OT- INK.....

By Ronin 47 Latest Activity April 10, 2013 at 10:01 am Views 927 Replies 220 Likes 28

Ronin 47

Inspired by Rose Fairy, and Nurses 1 recent departure into tattoos, I decided to re-open a favourite subject on this site. Tattoos!

Are they self-harm? Does it always have to mean something? Is it for you or others? Is it cultural? Some cultures forbid tattoos, others, like the Maori culture, have tattoos on their face.

Mine is a winged hourglass over my left shoulder. I wont sat it's big, but it takes three photos to capture it. It symbolizes "Tempus Fugit" or time flies. I try to use what time i have wisely. I am considering more.

So who has got what, where? How long in the chair? Would you go again? Actually, who wants to go right now?

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Replies (220 replies)

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  • 14mbr
    14mbr February 23 at 10:38 am   

    For me tattoos are intimate. I have two and they both are meaningful to me. I'm 52 and had my first when I was 40. My mom thought it was pure nonsense. The rest of my family didn't say much about them. But, I've noticed no one else has them. My tattoos are small and unless your really looking you'll miss them. To each its own.

  • tfergus24
    tfergus24 February 23 at 8:42 am   

    I drew up my own happy/sad bipolar face which is on my shoulder blade.
    I also have a pinup style heart with a true love ribbon through. My husbands initials are above it in small letters and it is on my ankle.

  • tachie3
    tachie3 February 23 at 12:22 am   

    I have a punisher skull decorated as if it was a sugar skull just above my left breast & heart. It's about 4 inches by 3 inches. Took about 3 hours for the line work and I'll go back for the shading in a few weeks, which should take less time. Hurt but was sort of enjoyable. It is in memory of a good friend and I found myself crying while getting it. It made me really feel like I was finally letting go of his loss. At least taking the first step to letting go. The heartache is less intense now. I think it helps. The pain felt good. Like a release.

  • J3S5IE
    J3S5IE February 5 at 3:04 am   

    I love this subject!!!! I have 3… history: I got my 1st tat out of a manic mood I was in. I needed a rush as I started to go low. I got this tattoo just 1 month after my diagnosis with BP2. and I designed the tattoo while being in a high state.. well I learnt how to read and write Arabic in 24hrs lol (Lebanese backround). I got the word ENDURANCE in Arabic in the middle of my shoulder blades. I never regretted it and I think it was the best thing I ever done and it symbolises my struggles with this illness. So I just another 2 like 3 weeks ago ;)
    An E and a J shaped in a heart on my left wrist and and the date my husband and I got married in roman numerals on my right inner bicep. Ps. I was a self harmer approx 10 years ago. So the 1st tattoo had a little of that going on. But 8 years later got another 2 and they were purely because of symbolism :)

  • KaraokeP1
    KaraokeP1 February 4 at 10:00 pm   

    No tatoos for Catholics, but who seems to care.

  • the longest road ever
    the longest road ever January 2 at 2:50 pm   

    That picture is amazing he chose so perfect. No, tattoos are beautiful. They don't hurt unless you had sensitive skin or had the flu or fever while getting one. I guess I'm sick cause I think it's a cool feeling some spots hurt more than others but if your a woman face peels and lasers to remove unwanted hair hurt soooooo much more! So if a doctor said your a self mutalator cause say you got a Brazilian type removal with that excruciating hair removal laser machine (you have to find the ones that hurt the more hurt the more permanent the removal) but if they said that I would laugh my way out if the office and tell everyone well maybe;) lol!!! they would also say I had some sexual problem to lol!!!

  • msblack81
    msblack81 November 21 at 9:40 pm   

    I have 5 tattoos myself. For me it is a beautiful art form and a permanent symbolism that I happen to wear on my body instead of putting in a frame on the wall like most art. I have a sleeping baby dragon on my left shoulder,a butterfly flying backwards on my right ankle, the playboy bunny on my right hip,eeyor on my back ,and a cross with purple rays coming from the back of it and the word hope (my favorite word )written on it on my left ankle.for me each one has a symbolism and after my diagnosis of bipolar disorder two months ago the cross took on even more meaning.sometimes I struggle not to lose hope,seeing it I try to look on the bright side when I otherwise might not .im planning number 6and 7 for sometime in the future.

