I went today to get one of the last vestiges of my marriage removed.
I had a tattoo between my shoulder blades that contained my ex-husbands name. And I was finding it hard seeing it every time I looked over my shoulder while stood in front of a mirror. And even when I did not see it, I knew it was there. I could feel it dragging my spirit down. And I felt a lot of anxiety knowing that I had his name on my body.
I know that there are some risks with getting tattoos, especially when your immune system does not work as it should (like in those of us with autoimmune disorders). I am also aware that you are more likely to get problems with red pigments. But I wanted the phoenix because of what it symbolizes. Phoenixes really need the red of the fire! And if I was getting a tattoo, I was going to get one I loved, one that looked beautiful, and one that really meant something.
The phoenix really does all that for me. I have literally risen out of the ashes of my previous life with my ex-husband. The process has been very empowering, and very uplifting, although it has been painful as well. The pain of getting this tattoo (and it was really REALLY painful, especially around the 3 hour mark. I nearly called a halt at that point!) symbolizes that pain too. I may not be quite “all there” yet, I suspect I never will be – life is, and should be, about continual growth. And getting this was an important step to me healing and growing.
It is a lot bigger than my previous one, but that was needed to ensure that the previous one was totally covered by the dark area. I love the way that the tail extends down my spine. I love the detail and the shading (the shading was the most painful part as she was repeatedly having to go over already sore and inflamed areas).
But I think the final result is worth it!
I had this done by Amber at The Arthouse Inc in Kensington (Calgary). And she did a fabulous job! She came up with the original design, then produced this wonderful piece of body art especially for me!