“In case you didn’t know, dead people don’t bleed. If you can bleed-see it, feel it-then you know you’re alive. It’s irrefutable, undeniable proof. Sometimes I just need a little reminder.” ― Amy Efaw, After
When I was younger I used to self-harm and I was addicted to it. I did it for many reason; to feel something when I was numb, to focus my pain on physical instead of emotional/mental, etc. I didn’t care if I lived or died and it became an addiction. It’s still something I struggle with- it’s a daily battle with myself. No, I don’t self-harm anymore and I’m proud of myself. I just keep trying to stay positive.
“I am a canvas of my experiences, my story is etched in lines and shading, and you can read it on my arms, my legs, my shoulders, and my stomach.” – Kat Von D
Ever since I was 11 years old I’ve wanted to get a tattoo. At 17 years old my dad paid for my very first tattoo, I was sooo happy. The first tattoo I got was a Treble Clef to symbolize my passion for music. Music has always been a huge part of my life and I’ve always wanted to be a musician. At 17 years old self-harming got worse and I was struggling. I wanted to be a musician but my dad wouldn’t allow me. I would listen to music all the time until my dad snapped at me because I was too obsessed with music, that’s all I ever did. Even though my dad didn’t want to help me with music, I was happy to get my tattoo because it was a reminder of who I am, who I was, who I will be and what I love.
The second tattoo I got was the words “Stay Strong” on my wrists to remind me to stay strong in hard moments. It’s also been a strong reminder to not self-harm.
I started to self-harm when I was 15,I would find different ways to harm myself… I had a lot of things going on and I didn’t know how to cope. After 3 years of therapy, I told myself I would get a tattoo and that was the tattoo I got. Originally I wanted something with “ stay strong” but I didn’t know what until I saw Demi Lovato with the tattoo on her wrists and I thought, “ wow! I want that!” and I did. A lot of people have asked me why I got that tattoo, to some people I tell the story but some are not aware.
The third tattoo that I have is a quote saying, “We accept the love we think we deserve”. I didn’t come up with that quote, I found it on Pintrest but I thought that it’s so true. I think everyone can relate to the idea of thinking that we either don’t deserve someone that treats us like a Queen/King. I got this because I, myself struggle with the idea of accepting the love I truly deserve. I always thought that I could only get a guy that thinks so little of me and takes me for granted. I never thought that I could get someone that treats me with respect, that doesn’t cheat, that loves me for me, that takes me out, etc.. Every morning I look in the mirror and say out loud the quote that I now have tattooed on me and it reminds me that I deserve someone loving and caring.
“My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.”
— Johnny Depp
Some people that know about my past have all asked me the same question. “Isn’t self-harming and getting tattoos the same thing?” “ You used to self-harm so really you’re just finding an excuse to harm yourself again”.
No, I am not doing it to self-harm. When I get a tattoo it has to have a meaning or a story to tell. However, when the urges do come back getting a tattoo seems like a good idea to me. Yes in a way I’m replacing one pain by another but at least instead of having scars I’m getting a tattoo that portraits a beautiful memory/reminder, every tattoo has a story. I can understand why people ask me those questions it can be confusing especially when they know my past.
I will admit, when I get my tattoos I love the feeling of getting them. There’s a part of me that feels relief and feels good when I feel the pain. However, there’s another part of me that is scared that I will fall back into that habit- that’s scared of facing my past again. I guess in a way I’m replacing one pain with another.
No, I do not get a tattoo to self-harm, I get a tattoo because I want one and/or I have a story to add. Yes I’m turning a battle scar into a beautiful picture.
If you do plan on getting tattoos please make sure you get one for the right reasons…
Stay Strong. Stay beautiful. Stay you.