This Bird Needs to Fly Away...Norway, NO

It was my dream of long time but now my body and...

It was my dream of long time but now my body and mind is in ruins. I had a large tattoo of a bird done on my shoulder blade (black and browns) and it has taken a hold of me like the reaper himself. The past 3 weeks have been a nightmare. I weep like I have lost a dear family member, unable to feel joy, food is not amazing and every morning is a struggle to get up and not get upset.

I'm slowly taking the steps to get myself back together all though everyday is a new battle for me. I've researched all over the internet to learn more about the possible tattoo removal methods... But as I researched I also learned that my artist had used WHITE.

My whole world fell apart on that... I just need to get it out. I just simply can't live with it, there's just no way.

I'm desperate for any method at this stage but I'm still forced to wait until September to get started with laser removal.. I decided to join this forum after reading your writings and hopefully I'll get to where the silver outlining is with this whole fiasco...

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Welcome, so glad that you joined the community to help you through this. I am so sorry that you are experiencing such heartache and agony over your tattoo. It seems unreal to think that a tattoo that we don't like becomes almost like a handicap. I have been exactly where you are (my review is Blackberry11) I didn't realized until that moment when I felt that dark cloud come over me how attached I was to the way I looked and how vulnerable that made me. In a way when I look back that scares me and I have learned that we shouldn't be so attached to ourselves because in a moment (whether by our decision or not) anything can change. For me this was a lesson, and we usually don't see the lesson while we are learning it (otherwise it wouldn't be a lesson - right). Right now you feel like you have lost your place in life, you feel out of tune - out of balance. You are just going through a shift right now, and you will regain your balance in life, just take it one step at a time. I realize it seems impossible right now, things are just too painful for you and because things didn't go as you had hoped it's easy to stop living and turn on yourself. I must tell you that by doing so it doesn't help you, it's ok to be angry and frustrated and we must let out our true emotions, but in order to restore our life you must take hold of the reigns again and start to guide your way back to happiness and let go of those feelings holding you back. Be kind and loving to yourself, don't close yourself off from the world. I heard a beautiful quote the other day: "There is a trustworthy road through whatever life brings. Loving yourself will help you find it"
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Thank you for your kind words. Your review was one of the first ones I read and like you said, it's unreal how much we can be affected by the way we look. I know for sure this will be a lesson and I have better moments but it's still hard to hold on to them. But at least it's not all darkness. I have the most patient, kind and supportive partner who keeps telling me that we'll find a way so I'm, by all means blessed... Which I think is the biggest reason I can't help bu be so mad at myself for making us go through something like this just because of skin. You never know until you lose it, eh? Like the old saying goes in my country "One hole in a handsome face matters not". Hopefully it'll apply eventually in this situation where I have MULTIPLE tiny little holes in my body! ;)
I have never heard that before "One hole in a handsome face matters not" :) How old is your tattoo and are you willing to show pictures of it?

Picture update

I guess I could just put it out there... So that's the bird that needs to fly away~

Also I'm still struggling on deciding which treatment to go through. All though picosure seems crazy amazing I'm not sure it's the right one for me since my browns are more reddish and warm... And solid black lines seems respond better with Q-switched. My options are nd yag Q-switched or Asclepion laser that has both q switch and ruby laser build in. Other option would be picosure that's in Norway... Other two I mentioned are in my country. I have consultation for the two places here in my country next month.

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Thanks for adding the photo, I have to say - I love the concept of your tattoo...if I am not mistaken is this a Native style of art...I love the colors.
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Yeah, native style was what I was going for... But not with the black....
Hi Birdo. Sorry to hear you're regretting your new tattoo. Firstly, well done for doing your research. It sounds like you already know a fair bit about removal, where as when I started I did absolutely nothing beforehand except look at cost. It's going to take time to remove this; those dense outlines are as dark as my tattoo was when I began my removal. However, almost two years later my tattoo is transformed and I am *hoping* that I don't have much further to go. It's okay to cry and it's ok to feel down. You need to keep doing it until you get past the initial regret which is definitely the worst stage. When you finally begin removal you'll have the support from everyone on the site. Again, just remember that tattoo removal takes time, so in the meantime try and embrace the tattoo and remember that it's only a minor setback in your life. :-)
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Struggling...

