Inked – reclaiming my skin

As you likely know, especially if you’ve caught up with July’s Patreon newsletter – I have recently started getting tattoos; something I have wanted to do since I was 15. So in other words a long ass time. However I had many hesitations concerning my skin, and how Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome would impact my ability to be tattooed, and whether or not they would heal.

Nevertheless, after speaking to numerous prominent EDS influencers who are known for their tattoos, I gained a better understanding of how the process of getting inked would be slightly different with EDS, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get tattoos.

Although I’m still sensible and avoid areas of skin that are badly scarred or prone to splitting – I no longer wanted to deny myself the ability to express my artistic nature through the medium of tattoos, and I’m so glad that I took this path in my journey.

In doing so I have discovered that not only am I more confident in my skin, it is helping me reclaim my body by expressing my personality, and the control, in a way that is so personal and visible. After feeling like I wanted to hide away, I now love to have my tattoos on display; not for anyone else’s benefit, but because I love to see them. They’re a gentle reminder that I am the only person I should aim to satisfy with my body, and those reminders are truly aiding my self-growth. 

For many years I struggled to see my body as something other than a work in progress, rather than something to enjoy at the moment which will inevitably change; without the drive to obtain an idealized aesthetic. This reduced me to a numerical worth, but a societal worth as I was both consciously and unconsciously striving for beauty standards to be the most attractive I could be, as I saw desirability and worthiness as synonymous when it pertained to myself.

Some days I struggle to see myself in a positive light, but now when I look in the mirror I always smile or feel a sense of appreciation with my tattoos, and have gratitude that I allowed myself these experiences. It certainly doesn’t make living with body dysmorphia or PMDD a lot easier, but it helps me see myself reflected in the mirror rather than the negative thoughts which can swirl around inside my head when I lack the clarity to decipher what is reality and what is a warped reflection.

If you liked this blog post, discover other pieces I have published surrounding mental health and body image:

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