A frustrated woman is surrounded by people pushing unsolicited advice and miracle cures upon her.

No Pushing or Shoving Please


Okay, now that the announcement is out of the way, let me give some clarification on it. While I hope that you aren’t out pushing and/or shoving someone (because that’s just rude), I’m talking about the verbal sense of the statement. I feel like this is a bit of a follow-up to my previous article, “No Soliciting Please”.

How many times have you had someone try to push and/or shove their opinions or ideas onto you in regards to your health? Too many times to count, probably! I’ve had this happen to me WAY too many times for my liking and being as stubborn as I am, I don’t like to listen to what people are pushing upon me aggressively.

Appreciating opinions from people who care

Let me clarify that I’m not against opinions from those who actually care. I love that people think of me and are supportive of me. So, a big shout out and THANK YOU to those people. However, there is a difference in offering me your opinion versus trying to shove your opinion down my throat, so to speak.

Some examples can be found in, ‘MS & Things People Should NOT Say’ .

Think about your approach and delivery

Instead of trying to force feed me your thoughts and opinions, think about your approach and delivery. My willingness to fully listen and take in the information that is being shared is usually based on how someone presents me with his or her opinion on a new treatment option (including diet, new techniques, etc.) If you are aggressive with your approach, I’m putting you on ‘mute’. Yes, I can do this… it’s called selective hearing; I learned it from my husband and kids. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Don't give me a sales pitch about a miracle cure

So, like I stated before, no pushing or shoving, please. Instead, be open to dialogue about it and be unbiased about what you are sharing with me. If I feel like you are giving me a sales pitch, I’m not going to take the information in as well.

Why? You don’t even know how many people try to sell me a miracle for my Multiple Sclerosis on a weekly basis, so that’s already a red flag for me. Think of it as when you get a spam call from a telemarketer; if you’re like me, you hang up. This is the same type of scenario in a way.

I want to be TOLD something not SOLD something

It feels like those in the MS community and others with chronic illnesses are cautious about certain things that are brought to our attention. It’s not because we don’t want to try things that could improve our quality of life. It’s because we have probably tried and failed many things in the past that were brought to our attention.

We try our best

No one wants to continuously TRY just to continuously FAIL.

I know that there will always be those people out there that become a consultant for the newest product available. I understand that you have to make money by selling things. However, I’m asking that you refrain from literally pushing and shoving said product onto me. The same goes for the whole diet aspect as well.

It's okay to have 'lazy' time

Also, please let it be known that we try our best every single day. Just because we have a ‘lazy day’, doesn’t mean we're a lazy person. It means that we're listening to our bodies and taking a break when it’s necessary. So, if we don’t leave the couch for an entire day, that’s okay, it’s allowed. Those with MS literally wake up and fight to be ‘normal’ EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It’s exhausting, and we shouldn’t be judged for still being our PJs at 4PM.

My MS is not the same as anyone else's MS

FYI: My multiple sclerosis is not your cousin’s, sister-in-law’s, or daughter’s MS. I have a distant cousin with MS, and ours are nowhere near similar. With that being said, EACH PERSON’S DISEASE COURSE IS UNIQUE! Just because one certain medication, diet, vitamin, work-out, etc. worked for one person with MS, that does NOT mean that it is going to work for all people with MS. Please see ‘MS Snowflake’ for a further explanation.

For those of you who have been supportive to someone with MS, thank you. Your kindness and caring behavior mean the world to whomever you are supporting. Even if we are horrible at voicing our gratitude, or simply forget to show our gratitude, please don’t write us off.

MS is enough to deal with

If you are someone that has MS or a different chronic illness and have had things pushed and shoved at you, I’m sorry. I know I didn't personally do that to you, but I know how irritating it is. It’s also exhausting to deal with, and we already deal with enough with our illness as it is.

So, for those of you that are reading this and suffer from a chronic illness, I have a special message for you:

You are strong. You are brave. You matter. You are AMAZING.

Ashley Ringstaff

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