Hi guys... I had a pretty rough day today. I've done my best to get out and not let this thing cripple me... But it doesn't really help seeing all these beautiful people with their beautiful skin. I keep going back to the day I had my tattoo done, re-living it in a way where I walked out... But that makes me even more tired. I never knew I was so attached to my outer appearance...

The worst thing is I've lost myself. All this quilt that I feel has detached from the reality. I just don't who I am... I feel like I've been exciled and that there is no place for me to go to. Crazy, right? I'm still me but I keep having these up and downs and it's taking a toll me. So... If anyone out there is reading this I would like to ask you if you had the need to search for other kind of help in addition to laser treatments. I've started thinking about it and I'm positive that I need to do my best to not let this thing take over and destroy all the beautiful things I have in my life. So my question would be... Have any of you guys had to go through theraphy and/or medication to get yourself through it? Sorry for the gloomy question but it would be really helpful to here how you guys experienced it.

I have so much to be thankful for. I have the most caring, patient and gentle partner. He's pretty amazing for putting up with me. That is why I'm willing to take any road necessary to protect that I have and to not obsess over what I have lost. It is only skin, loving, caring and living skin.

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Hey hun. I am sorry you have found yourself in this spot. I took thearpy myself after getting my sleeve outlined. and will probably go back. It has helped. I would encourage you to hold off on removal quite yet. I know its REALLY hard to not take action (trust me, I am currently struggling) But once you start to laser, you cannot take it back. Ihave talked with many people who have gotten tattos and they said they had similar shock, but after a year, it sort of went away. When you are trying to keep it together, a year seems like a long time to be miserable, but that is why this forum exists, to supports. Go to thearpy, for me I found out I triggered a lot of past issues that had nothing to do with the tattoo, and I am still working through. In a year, if I still do not like the tattoo I will then consider lasering, but now I am seeing if it is the tattoo, or something deeper. Regardless, people are here to support your choices. Just remember DEPRESSION LIES and will tell you things are worse then they are. You can get through this. And will be stronger for it
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I understand and appreciate your advice but I do believe I'm determined to see what the lasers can do about this. I also though about taking theraphy along the way, to help me thouh the process. I have no quarantees , of course, such is the way laser removal, but I'm afraid it is what I need to do. I'm having my hopes up at this stage for sure but I'm also trying to keep it realistic. I will have patch testings done on August 21st to see how some of the colors will react.
Hi Birdo, I had exactly the same experience when I had my tattoo done. I didn't know who I was anymore, it was like I had lost myself. I was feeling completly "out of the group", really depressed and couldn't remember how I was before I had it done. I thought people were going to judge me forever which is crazy because I have other tattoos in visible places and never felt like this before. This was only two months ago and I've already decided to have it removed and already had one laser session. I think the worst thing is this feeling of shame because you have done one thing that you thought you were going to like and than you have a crazy regret and depression. And you feel even more ashamed because you think a tattoo is such a small thing and maybe people will judge you even more for being depressed over this (at least I felt like this). Well, I went to a therapist and even started to take medicine and it's helping a lot. Also the support of some very few (non-judgemental) people who know what I'm being through are helping a lot. Now, only two months after regreting my tattoo, I don't keep thinking the "I wish I had a time-machine to go back to that day". Instead, I think I've learned so much with this experience that I feel much stronger to deal with even worst problems in the future. I realized that it's just a tattoo and if it takes two or three years to get it removed or even if I decide to cover-up with another thing that I really like, in the future this will be just one more step in the story of my life. I think each person has your own story and we don't have to keep comparing ourselves to other people. We take risks and make mistakes and the worst the mistake the wiser you become afterwards. You are still the same person. We have to forgive ourselves and start to care less about others opinions. You will recover you happiness and self-steem soon and any decision that you take is also fine. Well, that's what I have to say for now. Sorry for any english mistakes :p By the way, I think your tattoo is really really awesome! - I know it doesn't help very much because it's you who have to like it not us - but it is a really cool tattoo :)
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Pact testing colors next month!

Today I received a confirmation email from the removal clinic telling me that they'll be willing to do patch testing on my tattoo when I go there for my consultation. This'll give me several weeks in between to se whatever some parts can or can not be treated with laser. The next couple of weeks will most likely be the slowest, nerve wrecking and I'm losing some sleep already.

