by Tammy Ozolins
My favorite song of all time is called The Dance by Garth Brooks it has a lot of meaning to me.
First, it reminds me of a special friend of mine, Brian, but we called him Rini. He and I would dance at the various dances we had at school. We were very close and shared a lot of memories –school, parties etc.
Unfortunately he took his own life February 20, 1996, a day after my twin’s and my birthday. My twin brother was good friends with him as well and now all I have left are all the “dances” we shared.
If you listen to the lyrics, it says:
“How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
the way it all would end,
the way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance,
I could have missed the pain
but I’d have to miss the dance”
It has been over 22 years since Rini died, and some years it is still hard to accept. But in my mind and heart, I am so glad I did not know what was going to happen because if I did then maybe I would not have been friends with him.
I am grateful and thankful my own suicide attempt did not take away the dances in my life. I look back now and think, “Wow I would have missed watching my nieces and nephews grow up.” I have been able to watch them be successful and have their failures as well.
It also has helped me to want to create more dances
I used to think I was too busy and I didn’t do that many things. Now I want more dances and to get those, I need to take some chances in life. My dances were becoming too expected. I was doing the same thing over and over.
I have been (and still am) afraid of change and failure. Failure would sometimes send me into a depression or mania.
I know I would have missed out on my own dances, including graduating from college, moving to another state, and being a teacher for 14 years. I have had the same best friends for the past 18 years and we have shared so many laughs, memories, and tears. Our family is very close, too. I would miss out on making those memories.
Now, I can see that my bipolar disorder is part of my dance.
There are some times when the dances are fast. And other times when they are slow. Then other times they are both.