Hello everyone and happy Friday, wherever you are in the world! Today I’m continuing to share with you my personal struggle with mental illness–and triumph over it–in the blog series called A Light in Darkness.
What is A Light in Darkness all about? It’s where I share the highs and lows, the tears and scars, and the joy and spark and love that has ultimately gotten me to this wonderful point of my life. My path, my beautiful life. I hope that by telling my story, I can inspire others to keep going with their lives and feel wonderful.
I am by NO means a trained counsellor. I cannot offer you professional advice. I do hope that my words help, and it will be wonderful if they do. My only training comes from life itself, and I’m still learning! You can read my other posts in the series here.
Today’s topic is long distance love.
Even in 2016, there are still people who think long distance relationships, or LDRs, are hopeless and pointless. I’ve been in two long distance relationships and they were/are the two major ones of my life. First I will tell you about the wrong way I did it, then I will tell you about my current way of doing it. 😉
I was in a LDR with my ex-husband for three years before I’d had enough of his lack of communication, so I broke up with him. We got back together a month later on the agreement that one of us needed to move to be with the other, or it was never going to work. We met in person for the first time in 2008, then I went back to Canada to live with him.
Frankly, I don’t know how I kept up that relationship, especially the long distance part. He never told people about me until he was coming to visit me. He cheated on me (which I didn’t know until years later). He wouldn’t Skype and we never had a lot of real conversations, although we got on very well and felt affection for one another. I pined, I was severely depressed and lonely, but I hung on and on with this imagined version of who he was. I romanticized my own relationship because I so badly wanted to be in one and to get out of Virginia.
I was pretty damn dumb.
Although, it DID bring me to Canada, and I wouldn’t trade those years for the world.
The second LDR is my current one with Jon.
We’ve logged countless hours talking over the course of many years, so once we began our relationship, communication was already very important to us. Jon and I communicate excellently, although things over text can sometimes come across the wrong way and there’s always bumps and potholes in the road, because that’s just how relationships go. We constantly maintain our relationship, both of us fully invested in its survival and in each other’s comfort while we’re physically apart. We spend many hours on Skype, sometimes up to 9-10 hours at a time, and when we’re not video chatting we’re chatting in Viber. We’ve always been honest and respectful of each other, and that only helps us now.
While our relationship functions well and moves forward at a steady course, the whole long distance aspect can be incredibly depressing. We’re separated by the Atlantic Ocean, our respective countries’ immigration laws, and the fact that Jon’s work wouldn’t really appreciate it if he wanted to take more time off to visit me, haha! Also, airline tickets are bloody expensive! And I thrive on the physical touch and closeness of my partner, so not having that is very painful when we can’t be with each other for months at a time.
In my first LDR I learned how to have patience and perseverance. While I should have jumped ship with that one, learning those things has helped me deal with my relationship with Jon until we’re back together in person. I’ve also learned how to not take him or the things he does for granted.
I have to live for the present and take one day at a time, keeping my mind busy and continuing to talk to Jon as much as possible. If my soul hurts, I write.
If I have to wrap myself up in blankets and cry sometimes, or indulge in sweets, or watch really stupid videos until I laugh, or write until I’m spent and weary, then I do it. But I also get outside, I create, I laugh, I spend time with my friends, I meditate, I make sure not to fall into old habits regarding my depression.
And I remember why I’m doing this.
And I continue to live, rejoicing in the knowledge that this won’t be for too much longer.
I’m not going to lie and say LDRs are easy, because they’re not.
I think I’ve come a long way with my heart, my mind, and my soul.
But this one is more than worth it.