We have just returned from a four-day-trip to the University of California at Berkeley (and Davis), two of the four campuses my 17-year-old son has applied to. Because he's a community college transfer student, he won't know where he's been accepted for another two weeks. But this week was spring vacation and so we had to take advantage of his time off.
I can't tell you how thankful I am that I felt well enough to go. To be honest, even though I may have seemed fine for the past few months, I have been recovering from a depression that started at the end of November. I've been feeling better for the last few weeks but not "as good as it gets."
Before we left, I had been able to do errands, household chores, and accomplish a multitude of small tasks, but I still didn't feel well enough to spend time with friends. I had begun working for short periods outdoors but I hadn't started the Wellness Walking program that was one of my New Year's resolutions. Still, I was bound and determined to make this experience a memorable one for my son and my husband. And it was.
What amazed me was that I was able to carry all this off even though UC Berkeley holds terrible memories for me. Thirty-nine years ago--almost to the day--I was a freshman there myself. After a truly wonderful high school experience, I started college as a mid-semester graduate (This was quite common in California) in April 1968, and within four weeks, I experienced the first depressive experience of my entire life.
While I had gone back to Berkeley a few years ago to excise my demons--and bring closure to my "triggering event"--this time, all I wanted was the ability to allow my son to look at the campus without prejudice. College should be the most exciting period of his life thus far, and I wanted to be supportive and helpful.
[to be continued]