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.

First Test

Fighting with anxiety and depression has definetly not been fun, so I decided to do some reasearch into laser removal in my area. After a couple not so great experiances, today I met with Randi who was wonderful and offered to test patch for free. I was really nervous but honestly it did not hurt nearly as much as the tattoo itself, and she did it on the inside of my arm. She seemed pretty confident with it being all black that I could get it all out with proper treatment, so I may go for it, seeing how the test patches work. If so I'll be looking at starting in september.

SO ADVICE PLEASE. What are some of the best treatments out there? I don't smoke, I can drink way less, drink lots of water, yoga, excersise, keep it out of the sun, any more advice out there? Vitamins, meds etc??

test patch

they say its important to take pictures, This is test patch one. In sept we will do test patch two in a larger area. If all good to go then I will start treatment. this gives me until november to know for sure whether or not I am ready to go through all of this. I think its a good time frame, in november I will have had the tattoo for over half a year and know that I am good to go. Randi seems really like she knows what she is doing, had great photos, and is doing my tests for free. She thinks because it is all black and I am pale, with patience, we can pull it off. Plus she is the first clinic who was actually super friendly, non judgmental and welcoming.

I'm still going to go through with concelling as I am still full of regret and saddness. But it feels good to have an action and I have seen some great results on this site with pale skin and black ink. So I am hopeful :)

Down Day

Hey everyone. I guess I am reaching out cause I am in need of a bit of moral support. These past four months have definitely been the worst in my life. My tattoo covers my entire left arm, sleeve outline. I have yet to start treatments because I am really unsure if I can get all the black out. The sad part is I got this tattoo cause everything was going right in my life. And now everyday is a struggle. I go to work, I excersise, I eat well, I only drink at social events, never alone, I am seeing a therapist, but every moment is a painful struggle. I try to stay positive, its a bit better, the panic attacks have gone away, but now I am left with a weighty depression. It makes me sick, a fraction of who I used to be.

Sorry for the negativity, I try to keep my thoughts positive, but I need to reach out and hear, no matter what happens, tattoo, no tattoo, faint tattoo, it will get better.

I'm going to get better. One day. I just....need I guess a little pick me up.
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Oh, please also check this out 100 Days of Happiness I encourage you to join in. 
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Hey there, down days happen to all of us. I am glad that you shared with us, we are here to support you. Emotions can be overwhelming, negative thoughts have a strong power over us and we believe in them so much so that they paralyze us. Our life is a product of our thinking, the great news is you can change your thoughts, therefore change your life. Something that I think may help you is mindfulness meditation, please look that up. In short, it is a unique way of assisting us with becoming aware of what is already true moment by moment and dealing with that. It teaches us how to be unconditionally present, live in the moment and accept what is no matter what is happening. It creates a state of clarity that connects us to reality and helps us move forward. Acceptance is a key part of healing. The Buddha taught that to wake up from the dream of bewilderment and suffering, we first need to sit still and take a deep breath. Mindfulness meditations is that deep breath. Look at this as part of your journey, take the lessons you are learning from this, all lessons in life make us wiser and stronger. I want to reassure you that down days are normal, put it this way, if we are not aware of pitfalls and hardship then how on earth can we deal with them? Use your down days as a motivation. Chin up :)
 
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thank you Eva
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You are most welcome :)
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I used to have and sometimes still have same feelings, but I insure you it will all get better. The way you feel now in some time will definitely change and you will get better. It is still you, lucky happy person. It is OK to be sad, it is OK to be depressed sometimes. Just keep doing what you are doing and soon you will learn that being ink is not so significant. Take it as a lesson. Learn from this experience, but don't give up! And you are not alone! It will be over one day!
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What a wonderfully supportive comment:) 
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thank you :) I look forward to the day it will be over, and its always great to hear that day will come. Its a rough life lesson
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You're absolutely right - you will get better one day. Someone once told me that "everything happens for a reason", and I've stood by that ever since, even when something terrible happens. I really believe this to be one of those things. I imagine sometimes how great things will be once all this is over; how patient I'll be, how much more I'll appreciate things and so on. When you reach the end of your removal, you'll be mentally stronger and you'll know how to tackle emotional issues much more effectively. The hardest part is definitely the initial regret, but after that, you have to really focus on not constantly looking at the tattoo and accepting that it will one day be gone. Keep picturing that day where you wake up without having to even think about the word 'tattoo'. I'm shocked at how fast the last two years of my removal have gone, and over each year the tattoo has faded significantly. Before you know it you'll be saying that too. Your tattoo removal days are numbered, so take it day by day and try and enjoy life in the meantime.
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Well said!
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Welsh Chad, I too believe that everything happens for a reason, well said!
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Thank you Chad. Your story is incrediable and I cheer for you every time I read it, I cannot wait to see your ink gone. I have learned so much from all of this, but I am definetly ready to move forward. Telling my emotional mind that though is a different story. However I love this community and it gives me hope :)
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The emotional side is really difficult, but if you can learn to conquer that, this whole thing should be a lot easier. I think we worry about the tattoos a lot more than we should. The fact is, people probably don't take much notice but we somehow feel like the whole world is looking at it. It isn't a bad tattoo, honest!
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I'm so happy you're reaching out for support. That's what we are all here for. If anyone knows your struggle, it's us. We've been there and some are still there. It's fantastic that you're exercising and being healthy. It's definitely helpful! I can tell you that it does get better with time. I also got my tattoo because I felt like I was at a good place in my life and got it almost as a celebration of overcoming a difficult situation that I had gone through the 2 years prior. The tattoo taught me that I actually wasn't through that situation. I also seeked out counseling which is wonderful that you're doing this as well. I hope it's helping you. I can't really tell you what you should or shouldn't do. All I can do is share my own experience and I hope it helps you feel like you're not alone or you're not crazy for feeling the way you do. I hope you continue to keep us all up to date and we are all here to provide encouragement and support when you need it.
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thank you :) I read your story and how it took over six months to come to terms with it, I am hoping in such a time frame I can start to come to peace with whatever decision I make moving forward. It gets better day by day but it is definetly hard. Thank you for your response though :)
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I'm glad you're finding it's getting easier day by day. Just keep moving forward, enjoy your life and the solution will come to you. I believe everything works out in the end :)
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Hi Nero, I'm glad you found a clinic that you are a happy and comfortable with. It is great that you are taking your time and being patient with the removal. That is important. I am also quite fair skinned and seem to be having fairly good results on my black tattoo. I hope you experience the same. I also hope you are enjoying the beautiful Vancouver summer sunshine :)
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Thanks! I hope so! its so hard to be patient with all of this, I hope the test patches see good results so I can feel good going into this!
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I wish you the best of luck! Please keep us updated :)
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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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