[Posted originally on March 5, 2011] by Christie
I’ve noticed that recently self injury has become a topic of interest for the general media. News shows, newspapers, magazines, online blogs and journals, etc. Even high school and college students are eager to do presentations on self injury these days. It’s a far cry from the past, I seemed to be the only one in my school doing papers on self injury, and up until now I have only had a handful of media requests in any shape or form. But lately I have done several email interviews, had some requests for phone interviews (which to this point I have turned down because I don’t fancy talking to independent journalists on the phone when I don’t know them, especially given my phone anxiety), and requests from bloggers and students alike to make videos to help them with presentations and projects.
I feel like this is such a huge leap from where things have been with the awareness of self injury. Even though sometimes the media has gotten it wrong, the point of the matter is that they’re thinking about it and paying attention. A lot of media outlets have a long way to go as far as their approach to telling the truth about self injury, but at least they are trying!
It makes me happy to give interviews, make special videos and write essays because I know it’s helping spread awareness, which is so important to me. Over the past 5 years on YouTube my mission has become clearer. I am so thankful that I decided to start making videos. I heard from a friend online about Christina Newman’s videos (fastinggurl31) on fasting, dieting, raw dieting and health and I started watching. YouTube was only about a year old at that time and not as HUGE as it is now. I liked the idea of making videos, so I started using my digital camera to record videos about hair, makeup and occasionally dieting. I realized that I didn’t see anyone really talking about self injury, and since it was such a huge part of my life I just started talking. I never stopped, and here I am 5 years later.
There are so many great vloggers on YouTube now talking about self injury, it has to have made a difference in the now emerging interest in self injury in the media. They’re focusing a lot on YouTube, and although they’re greatly misinformed when they think that most videos are triggering and graphic; it’s a start. I know now I just have to keep on talking and doing this work (and so do others!) so maybe the truth will get out there.
When I upload a video, when I help with a project or write something on the subject I just feel like I’ve accomplished something. I’ve gone though a lot, it’s been really hard struggling with self injury for 13 years, but it makes me feel like there was a purpose for all this and I KNOW that just because I’ve suffered, I am not a victim to self injury. I’ve used my experiences for good, and in the end it’s made it all worth it.