Thursday, January 03, 2013

A Wrist Tattoo -- Words to Live By

I think I've written and erased this blog post a dozen times.  I usually don't have this much trouble putting words to paper, but then, this isn't an ordinary post, nor has it been an ordinary year.  I hope you'll bear with me.


Looking for light in the darkness.



Last year has been one of the hardest I've faced in years.  The list of WHY it was a hard year isn't nearly as important as my wanting to never have a year like that again. 


This year, I need to get back in touch with myself.  Who I am, what makes me happy, how I handle heartbreak and disappointment.  I'm not making any business plans -- or rather, I'm not committing to anything until I fix ME.  I have ideas and lots of dreams, but I'm going to let those happen as they happen and instead focus on repairing damage.


Which leads me to the tattoo.


I have two tattoos.  Both are incredibly meaningful to me.  One is in Korean (via Chinese characters) and loosely translates to "survivor".  My second tattoo is the Japanese for "hope".  They're a part of me and I don't regret getting them.


Last month, I woke up in the middle of the night and shook Rick awake.  "I want another tattoo," I said, and knowing me as he knows me, that wasn't a strange thing to hear at 2am.


An interesting thing about tattoos -- people often get them when they're at a pivotal point in their lives.  This was true of my first two tattoos, and it's true of my newest one.



I'm holding Zack's hand for a lot of reasons.  For one, after I spent days looking at fonts, he made the final choice.  He also insisted I add the heart "for him".


"That's me there," he said.


Rick and Zack both went with me when I got the tattoo (a remarkably painless few minutes).  The placement of the tattoo -- across the inside of my wrist -- was very carefully chosen.  You can probably figure that one out without my going into detail.  Let's just say there were some dark periods in my life and they came back this year to haunt me.   


With this tattoo, I'm making a start at exorcising those demons.


I've struggled to write this post, and I think I may struggle to write more this year.  I know no one wants to hear about pain and depression anymore.  It's still there, but I'm sick of it.  I'm tired of the stranglehold it has on me, and I'm really, really trying to live.


I have no idea what will get me out of the darkness I'm in right now, but having this tattoo is a constant reminder to love my life, no matter what kind of life it ends up being. 


Thanks for listening.


Photobucket

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.


83 comments:

Melissa Meman said...

Hugs! I love you Lori!

Marcy Lamberson said...

Good for you! Sending hugs and support. Let me know if I can help you in some way along this journey.

Krys said...

Sending you sunshine as you move out of your darkness. Thank you for sharing. My grandmother and sister battled depression all of my life and luckily my dad was a professional counselor who always made sure we were open and honest and didn't try to make it something hidden. The more people like you talk about it and show that it affects many, the more people will stop being embarrassed, or ashamed and may ask for help or be able to help their loved ones. Thank you and don't apologize, your words are lovely! Wishing you better health and more days with sun vs darkness in the new year!

Patti Van said...

Excellent words to live by, and an appropriate place to put that tattoo - what a mantra! Love it! You have so many people "backing you up"...and I am one of them! Best of luck and much love sent your way! xo

Stepha said...

You are a beautiful soul.. I love your new tat, and find it to be a reminder that all of us need to remember.

It is a beautiful tattoo. And the heart for Zach is so sweet. I am blessed to have you as a internet friend.

Jean said...

OH Lori! I am so glad I got to read this and see the beauty you have created out of darkness.
You are so amazing and so cherished. Your tattoo is perfectly exquisite.
Thank you for sharing this with your friends, far and wide. It is blog posts like this which make us love you even more, if that is possible.

all love, jean xoxox!

WindDancerStudios said...

It reminds me of to write Love on her arms...
I think it's a good place for the best words - I hope they lift you any and every time you need lifting.

<3

Createology said...

Your tattoo is beautiful. The words are powerful and how sweet that Zack added the heart. I am here to read every word you write and share every feeling you share. Survivor says it all...your strength, your courage, your hope, and your willingness to love your life! Loving Hugs my friend.

cindy said...

