I always told myself that if I had a tattoo, it had to have a meaning.
My decision to have a tattoo was made a little while back but I wanted the perfect quote that meant a lot to me. I went between so many different quotes until I heard Muse’s song Something Human.
I am a huge Muse fan. Have been for a number of years and their music has seen me through some of the darkest times of my life. I’ve seen them live, bought and collected their music and even met Matt Bellamy the lead singer. I am somewhat of a fangirl.
Something Human was released around the time of my ADHD diagnosis.
It took me a few days after my diagnosis to find meaning in this song. I was on the bus home from work and had just had blood tests and sent the results to my psychiatrist. I was on the way to getting medication and starting treatment and recovery.
Feeling slightly more optimistic, I listened hard to the lyrics and the perfect lyric for a tattoo was found.
But something has changed,
I feel so alive…
I’d been wanting a tattoo with meaning for a while but I couldn’t pick the perfect quote. “I feel so alive” felt apt.
Starting Concerta helped me cope and feel normal again. I felt… human. I felt alive and free and more optimistic about the future. This quote felt so appropriate and I wanted it on my body to remind me of my progress.
I’d always decided that I’d have a tattoo on my left forearm close to my self harm scars. I haven’t self harmed for quite a while now and it’s a habit that I’ve pretty much stopped thankfully. It’s a part of my arm that’s nearly always visible and that would mean that every time I saw my arm, I’d be reminded of any meaning behind a tattoo. My first tattoo, I always wanted be relevant to my mental health and recovery.
My quote was definitely fitting the criteria.
I originally booked it for early November but when I came off work sick, I cancelled to save money. But on my first day back at work in December, I contacted the tattoo artist and he said he had time after I’d finished work.
The timing was perfect.
The progress I’ve made recently with my mental health has been so amazing and having this tattoo almost felt like the official start to my journey forward. A recognition that things were going to get better.
It hurt. I won’t lie, it was sore and stung like a bitch but it wasn’t unbearable. I take sharper intakes of breaths when I have my immunisations. But inside, I kept reminding myself that I was doing this to mark my progress and have a permanent reminder of my struggles and how far I’ve come.
Now life can begin,
I’ve cleansed all my sins…
I love how the tattoo looks. I was apprehensive when I first saw the size on the transfer paper but once the ink was on my skin and the paper removed, it looked perfect. It didn’t look tacky or out of place. It definitely stood out but not in a bad way. So out came the needle and ink.
Marking my recovery with a tattoo felt like the best thing to do. Something that has caused me so much grief but then got better deserves to be acknowledged. That progress was made by me on my own, doing it for me.
It is a little daunting knowing that I have this permanently on my skin and I’m also really cautious to make sure I look after it right and don’t get an infection. Having had issues with my second piercings, I really don’t want infections and pain and scarring on my forearm.
For me, a tattoo to mark the proper beginning of my recovery was necessary. Every time I am struggling or even if I just happen to look down at my arm, I see this reminder that I am alive and I remember the meaning behind that tattoo. I smile.
And for every day for the rest of my life, I will see that tattoo and remember that I am strong and I have come so far.
For that reason, I am incredibly proud of myself.