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The art of tattoo pain: part 2

I had to wait a little over a month after my first session to finish my tattoo and during that time I dealt with a few anxieties
Photos taken by Nola Powell on Oct. 25. Collage created by Ariana Powell on Nov. 1.

It’s finally done. My second tattoo session ended on Wednesday. In many ways, the second session was both worse and better than the first and resulted in a finished product I love.

When I got off of the table to look at my freshly finished tattoo, I almost got emotional.

I had to wait a little over a month after my first session to finish my tattoo and during that time I dealt with a few anxieties.

The first was the healing process. I was nervous my tattoo would not heal well despite my constant attentiveness to cleaning and treating it. 

During this process I decided not to use Saniderm or Aquaphor like my tattoo shop recommended, instead I used a plant-based, hemp and CBD-infused salve.

Using a CBD tattoo aftercare product can have multiple benefits such as skin hydration, reducing the risk of infection and swelling relief.

Every time I applied it, it would make me smell like weed, but my tattoo healed wonderfully, according to my tattoo artist. Despite the healing success, my anxiety has been renewed as there’s an even bigger space that needs to heal now.

Another aspect of the healing process that made me nervous was taking the Saniderm wrap off my tattoo for the first time. 

After my first session, I kept the wrap on for three days and then took it off. When I did so, I felt like I was going to pass out, which was not pleasant. The second time around this feeling was not as intense but still existed.

I was also excitedly anxious about getting the tattoo finished. After waiting for so long and saving up money for the tattoo I couldn’t wait to see the final product.

After my first session, I went through a brief identity crisis because I realized I had permanently altered my body, but once the gray clouds passed, I felt beautiful. 

As someone who constantly struggles with maintaining a positive self-image, having such stunning art on my body makes me feel beautiful, especially since I got it for me, not for anyone else.

The worst anxiety was regarding the pain level. Since the second session was dedicated to detailing, I knew it would be more painful because the needles would be going over the same place over and over again.

My anxiety would end up being valid, the first hour of the session did not hurt too much, but the second hour put all of my raw nerves on end. During the last 30 minutes I just wanted to go home.

However, despite my internal feelings, I never showed it and never took a break. As I left, my tattoo artist and the others in the shop said I sat really well, so I guess I did something right.

I can’t wait until I can save up the money and get another one. I want to make my body a beautiful piece of art.

Ariana Powell can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Ariana Powell
Ariana Powell, Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Powell is in her fourth year at Chico State as a media arts (criticism) and journalism (news) double-major. Now in her fourth semester on The Orion and having assumed the editor-in-chief position, she is prepared to continue helping upcoming journalists and endeavors to continue building her repertoire of multimedia and writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, watching and analyzing films, reading and spending time with her loved ones.

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