Massive Dark Tattoo = Depressed - Newcastle Upon Tyne, GB

Hi guys, Well from reading many people's stories...

Hi guys,
Well from reading many people's stories on here I guess I am in the right place. Basically a couple of months ago I decided to get the start of a sleeve tattoo. I was lucky enough to get in with a great artist and I thought I had the design all planned out so I would love it. A few sessions in the chair and I am sitting here absolutely racked with regret and suffering terrible depression.
The tattoo is way darker and bigger than I imagined and I just think it looks awful on me. The artist has done a great job but I just don't want it on me.
I wake up every day hoping that it was all a bad dream and then spend all day in a deep depression about it. I used to be proud of my physique and arms but now I feel like I have ruined it all in one stupid decision. I look at photos before I got the tattoo and want to cry with frustration at myself. I am single and I think I have made myself so unattractive that nobody would find me desirable at all.The tattoo is all black ink which I hear is a positive for removal but the sheer darkness and size of it makes me doubt whether removal is even a possibility.
I am as low as I have ever been and don't feel like there is any way out of this. I have read about the Picosure system but I even that seems like a hit and miss procedure.
If only I could turn back time.

Another pic

Just another pic to see the tattoo now it has the background

Thank you all

Hi,
Firstly may I thank you all for your lovely supportive comments. As I'm sure you all know only too well, being in this position is extremely hard, possibly the hardest period I have ever been through. The fact that I am single and don't really have any support in the real world means that this means all the more to me. I apologise for not replying sooner but I have been in such a bad place that I couldn't even bring myself to pick up my phone or computer never mind try to communicate.
I have a free consultation with Laserase in my home town on Saturday (http://www.laserasenewcastle.co.uk/) just to see what they have to say. I don't hold much hope though because I have seen and read so many stories of people struggling for years and spending thousands to get rid of tattoos a lot smaller and lighter than mine. I don't think I've seen a case study where a large and dark tattoo has actually been removed fully either. I am currently thinking I am stuck with it and should try to learn to love it. I used to be proud to show off my physique but now I just want to wear long sleeves and hide. I am not ashamed to say I also have an appointment booked next week with a therapist to try to help my depression.
Also - As I mentioned on the first post, my tattoo goes round on to the inside of my bicep, I have attached a photo of that part too. As I said the artist is a genius but why did I get this on my skin?
I currently feel as low as I think I could, surely it can only get better?

Day before laserase consultation

Well my first ever removal consultation is tomorrow morning. I still feel as regretful and depressed about the tattoo as I did when I posted this originally. I don't have high hopes for tomorrow and kind of expect to just see a nurse or something rather than a real expert. I am not making any decisions tomorrow at all, I just want to see what they say. I've been wondering if it would be more realistic to think about getting part of the tattoo removed rather than all of it. But then the part I want gone the most is the biggest part (the icarus).
I've attached another photo of the whole thing. I like the chest one and wish I had stopped after that. When I look at it now I just think it all looks a mess and ugly.
So depressed. Sorry if this was a rant more than update. Thank you all for your support, it's so appreciated.

Consultation as I expected

Firstly thanks again for your support guys. It is always good to know I can log on here and find such a great group of people who understand what I am going through.
So I had the consultation with Laserase yesterday. It was pretty much as I expected. I had to be realistic with the size of the tattoo so I asked about removing the part that I am not happy with the most which is the Icarus piece on my arm. Ideally I want it all off but this seems mission impossible. The nurse said that for just the Icarus piece it would take around 10 treatments, 12 weeks apart and would cost £250 per session. So we're talking over 2 years and £2500 for something that she couldn't even guarantee a full removal on. She showed some photos of other treatments but they were all really old photos from almost 15 years ago and all were of small tattoos, nothing even similar to mine. I asked about the Picosure laser and if she thought it was worth travelling for and her response was that their laser operator had travelled to look at it and wasn't impressed with it. I don't know how much to believe her, I mean at the end of the day it's a private company who are wanting my business. I would be interested to see what a picosure expert would say about the amount of treatments/time it would take to treat my tattoos.
Despite me expecting to hear what she said I still came out of there absolutely devastated.
Just to make matters worse, my car decided to break on the same day and then today I have a £2000 bill from my utility supplier after they messed up my bills. I have heard people say that they hit rock bottom before but I really think I'm there. Absolutely sick.