Also, thank your for sharing your honest opinions and experience with me. I believe it'll be all ahead of me and as I move to a different country again I will find some other help together with the laser to pull me through this all.

Everyday is a struggle and not understanding any of it yourself makes it so miserable. I'm still consumed by quilt and nostalgia but I'm trying my best. Sometimes simple things can bring joy, even on these days, like having jasmine flowers in your room. They were picked up by friend's father, already in his granda age, from his very own garden.

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Congratulations on the upcoming consultation. I feel like the waiting is sometimes the hardest part of all of this. Good luck on your transition to a new country. I know how stressful that can be. We are here for you :)
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Thank you. I'm still just so terribly worried if the colors in my tattoo will react in a weird way, like change dark or something. Waiting is the worst for sure. I'll do my best to stay on the right path!
I know how you feel about waiting! After I got my "messup" tattoo , it only took me 2 days to decide to buy a Groupon to get it off! Then my 1st session wasn't for a week.....that seemed like forever. I've gone through two sessions so far and love it. My doctor's office uses the Aztanza trinity laser with uses both yag and ruby lasers and i'm seeing major results! I am so happy. I'll be glad to finally get this mess off !!!!!Good luck to you!

Morning blues

Yesterday was a great day. I met friends that I haven't seen for more than a year and we had big BBQ party. I was relieved to feel joy again!

Soo good things are also happening... But mornings still seem to be such a challenge. I'm still fightning agains the reality, seeing nightmares and waking up so, so tired... When I do wake up all I can do is sigh deeply and try my best to push it away. And then I feel the quilt and sadness crushing in..

Sorry for negative shift here, but I guess I'm just kinda writing as I go. I just used to be a morning person... But now it is definitely the worst part of the day.

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hi, i just wanted to share what happened to the brown ink in my tattoo. I have only a little bit of brown but there's how the brown ink reacted. After the first laser treatment, some of the brown ink faded (so the area that was brown became smaller), but the remaining brown ink got darker. I asked my doctor about this at the next session, and she says that is the way some of the brown pigment oxidises when reacting with the laser but it can still be faded with further treatment. True enough, after the second treatment some parts of the now darker brown went away, so the ink is still being removed even though it gets darker (:
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Thank you for sharing this. I've been so worried about my colors and them turning darker... Hearing real experiences from somebody else helps me to calm down. Let me know how it goes with your treatment! I'd love to hear more about it!
i will post an update sometime in the next few days, just waiting for the last few scabs to fall off so i can see and evaluate the whole tattoo. i might continue with my current review or have realself delete it and start again (because of anonymity issues) but either way will let you know (:

Dreams of fading

I believe I'm finally starting to see some hope in the horizon. It has been so hard trying to deal with all of these things... And I have upset people around me by not being who I am, not having the same strength and energy that I normally do.. And I'm sure I'll fall even from here on but I will move forward.

Last night I dreamed about my tattoo.. In my dream it was not black anymore, not brown anymore but it was reddish, blurry and kinda hard to make out what it really was. It seems to me that my mind has decided to not let it have such a power over me as it has so far and that's what the dream was about.

Now if only this dream will become true in real life too...

