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To My New Roommate, From Your Roomie With Chronic Pain


Dear roomie,

I’ve known you for over a year now. You’ve seen some of my highs and lows almost every day at work. You know that when I’m hurting you can’t touch me, and that oftentimes I take naps in the office.

But you don’t know the half of it.

You just moved in, and I don’t know how to explain it to you. How to explain that, when you said you wanted us to go out tonight, I almost cried at the thought of leaving my house. How to explain that every single day when I get home I crash, watching TV on the couch until I have enough energy to make myself a snack and go to bed. You think you know me, but you don’t.

I would love to go party with you, honestly. But I fell asleep three times at my desk today, and I only got six hours of sleep last night. For me, that’s not nearly enough. Not to mention the fact that by the time we got home it was already 7:00 p.m., and you wanted to go out at 10:00. Yeah, right.

How do I explain that, more often than not, I skip dinner because I’m simply too exhausted or in pain to even think about cooking? You cooked for me tonight – thank you. It was the first meal I’ve had in weeks.

I play movies on the television, but usually I’m asleep halfway through it.

I download some shows, but rarely do I get through them in one sitting without dozing off.

I’m scared if you get to know me, you’ll see how sick I really am. How weak I feel every day. I’ve told you some of my darkest secrets, but somehow, letting you see me in my non-functioning state just feels so much more personal. More invasive.

I’m looking forward to having you as a roommate – I honestly am! You’re a good friend of mine and there are going to be lots of perks to having you. (You’ll cook me dinner! I’m so glad you love cooking.)

I don’t expect you to understand, because you can’t if you’ve never experienced it. But I expect that in the coming weeks you’ll learn many things about me, and have questions and wonders galore. I only hope that as the months go by, you learn to function around me.

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Thinkstock photo via monkeybusinessimages.