  • jrechs
    jrechs November 21 at 9:02 am   

    I have too many to count. They all have meaning. And I believe it is not self harm. More of a measured pain. I am a cutter and if I get some work done every so often I find the urge to cut isn't as strong since I already took my pain. And with a tattoo there no chance of accidentally cutting too deep n causing serious harm. So for me tattoos are a preventive measure

  • Mind/Body/Green-Warrior Princess
    Mind/Body/Green-Warrior Princess November 7 at 6:10 pm   

    I got my first this year in February, in memory of my daughter… Its a heart made of black pearls with a violet (flower) on the top left and her name and such inside the heart. Located under my heart. There are a lot of hidden meanings in it.

    I definatly want more tattoos, i design and redesign them all the time but change my mind constantly so thats why i haven't had any before this one and why i still haven't gotten more yet, because I want to be 100% certain that I want it and that it does indeed have a lot of meaning to me.

  • hawkchop
    hawkchop September 29 at 1:15 pm   

    I have 27 tattoos. They all have meaning even those I got during mania. But I have others I planned better than a whim. They have become a meditative experience.

  • kattrails2004
    kattrails2004 September 29 at 10:50 am   

    Oh…my son is bipolar but his is like anxiety and depression mine is opposite I'm hyper…anxiety… N depression…

  • kattrails2004
    kattrails2004 September 29 at 10:49 am   

    I have 11 of them…mine are of Jake and Rocket dog from life is good and flowers, mountains, sun, kayak, water, a frog, the world that says "one love" (cause I wish for world peace), bear paws, Latin phrase juvat in Sylvis habitare (by Thomas Paine) …my son who was learning to tattoo at the time eight years ago now has his own tattoo shop and has been tattooing for 8 years…I can sit n be tattoo es for a long time…yes I'd get more but I haven't from him since he stays busy and has a family time is money so don't want to impose, I'd get one today if I could…I do not regret any of them…oh one is of the Appalachian trail…a dream of mine…

  • Charm's
    Charm's September 28 at 7:47 pm   

    I'm addicted to them, I like to get them when depressed or manic & yes like the pain as a form of self harm when down

  • TheCardinal701
    TheCardinal701 September 20 at 12:23 pm   

    I have, om mani padme hum, on my left shoulder blade down to my lower abdomen.
    Tattoos are my cover. And my self expression. I want someone to see my art every day. And sometimes it's not for everyone is just so I can see and it and feel good. My art on my body is special. And when others do see it… It's pretty nice to see who has the guts to talk to me.

  • TheCardinal701
    TheCardinal701 September 20 at 12:20 pm   

    What are you holding wood? Why not just take the picture further back?

  • kay.m.i
    kay.m.i September 19 at 7:21 pm   

    I have 2 small tattoos… One is the Latvian Austras Koks (lifetree which celebrates the dawn) on the bottom of my right ribs, and "Little One" on my left forearm, a long my elbow crease. It's what my dad calls me, and it's in his handwriting.
    I'm dying for more ASAP

  • maniwha
    maniwha September 19 at 6:40 pm   

    I hate myself for my ink a lot. It's a story of myself and where I've been but who is to say my body is mine? They are so beautiful, yet they make me feel like I've robbed myself of a connection to the earth.

  • Chickenkicker
    Chickenkicker August 15 at 6:41 pm   

    I'll get my third tattoo next Tuesday. My High Functioning Autistic son and I got an Autistic Awareness puzzle tattoo together last year. Years ago I got a Yin/Yang symbol surrounded by a sunburst tattoo. The tat I'll get next week will have something to do with the Autistic tat I already have like maybe the Mental Health awareness ribbon wrapping around it or something.

  • boomgoesthedynamite
    boomgoesthedynamite August 15 at 5:25 pm   

    I have five tattoos currently. The one that took the most time is my thigh piece, which took four and a half hours. It's a watercolor of a unicorn entwined with a woman plummeting, the unicorn leaving a smudged rainbow trail behind. You can see little lithium capsules that they're falling through. I'm in love with it, and it has the most meaning to me.