Still going...

Hey everyone, thanks again for all the support, I'm so glad I found this place!
I am still wishing that I could get this tattoo from my arm however I have been trying to hit this head on.
Firstly some positives: I have challenged myself by wearing a vest to the gym on occasions rather than cover it up. When I did I was looking at the tattoo in the mirror and I could really appreciate the detail in the clock face on my shoulder. I have forced myself to keep wearing short sleeves.
I am wondering if I could live with leaving the clock face and trying to either clear just my arm or have it faded enough so I can have a more subtle and lighter cover up.
I also posted a photo of the tattoo on my Facebook page for the first time and it got really positive responses.
The artist advertised on social media as his books were opening again for bookings, he used photos of both the outside and inside of my arm on his ad. His work is all amazing so the fact he chose that shows how proud he is of the work. By the way, his books were filled for the next 6 months within a few hours - he's that good which makes me feel even worse about how I feel!
Negatives are that I still hate seeing the tattoo on me, in my reflection or in photos. I find myself sitting staring at my arm wondering how it will look if I get it lasered and struggling to imagine it being able to be shifted!
I went out last night with some people from work and there were a couple of photos of me and I absolutely HATED how the tattoo looked. I have attached a couple of photos to this update, please ignore the pink boa, I have no idea where that came from!!
As I said on Chad's comments, I have been in touch with Wayne from the Removal Rooms and he was extremely helpful. He estimated that my tattoo would take about 6 to 9 months to remove on the Picosure and about 5 sessions. I am going to wait until September to make a final decision - that way it will have been on me 3 months which is how long some laser technicians say to wait. It also will be more long sleeve weather so I can hide it if it looks too bad!
Thanks for reading - again, all the support on this site is amazing.

Decision made

Hey all. Hope everyone is alright. I have been getting on with things the best I could and taking the time I needed to consider my next move. And I have decided, I am going down to London to see Wayne at the removal rooms next month (actually on my birthday!). I have my long sleeved shirts all sorted and ready for the next stage of my life but I am hoping it will make me feel better.
I have decided to just get the arm part lasered, leaving the clock face on my shoulder...for now... I will see how well the ink reacts to the picosure before I decide if I am going for full removal or just to fade it all the way down for a much lighter and more subtle cover up. Obviously I will need it tidied up by a tattoo artist either way. I have sent Wayne more photos of my tattoos and he seems confident we will get good results, his instagram photos showing his work is encouraging.
I am hopeful of a good reaction as a lot of my tats are made up of shading and not that much linework. I'm sh*tting myself that it will end up looking worse and I will end up even more depressed but I guess there's only one way to know for sure!
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Comments (98)

