an_inhaler

Initiation and post-tattoo anxiety

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 Hi @PinkUnicorn, I live in the Netherlands now, which is probably the most tolerant country in general. I work in a very international environment now. But I have no idea where I will be in 3 years when my current contract will be over  (I do not have a European passport so I won't be able to stay unless I have a job).

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I live in the Netherlands too! I was in the US just a month ago after not going for a couple of years and I was absolutely shocked at the number of people with tattoos compared to a few years ago. It's becoming so commonplace in all sorts of people from all walks of life. Way more Americans seem to have tattoos than Dutch despite how liberal the country is.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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12 hours 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'm a prof and so is my husband - two academics, visible tattoos and zero issues. 

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I just moved to Den Bosch but I've been living in this country for 8 years so I've been around a bit. Where are you located?

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@an_inhaler I got a spur of the moment tattoo and the anxiety didnt hit me until 2 days after and lasted for about a month. I also wanted it and I really like it! But it was a horrible feeling that was keeping me up at night in tears wondering what in the f I had just done. The crazy part is, it was my third one, not even the first. Lol

 It eventually got better and is now something i accept and love. Tattoos can be such a beautiful reflection of you so if anything embrace it. What helped me was starting to make up different reasons why I got it when people asked. It's not like it's for them anyway. But to keep it interesting and sometimes very funny it helped a lot to cool down the hurricane inside my head.

Edited by H8doorslams

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On 12/9/2016 at 2:07 AM, an_inhaler said:

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

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just got my second tattoo and it’s also on my arm and I’m feeling exactly the same way. I’m trying to just accept it (it’s only been 5 days with it) but I have this dreaded feeling that I messed up. I know it’s not based on reality though. Here is mine:

 

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Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just got my second tattoo and it’s also on my arm and I’m feeling exactly the same way. I’m trying to just accept it (it’s only been 5 days with it) but I have this dreaded feeling that I messed up. I know it’s not based on reality though. Here is mine:
 

Don’t have any regrets over that tattoo...that is amazing. Wear that with pride!

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7 hours ago, Kimi said:

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just got my second tattoo and it’s also on my arm and I’m feeling exactly the same way. I’m trying to just accept it (it’s only been 5 days with it) but I have this dreaded feeling that I messed up. I know it’s not based on reality though. Here is mine:

 

It's beautiful! But you know it anyway since you know your feelings are not based on reality.

To give you some comfort, my anxiety passed quite quickly. Now, two and a half years ago,  I fully love my tattoo and it makes me feel so much better in my body. It's a beautiful part of me now and I can't imagine I just had a bare arm once :).

I even got a second big tattoo right on my chest from a different artist. I didn't have the same anxiety right away but a couple of months after getting it I was going through a difficult period so it hit me. Now I just realize it's like that for me with all big changes: I might want it, I might like it, but it is still going outside my comfort zone, so anxiety is natural and it just takes time to accept these things as a part of your new comfort zone.

Hope it happens soon for you, my inked buddy! In the meantime, getting support from the community reeeaaaaaaaally helps :).

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On 6/1/2019 at 11:18 PM, an_inhaler said:

It's beautiful! But you know it anyway since you know your feelings are not based on reality.

To give you some comfort, my anxiety passed quite quickly. Now, two and a half years ago,  I fully love my tattoo and it makes me feel so much better in my body. It's a beautiful part of me now and I can't imagine I just had a bare arm once :).

I even got a second big tattoo right on my chest from a different artist. I didn't have the same anxiety right away but a couple of months after getting it I was going through a difficult period so it hit me. Now I just realize it's like that for me with all big changes: I might want it, I might like it, but it is still going outside my comfort zone, so anxiety is natural and it just takes time to accept these things as a part of your new comfort zone.

Hope it happens soon for you, my inked buddy! In the meantime, getting support from the community reeeaaaaaaaally helps :).

Wow, I got my first tattoo yesterday and woke up half asleep at 7am with all these feelings. I was so glad to find out I wasn't alone!

It's the only tattoo I've ever wanted and I wanted it on my arm in a similar place. I think I'd forgotten about it and it was just quite jarring that early in the day in such an obvious spot.

Thanks for replying to this thread after so long too! I like knowing you pulled through, it gives me confidence for myself. 🙂

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I felt this way with my first few tattoos. I planned them out carefully, researched the best artists, and ended up with really nice tattoos. But there were always moments in the first few months after a new one where I would have anxiety or panicky feelings of "was this really a good idea?" This was especially true when a new tattoo was healing, because healing tattoos are ugly. Or at least, mine are. 

Now I have a lot of tattoos and new ones don't make me anxious. Someone mentioned up thread the idea that at first you're a tattoo spectator and then you become a tattooed person/member of the tattooed community. It's an identity shift. I think that's really true. I'm all in now, and I have no regrets about any of my tattoos.

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Posted (edited)

Hey guys,

I just signed up here after finding this thread. I just got my 3rd Tattoo in total and it's beautiful, I love the design and how it's made and what it stands for. Still, I have been crying about getting it ever since i got it, I'm constantly nauesous and even was close to fainting a couple of times because of anxiety/stress 😄 The tattoo is much more visible (on my thigh), much more present, much more THERE than my other tattoos (1 small lettering on my arm, 1 neotraditional on the side of my calf) and I never had this feeling with the other two, so I am really confused as to why I am so upset and even researched laser removal and just wanted it GONE. The Tattoo is literally 2 days old.

