Embracing the suck, SUCKS. A Guide to Surviving the Long Distance Relationship

3 Jun

As of this very minute of me typing this sentence, Tyler and I have been married for 136 days, 4 hours and 51 minutes. He has been gone over EIGHTEEN HUNDRED MILES AWAY FOR 90 days, 20 hours and 21 minutes. I’m no math whiz (obviously) but that’s like, 46 days we were together (thank you calculator). So, literally, over half of our marriage has been spent apart. Ah, well, TECHNICALLY, you could count the 4 ‘days’ we got to spend with him in May towards time together I suppose, but still. Over half, and who knows HOW much more to go. This is probably the best image representation of our relationship I can come up with:

 

What is up with stick girl’s legs?? How is she even standing?!

 

And, as cute as these two little stick figures are, it SUCKS. SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS. But, you must learn how to “embrace the suck”, or make the most of a bad, terrible, FUBAR situation. (I’m just full of cool slang today. Look at me, shoooot). There are endless ways to do this, and tons of suggestions and 101 lists online. Some of the ideas are fun, and some…well, just really sucky. So, being the most awesome girl around, I’m going to give you a quick run-down of how you may be feeling, at any particular moment, and things to do to make the suck more, “un-sucky”.

 

FIRST- Lets talk feelings!

 

Now, how does that make you feel?

Well, I’m just going to go ahead and be a sharer right now (you’re welcome) and let you in on my emotions during this “time without Tyler”. Now, we spent at least part of every. single. day. together. So, when I drove him to that building (that I still sometimes look at all angry and passive-aggressive like, hence the attitude infused italics), I tried really, super hard not to cry like a baby and, well, I failed. This was bad for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want to make him feel bad for leaving, it’s not like he COULDN’T; 2) I have a pretty badass rep to uphold, and I have an ugly cryface.

 

Yup. That’s about right.

Okay, okay, technically that is three reasons. Whatever. But after I dropped him off, I purposely scheduled myself to work the rest of the day. Why? Well, so I could be surrounded by friends, and keep busy and not eat myself into a Ben and Jerry’s coma, THATS WHY.

 

At least it would’ve been a sweet, delicious, death.

 

Anyhow, I survived. It was hard. I was sad, and angry, and miserable, and lonely, and crazy. Like, I would have NO ONE over the age of five at home to talk to. Talking about dinosaurs and dollies- fun. 24/7? Ermergerd. Tyler, for those of you who don’t know, left for basic training with the Air Force. This meant, like THREE phone calls within 8.5 weeks, and the occasional letter (four, I think). That was it for hearing from him. To feel better, I wrote EVERY SINGLE DAY, wore his shirts to bed, and around the house, and stayed busy. When the communication is forcibly cut, the suck REALLY SUCKS.

It felt like that happened. My phone was always on, but never ringing.

 

To keep myself from a cannoli coma or a nervous breakdown, guess what? I went out and DID SHIT. LIKE A BOSS. Granted, I took a mental vacation for about a week, where I didn’t like, brush my hair, fix my face, or look at my clothes before walking out the door, and honestly, I think it may have been starting to scare people.

 

If these two crazy kids had a baby, it would’ve been me

 

And finally, one day, I woke up and said to myself “GET IT TOGETHER FIASCHETTI ADLE!!! YOU ARE ON A ONE WAY TRIP TO NASTYVILLE ON THE HOT MESS EXPRESS!!” I promptly hopped in the shower, did my hair, LOOKED at my clothes, put *some* face on, and went to school/work. And people like, ASSOCIATED with me. I wasn’t Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club anymore! Success!

 

YAY!

 

Getting up, and actually DOING stuff (like my homework, my job, and my own hygiene) made me feel better. I think I needed a week long pity party, and you might too. And that’s a-o-freaking-k. But for Pete’s sake, PULL IT TOGETHER. You may be in it for the long haul, you WILL start to smell. But I will tell you, after a couple weeks, things get a little more routine. For lack of a better term, you will ‘get used to it’. Not to say that you will like it, necessarily, but things will slowly fall into place, and you WILL SURVIVE.

 

This is your motto.

 

Well, now that you know how you MAY feel (bad, good, sucky, angry, indifferent- basically a rollercoaster) here are some things that you can do to embrace the big old suck. They aren’t in any particular order, but are things that work for us.

