Lately life has been knocking me around a little bit. Getting bad news is never easy, but facing it without Jay can take a major toll on my emotions. I feel the same way when something happens in his life. How can you comfort someone across 10,000 miles?
When I’m upset, usually it’s because of something I hear during the day. Jay is usually sleeping so I’ll chat him a quick message and go about my day. When I leave work I immediately lace up my running sneakers, grab my iPod, and head out the door. Exercise is the one thing that really helps clear my head. At first my focus is on all of my troubles, propelling me to run faster to release my frustration.
I race against the anger, the sadness, the confusion….and eventually my mind wanders to the trees and the people around me. For that short time, nothing matters. I stop worrying about life’s hurdles and focus on the world’s beauty.
Yesterday I got some bad news about a family member and the only way I could think to “fix” it was going for a run. I took off fast and ended up over 3 miles away at a small beach. I absorbed the sun’s energy, taking in the beautiful ocean view. There were families of ducks and geese swimming peacefully in the cove and people tanning lazily in the sand. At that moment everything was perfect.
I got home feeling much better than before and was in really high spirits, but that came to a quick end. I guess life had it in for Jay yesterday too. He woke up feeling pretty ill and ended up heading to the doctor right before I went to sleep. Jay doesn’t get sick. He is one of those resilient folks who barely gets a cough and never has any health problems. He wouldn’t tell me much about how he was feeling and wasn’t in the mood to talk…that’s how he deals with his “bad” news. I already knew this so we chatted briefly and then I headed to bed as he went to the doctor.
When I drifted off to sleep my mind was buzzing with activity. I woke up multiple times last night, now not only focusing on Jay but remembering my own bad news from earlier in the day. I had one of the worst night’s sleeps in years and woke up feeling a sense of defeat.
I did get some good news though…Jay is on the mend! Sadly, this doesn’t make up for my lack of sleep, but it does make me hopeful for things to start looking up again. Now Jay is back to his silly chatty self so that also helps me forget about my problems.
We each have different ways of dealing with stressful news. For me, it’s running and for Jay it’s….not talking? But even if you can’t physically be there for someone, doesn’t mean you can’t comfort them.
Despite us both being in foul moods, Jay and I did manage to comfort each other. We offered words of encouragement and respected each other’s wishes on how to deal the stress. Sometimes you just need someone there to talk to while you help yourself overcome life’s challenges, even if that person is thousands of miles away from you.
Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Support