Here’s an excerpt of the second story in our series “For the Love of Tattooing, the Transformative Tattoo”, that we are presenting with our good friends over at openoureyes.org. To learn more about this series, check out our introduction blog here. To read this full story, click here. We hope you enjoy!
Anyone who has suffered with bouts of anxiety, panic attacks, or depression can tell you that it can be physically crippling. Imagine being in a situation, one that you should be familiar with, but nothing about it feels familiar. Something you have done everyday now becomes foreign and unreal. Your brain begins racing, spinning, your pulse quickens, your breathing is labored, and the obsessive thoughts begin. “Did I lock the door, did I turn off the oven, did I offend someone and say something wrong” and now the world is slowly crumbling. Your vantage point is lost, your anchor is lost, and you are floating around, reality becoming harder and harder to hold onto. From my experience, social interactions become less and less, and isolation becomes the norm. Sleep is a hard thing to find, and time becomes a hard thing to judge. Without having a strong foundation to stand on, we lose sense of who we are, what’s going on, and what reality truly is. The spinning brain becomes enemy number one, and the hopes of overcoming slowly evaporate into the fog. To make it through that haze, the best thing we can do is to relate, to find a common bond that can facilitate understanding, to eventually realize that we are not alone.
As a tattooer, I am extremely fortunate to tattoo people everyday, people that are from all walks of life, coming from all kinds of different places. Once in a while, after tattooing someone a few times, I get a chance to connect with them and share things that we both are challenged with and struggle with; I find a kindred spirit in hope. I was fortunate to start tattooing Jason Taylor years ago, when I was in a much more difficult place, one that we both could identify with. In Jason, I felt like I was less crazy and alone, and I began to realize that maybe there was something else out there besides the fog I had been in. I really looked forward to his appointments, and it was during one of these that we came up with the idea of tattooing a little brain monster on him, representing that place we both found ourselves lost in. Overcoming that brain became just as important to me, and I was lucky to watch Jason take the steps to achieve this, and his example gave me hope. As tattooers we get called therapist, but in this situation with Jason, I found myself being the one finding hope in change.
You can find the full article here.