Firstly, apologies for my absence from blogging. Not only did I want to give you all some recovery time from my last (very long!) post, but it’s also been a very hectic time for me in my work life. I’m really excited to share my latest thoughts with you all though, especially after the great response to the last, some may say, controversial blog.
Look, if you’d told me even a year ago that I’d be getting a tattoo this year, I really would have argued with you until I was blue in the face that, “Believe me, that is NEVER going to happen!!”. Tattoos have just never appealed to me, and I’ve never understood them.
Well I’m typing this blog with one tattoo inked on to my chest, just above me nipple. I’ve decided to share a photo of it to the world because I am actually really proud of it. Nobody other than my partner and close friends have seen it, and I’ve been so eager to share it with you all. Getting a tattoo was a tricky decision to make, as some people suggested I might be tempting fate by getting a permanent marking of a representation of MS, while still living in the MS closet to so many. I’ve never been the type to walk around with my shirt off, and the beach is one of my least favourite places to visit, so I resolved that keeping the tattoo hidden would be very easy to do (so far so good!).
Surprisingly, the decision just seemed to happen. Always being proactively ‘anti-tattoo’ I kept coming back to the word ‘Hope’ whenever I had bad news, bad days, or less than desirable MRI results. I then started researching designs that have been inspired by MS, and I decided that ‘hope’ was the only word I wanted, and needed, to have tattooed. It felt right. I did want a reference to MS though, so I decided to have a small break in the first letter, to signify the break in the nerve transmission that occurs with MS. It’s a very subtle reference, but something I feel was important to include.
There is no doubt that, without my MS diagnosis, I would have been tattoo free forever. I used to be hopeless when it came to needles and pain, but the countless tests and symptoms I’ve experienced over the past few years has resulted in the ability within myself to deal with pain more effectively. While I was having my tattoo inked on to my skin forever, I went in to a deep meditative state. I kept saying to myself "Take that MS. If I can handle your pain... I can handle this pain". I consider my tattoo as another big raspberry in the face of MS, and one that will stay with me forever. I now understand why tattoos are so important to people, and I respect that, when I used to judge them. I feel I am now carrying ‘hope’ with me 24/7, and this is a real comfort. As for the break in the first letter, I ‘hope’ to fill that break when a cure for MS is finally found. I’m hopeful this will happen in my lifetime.
Have a great week ahead everyone, and I look forward to seeing you on twitter and reading your comments on the blog. I’d also be interested to hear from anyone who also has an MS inspired tattoo, or may be thinking of getting one themselves! What's stopping you?