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What My Next Partner Should Know Before Dating a Girl With Chronic Illness

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Hi there love,

I’m excited to meet you when the time is right!

Before things go very far, there are some things you need to know about me.

1. I’m really shy, so I probably won’t make the first move.

2. My family and friends come before everything else.

3. I read a lot. Like, all the time.

4. I write songs and sometimes sing them.

5. I’m chronically ill.

I bet that last one wasn’t quite what you were expecting. It is pretty surprising. I don’t exactly look like I’m sick. But I have some severe chronic illnesses that make my life really hard sometimes. There are times when I can’t stand up without passing out, I get migraines and headaches a lot, I have bad insomnia and fatigue and I don’t know if any of it will ever go away.

I know my illnesses will impact our relationship. It’s inevitable. They affect my life every day. Maybe I’ll have to cancel plans because of pain or fatigue. Or maybe you’ll see me at my lowest before I’m comfortable with that. But it doesn’t have to be a bad impact. Maybe we’ll spend more nights in bed watching “Gilmore Girls” than out on dinner dates that cost more than either of us can really afford. Maybe you’ll help me figure out the best way to eat enough salt without my tongue hurting afterwards. Maybe you’ll see me at my worst and still think I’m worth it.

I’m not telling you all of this to scare you away. In fact, I’m hoping that by being upfront about it, it’ll make us stronger. I want to be able to be honest with you about how I’m feeling and what I can and can’t do.

I don’t know you yet, but I’d like to think this little letter might be helpful in creating something beautiful.

Love, Ally

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Originally published: November 4, 2016
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