When I got the e'mail from Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust's (NTW) Comms Advisor with the subject line 'Possible ITV interview?' I couldn't open it fast enough!Turns out, newly released statistics showed that the amount of young people being admitted to hospital due to self-harm has significantly increased recently; and ITV wanted to run a piece about it on our local news; Tyne Tees.
I've always tried to reiterate that I am not a YouTuber. Or even, unless in he most basic of definitions, a Vlogger. I think that the only parts of my YouTube videos I've ever edited, has been the clips of Dolly when she's dreaming or chartering to birds and I edit out the minutes where she's stopped or gone quiet. I don't have a fancy camera with all of the posh settings to make the background blurred, or sending it to my phone via Bluetooth. I also don't have the big lights and microphone. Or the skills to add transitions between each clip. My point is, I'm not a YouTuber; and the vlogs you watch are exactly how things took place. I don't watch them back before uploading to check what I've said.
So, when a piece from my vlog 'A Psychotic Episode' was shown in the news piece I felt a bit... Exposed, maybe? I felt one of those feelings where a ton of different adjectives fit in but naming them all wouldn't do the feeling justice. No one would know what percentage of this feeling was anxiety. Or vulnerability. Or anger. Or...
I think that I see text and pictures as such complete opposites that reading back on old posts where I was being restrained in Hospital, or had self-harmed; doesn't remind me of those moments in the way that a video does.
I worried what people might think. Fighting against the stigma of mental health means that I know what it is. And I know that someone could watch that video of me walking though empty streets in the middle of the night and talking about how the voices in my head were in charge, and think all of those uneducated misconceptions...
And I wouldn't have been surprised.
I wouldn't have blamed them.
I would've thought the exact same things. Back when I didn't think for one minute it could happen to me.
I did think the exact same way; before it happened to me...
Hopefully that will resonate with some people.