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hi birdo, i was up all night last night researching tattoo removal. came across this page and your entries really resonated with me. it's surprising to me how much this has affected me emotionally. my tattoo is only a few weeks old, and i already called this morning to schedule a consultation. that felt like a huge weight (but unfortunately no ink, yet) lifted off of my shoulders. i already had several smaller tattoos, but this new one started out as a little cover-up/camouflaging of an old one and it just got too big, going halfway down my upper arm. i don't know why i didn't realize this before, but i just don't want to be a "tattoo girl"!!! anyway, it made me sad to hear that you have had some rough days, emotionally, dealing with all of this. i've been pretty miserable too, but i'm trying to stay active as much as possible. also, today was the first time that i told a couple of close friends that i was going to look into laser removal, and it made me feel so much better to get that out there. i know for a fact that one day i, and i hope you too, will be able to look back at this experience and just say, "silly me!"--not only for getting the tattoo in the first place, but for letting it get us so down on ourselves! i'm trying to just look at the situation for what i've learned from it--after struggling with body issues my whole life, i am more confident than ever that my body, especially my skin, is BEAUTIFUL!! and i will appreciate it and never take it for granted again! i've wanted to get breast implants for a long time but i have now decided against it. no more messing with my temple! anyway, just know that you're not alone, and that this is just another life experience that will most likely make you wiser and more in tune with who you are. best of luck with your treatments!!
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Hi there, I'm glad to hear from you although I'm sad that you have to go through the same things as I am. The turning point for me happened last week when I met with all of my friends in a different city for a week. I was hesitant to let them know but then it finally came I out and I'm glad that I told them it all. It made me realize so many things and I do know, even though I still keep having rough days, that I will become a stronger person and I will never ever take my skin or health for granted. It's so bizarre, because the reason I had the tattoo done because I finally felt like I liked my skin and I wanted to enjoy it... But such is life. I had a moment in life, for a year or two actually when I considered having a breast implants too but I decided against it because I wanted to like my body the way it is. Odd isin't it? All the best to you too! I wish you happy fading and all the best luck! :) Take care and stay strong!
We sound a lot a like. I only had my tat for 2 days before I decided on laser removal. I was so embarrassed about how mine turned out and how it made me feel going out in public. I'm so glad I decided to go ahead and start the removal process. Sorry you're having to deal with going through this too. I love this site because before I found this, I thought I was all alone in feeling this way about a tattoo. Good luck with your tat journey.

Another point of view in the middle of all this mess

I got no new pictures or anything grand to tell you guys... But I just wanted tell all of you having to go through this... It'll be the worst and the best thing that ever happened to you. This is how I see it at this stage. I've been forced to face all of my greatest fears and unfortunate past that I thought I had come in terms with and allthough it doesn't feel fair at all I will make sure to pull it off and look awesome while doing it.

Sometimes I wonder if I should just live with the tattoo but I know this is not possible. The reason for this is because it is not who I am. I feel that this picture was forced on me and that it has too much negative energy in it. I feel that the only way to make things right is to get the ink out. It is the only way. So I'm up for an adventure, that's for sure.

I hope your adventure will be a safe and successfull one. :)

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Thank you for the update, I completely relate to how your tattoo carries negative energy, that was exactly how I felt with mine. No matter what anyone said, I just didn't connect to it. It's a much different feeling when you have a tattoo that fits you, I love my new cover up and don't hesitate to show it off even though it's no finished. I flows with my back, and it reflects my vision. Good luck on your removal. I love this new challenge, check it out and feel free to participate. 
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Love this update. This review will be one to watch! You have no idea how excited I am to see your progress, good luck!
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1st treatment already!?

So here's the deal... I went for consultation and I decided to switch the place where I'll have my tattoo treated. Why? She has 9 years of experience and her plan was to treat the blacks first. We did couple of test spots on browns and two of them turned darker... So I'm really glad that I didn't go with the other lady, who was going to treat the whole thing at once. Once the dense black has gotten lighter we'll start treating the whole tattoo and I'm sure by then we've had a chance to experiment with the browns enough we'll know what to do excactly.

So I had one treatment... One tiny blister which went away in a day. But according to my therapist the colors reacted well and I'm having my R0 treatments on black 8th October. I won't post any pictures until it has been 2-3 weeks, I don't think there is any point really, it's not like I see results that quickly... But it seems that my skin is really quick to heal. :) New skin is aready pushing the dead skin out and it's not scabbing!

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Thanks for the update, it's so important to find the right technician and do test spots, sounds like you made the right choice. Good luck!
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Yay, this is great news! Please keep us posted!
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One color down!

Hi! I'm super excited because my tattoo has done lot of lightening already! It seems one of the flesh tones responds super well! It's already back to my skin color! But other brown did turn darker, but it's getting lighter too again! Some of the dense black is getting lighter too, there was so much of that black there that my skin is just shedding... Like a lot. But still no scabbing!

Here they recommend to use a ointment called Hirudoid Forte for 2 weeks after your treatment. It's a cream that improves your circulations. Sauna is also a good thing, that's also good for your circulation. I also have an access to lymphatherapist and it seems to do a lot too... I've had 3 treatments after my tattoo removal and I'm quite surprised how much change there seems to be after only a week! Oh, and I decided to use couple of times cocoa butter if my skin felt reaaaaaally dry. I love that stuff~

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Awesome, glad you are seeing results, how exciting!! I love cocoa butter too, I actually make my own body butter by mixing coconut oil, coconut butter, cocoa butter and almond oil...so soothing. Would love if you would post some photos of your progress. 
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I'll post some probably in a few days. :) The black is pretty dense still, but I only had one treatment so far so I'd say it was more than expected.
Thanks! :) I'dd definitely do that!

