Written by Maggie Kent
Being in a long-distance relationship is tough.
Even at the best of times it’s tough, and then if you add having depression to that mix it gets even harder. There are days where all I want to do is tell him everything I’m thinking and feeling and just hug him and hear that everything is going to be okay -but most days that doesn’t work out. Between work and school and social lives and other activities, life sometimes gets in the way, and that is no one's fault.
Mark and I have been dating for just over 4 years now. We met through a mutual friend in January of 2013 and have been together ever since. When we first started dating I hadn’t been diagnosed yet but looking back I definitely was not in a great place. He really lit up my days; the best part about them was taking to him and he was actually a big part of why I finally went and talked to a counsellor.
The biggest challenge I have found with having depression and being in a long-distance relationship is not having that person that you love available to you when you want them. We are living in different cities and have our own schedules and sometimes we don’t know what the other person is doing at a specific time. Through no fault of his sometimes I am having a hard time and I text him and he cannot reply for a few hours. This is tough, but it has taught me not to rely solely on other people for help when I’m having a bad day. I try and make myself feel better by reading old texts from him, looking at pictures of us together and thinking about funny memories that we have shared together and with our friends.
When he is there for me (which is always) it never fails to make me feel better.
He knows exactly what to do to make me smile and he has learned over the years what to look for and how to help me through a tough day or week. When I asked him about his side of the story this is what he said:
“Being in a long-distance relationship isn’t necessarily easy. It’s a lot harder to comfort her and be there over text messaging but I do my best. I ask her how her day is and try to pick up on the little cues. When I can tell she’s feeling down I do my best to try and make her smile. I tell her I love her, I remind her of the good times we’ve had and the ones to come. I even send her things she likes whether it’s a picture of a cute animal or a silly comic. I try to do anything to help bring out her beautiful smile”.
Ultimately being in a long-distance relationship is hard and I miss him all the time but it has shown me how strong I really am and how self-sufficient I can be when I need to. This relationship has taught me a lot about myself and about how depression affects me. At the end of the day I wouldn’t trade it because I have learned so much.
(Although I am excited to live in the same city hopefully soon!)