Monday, July 17, 2017

Don't Target Me Because I Am Chronically Ill: MLM Madness

Ok, so here we go. I've been thinking about writing a post on this subject for a while but for fear of starting a debate, I've put it off. But, I've had enough... I have had enough of being targeted my MLM consultants because I am chronically ill. 

Those of you who don't know, an MLM is a multi-level marketing company (like Avon, Origami Owl, Thirty-One, It Works etc). People can become consultants, designers, whatever they call it, for these companies and sell their product. These people can eventually work their way up the line and increase their pay based upon how much product they sell and how many people sign on to sell under them. One of the many ways MLM consultants market their product is via social media. MLMs are GREAT ways for adults looking to increase their income, stay at home moms, college students, and retirees to make a steady income.  I was once an MLM seller, I sold Origami Owl (O2), so I know this from both sides. I LOVED selling O2 and I also loved the extra income I got from it. I say all of this to say, I have nothing wrong with MLMs and what their goal is. Here is where I have a problem... 

As you probably know, I live with Type One Diabetes, an autoimmune condition that is EXHAUSTING and has NO CURE. I'll say that again, it has NO CURE. That being said, here is an example of a message I received from someone who I do not even know. 

"Hi Ashlyn! I saw a friend share a post about your diabetes and wanted to share something with you that could help you come off of medication. I sell (insert product name here) and it has proven to help people better manage their diabetes, lower their blood glucose levels, and come off of medications. Let me know if you would like to give this a try." 

Here is where my blood begins to boil. As I said before, Type One Diabetes has NO cure. I am insulin dependent, for life, end of story. No special pill, special drink, or essential oils will give me the ability to come off of insulin. So, when I receive messages offering a "cure", I have a hard time being kind in my response. Usually I try my hardest to kindly educate the person on T1D, tell them that currently I am doing well and managing well, and I always say that I will research whatever it is that they sell to see if it will be of any benefit to me. I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they just don't understand that my type of diabetes cannot be reversed and that insulin is really the only treatment. But, here is where they step over the line.... 

The person quoted above decided to argue with me about diabetes and how it can be managed with their product. I received messages almost daily until I finally had to block this person. There are others who have accepted that their product wasn't a cure, but still insisted that it would help me.... they are assuming I need help managing my diabetes, yet they haven't spent a second in my shoes and when I tell them I am managing just fine, they continue to insist that I "need" their help. 

The messages offering a cure are what make me most angry. I have many, many well meaning friends who message me to tell me about the product they sell, let me know it may help diabetes, and leave it at that. When I tell them I will research it and tell them I am doing well on my current treatment protocol, they wish me well, don't argue, and still love me the same, even if I don't buy their product. To those friends, thank you. Thank you for understanding and respecting my choices and thank you for taking the time to let me educate you on what T1D really is. 

Here is what it boils down to, I am not a walking diabetes disaster. I do not have a sign on me that says "Help me with my diabetes", and I do not appreciate being a target. I get messages at least twice a week from people selling a number of different products all because they know I'm diabetic. I feel like I've got a big target on my back and that people think I'll be an easy person to make money off of. 

I have to end by saying, I appreciate what all of you MLM consultants do. You're selling a product that has helped you and that you believe in to help have better income for yourself and your families. Many of you (and you know who you are), mean well when you contact me. You are genuinely concerned and want to offer help to me and if I'm not interested, you don't mind... and to those people, I say thank you. Just keep one thing in mind, if someone says they aren't interested. That means they aren't interested today and probably won't be tomorrow, next week, or next month either. Don't harass someone who isn't interested. Those of us living with diseases like T1D have enough stress as it is. I poke my fingers 10 times a day, dose insulin 6-8 times per day, count every carb I eat, and lose a lot of sleep... that alone is enough stress. We fight hard every day to keep ourselves alive. 

Keep selling whatever it is that you sell, keep providing for your families, and even keep posting your stories and testimonies on Facebook... just be sensitive when it comes to those of us who live with chronic illness. We don't mind your concern but we do mind your daily, never ending persistence to get us to "buy in". Trust me, the day there really is a cure, I'll be buying into it. 

-Ashlyn 


 

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