into stories of the happy memories that came before.


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