Impulse Control

I am having a disturbingly intense desire to get inked again. I kid you not – some days, the desire to get another tattoo is overwhelming to the point I am reaching for my coat and front door keys. So far, what is left of my sanity has always stepped up to the plate just in time and reminded me of my personal rule: one year with a fixed idea of design and location before ANY needle touches flesh. Note I am not discounting having more ink, in fact you could probably put money on me having at least two more, but I am doubting the wisdom of getting one right now.

You see, I am depressed, and when I am depressed my self-destructive streak, never buried very deep, bursts forth and jumps up and down, shouting “look at me! look at me!!” The urge to change anything becomes overwhelming. When you cannot control what is going on inside your head, any little thing that you can influence, even a little bit, becomes precious. Hence, I would suppose, tattoos and piercings and their traditional prevalence amongst the more disaffected portions of society. With me, the first sign that things are going to hell in a handcart tends to be when I get bored with my hair, rush into the hairdresser, and go “cut it all off!!!”

Yes, the observant will have noted that I did just that a little over a month ago. Alarm bells were tinkling merrily, I assure you, it just took me a few weeks longer to acknowledge them.

Right now I am vacillating between tattoos, piercings, and continuing with the hair cutting. Tattoos really should be taken off the table. My previous tattoos have all come from places of contentment and joy – positive pieces and I want all my art to be the same. I look at my foot, or my back, and I feel a sense of pride and pleasure and remember all the good that went into the design. If I were to get a tattoo now, whilst I am sure it would be a beautiful piece, I am not sure it would be something I would want to look back on and go “oh yes, that one I got when I was having my mini-mid-twenties-crisis”. I want my tattoos to be something I have contemplated and have meaning beyond an impulse to take control.

Piercings… I could get something pierced I guess. Well, my ears at least a few more times, because I am actually a wimp and the thought of other bits getting pierced wibbles me out. Nothing against it on other people, it can look damn gorgeous, but on me… Wibbles. I have semi toyed with the idea of getting my lower lip pierced in the middle, but in all honesty I do not think it would look good on me, and I am still realistic enough to know that facial piercings are probably not going to go down wonderfully well at job interviews or in the corporate world I am looking to head into. Tattoos you can cover up to some degree. Piercings you might as well not have if you’re constantly taking them out for work. All that aside though, I am having a hard enough time adjusting to the holes I got in the new year. I love them, but I am still experimenting with the right balance of jewellery. What with the short hair and multiple holes, my usual dangly earrings just look wrong, so I am back to studs, and I am still finding the look that I am happy with. Throwing yet MORE places to put pretty bits of silver into the mix would just confuse things!

So piercing looks like it is out as well, which leaves hair cuts/colours.

Woah Nelly. Having been there before with the whole purple, grade 3 all over, psycho lesbian look, can I just say that the past has taught me caution to a certain degree with my hair. Most styles work on me and I know that short looks good, but I have to be SO careful I don’t just go to the hairdresser “get out the clippers…” Again with the having to look vaguely respectable at work. I would trust Peter, my normal hairdresser, not to go too crazy, apart from the fact I have taught him too well that he can do ANYTHING with my hair and I will trust him. I just go in, take my glasses off, and let him work his magic for however long it takes. The results are always amazing, but I am not sure I can rely on him to see beyond my impulse to “have it all off” and go “No, not this time, it’s not what you really want”.

Which leaves me where exactly in my desire to change something, anything about me and my life? It leaves me no where. I do need to get my hair trimmed but I think I am going to take Moose along with me just to make sure I don’t go crazy. The tattooist I use is a good man, and he refuses to do walk-ins, so I am more or less safe from more ink without planning. Ear piercing could happen, but that is easily rectified by letting them grow over (a waste of money, but still a blessing for bad judgement). What else is there? I am looking for new jobs, I honestly am. I sent four applications off just yesterday, but that is just applications. There is the whole interview debacle to get through before change can come in that part of my life. I could go on a trip, but that requires time, inclination and money. I could… I could…

There are so many things I know I could do. I do have options and I am so lucky that I have them. If push comes to shove, at the back of mind is always the thought that I can jack it all in and run back to hide in Somerset with my family. It is not something I want to do because that feels like admitting defeat and running away, but it IS an option.

But… None of them give me the immediate buzz of having done something demonstrable. They are all depressingly grown-up and sensible options. I don’t want to be grown-up and sensible right now. I want someone to come and wrap their arms around me and tell me it is all going to be OK and that they are going to deal with everything for me. I want to curl up on my lovely comfortable new mattress, pull the covers over my head, and wake up in a few months time with a stupendous new job, an amazing flat and brilliant new life in London, all my mental worries soothed away, Prince Charming waiting on me hand-and-foot, and a slimmer body to boot.

Can that happen please?

In light of the fact I live in the real world, I know that the above is not going to happen. Talking it through though, I think I have just found the one “change something” thing that I can go and do – I might go and get me some new spectacles tomorrow. A nice new pair of glasses, that’s what I need. Sorted.

(Yes, depression and “get out the house each day” is turning out to be VERY expensive).

11 thoughts on “Impulse Control

  1. There are places you could get new holes that don’t have the whole visibility issue, but I’m guessing that’s where the ‘eek’ comes in…

    With the impulse to change, how about your surroundings? Paint a wall of your room or change the layout…

  2. That is indeed where the “eek” comes in. I’ve contemplated but *shakes head vehemently* No.

    Painting is out (damn rented accommodation) but maybe changing the layout, I have actually been pondering it every now and again. Now, where did I put that tape measure…

  3. get a henna-based tattoo, hon. It’ll be art, and it’ll disappear when you’re sick of it 😉

  4. how about a nice back massage? all the ‘ooooooh relaxing / I’m a whole new person’ feeling of a hair cut without the grade 2.

  5. Surly – good to see you’re still around 🙂 And henna… good idea. I just have no idea where I’d find a good henna artist!

    Moose – tempting. But this whole depression thing is going to get REALLY expensive if I keep treating myself to £20 massages!

  6. My vote is for a labret (lip piercing) but then I may be biased having one. I think a tattoo also works there are plenty of non visible places you can get inked. I’m having a tattoo to mark my coming up operation – maybe some may think this odd. For me, the way I see tattoos and piercings to a minor level are as markers of my journey through life. I like to get things done as important parts in my life. My right top arm was done when my husband and me got together, my left done after a bit of a rough patch, my nipple piercing although hate it if honest is kept to mark a stage in my life when I had it done.

  7. You could exercise your desire for change and your artistic side by doing the henna tattoo yourself. The paste is relatively cheap (certainly cheaper than a new pair of glasses!), and it has to sit a while on your skin before the color actually takes, so if you screw it up, wipe it off and start over.

    Or you could be really brave and let Moose do a henna tattoo for you, not letting you see it until the color has taken. But, erm, I’d certainly make sure it’s in a place you could cover up. 🙂

  8. Tam – there are non visible places yes, and I will be having more. I’m the same that I want my piercings and tattoos to be markers in my life, but… I want them to be positive markers. When I get out the other side of this, THEN I’ll be getting another tattoo to celebrate beating the crap out of this neurochemical glitch. Not before. Right now I don’t think I am really in the right place to make any long-term decision rationally.

    Not that it’s ever stopped me before!

    Josh – I could do it myself, though as I want one on my back it could be a bit tricky (my hand also has a tremor so it’s really hard to get the fine detail right). Intriguing prospect to get someone else free though. Now, who do I know locally who’s a good artist…

  9. You can draw – do your own henna. Might make your left side somewhat crowded, unless you’ve become ambidextrous.

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