In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tattoo….You?.”
This was a great daily topic and one that ties in to a blog I posted a few days ago so I’ve amended it and I hope you enjoy………….
I love my body ink, I have two full sleeves and am in the process of getting more done and designed all the time. My first tattoo as that teenage rebel was predictably for my age some chinese symbols, and ever since getting my first one I’ve had a bit of an addiction to them. I slowly over time added more predictable ones as I liked being tattooed but really didn’t know what I wanted. Fortunately before I made too many tattooing mistakes I moved in with my now wife and she lived near a lady that had some of the best ink I’ve seen, as did her partner. As I got to know them I was introduced to their artist and since then I haven’t looked back.
I was at an age where I finally knew what I wanted and have started to turn my body into a sketchbook. On my right arm I have a sleeve with my family motto, loads of skulls and flames (tied in with my love of vikings and norse mythology), with roman numerals showing the date of my wedding at the top and at the bottom the initials of my best mate who was taken far too young. On the 10th anniversary of his passing I had this tattoo inked along with the dates of his life and a skull. I have a tribal scorpion that I designed on my right bicep.
This tattooing started in earnest after my car accident and I found that being tattooed was the one time I could sit and chat for hours without shuffling and moving and where for once my chronic back pain wasn’t the first thing I thought of. It helps that I get on well with my tattooist and that we have a good laugh sharing a similar sense of humour and interests. He spoke to me about the tattooing being part of pain diversion. I was a little unsure what he meant and he explained that the tattooing was sending different impulses to my brain and pain receptors to what I am normally used too. This was possibly the best sales pitch ever or there was some real truth in what Mark said. I did some reading and I go with the latter.
There are only two issues with tattooing being pain relief;
- Good work isn’t cheap, and if you are going to get ink you want to make sure it is quality work, and having learnt from experience meaningful.
- My wife doesn’t like tattoos
The second one you’d think for some would be a no brainer and we have had several discussions with people who cannot understand why my wife allows me to do it! People cannot get their heads round the fact that just as I would never tell my wife what to wear or how to have her hair cut etc, she would never say no to me having ink, she understands that I love it and I guess it is being unique individuals within a couple that make us work!
My left forearm is covered with a steam punk inspired bionic ripped arm with coils, wires, cogs, suspension rods etc.
My upper arm has a saying from a series of viking/norse mythology books that myself and my father in law read, and translated to English it means Fate is Inexorable which seems quite apt for me following my accident. It also has what is probably my favourite piece of work it is the skull below, look closely at it…………………
You are probably thinking why is it my favourite, well now look at it again, particularly you top of the skull for in it is my LG’s 20 week scan photo shaded freehand by my artist (again my concept but his perfect execution), along with numerous other skulls, flames, my daughters date of birth in roman numerals at the top and a tribal tattoo on my left bicep which I designed that has mine, my wife’s and our sons initials. My two arms are unique with so many things that have significant meaning to me.
Having finished my arms we have moved on to my back. This was going to be the best test for the pain diversion theory as since my accident I have not been able to have anyone touch large areas of my back without severe reactions. Making me sick, flinch and spasm uncontrollably, to go with the tattooing was a big risk so it needed to be extra special.
I have a major piece planned that is to turn my back into one big skull. The skull is to be made up of the one passion I have outside of my family and friends – Star Wars. The plan is that the skull will be made up of a number of smaller tattoos with a Star Wars theme. From a distance once complete you will see a skull but moving closer you will be able to see the collection of Star Wars tattoos. The eye sockets are two pictures of Darth Vader one a portrait of him just after he has been unmasked by Luke and the other a skull/Vader combination. The nose hole consists of Vader in his mask, and the plans are to have rows of stormtroopers making up the teeth. Unfortunately the first issue has become the latest problem meaning this is a work in progress and having this finished is the first thing on my bucket list were we to win the lottery.
As a few hours pain relief (and it really is only a short term rest) followed by a good nights sleep it is by far and away the best form of pain diversion I have tried. Give me a few hours with Mark ahead of all the other alternatives I have tried for sure, if only the NHS could prescribe Ink as part of my disability payments – maybe that should be my next campaign.