Scars are Souvenirs You Never Lose

Live your life in such a way that inspiration comes to you as naturally as breathing.

I get to share another guest blog. This one from an amazing young woman in recovery. To “normal” people, tattoos are decorative or taboo. To us, they tell powerful stories, symbolize triumphs, and sometimes they cover up scar tissue (literally and figuratively).

“Didn’t that hurt? Why would you do that to yourself?” Just a couple of my favorite questions I wade through upon getting new ink. You know what I think? Life hurts. Growing up at 7 years old, that hurt. Driven to the brink of suicide, that hurt.

Spending a larger portion of my life feeling miserable and inadequate, that shit hurts.
Life challenges you to the edge of your comfort zone and beyond. The hours I have spent under the needle are nothing compared to the hell I’ve been through. So did it hurt? Well it didn’t tickle, but every tattoo becomes of piece of my soul, my being, my life. I wouldn’t trade those hours for any of the time I spent in that black hole called the past.

I had to dig myself out of that place and it wasn’t pretty. As someone who used to resort to broken razors and bashing my head against the wall, tattoos seem pretty tame and are a much safer alternative. Every time I sit for a new tattoo, I think about how far I’ve come since those days. My strength, my wisdom, and my entire view of the world has changed.

I became this person because of the unfortunate circumstances that were my childhood and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Tattoos and all, this is me. Take it or leave it.

I truly believe we were put in this world to do more than pay bills and die. We were placed on this Earth to do amazing things. Unfortunately, some never have that realization. They never fully embrace the beautiful gifts life has around every corner. If we don’t seize these opportunities, how are we ever supposed to grow? How are we ever supposed to be happy, fulfilled, healthy individuals?

So, did it hurt you ask? No. Missing out on life, that hurts. My tattoos help me heal, help me grow. My challenge to you and anyone who reads this: Think about what you are doing in life that’s far more painful and far more harmful than spending two hours getting new ink. Instead of worrying about what I’m doing to my body, take a good look at what you are doing to better yourself. Then we can talk.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.