  • DeReK N
    DeReK N August 9 at 7:35 pm   

    None on me, and I don't see it happening after 50 years of age.
    And, one more reason for me not to is;
    I am 0- (universal) blood type, and i fell obligated to donate my blood as often as I can, getting a tattoo would interfere with that.

  • confused&concerned154
    confused&concerned154 August 9 at 6:55 pm   

    I got my first tattoo on my 19th birthday. Its a saying that somewhat helps me through the sludgey times of my moods. It has an anchor with birds around it. I have a few more planned. I was only in the chair for about an hr or so

  • kittycreateswishes
    kittycreateswishes July 27 at 9:09 am   

    I got my first tattoo today on my hip…symbolic of my journey. It's an infinity symbol with the words strength and courage crossing over in the middle.

  • Jake23
    Jake23 July 26 at 4:50 pm   

    I have a dollar on my toe, a lucky symbol and F.E.B.N (forwards ever backwards never) on my right foot, a cross and a triangle on my right thigh and DIY on my left thigh. I done them all myself via stick and poke during my worst period of mental illness. I am however proud of them, I look back and see where I've come from.

  • james86
    james86 July 26 at 1:28 pm   

    I currently have 6 tattoos. Three Mandarin: both inside wrists and back of neck. They mean to be virtuous, to be strong, and to be wise. I have a superman shield on my upper arm, a copy of my wife's first tattoo circles by the phrase ever mine, ever thine, ever ours. Last is a triscal for what was, what is, and what will be. I love them all personally, and definitely want more. All of my tattoos were at most, two hours. :)

  • stargazergirl
    stargazergirl July 4 at 11:41 am   

    My tattoo is a love bird and a bat! Sounds a little bipolar;). Got it when I was 18 and wish I hadn't. It's a reminder of my undiagnosed instability of the time.

  • Markus77
    Markus77 July 4 at 11:27 am   

    This is a great post to see. When I was diagnosed rather late at 37 in my first psych apt my pdoc spent a very long time on my tattoos. I started getting them a little less than 2 years ago and now have a lot. The first had major meaning but the rest, well the meaning that I assign is weak at best. I still love them and am very much into tattoos but there seems to be a pattern of me feeling like a need a new one when I'm hypomanic, getting one when I'm depressed and thoroughly enjoying the pain (less so with the ribs tattoo I will admit). In the short time I've spent in excess of $3,000 on them. I don't scrimp when it comes to finding a great artist and I love spending money.

  • Sean O'Brien
    Sean O'Brien May 26 at 8:09 pm   

    I have 2 greek letters. The Alpha behind my left ear and the Omega behind my right ear. It's the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. A symbol for the beginning and end and they're used in the bible to represent God.

    I got them so God stays on the back if my mind- even when I stop believing in him

  • Fearox
    Fearox July 27 at 6:24 am   

    Well chosen and I have none right now.

  • jesseka
    jesseka May 26 at 6:52 pm   

    I have 15 and some of them at pretty big Most of them have symbolism to my life experiences! My latest one is my favorite, koi fish with water and lotus flower on my shoulder blade! Took a total of 10hrs! I love the feeling of being tattooed! Helps me relax of that makes any sense! :)

  • jesseka
    jesseka May 26 at 6:55 pm   

    Auto correct fails again, sorry!

  • tash34
    tash34 May 26 at 6:28 pm   

    I'm to young to get any atm, as soon as I'm of age I'm hoping to design a sort of memorial piece for my cousin to go on my wrist. I also want a feather behind my ear and a dream catcher on my back. Can't wait to be 18! Only a year and a bit left to Waite eek

  • amanda4444pink
    amanda4444pink May 26 at 4:27 pm   

    Hi all I've got a dove on my wrist. It's in memory of my mum. We set a dove off at the funeral. I'm going to have another one but not to sure where or when like them to mean something.