Thanks for sharing! Things do get better, sometimes, it just takes time.

Skye said...

my eyes started to tear up when you said Zack asked for the heart and said 'that's me there' ... damn that boy is something else. You are one special mom to have a kid like that :D

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Thanks for bravely sharing and keep doing it, Lori! Whether we call it sadness, depression, darkness... I am constantly amazed at how many of us experience that soul-sucking emptiness that will not yield to mere SUGGESTION that we "snap out of it". Living that promise to yourself that things will get better: that is HARD work. Sounds like you have at least two wonderful reasons that will make it SO WORTH IT, Lori!

Isolina Perez said...

I love it!!!

Isolina Perez said...

Awesome tat. I have a small butterfly on my lower back. When I was diagnosed with cancer and went through chemo I thought of getting another one but haven't thought of a tat symbolizing the beginning of life as opposed to the end of chemo.

Jane Perala said...

I love your new tattoo, and the photo with you and Zack holding hands is so precious.
You are much braver than me - I don't think I could stand to have pins poked into me for a not medical reason - lol.

April Grinaway said...

Sending love and light. You have our support Lori.

SueBeads said...

Good for you Lori! It's wonderful!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Here is to a "Wonderful New Year"!
Wishing you a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year!! (((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

Wow........you made me cry. I am so sorry for your pain. You are so authentic; Thank you. I hope you find the light and happiness you so deserve!

Hugs to you!

LeeLu Creations said...

I love it. The addition of the heart gives it that little extra. Zack is so wise beyond his years.

I haven't posted a lot lately on your blog but I think so much of you. You are beautiful, inside and out. I love how you bring women of such different backgrounds together with your blog hops and facebook group.

And please don't be weirded out by my proclamations of love for you! Lol.

Sandra said...

I hope you don't slow down on your writing. But if you need to, I understand.
I hope this new year will bring you lots of joy.

Skylar Bre'z said...

Wwonderful! And that Zack - he's a keeper! :)

Anonymous said...

I think you should write about the pain and depression, of course throw in a bit a bead stuff here and there.... I know I will certainly keep reading, partially cause I can relate but mostly cause I think you have an amazing spirit that will find a way thru the fog and that will be quite an adventure...but if not, then look for me...I'm in there somewhere! I'd love a fog buddy.

Jessica said...

Gosh I love this. I've been wanting a wrist tattoo for awhile, b/c I am a recovered cutter...but I have had a relapse or two over the last 10 years or so. A tattoo like that might just bring me clarity or at least bring a focus to my own self worth in a dark time. I love it. I especially love Zack's heart contribution. He knows he is loved. I feel the same way Lori. Like screw 2012, seriously. Here's to us taking care of ourselves. We definitely deserve that.

Melissa said...

Lori, that is a beautiful tattoo. Even if it is hard, please continue to share what you can with us. I love reading your blog.

Shirley Moore said...

Lori, I just love you. That you're real, that you are brave enough to share the crappy parts of your life, and that you create beautiful things in life. Zack is such a cool kid, not the least because of the kind of parents he has;and I'm excited to see the impact he makes on life.
I'm here with love and hugs and virtual pie. Anytime.

windrock studio said...

so very lovely, Lori ... your new tat, your sweet boy, your truthful words. Makes me think about getting a new one for my upcoming b'day ( the tat, not the boy!) I'm hoping that you have an amazing, yet calm, new year. xo

Beadbug said...

What ever helps you get though you day is worth posting about. If talking about your depression helps even a little bit than I say blog about it. If folks don't want to read it they won't but you will get many who will and give words of encouragement. I fight with depression daily one thing that has really helped me is my Phillips goLITE. If you are interested in more info on it just email me. I don't sell them or anything I just know it helps me. Beadbug at usa dot com.

becca said...

Love you! I relate so much to your journey. Thank you for sharing. Please, oh please, be open with us. I know how it feels like it never ends. I also am ready to have my depression gone... Only by letting light and air flow through our wounds willwe come to complete healing. I'm still praying for you and Zack.