Reading all your experiences here really helped me and I think my anxiety just got better by a lot. I hope I will continue to get used to it and not be as focused on it anymore. Anyways, I will attach a picture of the little culprit to this post when I'm not on mobile so you know what I'm talking about. 

Cheers!

20200105_224710.jpg

Edited by Theralex

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it's a nice tattoo,

what you are feeling is normal and it will go away,

and before you know it you will be planning your next bigger badass tattoo.

so take a breath,relax ,and finish watching the playoffs.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Dan,

thanks a bunch for your reply 🙂 I'm glad you like it. I do wonder what the psychological reasons for post tattoo remorse are. 

Also - nice quote! Joaquin seems to be a role model 🙂

Edited by Theralex

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15 hours ago, Theralex said:

I do wonder what the psychological reasons for post tattoo remorse are. 

I'm no doctor/psychiatrist, but I've seen/heard of similar feelings/emotions from friends and family members that had to endure a physical change (physical alteration due to cancer treatment, or a significant accident/injury).  They've said the first few weeks they felt like it wasn't themselves anymore, or felt anxious/worried about the change similar to the comments posted here.  They all within a few weeks became accepting, and not concerned with the passage of time.

Maybe it's forcing us to examine ourselves existentially, which isn't always something we're comfortable doing?  🙂

Just musing, but it's an interesting topic for sure. 

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Thanks guys! I already feel much better about it and I hope I will continue to grow into it. I'm spending all day with my closest friends who keep me occupied and distracted but also talk about the situation with me if I start the discussion. But like I said, it's already gotten much much better.
 

4 hours ago, SJP0tato said:

I'm no doctor/psychiatrist, but I've seen/heard of similar feelings/emotions from friends and family members that had to endure a physical change (physical alteration due to cancer treatment, or a significant accident/injury).  They've said the first few weeks they felt like it wasn't themselves anymore, or felt anxious/worried about the change similar to the comments posted here.  They all within a few weeks became accepting, and not concerned with the passage of time.

Maybe it's forcing us to examine ourselves existentially, which isn't always something we're comfortable doing?  🙂

Just musing, but it's an interesting topic for sure. 

That sounds interesting! I mean, a taiittoo does not compare to an illness, but maybe the process is similar.
I think it might also have to do with the idea that we have of ourselves, which of course is shaped by the way we look. So maybe when we change our exterior, we feel a slight disconnect between our character and the way we look after getting tattooed. For me there was/is also a feeling of having let myself down, of having made the wrong choice and thinking that I made a mistake - which I try to always always avoid at all costs.

I'm sorry if my english is weird right now, I can't properly access my language skills right now ahaha

@oboogie Thank you so much for your input! Are those your tattoos on your legs? They look AWESOME!

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1 hour ago, Theralex said:

Thanks guys! I already feel much better about it and I hope I will continue to grow into it. I'm spending all day with my closest friends who keep me occupied and distracted but also talk about the situation with me if I start the discussion. But like I said, it's already gotten much much better.
 

That sounds interesting! I mean, a taiittoo does not compare to an illness, but maybe the process is similar.
I think it might also have to do with the idea that we have of ourselves, which of course is shaped by the way we look. So maybe when we change our exterior, we feel a slight disconnect between our character and the way we look after getting tattooed. For me there was/is also a feeling of having let myself down, of having made the wrong choice and thinking that I made a mistake - which I try to always always avoid at all costs.

I'm sorry if my english is weird right now, I can't properly access my language skills right now ahaha

@oboogie Thank you so much for your input! Are those your tattoos on your legs? They look AWESOME!

They are, yes. Thanks!

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On 1/5/2020 at 3:35 PM, Theralex said:

Hi Dan,

thanks a bunch for your reply 🙂 I'm glad you like it. I do wonder what the psychological reasons for post tattoo remorse are. 

i agree that it's a nice tattoo.

half jokingly - maybe the location has something to do with it? lettering on your arm is probably visible and neotrad on your calf is also visible to others. But YOU see this one on your thigh every time you're on the contemplative thinking seat of porcelain.

more seriously - maybe the meaning of the tattoo touches a place in your heart and soul that you don't/didn't feel comfortable being touched. I dunno the meaning behind the tattoo, but if a castle is truly your home, perhaps there are other social and hierarchical issues in the realm, like who is going to sit on the Iron Throne. 😃 in all seriousness and assuming you don't live in a castle, perhaps the thought or idea of Home is something you're wrestling with and are being forced to confront.

Nonetheless, sending good juju your way and welcome to LST!

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Hi @Hands On!

You are absolutely right, it is the fact that it is more visible to myself than the others are that is difficult. I am getting more and more used to it, though, and can almost spend time by myself again without hating absolutely everything 🙂

The castle is actually Hogwarts, so hierachies don't have that much to do with it. The tattoo just references the fact that Harry Potter has been a huge part of my life ever since I was little and shaped me a lot. No deeper meaning to it than it defining me, no big deal 😄

I really enjoy the different aspects you mentioned that could be triggering this. Do you have a psychology background?

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@Theralex no psychology background, but i do like to try to understand people's perspectives.

glad to hear you're doing better!

i was only kidding about hierarchies, but I would say that "he who must not be named" might have a differing opinion than yours. 😃

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