I had a really rough day yesterday. Friday night started with a couple glasses of Cava, continued with a large bottle of white wine, and ended with two beers, consumed in public where I interacted with people. I don’t remember the particulars of those interactions, and when I woke up on Saturday, I had a complete shame attack. I felt disgraced by how I must’ve looked to other people being so drunk and carefree. It didn’t help that I also felt like someone was drilling a hole into my right temple.
Whenever this happens, I text the people I was with the night before to make sure I was at least charming in my stupor. Not until I’ve heard back from everyone do I feel OK, and even then, I’m still blinking back tears at weird intervals. Last night I had to work, and I was constantly wiping away little surges of them between helping customers.
And then I talked to my mom, and figured out that I felt so horrible because I, for the night, let go of all this sadness and all of the things that happened to me. It made me feel irresponsible and guilty. And there’s the survivor guilt I’ve been hearing so much about. I tell people I don’t feel it because Clark wanted me to enjoy my life and be happy. But when, for a night, him dying isn’t the first thing on my brain, I wake up feeling embarrassed. I don’t really know how to change that, either. Yesterday I LIVED in his illness. I watch him die again and again.
And so I didn’t want to go home to the empty house. I called Cella and went over there instead. Her apartment is right near the club, and it’s clean and bright and makes me feel safe. I woke up in her room this morning, and she printed out a picture of me from our trip home to Pennsylvania two weeks ago and put it above her dresser. I’m wearing my bathing suit and standing in my parents’ backyard and smiling with squinty eyes. And it made me cry to know that she loves me so much so that she wants an image of me visible in her room at all times. It made me feel so much better.