Art, ink, and anxiety…

I am extremely excitedly. I am intensely anxious.
Not my tattoo
Tattoo appointment is at 1’clock today. Tattoo artist sent me the last few changes yesterday. I absolutely love everything about it now. I feel so horribly guilty that I’ve had him rework things a few times (the original drawing plus 2 alterations). When I went in I was afraid he was going to tell me he couldn’t do it. Then, he said he could no problems and I was elated. I really liked the concept he came up with but some things were off. My stomach was in knots to sit down with him again to ask for some changes. Having seen the differences between the two I could see the perfect combination and told him my thoughts. I was absolutely terrified to do this. I was positive that he’d tell me I was too much of a pain in the ass, too difficult, too SOMETHING, and no longer want to work with me. Tell me to f- myself and take a hike.
Everyone keeps reassuring me that for a piece this big it’s not unusual to do a few alterations. It is a permanent piece; it needs to be what I want it to be.
He’s really a brilliant artist though and I’m afraid I’m insulting him and he’s not going to like me because I didn’t trust his judgment.
I’m freaking out about whether I should be doing this at all, but I think that’s just the pre-appt jitters. I get that for a lot of things because I have time to over think, over analyze, ruminate, let my mind run away with me, go over how things would be nice and normal without the change, but then again how neat this is going to look after. The anticipation before is ALWAYS worse than actually having it done. I’ve wanted this for almost a year now. I keep reminding myself of that. I’m nervous, but I’m over thinking. I need to calm down my brain. Find something to occupy my time, and go.
I’m also very worried about how I’m going to exercise after this.  I know I’ll have to take a few days off from pretty much any non basic movement. I can’t have fabric rubbing on this while it heals. Which means my daily 1.5 hr workouts are not really an option for a while. My body image and fear of putting on weight aside… Exercise, intense exercise, has so far proven to be the best thing for controlling my anxiety and depression.  I’m worried about how taking time off will affect me.
I go on vacation for 8 or 9 days ever year where I don’t have gym access, but I’m walking all day, taking dance classes and performing at night, so it’s not like I’m sedentary. I went to see my parents over Easter and didn’t work out for 4 days. Those 4 days were the longest I’ve gone, in probably 6 years, without some kind of directed activity. Seriously. I sprained my neck a couple years back and in complete opposition to doctors orders I was back in the gym 2 days later. One day off I can justify. Two days I can get by with minimal guilt. Three days I’m hitting the anxiety point. Four days and I’m ready to crawl the walls. I actually feel nauseous and sick if I can’t keep to a regular exercise schedule. My anxiety takes over.  I’ve tried to think of ways to counter this. I know an incredible amount of upper/lower body lifting, abs, pilates etc. that I can do in a manner that won’t inhibit healing, so I’ll be able to keep up with my toning. I don’t know what to do about cardio yet. Ugh.
And finally, it’s Friend’s 10th year anniversary BBQ/Party thing today. I’m fighting with myself on whether I should make an appearance. He wants me there, he’s said as much, that he’ll be sad and miss me if I’m not there. I’m worried this will throw up a bigger wall between us if I don’t go. I flat out told him I didn’t care to see the gift he was thinking about for the wife. Whenever one of them brings up the party I’ve quieted and/or redirected the conversation. I haven’t flat out said I don’t want to be there, but I’m sure Friend has picked up on it by this point. At first I said it would depend on my moods, which is true. Now that I have my tattoo appointment I’ve told him it’s going to depend on how much I’m hurting.
Colliding thoughts:
He missed my birthday, he’s fallen through on a couple things that he said he would do and I really needed him to do. I haven’t. So far I’ve always been there to help and support him when he’s needed it. Maybe it’s time he realized what that feels like. 
If I go I’ll be able to say that despite the hurt I was a good friend and was there when he wanted me to be.  Is this petty? You couldn’t even do these things you said you’d do, but I can be the better friend and continue to do what you want. For the record, from the start I’ve told him it was unlikely that I would be there. Unlike him, I’ve never said, yes I’ll do this, and then not done it. I may be a lot of things, but I keep my word.
He knows I don’t really want to be there, he’s guilting me because he wants me there regardless.
He wants me there. He is my best friend and I do care. Because I care I don’t want him to be upset.
I’m afraid that if I don’t go he’ll be really mad at me. Instead of avoiding awkward feeling s by not going, it will compound them because it’ll be obvious that things still bother me. Driving a deeper rift into our friendship.  
I constantly acquiesce to what other people (that I care about) want instead of doing what is best for me.
I know mentally this is not going to be good for me. I still harbor a lot of resentment for how they treated me. In most situations it’s fine, but it’s going to be pretty much the focal point today.
I’m angry that I still have this resentment.
I honestly do not give a shit about their anniversary. If I go and pretend to be happy for them it will be a lie. I shift between angry and indifferent. Nothing else.
This tattoo is about starting over. Death. Deaths of the past, change, and from those deaths something new arising.  I want to close this part of my life and move on. Maybe this is a good time to start. Go to the thing, and let go.
Remember the woman I mentioned a week or two back? We’ve been texting everyday and we have a date this upcoming week =)
This shit needs to be put behind me.   It’s time to finish moving on. 
Also, not my tattoo

6 comments on “Art, ink, and anxiety…

  1. I am the same. If I have time to think, then I will end up thinking myself out of something I really want. I am super excited though that you are doing this. I think it is great and asking for alterations is totally acceptable and understandable. When a friend of mine got a small tattoo on her arm, she was very picky about the design. If the tattoo artist is half what he seems to be, he will appreciate your concern for detail more and be more excited about doing it simply because of your enthusiasm. I realize I don't know probably half of what goes on with Friend, but seriously it sounds like your relationship is extremely one sided. At least emotionally. As difficult as it is, I really hope you can find some others who can fill your time in healthier ways. He is a fuckwad if he doesn't realize how much greatness he is missing out on.

  2. it's always exciting to get a tattoo!!and you have the right to make alterations and be sure what you want inked 4ever.I hope you get well with everything else.

  3. @Maasiyat & Ana … yeah he didn't seem bothered at all that I wanted alterations haha. I just have this irrational guilt. I'll be posting about it very soon.

  4. Ooo let's see it! Can we see it?! If the artist isn't willing to work with you, even if it takes many many sessions, then he/she isn't a great tattoo artist. Some of my good friends are tatt artists and they tell me time and again that they'd rather work hard on one really awesome piece than have to deal with countless morons that drop in and want pieces of ridiculous flash. Hope it all turns out super awesome! Me likey tattoos!

  5. I am going to post pics. I'm 98% sure of this. I may need to have a new set of pics taken because it's so large that I need to be practically naked to get a whole shot of it, but I definitely think I'll be posting this in the next couple days.

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