This day exactly one year ago, I made one of the most life-changing decisions ever. It was a decision that has permanently altered my life in the best way possible. I wasn’t too sure at the outset if I really wanted to do this (and I almost talked myself out of it) but I thought I’d made the decision, I have to commit to it and there’s no turning back.
So at 6:00 PM this day one year ago, I walked into a small building seemingly in the middle of downtown nowhere sweating bullets and trembling in fear. You see, I’d never been in such a place in my life and I had no idea what to expect, other than the agonizing pain that was sure to await me. Of course, being autistic I don’t much like new things; my fear of the unknown is almost crippling. But I swallowed my fear, discussed size, placement and color and eventually made my way to the hot seat. There was no turning back now, even though I was on the edge of throwing up due to nerves.
Somehow I managed to hold back my vomit as Jada skillfully wiped the EMLA cream off my wrist, placed the 72 point Times New Roman semicolon stencil on my posterior inner right wrist and began to permanently etch the mark into my dermis.
As the EMLA started wearing off and the pain started really ramping up Jada said, “You know once you get this one you’re going to want more right?” I laughed, looked her square in the eye and told her she was full of shit. I couldn’t imagine wanting to subject myself to this kind of pain and suffering over and over again, but through the pain the nerves subsided and were replaced by the biggest rush I’d ever felt in my life. I was so high. I hurt so bad yet felt so good. Like what was going on?
When she finished and I saw the Eternal True Blue mark upon my wrist I was overcome with a sense of pride. Pride because I powered through probably the scariest experience of my life and also pride in the fact that I’d overcome self-injury, addiction and multiple suicide attempts so that I earned that mark. As she put the Saniderm over it and I walked out, the tears started and I couldn’t control them.
Of course, when I got home I swore that would be my one and only tattoo, but I longed to feel that rush again, so it wasn’t but a few weeks later that I started looking to get more. I have to say, she was absolutely right when she said I’d want more. I gradually added tattoos over the course of last year and ultimately wound up with four more before the year was over. In one year I went from a totally blank canvas to 5 tattoos. If you would have told me in 2015 that by the end of 2016 I’d have five tattoos I’d have laughed in your face and said you were full of shit. Alas, famous last words right?
So what’s in store for 2017 for me? Well more tattoos of course, but I’m also going to start venturing into piercings too. Of course, I’ll start with earlobes and go from there (and who knows where I’ll go), but all I know is ironically when I’m in the hot seat is when I’m most at peace. For me getting a tattoo is equal parts physical pain, meditation and high. There’s nothing quite like it, and I always long to feel that again.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo, now is the time. Just do it. Grab life by the horns. We are only on this earth for a short period of time after all, and we have to enjoy the time that we’re here.