Surviving and Overcoming

Some of your tattoos about overcoming challenges and difficult life events.  Some of the stories on here do depict traumatic events, self-harm and suicide which could be a trigger, please look out for yourselves.

Overcoming Anxiety

I’ve suffered with anxiety for over 16years and this is my reminder that even on the darkest days there is always light and if there isn’t it will return – like a moth to the flame. 🖤💪🏻



I have been self harming since I was 10. I am now almost 26 years old.
I experienced a lot of trauma in my childhood and early adult life, including bereavement, sexual trauma and domestic abuse.
A couple of years ago, I was in hospital 5 times because I had slit my wrist deep enough that I couldn’t stop the bleeding. Once I cut deep enough the vein and had to be sewn up. The only reason I went to the hospital was because people found out. It’s not easy to hide when your white work shirt is slowly turning red and you’re hiding in a toilet. People notice you going missing.
So, after being in hospital and getting stitched up, I decided enough is enough. I moved to abroad.  But I had a constant reminder on my wrist and working with children was difficult. They would constantly ask me what it was. So I decided to cover it up with a tattoo. It’s not metal themed, but it’s nice enough that I’m allowed it for work but it also covers everything perfectly. Without this tattoo, having to look at the scars, I probably would have relapsed again.  Now it’s been 6 months and I haven’t self harmed and only one person knows of that achievement✌️


Rapid Mood Changes

This is my chaos tattoo I got when I was 21, I’m 35 now and it’s still my only tattoo because I get ideas of more that I’d like but my feelings on them always seem to change before I can act on it, I’ve been thinking of getting more added to this one though… I have BPD so this tattoo represents my mood changes and general state of being. Always feeling pulled in every direction, confusion, instability, a chaotic mind.


 I was a huge metal fan in my teens, then had my first baby at 18 and all my focus went into being a mum. At 23 I was single with 2 little girls, doing great after leaving their alcoholic dad. He snapped, came into our home in the middle of the night and tried to kill me. Said once I was dead he was killing our girls too. I took a lot of injuries keeping myself alive and him away from the kids but we made it and he went to jail. PTSD wound up taking over my life for almost 10 years. It was rediscovering my love of metal that helped pull me out of that hole. This is the current progress on my metal star sleeve

Seeking help

This one does have meaning. It’s the opening of Help. I added it to my arm when I realised that I could ask for help. That I wasn’t as strong as I used to be. And it’s an awesome song

🎶When I was younger, so much younger than today. I never needed anybody’s help in any way. But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured. Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors


Finding Hope

Whenever I feel mental pressure building, or have an emotional experience my out is a tattoo, it puts me back where I need to be 🙂


The lyrics (which might be hard to read) say “so I’ll hide my internal suicide, all my pride just to keep it inside”, from the song Suicide by Devin Townsend. This spoke to me about how we tend to internalise trauma and deal with it without letting people see how we feel.
The second one is down my spine and is ogham for strength. I’ve had a lot to deal with this last year and felt this was an expression of my emotions.

This one is to celebrate the fact that Blood Bowl has helped me keep a focus on something that’s not my mental illness. It’s also introduced me to so many lovely people, many of who love metal also. Oh and the three skulls is a reminder that nothing can be a worse die roll than that so things, in theory, can only get better!

This one I had after my second suicide attempt. Not sure if it’s a reminder I shouldn’t do it or that I’ll succeed one day but either way it’s comforting.

My most recent one, I have four. I had this last year, after a friend suggested some words so I know I’m not alone.

A reminder to myself that peoples opinions don’t matter and even God wont judge me.
As long as I’m happy an content in my decisions then that’s all that matters.
I used to suffer really bad from mental health, anxiety etc an I still do but not nearly as bad cos in 2018 I made the decision an changed lots of things. It was the worst yet best year of my life. There’s still lots to do an it will be a continuous journey but I’m taking my time an enjoying it.
My right sleeve is a charm bracelet of everything that is important to me with feathers for those I’ve lost an my left is a work in progress

Vegvisir and a Viking tombstone sun. Got so lost once, but there was still a little light, like a midnight sun. Don’t wanna lose sight of my own self again, so I got a rune for always coming back home

My battle between my demons and my higher power. The bottom is my old life and the top half is my new. Long story 👊👍