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Thank you for keeping us in the loop, I wish you all the best with your removal. 
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Hey! Glad you made a decision! It is going to be a long way, but in the end it is worth it! I never regreted starting the removal. Today I am going to have my 4th treatment! It will all get better!
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good luck with your first treatment! i have a consultation this week to remove a barbed wire-esque tattoo i got at 16... now I realise it was never a gd idea lol! It will be a long and painful process for us all. Keep ur chin up :)
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aloha MJD09 Congrats on making the decision. Removal is quite the process, but personally I am glad that I chose it. It takes time, patience, and strength to move forward. Good luck with the first session, I'm sure you're going to rock it. aloha...k
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as chad said wayne is really good....i am being treated by him....I think your tattoo is excellent and very well done.. but i completely understand its your opinion on it that matters....be prepared that your arm will not look great for a few weeks (this is the part where u think what the hell have I done to myself) but after that your skin will heal...good luck mate.
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Looking at Wayne's work on Instagram it has given me some hope and he has told me he is sure we will get excellent results on mine. So I have to trust the expert! Thank you, I agree that the tattoo is well done but I hate how dark it is and the shading around it. If it was on someone else I'd probably admire it a lot!
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Congratulations mate. It's so hard to be patient and waiting to begin removal. Wayne is a great guy and I know you'll be in good hands. Good luck!
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Thanks again Chad, I just want this off me and I know my opinion will never change. Expensive mistake but hopefully one that can be lessened if not erased completely.
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Well done mate, sounds like you've got a plan in place. Really looking forward to seeing how you get on and supporting you along the way. I bet you'll be blown away out much of that light stuff starts to clear after the first session! Only a few weeks of summer left, so we can get back in those long sleeves soon and not feel crazy for it! ;)
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Thanks mate, I know I will never be happy with how it is so I have to do this. I hope the picosure obliterates my ink but I'm not getting my hopes up too much.
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Hello, I am currently removing a very dense blackwork half sleeve (it's good art but it did not turn out AT ALL how I wanted it to). I just wanted to say the removal process is not as bad as I thought it would be. I was depressed for about 2 weeks after getting the tattoo in the first place, and after reading this forum I thought I would be even more depressed during the healing process. But now I've got one treatment down (q-switched laser) and I feel in a very good place emotionally. Feels great to have finally gotten the ball rolling. So just because the tattoo itself caused a great deal of anguish doesn't necessarily mean the removal process will be depressing! I also waited a good 3+ months before getting my first treatment so I think it's good you're waiting. Let it really settle in your skin, and make a well thought out decision! Definitely try to enjoy it in the mean time. Glad you're feeling comfortable showing it in public. Good luck.
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This is why this forum is so spectacular; people here not only know what it's like to experience ink regret, but we know how to support others going through the process. Jiapet, your words are amazingly supportive.
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Congrats on being brave to show your tattoo. I know I have said before that I like the tattoo, it does really look great on you, especially with the pink boa ;) 