Laurie said...

Be well this year, Lori!

Linda said...

Lori, I don't know what you have been going through, but if you feel the need to write about it - go ahead! I love your tattoo, even tho I don't have the guts to get one....guess I am just not that passionate. I certainly hope 2013 is a great year for you!!!

Spirited Earth said...

Zack is an amazing person..so sweet..
Life certainly can be a rough ride,most people have times when it just seems to fall in on them..even a tiny glimmer of hope,it seems, is the thing that allows people get up and dust themselves off and begin again..I'm hoping this coming year will settle into a peaceful and happy one for you ..

Kepi said...

Love you tat Lori, and your post was so moving. I hope you continue posting and reaching out, you are so special to so many. We will all be there for you and help you through the dark times, you don't even have to ask.

jennifers jewels and junk said...

I have been wanting a wrist tattoo for more than a year just haven't decided on the words. Seeing this makes me want to figure it out :)

Jen on the Edge said...

I love what you did. And I love you, my dear friend.

Kayla @ TheEclecticElement said...

Love, love, LOVE, absolutely love this Lori!

My mom and dad are completely against tattoos which is why I have to wait to get mine until I move out.

I think tattoos can be truly inspiring and meaningful and I'm glad you got something that means a lot to you and works to be a daily reminder to love life :)

Heidi at MyBeadTherapy said...

Still reading . . . still supporting -- no matter how long between posts or what the subject matter. Take time for YOU (and Zach and Rick). Everything else will fall in line, but you have to take care of you. If you don't take care of you and recharge when you need to, you can never accomplish all those other goals you may sometimes think are "more important." Hugs, Lori.

Marjorie Savill Linthwaite said...

Lori, embrace the moment - you have a husband and a son - you are also a creative.

Mona said...

<3 Danielle LaPorte wrote today about pain; you might find it comforting.

Kokopelli said...

Hey Lori, so I hope and pray that 2013 will be YOUR year and a year for YOU, a year for finding yourself, fixing yourself and staying yourself. Do not loose your beautiful heart and soul! HUGS!

Anonymous said...

Your post touched me. I'm sending you good vibes to continue your positive journey. Thank you for sharing. I wish you and your family the best.

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Good for you Lori, ((hugs)). You write about what you want to write about. Life isn't always sweet. Those who are interested will keep reading, those who aren't - who cares?

Lori Anderson said...

"Fog buddy"... I love how that sounds!

Lori Anderson said...

Cutting... I get that. Scary how we can do things to our bodies just for an ounce of control over SOMETHING.

Lori Anderson said...

Not weirded out but touched!

Lori Anderson said...

Oh no tears!!!!

Lori Anderson said...

It doesn't feel like needles to me...more like scratching. And trust me, I am a passing out weenie at needles!

quiltingjewel39 said...

Hugs to you. Thank you for being the sharing and caring person you are. Hopefully this will be a better year for you. Glad to see you blogging again - have missed you. I loved the heart for Zack - that is so precious.
Susan Marling

Amy said...

I love your new tat Lori! Your post was inspiring - and I wish you lots of moments of loving your life!!!

Becky Pancake said...

Hi Lori, Glad that you are blogging again. Your post are usually thought provoking and funny. I think that it's great that you share your life with all of us, even the bad stuff. You are doing it right to have 400 join your blog hops. The pic of your new tattoo is wonderful. It's so cool that Zack was part of it. Hope that the pain leaves soon. Know that you are not alone in your pain & that we all have dark times in our lives. Like you said you are a survivor and I know that you will survive this too. Here's a hug from me too.

Robin Reed said...

I am amazed at how much love and support you give out even though you are hurting!!! You are who I want to be when I grow up! Hang in there Lori, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! [just as an aside I am 55 and not grown up yet] Always remember you are in my heart and in my prayers!!! Love you and GOD BLESS!!!

Alice said...

