“little star…how I wonder what you are…up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky…”
Last week, I told my beloved that he reminds me of that children’s song, that part of my frustration with him is his mystery and my bewilderment and amazement at who he is and who he has become in my life. I wasn’t quite so eloquent during that conversation but I was trying to convey that he is both intriguing and maddening. I could have easily been talking about myself. I often wonder who the heck I am.
During that conversation with him, I compared my mind to a vast continent. I spoke of dark regions, of jungle and desert, of urban metropolis and undiscovered country. There is so much in my head that I have analyzed, intellectualized, compartmentalized. My inquisitive nature has caused me to question myself for as long as I can remember. My creative streak has composed a million answers, a million stories, a million poems and metaphors that attempt to explain the unexplainable why of who I am and what I say and do and think. I have tried to map that large expanse of thoughts and feelings. Once in a while, I have succeeded. Most of the time, I am washed up onto the shore of my mind, a castaway from a shipwreck of emotion.
Today, for instance. I could blame my hormones, the gray sky, Brett’s memorial service looming ever closer, my second and highly anticipated visit to Soldier also fast approaching. I could blame myself, my self-destructive streak, my inability to accept joy without looking over my shoulder in fear and doubt. Whatever the reason or for all of them, I lost control. I had my fifth panic attack since January.
On the Richter scale of seriousness, with the night when I made the hole in the wall being a 9, today’s breakdown was about a 5. I didn’t break anything. I curled up on my bed and screamed and cried for about 3 minutes. I sent a text message, “Help.” And then I did what I have done lately, I called for my Play Brother. I begged him to come back. He didn’t, not in The Sixth Sense way, but I remembered his face and his voice and I knew his eyes might have filled with tears to know I am in pain. So I took a deep breath and let my lungs and larynx rest.
So am I? I am the former teacher who is turning to a former student for lessons in hope and survival. I am a proud graduate of a school on the wrong side of the tracks. I don a suit in the school colors and proudly announce the names of winners of scholarships and awards(and yes, my heart swells with joy because I have done some good in this life.) I am recovering from depression, dealing with anxiety and coping with the loss of one of my best friends. I am a woman in love, facing emotions I have put off for years and therefore confronting long-held apprehensions. I am an author channeling her crazed protagonist. I am that little star up above the earth, sometimes lonely, sometimes brilliant, always shining.