Sobriety Tattoos – Why You Should Avoid Them
Sobriety Tattoos are a way that some people like to celebrate their sobriety. There are mixed feelings regarding this practice. On one hand, some people view it as a way to celebrate their sobriety with a permanent marking, indicating the date they became sober or with a symbol associated with recovery. Though some can view this as a meaningful memento, it can lead to deep regrets, especially if there is a relapse. Through this article, we will outline some of the negative ramifications of getting a sobriety tattoo, and why it should be considered very carefully before one jumps into the decision. Hopefully some of the insights can help make your decision more informed, and more positive towards your life.
Stigma at work
Unfortunately, there is still a stigma when it comes to tattoos, especially when they have to do with sobriety. If tattoos are visible to employers or potential employers it can lead to unwanted conversations which can spiral an individual down a road of regret.
Many (not all) people who are going through rehab are coming from rock bottom and will be looking for a new potential employment position. If there is evidence of sobriety tattoos, potential employers may be less than likely to give that individual a chance to work for them. If you already work for someone, see what their feelings would be about your idea. Having the opinion of a boss does not necessarily matter, but it is always a good idea to look at options multidimensionally.
Tattoos are becoming more accepted than ever in the workplace, but the negative stigma associated with them and once being an addict remain. Thinking about placement, and timing of receiving a tattoo is very important to consider. Having more time to consider every angle will only make the experience that much better, and the tattoo that much more meaningful.
Negative Reaction from Family
Another potential source of judgement which can arise from sobriety tattoos is from loved ones or potential future relationships. Again, the opinions of others should not be the only factor when getting tattoos, but they should be weighed. If you are harassed or scolded by loved ones over tattoos, will a relapse ensue? Hopefully those that you care about will not care if you get a tattoo to commemorate your sobriety, but if there is a potential trigger or relapse, it should be noted.
Understanding how others will react to your actions is an important aspect of being a responsible individual. If a sobriety tattoo can elicit a negative reaction from someone in your life, the possibility of a negative loop occurring in your life is exceptionally high. Consider what other people’s reaction to your tattoo will be. Before getting the tattoo, discuss the option with a loved one. Having another’s opinion about your ideas is never a bad idea.
Tattoos are extremely expensive, especially if you want to get quality work done. When going through a rehab center or through recovery the primary focus should be on maintaining sobriety. If someone pays for a tattoo and ends up regretting it because they tried to get a cheaper version it may lead to a relapse. Planning out proper tattoos should take time and only excess money should be used to pay.
Incidents outside of our control are always possible. Problems can arise and fall out of control, especially If money is used that was not saved specifically for a tattoo. Avoiding this negative spiral can easily be handled by really contemplating what tattoo would be best, and where the placement will not hinder future opportunities. That is why it is best to take a long time to think about your tattoo, and to have an excess amount of cash saved up to be able to pay for the experience.
Thinking more about tattoos is never going to hurt. Delaying gratification is something that every addict, or any person, can work on. The more time spent thinking about exactly what is wanted could only help a person. Also, saving up money and time to get a bigger and more quality work done is always an option.
Wait until you are well on your way through recovery, maybe even a whole year. Planning that amazing tattoo, or even getting the sobriety tattoo you really want to get will seem like such a reward after waiting for all that time. Practicing patience is a great virtue that every person on earth can and should try and master. Not only that, but being sure to have financial stability is not a bad thing either.
Potential Cause of Regret
This is not always the case, but it is very possible that if one gets a sobriety tattoo it will lead to future regret. For instance, If someone gets a tattoo of a date when they became sober and then have a relapse, they can look at that date in a negative manner. Seeing that date over and over again can lead to a person spiralling out of control.
Again, this is not always the case, but it is important to think about before committing fully to a sobriety tattoo. When considering a tattoo, really ask yourself if this is something that you will be comfortable discussing for the rest of your life.
Sobriety should not be hidden, but sometimes people would rather have the option to not talk about their past mistakes. If someone has a sobriety tattoo, the likelihood of being asked about their past is significantly increased. There should be no negative feelings about having to go through rehab, or any aspect of your sobriety journey. Despite this, it is important to completely consider the ramifications of rushing into a sobriety tattoo.
Do you really think in the future you will not regret that triangle on your hand, the quote behind your ear, or the date on your neck? While none of those are wrong, it is important to consider every aspect of getting a tattoo, for as long as possible to avoid any future negative feelings. Really contemplating
Tattoos Can Become Addictive
An often overlooked ramification of getting a sobriety tattoo is to become addicted to getting tattoos. By rushing into a sobriety tattoo, it is very possible for a recovering addict to get addicted to the feeling of getting tattoos. Though a tattoo addiction would surely be better than a substance addiction, negative loops can be initiated from a tattoo addiction.
Imagine this, someone coming out of rehab wants to get a tattoo. After getting something anywhere on their body, they decide to get another one again soon. It is seen as enjoyable, and at first there are no negatives to this path. But after several, an unfortunate incident occurs and a significant amount of money is needed to deal with this issue.
A person recovering from addiction can easily set themselves up for failure by falling into this trap. By using money that should have been saved for a rainy day, guilt can overcome the addict and lead to a potential relapse.
Of course the above scenario may seem unlikely, but it can be months down the line that an incident occurs, and money used earlier could certainly come in handy now. That is why it is the sincere hope of the author to impart how serious it is to really consider and think about every angle before getting a sobriety tattoo. There will never be any disadvantage from waiting to get a tattoo.
Tattoos are not Temporary
This article was simply looking at the negative aspects of getting sobriety tattoos. Different individuals may have different feelings regarding the ink put on their skin. One person may feel regret and spiral from the shame of a relapse when looking at a date on their body. Another individual may be motivated to stay on the correct path from that same marking. The intent with this article was to have people really consider the ramifications of having a tattoo associated with their recovery. A great alternative is henna. Henna stains the epidermis of the skin and is only semi-permanent (meaning it will disappear in a week or two since the skin regenerates every two weeks). Having the option to try out your tattoos and really see if you want to commit fully is a great option.
Think Before You Ink
While tattoos are a great way for individual expression, they should be thought about significantly before committing. If someone receives a tattoo too hastily, there could be future regret, future regret can lead to future relapse.
Again, the point of this article is not to put tattoos, those with tattoos, or even those with sobriety tattoos down. The point of this article is to make one think about the ramifications of putting a sobriety tattoo on one’s skin. There are always potential consequences from putting tattoos anywhere on our body.
Unfortunately there is still a negative stigma regarding tattoos and past addiction. That is why careful consideration is exceptionally important. Once again, the intention of this piece is not to dissuade anyone from getting tattoos,
Hopefully, after reading this, you can make a more informed decision about getting a sobriety tattoo. Understand that delaying gratification is always a great option, and will nearly always bring you more joy.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out to us at ecosoberhouse.com. We have the tools and team to get you on the track to sobriety and on your way to recovery.