  • saige5
    saige5 May 26 at 2:47 am   

    I never really cared for tattoos until I met my partner of 6yrs . He is covered His the is japanese, yet he's polish decent:) anyways I love reading the story written allover. And I always seem to look at passer bys and cant seem to help but check thier art out. Tattoos have thier own unique meaning which I find quite fascinating

  • thor84
    thor84 April 10 at 6:44 am   

    I love getting tattood and am ready for another one, I have two full sleeves, full chest piece, stomach piece, leg, and back… They consist of skulls, roses, raven, all seeing eye, religious symbols, names and poetry. Probably touching five days in the chair :/ ish. Self harm? I sometimes ask this question but probably not, I don't get embarrassed about them. If people ask "what about when your 80?" I just reply that " if I make it to even see 80 then I will be happy I made it that far, don't care what I look like!" My body tells a story as they all have a story behind them.

  • MegTeaches
    MegTeaches April 9 at 3:17 pm   

    I have 12! All over. My favorite one is a line from Sylvia Plath's 'The Bell Jar'.

    "I am. I am. I am."

  • Netty1970
    Netty1970 January 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm   

    I have eight, which I now regret, I got these when I have been on a high, all on different occasions .
    I have my son and daughters names on my wrist where one name is seen, I feel embarrassed at times when in a formal setting but at the same time they are nice

  • alpha752
    alpha752 January 14, 2014 at 5:30 pm   

    I love tattoos. I have 7, with over 15 hours in the chair. All of them have symbolism to me, but my most recent is the most personal.

    In an effort to not let this illness control me, I recently got :): tattood on my wrist. I put a picture as my profile pic. I'm really happy with it.

  • nanyurkey
    nanyurkey January 14, 2014 at 5:27 am   

    I dont have any but I would love to get several. I did like to get one that my daughter would design. A friend of mine is an artist and I have a picture of 3 skulls he drew see, hear and speak no evil is the title. Then I want one thar says: Just went the caterpillar thought her world was over. She turned into a butterfly. I like a butterfly incorporated into it.

  • Mikino
    Mikino January 14, 2014 at 4:51 am   

    I have a whole sleeve covering my entire right arm. It symbolises my childhood. I adore it!

  • denialtwist82
    denialtwist82 January 14, 2014 at 2:06 am   

    Wish we could share pics of our tats! I'd like to see some of you all's!

  • InnovaChing
    InnovaChing January 14, 2014 at 2:48 am   

    Check out my profile pic. There is one of mine.

  • miette
    miette January 13, 2014 at 10:12 pm   

    I have a good amount of tattoos and I would say that they all mean something to me, one is a memorial piece to my father but another, a peacock down my side represents beauty and my love of mythology - as well as a person very dear to me that has peacocks. I think in some way, at one point or another every tattoo has meaning - I have a self made one in my ankle that meant one thing when I did it but now serves as a reminder of how far I've actually come. Tattoos are truly amazing and whether it's self harm or not - it's a beautiful way to practice mindfulness.

  • denialtwist82
    denialtwist82 January 5, 2014 at 8:15 am   

    I have a half sleeve on my left bicep of a heart, my fathers birth flower, and a fluer de lis. I also have a quote going down my lower right calf.
    I love the feeling of getting one in a depressed state it's kind of like a high.

  • courtneygoes
    courtneygoes January 4, 2014 at 6:47 pm   

    I have 3. They are all words but I'm hoping to get a picture of a tree soon. But I love literary quotes so most of my tattoos will probably be quotes.
    The first one I got is the word "Hope" on my wrist
    The second one I got is "We're all mad here" from Alice's adventures in wonderland and that's on my foot
    The most recent on I got is "So it goes" from slaughterhouse five (my favorite book) and thats on my arm.
    I love tattoos and I'm definitely going to get more. I don't think they always have to mean something but all mine mean something to me.

  • bt7lmt
    bt7lmt December 21, 2013 at 12:02 am   

    I have a few.
    1st one is on my left shoulder blade. A rose with two petals falling. My grandmas initials in one petal, my aunts initials in the other. A memorial piece for them. I lost them about a year and a half apart from each other.

    2. Right calf i have A native alaskan, Tlingit, tribal raven. I grew up in AK, and my name means little raven. Ive always had a special connection to them.

    3. A blue swallow on my chest, right side. My best friend, since kindergarten, was found this year frozen, dead in the snow from an overdose. He was missing about 2 months before we found him. He had the same swallow on his chest with a cloud and sunrise behind it. I just got the bird.
    4. it started a mandala with the om symbol in the middle. Now is transforming into a half sleeve with flowers and a saying that helps bring me down, "Breathenin love and light. This too shall pass.."

