Just like in the tattoo community, at large, there are certain superstitions and taboos to avoid when getting recovery-related tattoos. So, for your consideration, here are 5 recovery tattoos you should avoid at all costs. Now, there are of course exceptions to some of these. And really, who am I to tell you what you should or shouldn’t get tattooed permanently on your body? (For the record I have partial sleeves – so far – going for full when I get my money right). Look, do you…just don’t say I never warned you.
#1. The Serenity Prayer
okay, so I picked the worst possible one
Yes, it’s a popular one. And for that reason, I say, you should avoid it. It’s just overdone. I know, I know, I’ll get some hate for this one. Look, do what you want. But, if originality is important to you, avoid getting the Serenity Prayer tattooed on you. And, if you do get this or any other tattoo that incorporates words, please – for Heaven’s sake – make sure it’s spelled right before the artist starts the gun.
#2. Your Clean/Sober Date
this is wrong on two levels
You know who I’ve seen with their clean or sober date as a tattoo? People who no longer have that as their clean or sober date. Don’t, just don’t. Call it superstition, Murphy’s Law, temptation of Fate itself, or plain stupidity but, it’s just not a good idea. Relapse is unfortunately more often the rule than the exception. So, think twice before you do this.
#3. The AA, NA, CA Letters/Symbol
The reason to avoid getting any of these is two-fold really – first, it defeats the purpose of the principle of anonymity and secondly, it defies the eleventh tradition, which states that “Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion.”
#4. Anything by Your Halfway House Roommate
OK, OK, chill out. Like I said in the intro, there are exceptions to some of these; this being one of them. Maybe your HH roomie is already a talented tattoo artist. This rule is mostly concerned with the guy or gal who is *learning* to tattoo and wants to do their version of a jailhouse-tattoo-but-not-jailhouse-actually-halfway-house-tattoo. You just might end up regretting it. Also, if they aren’t trained at the art of plying skin with ink, they may not know all the safety and hygiene precautions to take. It’d be a shame to survive active addiction, only to contract something like Hepatitis C, MRSA, or HIV after getting clean.
#5.Your Rehab Boo’s Name
It’s said that getting your boyfriend/girlfriend’s name tattooed on your body is a no-no. This goes for the general tattoo community, not just recovery-related ink but, with our usual tendency to “fall in love,” it seems more likely that those of us in recovery – especially early recovery, would do this. And, kind of like what we said in #2, it’s really just tempting fate when you get your Boo-Boo’s name permanently inked in your skin, forever. It’s like saying, “hey Universe, I love this person and we’re going to be together forever and you can’t do anything about it.” And then the Universe says, “oh yeah?” and the next thing you know, the two of you have broken up and you’re stuck with their name forever marking your skin in indelible ink. Sucks for you.
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