Gold Coast, Queensland. 2012
I was recently 18, fresh out of high school, and also immersed in the chaos that is Schoolies. I was with a group of human being that i didn’t feeling comfortable around, together they had actually stopped dealing with me nicely long before. Anxious and also shy, ns felt utterly alone in a sea of drunken partygoers.
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Throughout high school, I had severely struggled with psychological health problems – an especially with self-harm. I withstood bullying from primary school into high school, and also it would only obtain worse as time go on. Come escape this struggles, ns listened come music that would help transport me to an additional headspace and also to feel much less alone. The music and also lyrics enabled me to explore everything that i was emotion without shame and also judgement.
My favourite tape to hear to was Mayday Parade – it to be the band the I related to the most. The Florida band had an abundance of songs covering various experiences, emotions, and also struggles. Their voices were raw and also full the emotions, and also their lyrics were poetic. I can listen to these song on repeat because that days in ~ a time and also never tire of them.
I was among the weird unpopular kids in school. It was right in the center of the “scene” phase, and I dressed accordingly – thin jeans, band tees, and Doc Martens boots. Mine hair was dyed black, through a sweeping side fringe and jagged layers. Once my friend claimed that mine hair looked favor Ollie Sykes’ from carry Me The Horizon. It might not seem like it now, yet it to be a compliment in ~ the time.
I had always imagined myself v tattoos. I witnessed myself spanned in blackwork ink, beautiful artwork, and lyrics that supposed something – however I was scared around getting one. Through your first tattoo, girlfriend don’t know what come expect. Is that painful? What if it it s okay infected? What if it transforms out terribly? Seeing as I was at Schoolies – where people tend to do spur that the moment decisions, I chose that there to be no much better time to get my first one.
Getting your an initial tattoo is a big deal, and I want to get something coherent that i wouldn’t regret. I want a tattoo to describe the struggles that I had actually been with – something that would certainly serve as a reminder that it can and will acquire better. Incorporating music right into the tattoo to be extremely vital to me – it was what retained me going v my darkest moments, and also lifted me up when I was emotion light enough.
Ready to mark my skin forever, i took a stroll under the key street that the city to uncover a tattoo studio. Ns wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted exactly, but as ns wandered increase the steep stairs the the closestly studio, it came to be clear. Nervously, i walked approximately the counter, asked lock if they had some time, and also told them what i was after. I uncovered myself in one excited panic attack when they stated they had time directly away.
The tattoo gun stung as it vibrated through my bones, and also my body was feeling heat in a cold room. Fascinated, ns looked down at what was happening the whole time. Suddenly the emotion of dizziness and nausea come over me. Ns asked the tattoo artist to provide me a minute because I was concerned that ns was around to pass out. Ns stepped into the bathroom, looked in ~ myself in the mirror, and splashed cold water on mine face. Once I was ready, I went back to my chair embarrassed, but eager to end up what i started.
Red and also raw, the fresh ink to be staring me best in the challenge – a irreversible message the I had actually left because that myself. The tattoo discovered its home nestled in between the self-harm scars and also healing wounds – demanding to be taken seriously.
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Now, that serves together a daily reminder of the battles I have lived, and that things will and do get far better – even if they don’t disappear completely.