    All my tattoos have meaning. I plan to get more, which will all mean something. For me, when I have urges to use and get really messed up, I get ink work. It helps purge the urge to use. I do that instead of cutting, or sleeping with a random stranger or getting drunk. Artistic form of expression.

  • markb714
    markb714 December 20, 2013 at 11:41 pm   

    I got a little Izod alligator right where it is on the shirt. I thought it hurt pretty bad at the time and wanted to quit before the outline was done over 33 years ago. Now I want a sleeve, but that Ratfink one sounds really cool. I caught a lot of flack at the medical center student pool at the time, like I was white trash. Funny how times change.

  • stephxx
    stephxx December 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm   

    Went n got my nipple pierced today.. Always wanted it done but haven't had the balls- Thankyou hypomania for giving them too me! Love it! X

  • sinners1991
    sinners1991 December 17, 2013 at 10:11 pm   

    I thought i replied to this thread but after I scrolled through to the end, I realised I haven't!

    I have 2 tattoos.

    1. On my back of an old hand watch with the approximate time of death of my dog, and her date of birth, along with the text, "If my heart were a house, you'd be home." From Owl City's song.

    2. My dog's name on my wrist, cause I can't see my back. LOL. Plus, it's reminder to put the knife away. She reminds me to live. (:

  • sinners1991
    sinners1991 July 12 at 1:37 pm   

    Just an update to what I posted here!

    I now have 4. Added an anklr tattoo n one on my forearm.

    I do see it as a bit like self harm. Cause I do like it for the pain n its what makes me wanna get more too. And the scars are far nicer than those left by a knife

  • BeccaG1976
    BeccaG1976 November 29, 2013 at 10:43 pm   

    I have two, both symbolizes my children. I have a few more ideas I would like to get. I don't take them as self harm, to me they are therapy. Money is the only reason I don't have more than I have.

  • iQuill
    iQuill November 29, 2013 at 1:54 am   

    None for me. Never saw the point and don't find them all that attractive, but to some it is an important form of self expression. I don't have anything against those who do it, its just not my thing.

  • missworld
    missworld November 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm   

    I have full sleeve, back & right down my right side from armpit to thigh, plus a few small ones and a number of piercings.

    Are they self harm? For me they needed to be there; the tattoos that is. They all have some meaning, even if its just the image invokes a feeling from a purely aesthetic sense. Others the meaning I more complex and profound, and in general extremely personal so I hate when people grill you about what they mean… I'm happy to show them, just don't ask for me to expose my psyche or personal life by asking what do they mean. Tattoos are like scars, not everyone is comfortable telling the story behind them, and it can be quite rude to ask.

    That feeling of needles on skin though is meditative to me. I love that they damage you, then heal, and leave you will an indelible cannot be erased mark. I guess that's akin to self harm.

    Piercings I have used as a productive means for self injury in the past. Also as a means to reclaim my body as mine after rape.

    I do not believe all tattooed/pierced people have the same association with pleasure in pain/self harm as me though. They're not all damaged.

    There is a fine line though between decoration and mutilation, and I have body modifications that fall into each category.

  • markb714
    markb714 December 20, 2013 at 10:59 pm   

    I want to get a sleeve will post my tattoo at the end

  • jnaomi94
    jnaomi94 October 26, 2013 at 4:22 am   

    I love this post! I have two. One is 'mum' down my back with stars as she brought me up and looked after me. We been through a lot together and wanted to show appreciation in a way personal to me. It took a hour and half since I passed out LOL and I would defo go back I want it extending into a sketch across my back.
    My second is a quote on my ribs 'pain is inevitable, suffering is optional' which you'll prob all understand ha! Try to inspire myself to not stick myself in the place I used to be.

  • therapeutic
    therapeutic October 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm   

    I'm wanting another tattoo actually. All of my tattoos have meaning behind them. I noticed that my most recent ones I get when I am feeling pain emotionally and reflect that by the pain of the tattoo experience. Like the lyrics "make it hurt so good" kinda. . .i enjoy the feeling of being tattooed but I wish they weren't so expensive. . .i would def have more. I have so many ideas just can't afford to do everything I wanna do. . .

