Today was a milestone for our Andrew. He started classes at UVU. It's been a long journey for him to regain health and well being and energy enough to start to live his life again - to be "normal," if you will. The past few months have been spent deciding on whether to get a job to have an income that would enable him to move into a new apartment complex with student types (and away from the mentally disabled folks he's now progressed beyond), or whether to go back to school. Actually, the bad economy and the competition for jobs in Provo made the decision for him, and I think it was the right choice for him. I still think he should move, but... baby steps. One new adjustment and life change at a time.
He was nervous - rightly so - about starting school again. He hasn't been inside an academic classroom since 2007 when his first breakdown occurred, so his memory of school wasn't the best as he was so sick at the time. He took a fire fighting course a year and a half ago, but had another breakdown before he could put it to good use. This time - completely staying the course with his meds and following his doc's instructions, he is feeling great and ready to move on to better things and greener pastures. To a real, complete LIFE.
He had to take some testing first in English and Math - as anyone else would when they've been out of the game for awhile. Math - well, it's not his strong suit, and it's hard to remember formulas and whatever when you never liked it in the first place. But English? My word - he scored 85% on one section and 100% in another. It gave him a good shot of confidence, is what that did.
We advised him to start slow and just take a couple of classes - it's important for him to avoid stress, especially when he's just getting his sea legs. He had such a good day that his comment was that maybe he should go to school every day, instead of just a couple of days. I had to smile at that - so good to see him excited and looking forward to getting up, being somewhere, and doing something good for himself!
This may not seem like much to some of you. And indeed, it's baby steps. But even baby steps are a huge deal when you've not walked on your own in awhile. Andrew has fought a good fight to come back. He was here over Christmas, and he's got his quirky little sense of humor back, and real emotions instead of robotic ones, and he's ANDREW again. It's been over 3 years since we've seen that - a great battle has been fought and won, and there were many many angels who helped and watched over him. So many thanks to all of the people who saw something in Andrew that was worth saving, and who worked so patiently and tirelessly with him. We're all winners today. Amen and amen.
ps: Thanks to Katie who worked on making my blog title look better today. I have no idea what I'm doing as far as changing anything, so she was nice to design something more stylish for me. It's not there yet, but soon...