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Permanent Hope

6 September 2015

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?

Take care,

Sam

Comments (11)

Thanks Sam - that was worth the wait! And thank you for your great explanation of why you decided a tattoo was right for you. As someone who is still firmly in the "I'll never get one" camp (although I've at least reached a point of admiring nice ones on others sometimes!) it was really helpful to read one version of why getting some ink can make so much sense. Yours looks very tasteful as well as meaningful IMHO.

Thanks so much TUO! To have something so permanent is the key to a good tattoo I believe. I'm still trying to get my head around the 'just for fun' ones !

Awesome tattoo. Love the meaning behind it and the break in the letter is perfect. I hope they find a cure in your life time and you get to fill that break in. :)

My 26 yr old daughter was going to get a tattoo of a MS symbol to represent me since I got my diagnosis last year and I was appalled because MS does not define who I am as her mother. But this post has inspired me to share your story. I think I would be proud if she had this as a tattoo for me.

What an interesting point Stephanie. I had originally looked at getting the letters 'MS' tattooed in the same place, but as you suggest, I thought that would be too much of an every day reminder (as if we need another!) but I think 'hope' sums it up perfectly. Would love you to share your daughter's tattoo if she ends up getting one. Cheers, Sam

Love your tattoo and the reason behind finally deciding to get one. I am very much the same, up until a few years ago I would never have even thought about getting one, though for me it will act as a reminder of everything I have overcome and the strength I carry forward. :-)

Thanks Amber! Any ideas on what you might be getting- or is that being saved for a blog post? :) Look forward to it if you do get one- and just remember, the pain is only brief !!

A few ideas floating around though haven't drawn anything up yet. Time is ticking though because its on my birthday bucket list. :-) No plans to blog about it, well at least not here. Maybe I will tweet it :-)

I started to read your blog and had a little chuckle to myself... at how blonde I am. Let me clarify, by saying, whenever I read a new post I always look at the photo first. I saw the photo and thought 'Awww poor thing, they haven't filled in his tattoo properly. As I read your post, I realised, it would actually be you saying to me...'Awww poor thing, don't jump to conclusions, you silly blonde." :) Love, Love, Love the sentiment behind this tattoo! I love the fact that one small word can start your day off in a positive way. I love the fact that one small world shows that you ARE NOT defined or defeated by MS!

haha your comment gave ME a chuckle Rachael :) I guess it was a bit of risk because, if somebody who doesn't know about my MS sees the tattoo, I'd have to try and explain the break. Although in saying that, I'd have to try to explain why I have a tattoo at all, as no one would expect it of me!! It did pain the tattoo artist to have the break, and he tried to talk me around, but it was really the whole point for me. He just asked that I explain the break to anyone who sees it so he doesn't look like a failed artist :) Glad to read such positive feedback from everyone on the tattoo, and it's lovely to share it with a whole bunch of people. Take care, Sam