 

WHAT TO DO TO LESSEN THE SUCK

 

1) Write to him/her. I wrote a letter a day, sometimes two, to Tyler. It was like talking to him and telling him my day, like I always do, and it really did help me feel better. Even if he didn’t get to write back for what seemed like forever, it was still therapeutic for me. I had his address memorized by heart, I could fill out the envelope in my sleep.

 

A letter a day. Literally. If he wasn’t my husband, this could be grounds for stalking.

 

2) If you can go there- DO IT!!!! I went to see Tyler, with the kids and his family to see him graduate from basic. From New York to Texas. Between planning, shopping, packing, and thinking about the trip, time seemed to FLY BY. If you can afford it, I recommend going to see them. It was hands down, the BEST four days I have had, and the best vacation as well. As soon as we can plan it, pay for it, and iron out the fine details, I will be going again, this time to his Tech school, spending an uninterrupted weekend together. And as soon as he is done, you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to wherever it is to be with him, and stop this cycle of suck.

 

Even if I have to eat ramen for 6 months, I WILL go see you. ❤

 

3) Skype!! This has got to be, like, theeeee greatest thing since cannoli ice cream. Now that Tyler is in tech school (job college, of sorts) he can Skype with me after his day and my day! We can talk and ‘see’ each other for as long as we want! And text too! Now there is no crackly phone with a drill instructor yelling to get off it in the background! This has to have been the most recent thing to have lessened the suck, for sure, hands down. It sucks that I can’t PHYSICALLY be in a room with him, but this is like, way better than previous communication. If you don’t have it, invest in it.

 

Lol, but this is like, a legit thing. I think we will pass. I’m pretty sure I have an ugly sleep face too.

 

4) Keep busy! I had school, work, 2 kids, a diet (no cannoli ice cream for me), planning a trip, and candy crush to keep me occupied. Whatever you can do- do it. Now that school is over, I have my blogging to keep me entertained, and not only is it helping ME, its helping YOU! Look at me, all philanthropic and stuff! But seriously, DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING. You like your sanity, don’t you?

 

Be warned- candy crush WILL steal your soul.

 

5) Countdown- Literally, sometimes the only thing that will help some days is a countdown of when you will see each other again. This worked for me with boot camp, but since we have no idea when I’m going to see him OR when he is coming home, its not such a good tool now. But I have a countdown app for my phone, and in every letter I made a big ” X MORE DAYS!!”, so he could count down too.

 

And lookie there, his handsome little face in the background. dawwww.

 

6) A support system- be it co-workers, friends, or family, or in my case a trifecta of all three, you NEED a support system like a girl needs spanx. They don’t even have to necessarily have first hand experience with your situation to be able to love, support, and help you. My friends joked with me, drank with me, gossiped with me, texted me when they knew I’d be at my loneliest. My co-workers let me get away with being a wild, bummy, she-beast. And picked me up when I needed it. My family helped with the kids, listened to me, spent time with me on days where I would’ve usually had Tyler there to occupy me. My mother-in-law basically handled all  aspects of planning the Texas trip, because if anyone is clueless about these types of things, it is me. I THANK MY LUCKY STARS for all of these people I had, who had and still have my back.

 

We all have that one special person in our life. Cherish it!

 

Hopefully with this little knowledge bomb of life ex-suck-ience I have dropped on you, you will see that you CAN do it. Long distance isn’t a death sentence. So put down the spoon, turn off the tears, get off your ass, shower, get DRESSED and realize your world isn’t going to end sweetcheeks. It is what you make it. I used to be a pretty stressed out crazy sideshow of a meatball. Now I’m a slightly smaller, more relaxed, c’est-la-vie type of girl. Just roll with those punches. It will get dirty, and bitter, and frustrating, but you will make it, and look as happy as these two kiddos here:

 

Aren’t we just ADORABLE!?!?!?!?! GAWD!

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4 Responses to “Embracing the suck, SUCKS. A Guide to Surviving the Long Distance Relationship”

  1. Carolyn June 3, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    Absolutely loved it!

    • mommyneedsamargarita June 4, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      I’m amazed I really only did swear two times! I was having blog brain and couldn’t figure it out. Then I was like!!! Ahh, advice! As I waited for tyler to get done with work haha

  2. Pamela Adle June 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Great job Jenna! And it is all so true! Life is definitely a learning experience and you showed that here! So proud of both of you!

    • mommyneedsamargarita June 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

      Thank you! If I could get paid for my mind thoughts I would be totally set!

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