Hi guys, Well from reading many people's stories...
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.
Thank you all
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
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
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.
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.
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!
I been zapped
I will try to keep all the boring details of my day out of the review and keep it to what people want to know! However....the Oreo cheesecake at Hard Rock Cafe is so good - one armed or not!
Anyway, The Circle where the Removal Room is based is cool. Pretty much what you'd expect from a tattoo studio. It was clean and friendly and had a good atmosphere. Easy to find too.
Wayne met me at the door and was extremely welcoming and friendly. Very nice guy indeed.
I went on and filled in a general form about my health etc and then went into the Picosure room with Wayne. We spent probably half an hour going through the procedure, how the laser worked, the worst case scenarios possible and what would likely happen. A lot of time was spent talking about aftercare too. Very important stuff. He told me he had the new boost software on the pico which I think is a good thing! We both agreed the best and most realistic course of action was for a reduction as much as possible to get a lighter cover up that I am happy with.
And onto the lasering....For the people who say it hurts more than getting tattooed - I disagree. It is maybe on par with getting the white highlights put into your tattoos. Similar pain but slightly sharper. Plus the fact it is much quicker makes it much better.
Wayne lasered my whole Icarus piece and the eyes piece on my inner bicep. At this point I will admit the inner arm hurt more than the other parts!
Once it was done it felt like my arm was on fire, we went through the aftercare stuff again and I was all wrapped up and on my way.
I felt sick with the ache and heat for the rest of the day (didn't stop me getting the cheesecake!) and the tube journey to Kings Cross was not fun!
The day after I took off the dressing hoping not to have blistered and...oh....man had I blistered...like a bitch! I had not seen blisters like this before in my life. All of the worst ones you've probably seen doing your research on this topic, mine were worse! Also my arm was swollen almost twice the size of the other one. After a short panic and a few emails to Wayne who told me hang on in there I kept strapping it up for the next few days afterwards. Let me tell you, the aftermath is HARD! I am so glad I took a week off work. I would recommend anyone else does too. At least!
It is now 6 days later and pretty much all of the blisters have shrivelled. The whole thing is still red as hell and feels like a really bad sunburn. The swelling has gone down but is still noticeable.
I have not done any exercise for a week and this has almost killed me as I normally go to the gym every day.
The important part - has any ink came out? Yes it has. The light shading seems to have been wiped out by the pico, the dark bits look the same but obviously I know they should fade with time.
Now I've been through it I realise the trauma that your skin goes through for the process. I will be looking at at least December before even considering doing it again to let my skin forgive me and recover. I hope the next time won't be as bad...but it probably will. At least I know what to expect.
Post lasering I was very very down, wondering what I had done to myself (again!) mostly because the blisters were so shocking and I was basically housebound. I live alone so dressing my arm was a friggin challenge!
I am feeling better about it now it is starting to heal though. Another positive is that I emailed my tattoo artist and explained the situation. I wanted him to hear from me rather than stumble over it on another site or instagram or something. Thankfully he was great about it and even said he would be happy to do whatever coverup I decide to go with.
I will post photos when the redness has gone down. Any questions feel free to ask.
Cheers for listening guys.
Update with photos
The skin is still itchy as hell and kind of bumpy but all scabs and blisters have gone. As I thought would happen, the lighter shaded parts of the tattoo have been pretty much cleared (I say pretty much because it's still pink so hard to be 100% sure all the ink has gone yet). The deep blacks are being more stubborn but will hopefully fade more over the next couple of months before I go again. Remember I'm not going for full removal but for a reduction on just the arm enough to get a lighter cover up. The clock face is staying.
Wayne at the Removal Rooms is possibly the only person I would trust with this. He knows so much about it - it is all he does for a living. Right from the start he explained EVERYTHING including worst case scenario and there was no pressure at all to go ahead with it. Also one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet. The Circle where it is based is clean and friendly and the laser room is seperated off and in a nice (very cold) air conned room.