A Long Distance Marriage

A Long Distance Marriage

I’m not going to lie to you, this has been the most tiring year of my life.
So many things happened that would leave all of you speechless, but that’s not what you’re here to read.

I always looked at people going through this and thought to myself “they’re doing great” and “they’re really strong people” and “I’m glad they are able to manage this LDR”.
What I didn’t know, soon became my own reality.

Even after moving to Berlin, I am still not done working on my visa papers to be able to stay there for good.
So the long-distance marriage begins, and it’s not quite the dream.

First of all, let me begin by explaining to you that I am the worst person you could talk to on WhatsApp. I rarely ever understand if you’re serious, joking, sarcastic, or just not in the mood to talk.
How would anyone ever know anyway?
That was the first problem I had because when you misunderstand someone who’s kilometers away, there’s nothing you can do about it except call and try to fix it.
Which leads me to the second problem!
Calling anyone who’s abroad with our terrible internet is really a challenge.
I recommend subscribing to the largest Mobile Data your cell phone provider has to offer unless you have a badass internet at home. Then you’re just really lucky.
And speaking of luck, it’s a good thing we only have a one hour difference otherwise I don’t know what I would’ve done. I like my good night sleep.

So if you’re here for some tips, I would gladly add a few things to what Nicole had to say in her own blog post, from my own perspective.

Enjoy your time alone with your family, it won’t be long before you have to join your partner abroad.

It’s important to know each others’ schedules during the day to avoid texting or calling at the wrong time.

Use the same Netflix account and watch the same series together: you’ll have something new to discuss.

Try to stay as positive as you can, it keeps the relationship alive. Be thankful for each other’s health and safety!

Set a date. Decide when one of you will get to see the other again, don’t leave this subject hanging. It literally destroys all hope.




Try to celebrate all the little things you wouldn’t even notice before.

See this as a new way to accumulate airline miles!

It will never be 100% perfect, don’t beat yourself up every time something happens.

It’s been 5 months for us. I’m still learning, discovering, making mistakes and laughing at myself. This will never be a piece of cake, but it can be bearable when you want it to work.
I know many people who live together and yet aren’t as close as a LDR couple is.
Which reminds me of something I read on Twitter:

“You can be in the same room with the same person for years, and be in a long distance relationship.” 

Distance is only as hard as you make it!


I hope that after Nicole’s tips and mine, you can understand that every relationship takes work, but one with a long distance, takes twice the hard work- but it does not mean it is not feasible.

If you’re in a LDR, please share your tips in the comments below!

My Story with Anxiety

My Story with Anxiety

“Why are you so angry?”
“How come you never socialize, don’t you like these people?”
“Do something about it”
“Why don’t you face them with the truth?”
“Go ahead you’ll be fine all by yourself, what do you need me for?”
“You’re canceling this event, AGAIN?”
“But you said you were coming this time.”
These are all the things I grew up hearing from people without knowing the reason behind them.
I always considered myself as a shy introvert, and never really knew what the problem was.

But then came Nour.

She doesn’t call herself an advocate of mental health on Instagram for no reason.
She was there for me since day one, and I’m so grateful.
That problem I was telling you about, was nothing but anxiety.
Nour drove me to my first psychiatrist’ appointment in 2016. She made sure my anxiety wouldn’t push me to run away from it as she stayed in the waiting room patiently while I went on to discover what this anxiety means.

What is anxiety, really?

Anxiety is a reaction to something that might happen that is out of proportion. It’s thoughts and concerns, that last longer than 6 months and interfere with your life.

For me, it was the constant feeling that something bad is going to happen. A yet unexplained fear, affecting my day-to-day living. It was stomach pain, sweaty hands, headache and nausea all at once.

Sometimes, it was anxiety attacks or panic attacks.

Aren’t anxiety and panic attacks the same?

During an anxiety attack, a person is usually reacting to a stressor.
They would feel their heart racing and a shortness of breath, but it would all go away as soon as the stressor goes away.

A panic attack, on the other hand, doesn’t come in reaction to a stressor.
It’s unpredictable and unprovoked.
During a panic attack, a person usually feels like they’re having a heart attack, like they’re going to die.Add to that a series of physical symptoms which may include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea.

What triggers anxiety?

It’s basically a combination of personal, genetics, and environmental factors.

Anxiety is different for each person, and I recommend seeing a psychologist to determine your own reasons for it.

How can I avoid being anxious?

Like I said, seeing a psychologist is the best option.
But for me, there are things I do on a daily basis that help me control it better.

1.Caffeine: I try to avoid caffeine as much as possible as it may trigger or worsen anxiety.
2.Never Skipping Meals: When I skip meals, my blood sugar drops. When my blood sugar drops, my body confuses hunger with anxiety. When you’re hungry you get jittery hands and an upset stomach, and same goes for anxiety.
3.Breathing slowly: Another symptom of anxiety is breathing uncontrollably fast. I always make sure to try to stop myself from overreacting by inhaling through my nose, and exhaling through my mouth.
4.Sleep: Getting at least 7 hours of sleep is necessary for me, or I won’t wake up with a fully rested mind.
5.Start a journal: Write your thoughts, watch them as they become real, and realize how silly they are. They say it’s all in your mind, so change that.

I follow these tips myself, and other tips my psychologist recommended.
I can manage my anxiety better, even when it hits me with no warning!

That was something I never thought was possible, until Nour helped.

How to help someone with anxiety, the dos and don’ts

What to do:

1. Always make sure to let them know they’re not alone in this. And actually mean it.
2. Give them a tight hug, until it doesn’t hurt anymore.
3. Pamper them in any way they like! Chocolate, movies, anything would do.
4. Talk to them and listen to them. Understand them and let them know that you’ll do your best to help- and again, mean it.
5. Check up on them from time to time!
6. Things you could say that could help:
• I’m here for you
• I probably don’t understand you, but I’ll try if you let me
• I care about you, you are not alone in this
• What can I do to help?
• I don’t want to leave you alone, I’m coming over
• It’s going to be okay
• I know it may seem like the end of the world, but from my perspective it isn’t, and I want you to understand that
• Let’s do something else and we’ll discuss this in exactly 15 minutes. (This keeps their mind off of it for a while)

What not to do:
Tell them these things:
• Other people have it worse.
• You think you’re anxious? You should hear about what happened with…
• That’s not anxiety, are you sure?
• Why would you need a psychologist? You’re not mentally ill.
• When I was your age, I had more problems and I wasn’t as scared as you are now. I was strong.
• You should pray, it will go away that way.
• These are silly problems, what the hell are you worried about?
• You’re being stupid, come on.
• You’re just overreacting


Anxiety isn’t exactly every person’s dream but it’s real, and it happens.
I was lucky enough to have someone explain it all to me, thank you Nour!

Thank you to everyone who was ever there for me and still is, feeling like you’re not alone is what really helps.
Thank you to my understanding family, to my supportive husband, and my amazing friends.

I’m one lucky person.