Tattoo inks is it addicting
After getting my first tattoo at a young age, it was more or less to look cool and for a social statement after being a drummer for many years. I felt that once I got inked, I would come of age and stand in with the elite. Boy, was I wrong. I had realized it made me no different from the next person.
Time would pass many years before the thought would even cross my mind of getting another tattoo. I was young, wasn’t really making money, and I couldn’t afford the cost of adding new tattoos to my body.
I was definitely never into letting a friend experiment homemade tattoos on me with Indian ink, needle, and thread. Those never looked appealing to me, in fact I thought they looked a little desperate.
On the Journey to Addiction
Often, while I was out in public, I would see people with amazing tattoos and I would think, wow the tattoo world is so different and the art is amazing. I was really starting to take an interest in the ink world, and I wanted in.
I had a twinkle in my eye and a feeling inside that I couldn’t explain. I knew I wasn’t going to be happy until I fulfilled that feeling.
I started to do my research and I realized that I never knew how many tattoo designs there are. After months of thought and research, I thought I was ready, but I was not prepared for what was to come. When the needle hit my skin, a wave of excitement washed over me. A feeling known to anyone who is in love with getting inked.
There’s an internal battle that goes on during the inking process; fighting the pain of the needles, combined with a huge adrenaline rush. With that work completed, I went home floating on this huge cloud, and found myself back at the tattoo shop a week later getting another one done.
Something inside me changed and I couldn’t stop it. I was spending lots of time at the tattoo shop getting inked and not counting the amount of money and huge tips I was giving to my artist.
I was on my 11th tattoo in one months time and the ink was still very fresh and healing in all of them. A friend one day said to me, “As much as I love your tattoos, don’t you think maybe you should take a break? You’re spending a lot of money and I think your getting addicted to it.”
I really thought he was crazy. Addicted? It’s not like I’m doing drugs or drinking. After having dinner with him that night I went home to give his comments a lot of thought.
What Does it Mean to be Addicted
Addiction: A dysfunction in the circuitry of the brain that causes a person to pursue a particular action or substance because of the reward brought on by the substance, behavior, or activity.
There’s a lot more to the definition of addiction, but I think you get it. Yes, I had become addicted to tattoos, and I couldn’t stop. When I sat down and played the tapes, I had realized I almost sensed a sort of withdraw symptom. If I wasn’t feeling the needles or getting that rush of adrenaline, I would feel empty inside.
I took a look at my bank statement and realized how much money I spent on my ink and I couldn’t believe it. Needless to say, I wasn’t keeping track of my financial situation. As much as I love tattoos, I knew I was out of control and that I had to put the brakes on it for a while.
I must say, it was very hard when my friends would come up to me and show me their new ink. A wave of emotions would grip me, making me want to call my artist and set up an appointment, but I knew I couldn’t. It took some time, but I was able to overcome the urges and regain my control.
I’m Not Alone In This
With the boom of normalcy of tattoos in today’s society, people will say “I’m getting a tattoo.” No. You’re getting your first tattoo and others will follow. Today, other than bikers and rockstars, you will see athletes and celebrities with multiple tattoos.
Some believe it’s a rite of passage; a self-expression to be able to say I’m unique in my own way. Some will do it for pure attention, to get people to look and/or comment on their artwork.
There are some people who actually enjoy the process of getting inked. The pain of the needles actually become a pleasure by releasing endorphins, giving a natural high, and putting you into a euphoric state.
I have a friend who was getting them simply for stress relief. Studies have also shown that people with low self-esteem tend to get inked for emotional restoration.
There are some people who find themselves boring looking, or just cannot stand the site of themselves, and will use tattooing as a form of transformation. There is a woman dubbed the Blue-eyed White Dragon by her friends who developed a tattoo addiction at the age of sixteen.
She stated that she didn’t like her boring blonde hair and pale skin, so she went as far as to risk going bling by having her eyes inked blue. Now at the age of 23, she has spent over 8,000 dollars on her 50 tattoos, and states she has no regrets.
There is a financial commitment that sometimes has to be made before falling into tattoo addiction, and one must decide if they can can afford it.
We sometimes see people who will get a tattoo before paying their bills, or bite nails until their next tax return comes in so they can run and get the next one.
I had a friend who cashed in some of his 401k so he could get a back piece done, and let me tell you, his wife was not happy when she found out.
Always Check Yourself
As much as I love to get inked, and enjoy every aspect of tattoos, today I always check myself first. I recommend the same to friends, or anyone for that matter. Are you putting yourself in a financial bind getting it?
Are you doing it for the high? Have you become addicted to it, and just can’t stop? Some even go as far as thinking that they have become disconnected and that their artist will abandon them. Whatever the case may be, always make sure you have your motives in check before running out for the next one.
As always your thoughts and comments are encouraged.