On my way to 2nd treatment

I'm finally updating! My life has been up and downs and I never know what's going to happen the next day. I've tried my best to ignore the tattoo but I haven't been too successful. Guilt is still the worst part of it and sometimes I'm overwhelmed by it. It seems that I'm still able to do my job though as I was caught off by surprise when a leaving customer stopped and told me that you sure are a one happy girl. I was quite taken back as I don't feel like I'm that person anymore but before I knew it I answered him that "Why wouldn't I be when the world is full of happiness".

Now that's when I stopped to think. That's how I used to think. No matter what I would always look on bright side and just keep going. Why would I choose now different because some tattoo on mt back? I'm still beyond pissed at my artist as he couldn't follow my wishes at all. It makes it easier when my partner tells me, that I really wasn't hard to understand and that it was just he really wasn't listening to me. He was just going with his vision. He was there with me when it was done and he's helping me pull through. Also with the nasty part of it (he helps with putting on the ointment and so on). But to let a an a-hole, who doesn't give a s*it about what happened then and now control my life...? Now that's insanity.

As for the tattoo itself, the most dense and biggest lines are still dense as ever. There's only little breakage at the throat but I'm pleased with the right wing. It was lighter to begin with but it's looking so much better. I decided to try and ignore the tattoo as much as possible between the treatments so I'm not documenting it all (just right before my next treatment). I'm still wondering about the dark brown though... Like I said in my earlier update one of the test spots turned purple and it pretty much stayed that way. But the same color with the base of the right wing turned the same color but if you look at the pictures you can clearly see that it's doing some serious fading.

Now I'm off for a job interview and then to the airport! My treatment is tomorrow in the morning. Wish me luck!

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Tattoo removal is such a rollercoaster. Ups and downs are all part of it! It's always such a strange feeling when you see your tattooist from across the street; not sure if I hate him or not, haha. Glad to hear that you're on a positive at the moment, and I hope it lasts too. Good luck for the interview, let us know how it goes!
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I'm doing my best. :) That's all we'll we can or need to do. :)

Post treatment #2

Back in business so to say. I had R0 treatment done last week but only with 2 rounds. According to my technician all the browns could have taken one more round but she decided that it was enough since the black was getting irritated. I got blisters all over it but only small ones. They were all gone in 4 days. My technician was quite surprised when I told her I barely blistered the first time though, because she used to pretty high settings.

The end of the tail and right wing did not blister at all and they don't seem to be doing any peeling either. The rest of the bird is peeling though (itchy!!). Unlike the original plan we went through the whole bird except for that little swirl with white ink in it. Also the dark brown right around that same swirl did not have too much of a reaction, if any. The rest of the browns did react, that's what she told me. So I'm not sure. She was worried if he had used any UV-ink because if he had she couldn't possibly remove it. She told me that that type of tattoo got really popular once and then there was nobody wanting to get them anymore... So some places bought those inks really cheap and tattooed people like it was regular ink. Wow. But I'm pretty sure this is not the case with mine since the place I went to was a pretty good, more of an art gallery to be honest, so I'd say I don't need to worry about that. She then told me that it could just be a matter of adjusting the spot size to make it react like the rest of it reacting. Who knows? At any rate I'm now going through healing process, it's super dry and itchy as hell but cocoa butter and damp, cold towel helps. :) The earliest I can go for next round would the first week of December. I haven't decided yet what to with that because I keep going back and forth on having or not having a picosure treatment done on me. I contacted a place offering that and their answer was that it's probably not worth the trip as picosure doesn't do well on reds and my tattoo is basicly black and brown (brown having lot of red pigment in it). So perhaps it is best to stick with nd yag Q switch for now, possibly have ruby laser at some point if it seems need some boosting. I just don't know. :/ It's so hard because it is only the beginning and there's no way of speeding up the process... Oh, I just hope it's not done too deep.

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