That Was Dumb, So How Do I Live with It - Vancouver, BC

Hey everyone, so I have been reading everyone's...

Hey everyone, so I have been reading everyone's story for the past couple of months, its nice to know that I am not alone but its also hard to realise how much so many people have suffered. I got the outline for a full sleeve a while back. I always wanted a sleeve, but I rushed into it a bit, I was going to start with a small section but was convinced to do the whole thing in one go. I got it outlined, loved it for five days, and then like being hit by a truck spiralled into the worst depression I have ever had. Panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, the works. At this point I am doing 'better' per say, I do yoga, I get out, I get on with my life, friends say I seem a lot happier, but before where I was such an outgoing cheerful person, I feel like something inside me is now dead. I think about all my future plans for travel and new experiances and for some reason having the tattoo sucks the joy of it right out. I am on meds to manage anxiety and make sure I get sleep. I can't imagine living with this for the rest of my life, part of me wants to get it finished, but not by the artist that started it, and I can't imagine another wanting to artist finish it. So I guess I could get lasered, but seeing some other reviews its such a dense heavy outline I doubt it will ever vanish, and the pain and cost and then the cost of another cover up sends me into another spiral.

Its a nightmare, and I can;t wake up.

So I am asking, what have other people found helped dealing with moving on from this. And I am talking about the emotional side, logical side gets its just a tattoo, but the emotional part of me is still traumatized. I am going to try some more unconventional east indian massage medicine practices because my psychologist has no idea what to do with me.

Anyhow, thank you for sharing your stories. i pray every day that a new laser comes out that might actually help all of us. I wouldn't mind the cost and pain as long as I knew it would be gone at the end.
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Comments (10)

Hey there, just checking in to see how you are doing. 
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Hi Eva, thanks for checking. It's been really rough. I feel pretty uncomfortable with this tattoo but am so determined to wait. I still play the if only game. I did go on antidepressants, low dosage, hopefully all I need to just calm my anxiety so I can focus on healing myself, but yes, it continues to be a battle. I would like to try to wait a year before starting laser, but we shall see how it goes. For now I concentrate on my art, staying healthy, yoga, and am taking up longboarding. Trying to stay positive.
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I'm so sorry to hear you're going through a hard time. I think it's great that you're waiting before jumping into laser removal. Keep focusing on the positives and it'll turn around. Take care.
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Longboarding sounds fun! So glad you are continuing your practice of yoga as it will help calm you and allow you to stay in the moment and turn inward. Just try to accept yourself unconditionally and you will see a shift in your thoughts and become more comfortable and at peace with who you are no matter where you are in your life. 
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Thank you. The Enlighten laser does give me hope, I am going to try to just live with it for a year before making ANY decision, coloring or lasering, but it is so hard when I think back at how happy I was three months ago. I know I could not have expected to react this way, but its so hard to not beat yourself up. The important thing I have found is to keep going with my life, even when it is hards. Unfortunatly this has included meds, (weak at the moment, with the risk of stronger ones) but I am hoping that maybe with finding yoga and really throwing myself into my artwork maybe I'll strangely be a better person. I just want the sickening gut feeling to go away. Its sort of a two steps forward one step back, and very few people know my feelings so its hard to ward off the "so when will you get it colored"There will come a point when I will have to say, I don't know. I was suprised by how uncomfortable this tattoo makes me feel, and I won't move forward until I feel otherwise. But neither do I think going for laser in the throws of emotion will help. Its hard to stand still. My life has always been go go go go and now I need to learn patience and acceptance. I am young, but I don't want my youth wasted on regret. Does anyone know of herbal teas for anxieties that have helped?
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Waiting to make a decision is a wise move. Some of us make impulsive choices about both getting tattoos and getting them removed. Removal is a long, expensive road with uncertain outcomes, so it's not something that should be rushed into. About your hope for a new laser... elsewhere on this site I recently found out about the forthcoming Enlighten laser by Cutera. Check it out: http://ir.cutera.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=130892&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1910455&highlight= It's a picosecond machine like Picosure, but with wavelengths that are more effective on black inks. Anyway, I hope you find peace with this.
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Thank you both :) For the time I am just leaving the tattoo as is, I don't know what the decision I make will be, but there is a lot of self I need to work on before hand. Its hard to let go of the past self, the what ifs, and some days are better then others. I hope one day I have the courage to love it, to finish it, but for now I just want to find some peace. To continue with my life and see it all as a learning experiance. Life is super short, I hate wasting any of it on anxiety of a mark on my skin.
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Your attitude is great. And I completely understand on the working on self business. You'll find your peace and when your ready, you're going to know what to do. Take care :)
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Thank you for deciding to share you story with us and really opening up about your true feelings, that is brave and very helpful to both you and other people. I have been exactly where you are (blackberry11) and finding the strength to recover from the emotional trauma is difficult, but it can be done. You are on the right path with your practice of yoga and seeking help from others, take it step by step. For me, it was really changing my perspective on the situation. I felt like such a victim and I couldn't seem to let go of the fear and negative feelings. I continually would punish and beat myself up  "How could I have been so stupid" "If only I could go back in time" I am so ugly now"  "Why did this happen to me?!" I had to finally stop and start focusing on letting go of those thoughts that kept me connected to the past and the negative emotions of the event.  Day by day, with the support of my family, this site, and my inner strength I started to reclaim my life. One thing I find really important is trusting yourself and guidance will come, I know that right now if feels like you are traveling down a very dark path but if you slow down (yoga and meditation help) and listen to your inner guidance, your heart, you will start to see that glimmer of light to guide you back to happiness. You will have set backs, that is completely normal, but as you are able to get back on track after each set back, that is when you know you are making progress. Don't be afraid of mistakes, because that is when we make more mistakes. This fear is debilitating and sucks our energy, it holds us hostage from living and enjoying our life. Remember that every single person in this world makes a "mistake" it's no big deal in the grand scheme of things, this can be fixed. I strongly believe that it is necessary and a very important part of life to make mistakes, it really does allow for growth. No matter what it is that has occurred we are always learning, sometimes we stumble and fall, but you just have to get back up and keep moving forward. It really is pointless to focus on the past and focus on what you can't immediately change. Let go of the worry and the fear because our minds take that and run with it! "If I do this something bad is going to happen" Just live in the moment, accept what has happened, don't hang on so tightly to this mistake and the what-ifs, forgive yourself, it's much easier to just admit that I made a mistake, this tattoo isn't right for me and your solution will present itself when the moment is right. I wanted to also share this forum with you: 
MENTAL/EMOTIONAL DISTRESS W/ THE PROCESS
Now chin up! 
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Eva couldn't have said it better. Know that if anyone understands your feelings, it is us! I'm not sure what I would have done if I hadn't found real self. I have made new friends who have changed my life and the way I look at things in a way I can't explain. Working through the regret and panic, anxiety, depression etc., has definitely been a very spiritual journey and I've learned things about myself that I didn't realize.. I've decided not to go through laser removal and work on accepting my tattoo and the mistake that went with it. It's not easy and I still have really bad days but I can say I'm getting better. I believe you will too. Reach out anytime. We are all here for you.
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