This comic will make you rethink the idea that long-distance relationships never work.

Sometimes love doesn't care about proximity.

Comic artist Becky Appleyard and her boyfriend have been in a long-distance relationship from the beginning. They've had some rough patches but their love has stayed strong despite living hundreds of miles apart in England.

Channeling her own experiences, Becky captures the joy and struggles of long-distance relationships in this quirky, illustrated guide:


Comic by Becky Appleyard/The Mighty Healthy Quest. Used with permission.

Becky is the creator of The Mighty Healthy Quest, a comic blog that explores topics about self-care and mental health.

"Creating comics on subjects like stress relief, positive thinking, confidence building, mindfulness ... has been very fulfilling and helpful for me personally, and the fact my work has helped others as well is just amazing," writes Becky in an email.

Despite the presumed failure and stigma of long-distance relationships, she received many responses from people sharing their success stories.  

“Anyone could suddenly find themselves in a long-distance relationship."

Becky says, “It's just really refreshing to see people talking about LD relationships in such a positive light, especially since the general mentality is ‘they NEVER work and are always a terrible idea!’”

She and her boyfriend still live on opposite ends of the U.K., but hope to make the jump to living together soon. While working on the comic, they tried to understand their relationship better to inspire others.

"Even though physically we're hundreds of miles apart and miss each other like crazy, our relationship is so loving, supportive and fun."

Not every long-distance relationship works out, but there's some honest truth in these comics that anyone in a relationship can relate to.

True

Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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