Sharing Intimate Moments: Why We Began Posting Injection Videos
Sitting with injection needles, alcohol cleansing wipes, and cute band-aids…
Taking deep breaths and hyping yourself up to prick your skin and let your medication infiltrate your body…
Dumping the used syringe into your SHARPS container and putting away until next week or the week after when the entire ordeal will happen again…
The entire injection process can be an incredibly intimate and personal experience. After countless injections spent hyping themselves up alone, Erin and Steff decided to share their experience and their process on social media, and found so much support from their online community as a result of it. Below they take turns sharing their decision to post these injections online, and their experiences as a result of it:
What/who inspired you to start filming your injections and uploading them to Instagram?
Two years after I started medication injections at home I posted a video of myself to Instagram, sitting on my bathroom floor, going through my entire injection process. Most people who know me have no idea that I inject myself with medication every week. The purpose of my post was to share my experience, but also to normalize it, and to show my appreciation for everyone else who is sitting at home silently doing their own injections. Even after doing it for years, I still flinch every single time. I wanted to show other people that they aren’t alone in their journey, and that we’re all doing something that is really hard, and should feel proud of ourselves and supported in that. I also wanted to create an open space for conversation, and to share tips, tricks, and experiences.
I actually was originally inspired by Erin! I saw her injection videos and they really helped me when I was preparing to go on Humira. I was terrified of injecting myself with a needle every 2 weeks even if I couldn’t see it. Her videos helped walk me through the process of self-injecting, and I wanted to pay that favor forward. I began uploading them shortly after I started Humira and have filmed every single injection for the past year and put it on Instagram in the hopes of helping others going through the same experience.
How have the videos changed your social media experience?
I was so pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support and encouragement! People commented recognizing the strength it takes to do this on your own and sharing their own injection experiences and tips. This was honestly, for me, one of the first times I felt like I was sharing a really vulnerable and difficult moment on social media, and I realized that it was seeing other people’s strength and openness with their chronic illnesses that have helped me so much, so I just knew I needed to keep paying it forward.
Like Erin said, the amount of support I’ve received from uploading my injection videos is amazing. I get to help others and meet people from all different walks of life in the comments of my videos! I feel like I’m a part of a really supportive community and I can reach out to anyone at any time if I have questions or need any help!
They’ve really helped me feel a sense of community and involvement. The more I can connect and help others, the better I feel.
What advice would you give to someone who is nervous to start their injections?
Being nervous is ok! I ALWAYS reward myself on injection nights. Treat yourself to some ice cream, or some extra time binge-watching your favorite show. You are doing something hard- be proud of yourself for it!
I would also say to not be afraid to reach out to other people for support. I honestly can’t count the number of people I have talked to through social media before their first injection, just sharing my experience and giving as much reassurance and support as I can. I wish I had known someone that I could have talked to when I first found out I would be doing self-injections, and I’m so so happy to be that person for other people (seriously- find me on Instagram and reach out if you ever need it)!
Some advice I would give is to make it fun wherever possible. Sometimes I dress up, put on makeup, or wash my hair. I also buy fun band-aids for after the shot. I have Minnie Mouse, Hello Kitty, and Disney Princess band-aids! Anywhere I can make it slightly more fun, the less nervous I get.
I would also say look through hashtags on Instagram to see how it’s done, or even on YouTube! You can never be too prepared, so all the research and reaching out you do will help in some way. You aren’t alone!
How often do you experience flare ups?