So earlier this year, I got my serotonin tattoo and I loved it. You can find my previous post about it here. Primarily it was a tattoo for me to enjoy and to remind myself that I have survived my depression and anxiety for years. A secondary objective was that it would help open up a dialogue between people about mental health and would eventually, alongside this blog, allow me to encourage people to talk about their mental health as though it was their physical health.
The tattoo was certainly not something that I’d be writing a follow up blog about, but here we are! It’s been as amazing for myself as expected but it’s certainly helped a lot of people learn about mental health and has got a lot of people talking to me about their mental health which has resulted in me referring them to various services and quite a few have even ended up seeking help from their doctors.
The greatest experience I’ve had though was at work one day. I was running a session for a group in Shrewsbury and lots of them asked me about it so we paused the session and had a great open discussion about the tattoo and why I got it. My session was completely derailed but I had the opportunity to be really open about my mental health and they were able to have a really open discussion.
After I got home, I’d received a message from the people who organised it telling me that the discussion had gone on long after my session had ended. This was literally the best news I’d heard.
To me, my tattoo is art. And to think that a simple bit of art done by a random guy in Southgate (who talked a lot about smoking weed which was a little concerning while he was sticking a needle into my arm) has had such an impact on people.
As always, I’m not trying to blow smoke up my own arse, it’s just amazing how something so small and seemingly insignificant can help to tackle stigma, open discussions and challenge perceptions on a topic.
The little things matter. I’m not saying you have to get a tattoo to open up discussions about mental health. I’m just challenging you all to find a small thing that you can do in your day to day life that will help people to be more open about the issues that affect them. It could be something as simple as challenging questionable view about racial stereotypes (which we should all be doing) or telling a story of how an issue has affected you or someone you know.
It could be anything. Just don’t do nothing.
As an inked person, if it’s one thing I enjoy it’s the conversations my tattoos spark. Some ask me what mine mean, others just pay me compliments and ask where they were done. Of course there’s the occasional naysayer, but I blow those off.
Tattoos are art and art is to be appreciated and discussed. It’s just that some of us wear our art on our bodies. That’s the only difference IMO.
I couldn’t agree more. I’m going to be adding a few more over the next few months hopefully! 🙂 I’m really lucky, I’ve not experienced anyone that disapproves of my tattoo!