an_inhaler

Initiation and post-tattoo anxiety

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Hi there guys!

So, I am 24, I work at a university and  I made my first tattoo five days ago. Now I am one of you. I absolutely love my tattoo and I think that it's just marvelous. I like it when I am looking at it, I like it when I am looking at myself in the mirror, I like the design and the job that the artist did. My husband loves it, my mom was not angry (didn't tell the rest of the family yet, it's too scary). 

But.. sometimes I really think I made a mistake. I understand it is not a therapy forum, but the words you guys told to other people with the same problem are just so helpful. Well, most of the time. I am waking up in the middle of the night and just wish it wouldn't be there. I am afraid of what my colleagues will think and how it can affect my career. It is a constant tsunami inside of me. The tricky part is: I couldn't even imagine it would be an issue before doing that! I am not usually that kind of person. 

But your forum really helps. It is nice to see that I am not the only one with this thing during the first days.  I do not have anyone with visible tattoos among my friends or colleagues, so it really helps to see that there are many many many beautiful people with tattoos all around the world. 

To sum up: the first tattoo is very very very scary, but I can't wait for all the magic it is going to bring into my life. 

Edited by an_inhaler

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welcome to LST and to the world of being a tattooed person!

It sounds like your experience so far has already triggered you to self-assess a bit. Perhaps there has always been a tsunami inside of you and this external change has magnified it or forced you to pay attention to it. Now you get to learn to control and harness it. Check out this short, yet meaningful thread, if you haven't already:

https://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/t/5645-cool-stuff-youve-learnedgotten-intoetc-thanks-to-getting-tattooed/?page=1

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Welcome to the forum. Lots of great people and advice to be had here! Both of mine are in places where they can be covered by short sleeves so I haven't had the same experience. I do have many people who work for me who have visible tattoos...and it has had no impact on how they are perceived at work. Hopefully, your experiences will be the same. As you get more confident, you can always test the waters with friends and trusted colleagues and then expand your "circle" beyond them.

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welcome !

post tattoo remorse is a common and real feeling,I have had it many times,and I still get it to this day ! IMO it's a "buyers remorse" in a way.

my post tattoo remorse is always about the money not the tattoo though, LOL

but it always quickly goes away after a week or so,then I start planning my next one ! LOL

you're screwed now ! it's an addiction worse then any drug ! but WAY better !

my addiction started in 1985 and has only gotten worse !

P.S. that's the beauty of "tattoo remorse" ! what's done is done,and it's on you,so love it,like it,live with it,try and learn ,and go on to the next one.

Edited by Dan

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Hi there - welcome!

I hope that today is a less anxious day for you. Deep breaths. :) This forum has amazing, very successful and professional people who are tattooed. Remember, it's your body and you can choose to decorate it anyway that you please. If someone is going to judge you for having a tattoo, that tells you more about *them* than you. Some will understand, some won't...and that's OKAY. Not everyone knows that I'm tattooed which is MY choice. It's super interesting to watch people react...I know exactly who they are, how they operate and how to deal with them after they know/see my work. It's a fantastic 'tell'. Most of the time they don't know that I watch them react, then adapt to their reactions. :)

 

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Thanks for your support and welcoming, everyone!

Unfortunately, it hasn't become better. If anything, it has just become worst. Maybe I just don't have what it takes. maybe the tattoo is too big and visible for the first one. But now I am just panicking all the time and I cannot really understand why =). This morning it is not about what other people will think but about the eternity the tattoo will be with me. I  really hope I can get used to it, otherwise it will just drive me crazy. On the bright side -- I am absolutely not worrying about all the thing I worries before getting a tattoo. Mind-blowing experience, anyway.

That is really stupid and I just wish I could enjoy my beautiful tattoo. 

But guys your words do help!

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A tip for all the future panicking readers: meditation helps! Just put on the first 18 hours of relaxing music and shit from youtube and breath for 8 minutes. Brings you back to the present. Phew, it feels good. I probably need to do it at least 10 times per day now.

As @Hands On said, 

On 06/12/2016 at 11:03 PM, Hands On said:

Perhaps there has always been a tsunami inside of you and this external change has magnified it or forced you to pay attention to it.

 

That is so true. Do you know me? =)

Yeah, what's done is done, I am enjoying it and I am ready for the journey. 

oh my god I am unstable

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I had this very strongly with my 2nd tattoo. The nights were the worst where I'd hollow in deep regret. Then I got used to it and I kept getting more. I found out that the problem for me was that I went from feeling like a spectator of the tattoo world to feeling like a member. It felt like an identity shift which was causing all the internal conflict.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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Welcome to LST, hope you find it useful and engaging and you stick around.  May we see a photo of your new tattoo?  As others have already posted, this feeling is not uncommon - you've had 24 years of looking (more or less) the same, and now there's a picture on you!  You'll get over it, and heck you may even end up with a lot more.

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Thanks, guys!

@Lucy83, yes, I think that it holds for me too. I still cannot believe that this thing is actually ON me. Looking at it in the mirror or in the photo is definitely easy than looking at it directly.

