I grew up in a pretty normal, conservative, middle-class household. My parents weren’t super strict. Or super lenient. They were just sort of – average really… Piercing, body modifications and tattoos just weren’t our cup of tea. I remember my dad thinking it bizarre I wanted my ears pierced at 16. I did it anyway… Twice…
Never in my entire life had I ever (ever, ever, ever…) considered getting a tattoo. In fact mostly I thought tattoos were a silly thing to do – I mean who would do something so permanent to their body? That’s certainly the message I’ve been sending to my children for 20+ years! Then on my birthday last month, I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to get a tattoo. Not as a decoration – as a statement. Not for you. Not for family or friends. A statement for me. To remind me my story isn’t over yet.
And so today I got a tattoo.
I read about the semicolon project sometime ago and was going to get a semicolon – to remind myself that despite chronic suicidal ideation last year – and the firm plans I had in place – I am still here. Then as I read more I found the phrase My Story Isn’t Over Yet popping up all the time in relation to the semicolon project, and I felt a strong resonation with that. So I had it tattooed on my wrist. Partly for the statement and the reminder. Partly to stop me wanting to cut into my wrist (it won’t necessarily stop me… But after going to the effort of getting a tattoo, I don’t want to ruin it now!)
Then when playing around on Pinterest I discovered an eating disorder recovery symbol and I wanted that too. So I have the text and semicolon across my wrist with the recovery symbol on the back. All linked up with a squiggly line.
Now – I am not as silly as I might look… The tattoo fits nicely under my wristwatch, so should I be out and about and meeting people who I would rather not discuss tattoos (or mental health) with, it is very easy to cover up.
Despite it being very early days (I’ve had a tattoo for a measly five hours so far… It is in fact, still wrapped in clingwrap…) I am extremely happy. I feel like I’ve made a statement to myself. If days get dark, it is a visual reminder I’ve been there before and I made it through. I can do it again.
My husband now calls me his badass inked up babe, which is so not me…
I am not badass, and I’m not a babe. I’m usually a big baby. I did ask for numbing cream when the text was done (I had it done over two sessions – not because I piked out… but because I kept wanting more bits added!) But to be honest, the tattoo with the numbing cream hurt more than the bits I had done today. So tattoo pain is like real estate – it’s all about location, location! Thankfully I only wanted five words – not the normal 1000+ I tend to dribble out…
I was asked today if I had it done as a bucket-list thing and I immediately said, No!! Because I didn’t. But it has left me wondering… What is on my bucket-list?! I need to make one… Because I would like to feel successful in life, I think I’ll start my bucket-list with things I’ve already done – so I’m now going to add, Get A Tattoo, to the top of my bucket-list. But I’d also like to fill my list with things I haven’t done yet. So the unfinished story of this badass inked up babe, will have some more interesting tidbits to tell.