Rich and I went to see a movie yesterday afternoon. It was the first time we’d been to a theater since the summer of 2019 where we’d gone to see the live action remake of Aladdin; a perfect choice for us given that our wedding song happens to have been “A Whole New World” from the original animated movie. Who knew it’d end up being the last movie we’d go to for the next three and a half years. 

In our early years of dating and then eventually marriage, Rich and I would go to the movies, almost weekly, especially during the era of “Toonie Tuesdays”; Christmas day was also a no-brainer for us where we would often do a double feature. 

We met back in 1990 while working together at a popular videostore (I’ve said it many times before but for those who don’t know, Rich was my Manager!). We loved movies (also why we chose our wedding song from a movie). Movies bonded us right from the moment we met (and for the next 20 plus years when Rich went on to work in the home entertainment industry our home would always be overflowing with VHS cassette tapes and DVD’s from every genre of film; at one time we probably had 1000’s). But eventually, a few years after we married, kids and other commitments came along, making it more difficult for us to break free from reality and escape any time we felt like it into a world of make-believe at the theater (those VHS tapes and DVD’s certainly came in handy). 

And then, by 2014, just as we were starting to enter a new phase of our lives where our kids were now old enough to stay home by themselves (well, 2 of them at least) and we no longer needed to book a babysitter in advance so that we could enjoy a date night (or a lazy Sunday afternoon), my illness erupted, posing a whole new set of obstacles for me, and in turn for Rich too; going to a movie theater being one of them. I lost interest in going to the movies and found (and still find) that movie theaters can be way too triggering for me and often fill me with such anxiety, taking my mind to a very dark and dismal place, instead of a place to escape reality and entertain me. So Rich, who still really enjoyed going to see movies, would take a kid instead (he’s also no stranger to going by himself from time to time). Sometimes I’d tag along if it was a “light, brainless movie”, but it’s been very few and far between. 

Lots has changed since the last time we went to a movie together (besides the obvious), just the two of us; three and a half years ago while the girls were away at camp (no clue exactly where Jacob was at the time) so when Rich received a Cineplex gift card from friends of ours for his birthday knowing how much he enjoyed going to the movies, he immediately had the perfect movie in mind, and even though it wasn’t to be released for another 7 weeks following his birthday, he knew it would also be an enticing way to get me back into the theater after so long and well worth the wait. Yesterday that wait was finally over and it seemed like a perfectly, uneventful, rainy, New Year’s Day afternoon to use his gift card. 

There was a level of excitement brewing inside of me yesterday morning as I prepared myself to go to the theater after a quiet New Year’s Eve spent at home with some friends the night before. I was especially looking forward to sharing a big tub of movie popcorn smothered in butter with Rich (during the Pandemic my kids would often Uber Eats theater popcorn to our house; fun times LOL). But at the same time I was also quite nervous as I had hardly slept the night before, my anxiety was also brewing, tears were gearing up for the sound of music and to make matters even worse I’d been experiencing one of the worst, most unrelenting and unbearable flare-ups I’d felt in days from all my neurological issues (happy f*@*ing new year to me). I second guessed my decision and wasn’t quite sure that a very loud, darkened theater where I’d have to sit for over two hours was really the smartest move for me but I went anyways because well, the popcorn was calling my name and I LOVED Whitney Houston. 

Her sudden death due to her addiction to drugs back in 2012 was such a tragic loss to the music world and fans like me. I still believe to this day that she probably had the greatest, most breathtaking voice of all time (tied with Celine Dion). I remember how excited I was the first time I got to see her in concert with some friends in the early 90’s at the CNE’s Exhibition Stadium (I’d spent the day with Rich at the Ex playing games and eating lots of food and then I met up with my friends afterwards to go see her in concert). 

The movie did not disappoint and although I was exhausted, filled with anxiety, brain zaps and heart palpitations, tears flowing a mere ten minutes into the start of the film when Whitney (played by the fabulous Naomi Ackie) began singing her hit song “The Greatest Love of All”, I was restless and unable to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time due to my unbearable flare-up I was having (which has not relented for a good 24 hours now) and even though I also needed to muffle the loud and very amplified sounds echoing through the speakers around the theater by covering my ears throughout most of the movie, I really am proud of myself for going, for stepping outside my comfort zone (this is my life as I know it now) and for having the opportunity to see it on the big screen after a very lengthy hiatus! 

I only wish there’d been a different ending to your story Whitney. You were such a beautiful soul who was surrounded by genuine love and people who truly cared about your wellbeing (sadly not everyone though). You had sold-out stadiums filled with people cheering you on, fighting along side you, wanting to see you continue to thrive and beat your battle with addiction. Unfortunately though, over time, your disease slowly took hold of your mind and body, controlling your every move and pushing those who genuinely loved and truly cared about you further away. The demons you were up against near the end of your life were so powerful and no longer allowed you to see your self-worth, or just how much more you still had left in you to offer to the world. 

“I will always love you” Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard)

*if you or someone you know is battling with an addiction, help is available. You are not alone. 

#whitneyhouston #greatestloveofall #movietheater #giftoffriendship #music #survival #addiction #thevoice #breathtaking #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #ourlovestory #fighter #Aladdin #awholenewworld #youarenotalone #depression #anxiety #tragicloss #selfworth #selflove #selfcare #noisecancelling 

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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