 

@el twe, here is my tattoo. It is on my userpic as well.  The photo was taken by the artist right after the tattooing. I think it is beautiful and magical but oooooh it is much bigger than I thought it would be.  

In general, I think I am starting to feel a little bit better now. At least I do not wake up in the middle of the night. Now it is just these panic attacks in the morning and in the evening =). I feel very silly because of all that.

chavo.jpg

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I like your tattoo and I hear in your words that you do too!  I also hear words like 'panic attack', 'feel very silly' and 'am unstable'.  Maybe you need to be kind to yourself in the bigger life picture?  Your tattoo is cool - relax about it.  If terms like panic attacks are literal, I can say that I have been there and have overcome them, in time.  Sometimes our angst can be focused on something that actually isn't the issue - that has been my experience.  

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Thanks, @Makar! I do like my tattoo. It makes me very happy when I am not panicking =). Then I just remember why I did it and it al makes sense. 

It is just so very new for me. It's been only a week! It is also itchy now so I am constantly paying attention to it. I think it will also be better when it heals completely. 

 

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It's a nice tattoo and very unique. It looks like there's a lot of special symbolism and meaning to you. I notice that it's on your arm. I have tattoos on my belly, leg and arms and the ones on the arms were the most confrontational no doubt. I'm pretty sure you'll get used to your tattoo in no time. Welcome to the awesome world of tattoos!

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Yes, I think it has even more meaning for me than I initially realized. And it being on my arm is the biggest problem: it is too visible both for me and for the people around. But from the very beginning, I wanted it to be visible for me and I didn't care much for the people around (until I actually got the tattoo and started reading on the internet how tattoos are perceived in the academic world. It was a bad idea, don't ever do it!). 

But the community here is amazing and I am very glad I am a part of it now!

 

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1 hour ago, an_inhaler said:

Yes, I think it has even more meaning for me than I initially realized. And it being on my arm is the biggest problem: it is too visible both for me and for the people around. But from the very beginning, I wanted it to be visible for me and I didn't care much for the people around (until I actually got the tattoo and started reading on the internet how tattoos are perceived in the academic world. It was a bad idea, don't ever do it!). 

But the community here is amazing and I am very glad I am a part of it now!

 

I think you are over-generalizing the perceptions of people in academia. I am a college president - got my first two tattoos within this past year. I have a great number of staff and faculty who sport tattoos, some visible and some covered. I've not seen any negative reaction to either males of females who have tattoos around my college. Granted, there can be an elitist snobbery at work in some institutions, especially among older members of the community who were raised when tattoos were not as prevalent or accepted, but that seems to be dwindling rapidly as the more junior members of the faculty, staff and administration are promoted into the ranks. For me, I use my decision to get tattooed as a way to encourage acceptance and tolerance of diversity in all forms. Surprising that the more liberal community that demands inclusiveness tends to be at the heart of discrimination and intolerance of people with ink, no?

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1 hour ago, Devious6 said:

I think you are over-generalizing the perceptions of people in academia. I am a college president - got my first two tattoos within this past year. I have a great number of staff and faculty who sport tattoos, some visible and some covered. I've not seen any negative reaction to either males of females who have tattoos around my college. Granted, there can be an elitist snobbery at work in some institutions, especially among older members of the community who were raised when tattoos were not as prevalent or accepted, but that seems to be dwindling rapidly as the more junior members of the faculty, staff and administration are promoted into the ranks. For me, I use my decision to get tattooed as a way to encourage acceptance and tolerance of diversity in all forms. Surprising that the more liberal community that demands inclusiveness tends to be at the heart of discrimination and intolerance of people with ink, no?

THIS. I have numerous degrees, and I don't know a single person in academia who has a negative perception about tattoos. Times have changed. You are really over-thinking this and generalizing wildly. Are you prone to panic attacks about things in general? Because, honestly, I'm kind of concerned for you.

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I agree, I would not expect any negative attitude towards tattoos in academia, that's why I didn't even think about that before getting one. After that, I started thinking about all possible negative consequences of that (literally ALL, you cannot even imagine what crazy thoughts were in my head). And on one website I read somebody saying that it is a very bad idea to get a big visible tattoo if you are a university teacher. And some woman working in academia wrote in her blog that if somebody is not going to hire her because of her tattoos, then maybe it is not a place for her anyway. So, I thought, there might be this problem! 

Being in a very fragile state of mind, I over-generalized it of course. That is what I often tend to do: focus on some negative possibilities that are only in my head and worrying worrying worrying about them. So yes, I have some anxiety issues in general. The transition to being a tattooed person for some reasons for me was much harder than I could expect it to be, and it magnified all my worries. I've also had some kind of a personality crisis recently, it doesn't help either.

But I am so much better now already, especially during the day time. Mornings and evenings seem to be difficult times in this respect for me. I am starting to accept my new look and I like it very much. 

Thank you for your support a lot, people! I hope that soon I'll stop whining here for good.

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Where are you located @an_inhaler?

I'm a research scientist connected with a university near Washington D.C.

I have the impression most of my colleagues are not concerned either way about tattoos. (Although my two modest ones are covered at work so I can't comment directly.)

But if you're somewhere like Japan that could be different!

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