tattoo and hope

I’ve been absent from regular posting for awhile. Things here have been more challenging as of late. The magnitude of the changes coming this fall has suddenly seemed to weigh (no pun intended) down on me and made it somewhat more challenging to cope. I’m making it through however – day by day, minute by minute.

Now…while I have been struggling some things have not been all bad. For instance on Wednesday night I got my tattoo. I have been planning on getting a tattoo for over a year now. It was to celebrate my one year recovery anniversary but took a little more time until I got around to getting it. I loved the place  I went to and my tattoo artist was amazing. She was so patient and understanding. I really didn’t think it hurt although my body did have a strange reaction and my blood sugar dropped. They got me a Dr. Pepper and so I passed another milestone (the first full sugar pop I have had in five years).

I love my tattoo. There are pictures below but let me explain the significance to you. Hope was such an important theme during my time at CFC. I had to learn how to have hope and I can honestly say that one of the most meaningful things that I learned was hope. My tattoo symplozies the time I spent at CFC learning to have hope and then to the following year as I learned to make it a part of my everyday life. The place where the normal would be is the eating disorder recovery symbol. I placed it on my wrist so that I could constantly be reminded to have hope.

Getting a tattoo was also important to me for several reasons. One it was something I never would have done before beginning the recovery process. I was so straight-laced before recovery that I never would have dreamed of getting a tattoo. In this way it was a release from some of the impossible to meet principles that I was trying to live by. However, most importantly was that this tattoo was the first positive thing I have done to my body. I have starved, cut and taken pills to harm my body but I have never in such a final and decisve way done something lasting to my body that is positive. To know that I made the decision to get a tattoo and that is has so much meaning is a powerful thing for me to know and remember. In other words, I can have control over my body in ways that don’t involve harming it.

Someday I’ll probably get another tattoo (however not for another year, I’ve made a promise that I will think about it for a year before acting on a decision). This next tattoo will symbolize the next phase of my journey. And with everything in me I hope that tattoo will read “survivor”. Until then I have my new tattoo to look down upon and remember that even through this time of transition there is always hope.



Filed under body image, coping skills, depression, eating disorder, eating disorders, Independence, life events, NEDA, New Life, Recovery, survivor

8 responses to “tattoo and hope

  1. Pamela Alida

    i love it so much. I can’t wait to get my next tattoo! (Its happening pretty soon!!!) I am so proud of you.

  2. I really like all of the meaning behind your tattoo and the location. I also really respect that you are committing to wait a year before getting another one. What a good, positive thing to do FOR yourself!

  3. it’s so beautiful, i LOVE it!! i hope things get better soon, you deserve to recover and kick ed’s ass!

  4. alexxrae

    Love the post. I got a recovery tattoo on the day I hit my low-end weight goal and it’s the best thing I ever did! Keep fighting the good fight


  5. I love this SO MUCH. One, I think it’s good for those of us who are rule followers to kick caution to the curb once in a while and do something that’s outside that narrow line we often walk. Two, I agree with doing something POSITIVE to love your body rather than harm it. Three, I think that it’s rocking that you OWN your recovery and your journey. I find myself so often feeling ashamed of what I’ve been through, and with my tattoo, I say, “No, this is my pain but this is also my redemption and dammit, I’m going to be proud of all the work I’ve done.” (Also, I admire your decision to wait and think on it because I waited approximately 30 minutes once I thought of it, though after 4 years I still don’t regret it.)

  6. Mary

    It’s really wonderful. I hope that it is a constant reminder that you are a strong and hope filled person who can do anything!!! Love you!

  7. This is so wonderful. I am so proud of you for this positive step and I don’t even know you (also, I realize this post is rather old). I have the NEDA symbol on my ankle and hope on my wrist. I always love to hear people who have the same tattoos for the same reason. Keep up the good work. You are worth it!

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