While reclining on the black leather dentist-esque chair, I pull my legs into my usual “indian style” sitting position and tug at my tribal print maxi dress to conceal my legs. Ted, my tattoo artist, chats over the whirring din of the tattoo machine. The whole experience is oddly relaxing. He asks me if I am doing ok; apparently tattoos are supposed to hurt. I say that I am doing ok (no pain at all, actually), and joke about the scars over which he is tattooing. “I don’t know if you see those scars,” I laugh, “but I have done a lot more harm to myself than anything you could be doing now.”
I decided that there is no shame in revealing the struggle it took to get to where I am today, and I opened up about my past of depression, self-harm and eating disorders. I explain that the tattoo is the Cherokee word for Hope (oo-du-ge-gv-di). My paternal grandfather (of whom I am an almost exact copy) was half-Cherokee; thus the significance of the Cherokee syllabary. I chose the word hope for two reasons: 1) the most obvious reason being that I began my recovery journey by getting an intake eval at the Lindner Center of HOPE in my hometown and 2) to remind myself to always hold on to hope despite what may lie ahead. I had gotten the original tattoo two years ago, but was less than satisfied with the results. In the end, when I looked at my new tattoo, I was happier than I thought could be possible. The fuzziness of the original was gone. The ink was vibrant again. The tattoo was actually centered on my wrist. Basically, there is no real “message” in this post, as I often try to put into my posts. I just wanted to share my wonderful new-ish tattoo.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.