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We have a way of being our own worst critic. Even though it has nothing to do with how you feel, I think your tattoo is incredible. It is an absolute work of art. Look at the positive side, at least you are not removing something that looks terrible or the name of an ex etc. I say this just for some perspective, because when you go out and wear a t-shirt, I highly doubt anyone is looking at that and thinking "Wow, that guy looks dumb/has a hideous tatt." I'm going to start Picosure sometime soon for my much less attractive tatt. Good luck with it all. Ask your doctor about Cutera's Enlighten laser....its coming out in Europe (wish i lived there) and is a picosecond laser but at a better wavelength for black tattoos.
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Hey! Thank you for your update! I think that a really helpful thing to try to accept your tattoo and go out not covering it. This is a really important step which may lead to acceptance. I did try it myself a couple of times, but I decided that this is just something I can't do. The fact that I am still hiding my tattoo from my parents and had 3 treatments already is saying that I couldn't accept the tattoo. It doesn't define me or anything. I think I just wasn't ready for it. Anyways, really try to adjust, to show it to people and do not think about it as a mistake. It is not! It has been 5 months since I got mine. I never felt such feeling like that kind of deep regret, self-blaming and etc. But it will be over! One day! You have to be strong and appreciate yourself, cherish yourself and do not ever let ink regret get you! Stay positive, healthy and enjoy your life! It is amazing!
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Huge amount of respect to you for wearing short sleeves mate, I wish I could do that and my tattoo is tiny compared to yours. I know what you mean about seeing it in the mirror and in photos. When I saw my tattoos in photos, I felt like I was looking at a different guy and that was when I realised that I'd ruined my body. Once again I promise that you will have a great experience with Wayne if you decide to visit him and go through removal. Your story is a really interesting one so I can't wait to see what you decide to do in September. Good luck mate.
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aloha MJG09: Ink regret is awful, but it's like salt being rubbed in the wounds when the artist, often the trusted artist, shows amazing work...amazing work that is not ours. I felt betrayed by my trusted artist. I wondered why his work on other people was so astonishing and mine abysmal. I went for a consultation was told it would take at least ten sessions. Then on the first day of the first laser session, I was told at least 15. It's all a crap shoot, a big gamble. Sometimes we simply want answers. I am so thrilled that you are wearing short sleeves and living your life. That is fantastic! You are in command, often we simply want to be in control of our lives. The ink regret robs us of that. But it seems like you are living your life, finding answers, and fortunately coming up with solutions. Good Luck in September, in the meantime it seems you are doing well, and finding terrific support in the forum. Keep us posted, we'll be thinking about you and rooting/cheering for you. aloha...k
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I can relate! The guy who did the tattoo I'm removing is amazing otherwise but he clearly didn't think mine through. Such a bummer. But yes, at some point you have to move past the regret and just look forward to the goal. We are very lucky that removal is even an option, really.
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I'm so sorry your consultation didn't go as well as you had expected. As for the car and utility bills, it really sounds like life is throwing all it can at you. These things always get better with time so stay strong pal! I hope you won't mind but, I have to refer to Jake's tattoo again; his tattoo was so huge and dark and most of his shading was cleared in one or two Picosure treatments. Our bodies vary, and of course the opinions of those on here, but I really think you would benefit more from a Picosure laser based on the results I have seen others have. While the q-switched is effective on black, if you have shading I think it could be wiped out very quickly with Picosure, and just think about how much better you could feel when the tattoo isn't so dense? I think it's the darkness of it that's bothering you so much? Good luck whatever your decision. :-)
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Hey Chad, cheers for the reply. Yeah it just seems to be one thing after another for me currently, woke up this morning and my Sky TV box was dead too. Where will it end!!? Sorry for my ignorance but I am still struggling to know what the difference between shading and not shading is. I'm looking at my tattoo wondering. A lot of is is very dark black and the ink appears thick to look at it, surely that means it will be harder to budge?
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You have every right to be angry, and I have found that it is definitely good to vent occasionally. It's one of the toughest things to go through and it's even harder that we put ourselves in the mess in the first place. Perhaps you could visit a Picosure clinic just for a consultation first? If someone has a Picosure laser then I think they would have to be very good at their job in the first place. They could treat a small area and then maybe you could see how the black fades? I'm sure they could tell you which parts are shading as well. Hope this helps, don't give up hope!
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Hey Chad, I've emailed the trueskin place to see if they could maybe do any sort of consultation via email. It's a full day travel there and back for me so I want to know if it'll be worth it. Jake's review slightly gets my hopes up and I've been staring at my arm for hours trying to work out if it is mostly shaded and would come out as quickly as his. If I post a close up photo would you be able to tell? On the arm piece I can only see very fine lines around the body of the icarus and the very outline.
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Let's hope you have some good news from them. I would also give Wayne an email at ResetRoom (about 15 mins from TrueSkin). I'm going to see him next week for my first Pico session and he has also been through removal himself. He normally responds to emails within a few hours and is a truly genuine guy. He has a few tattoos himself so I bet he'll be able to tell you what's shading and what's not! By all means put some close-up photos on here. I probably wouldn't be much help myself, but some members on here will surely be able to give you advice.
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I'll look him up, thanks man. With your tattoos, the ink in the stars would be classed as shading rather than linework right? Has Wayne given you any thoughts over your emails about hopes to get full removal?
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Hmm, I'm not sure! I didn't have any shading, the stars were jet black to begin with. I'm not sure what it would be classed as really. Wayne hasn't said much yet as he's only really seen photos, so I don't have an exact price yet either. I know that he doesn't like to say how many treatments are needed which is actually a good thing (been given a number so many times by money grabbers) as it shows he is honest. I will ask for an estimate when I see him but respect that what he says can't be guaranteed. Maybe pop him a link to your realself review mate, that's what I did. Just keep in mind that he'll need to see it in person to give his best opinion. :-)
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