  • pinky14
    pinky14 August 31, 2013 at 12:05 pm   

    I have a swirling galaxy with a ladybug, Capricorn sign, and yin yang floating along in it. The lady bug represents my little sister, the yin yang represents my dad and I am of course a Capricorn.

  • jeyk
    jeyk August 31, 2013 at 1:19 am   

    I have a large rat fink on my shoulder, surrounded by 60's period drag race logos like Mooneyes, Von Dutch flying eyeball, Clay Smith cams cigar chomping woodpecker, Hurst 8 ball shifter etc and an NHRA (national hot rod association) insignia. Every now and then I add to it. It looks kinda like a mural, everything flows into one another surrounded by hot rod flames.

    Someday I'll design my right shoulder as a homage to my favorite Sci-fi horror movies.

  • markb714
    markb714 December 20, 2013 at 11:01 pm   

    Those sound like some really killer tattoos, especially the Rat Fink. I love that.

  • ugly_duckling7
    ugly_duckling7 August 31, 2013 at 12:59 am   

    I have,
    An ambigram that us "strength" one way and "courage" the other on my inner wrist
    "Fam[ily]" with 3 hearts under it on my other inner wrist
    "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger" across my chest
    A stick girl holding a cup with string coming off of it (my sister has this too) near my collar bone
    A heart with headphones on my back
    "May I be forever grateful that at times, I did not receive that which I truly deserved." on the inside of my arm
    "Your first breath took away mine." with my daughter's name under it on the other arm
    An infinity symbol with a heart in it and the words til death (hubby has this too) just below my elbow
    A bad ass polar bear with a combat helmet, mp7, grenades, ballistic vest near the other elbow
    A paw print with my pups' names on my inner leg
    AND last but not least,
    a pretty big green ribbon with roses on the outside of my other leg
    Whew! That was exhausting! Lol. I love them all though!

  • markb714
    markb714 December 20, 2013 at 11:02 pm   

    Is that it on your profile pic,? so vivid.

  • ugly_duckling7
    ugly_duckling7 December 21, 2013 at 8:01 am   

    Yes it is.

  • bpjosh
    bpjosh August 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm   

    On my right arm I have a skull with a Rubik's cube brain popping out the top. So far it has been 3 hours in the chair. Should be about another 4 or so left. I will get more and I would love to be sitting in the chair right now.

  • bpjosh
    bpjosh October 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm   

    It actually ended up being a total of 13 hours in the chair. So happy with it. And it is def. for me and no one else. Most people don't understand what it actually means. But I do and that is the only thing that matters.

  • Misha1987
    Misha1987 August 27, 2013 at 4:38 am   

    I have 'la vie en rose' on one wrist. It's a French song my dad loved. The French translation is 'live life pink' which to English is 'live life happy'.. It's on my wrist on my scars from cutting. On my other forearm I have 'beautiful'. Ready for a new one but waiting for the inspiration to hit me.

  • Ronin 47
    Ronin 47 August 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm   

    I am a Huge Edith Piaf fan, love that song. your ink sounds awesome.

  • AmiMay
    AmiMay August 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm   

    I'm a tattoo artist, lol… I can and have tattooed myself whenever I'm in the mood… that's not always a good idea! I have a theme though… I don't just have random things;)

  • flatapus
    flatapus August 23, 2013 at 8:34 am   

    I have 8 tattoos. The first was on my right chest that I got in the military. Another is on my chest from collar bone to collar bone " one life one love one truth" my whole entire right arm is sleeved in color all Tibetan artwork. The last one I received was two days ago. After receiving my BP diagnosis in July I marked my self part of the group with a :(: on my left arm. I did notice while I getting inked that the tremors from the lithium stopped , it actually felt good. I've spent many many hours in the chair and plan on spending more. It's the one thing that makes me feel real.

  • jrechs
    jrechs August 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm   

    I am covered head to toes. Even some on face and neck. I am also a cutter. Just got out of CRU today. We discussed while in. Y shud it b any different for me to get a tattoo then a non bipolar person? All have meaning and tell a story. I find it therapeutic because I noticed I not a cutter during periods when I do get tatted.

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