Of course I'm terrified of needles so a tattoo is out of the question for me, but I love the words you chose! They remind you that life IS worth living, no matter how bad it gets.

Thank you for bravely sharing this post. You might think others don't want to hear it, but who knows, you just might have saved a life or two.

Courtney said...

I love your tatoo and the placement. You can see it everyday and have it as a wonderful reminder. Sending you love.

Courtney

Marian Hertzog said...

Yes "love your life"! You are precious to your family and to your friends!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Love your new tattoo-it is a beautiful phrase. Wishing you a wonderful New Year Lori! Let me know if you still want a camera tutorial, we can meet up for dessert and instruction! :)

Shel said...

I love your new tat and love that you let Zack choose the font and you placed the heart there for him!! It's perfect. I believe you will find the peace and comfort inside that you seek this year. Thanks for having a blog that is real and talks of all things, not just the 'beady' stuff. Know that your strength is an inspiration to many and I picture you healthy, happy and thriving in 2013! Love and Hugs to you my friend!! ~S~

Nicole Beadwright Campanella said...

I think a lot of people had a difficult last year. I believe that 2013 is going to be better. Wishing you all the very best.
Nicole/Beadwright

anafiassa said...

You are lovely.

I love your blog. I love your creations--your words and your beads, both. I love your openness, even about things that can be so personal and hard. Thank you for sharing these things, and for being so brave.

Wishing you all the light and love and hope in the world!

smalltownme said...

I love Zack's heart. What a wonderful son!

Kathleen Douglas said...

Beautiful tattoo for a beautiful, courageous soul. ((( hugs)))

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

All three of your tattoos are such wonderful affirmations of life! My word for 2013 is "Thanks" so that I can keep focused on what I DO have, and not what I don't. Here's to our new years.

Lupe Meter said...

HUGS, Lori!! I love your new tattoo! I will be keeping you in my prayers! You have a lot of people who love and care for you!

Katie N-N said...

Bless you, Lori, you do have a truly wonderful life. If ever you have doubts, look at your family, and this amazing community you've built that started as just "beaders" and has grown into a wonderful place for many to share their joys and frustrations without fear of judgement or ridicule. I love your writing, your open and honest soul, and your kind and encouraging heart.

AliMc said...

I'm glad you were able to share this Lori no matter how many rewrites it took. My daughter is often in the struggle to find the light herself. Hugs to you, wishing you much light from within for the coming year :).

Lutka And Co. said...

You are a wonderfully special person Lori. Hugs!

elizabeth said...

If there is some way of you watching the t.v. show "Roger and Val have just got in", please try.

my Heritage Happens said...

Wonderfully written, love the tatoo! Wishing you a marvelous 2013!

Chrizette said...

Lori, please never stop writing these posts! They inspire me to stop being negative in my life - it is always a saving grace knowing someone else is also going through some of the pains that we go through ourselves.

Bead Soup Mix

Janine said...

Dear Lori, thank you so much for sharing your blog. You inspire a lot of people (including me). It takes a strong person to write about herself, the way you do.
I can relate to what you are writing, being in and out of the dark myself.
Your tattoo is lovely. And so are you. I hope 2013 will be a great year for you. You deserve it.

Cory said...

Lori...I love the tat, how wonderful that Zack took part in this. You know what I have been going through, I hope 2013 is a better year for all of us.
Sending you love and blessings.

Almost Precious said...

Don't worry about your post not being perky and happy, life happens and it isn't always a bed of roses (and by the way roses do have thorns so I never truly understood why anybody would want to sleep on a bed of roses). Personally, I've always been suspicious and a bit leery of people who are always upbeat and excessively happy, it doesn't seem quite - well not quite normal. I can't help but wonder if those perpetually jolly people ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed or ever have a "bad" day?

I sincerely hope that this New Year will be one in which the sun will shine brightly for you and that if there are any tears at all, they will be tears of joy and not sadness.

Melanie said...

Sending lots of hugs and good thoughts that 2013 is a much better year for you!!!! *hugs*

BeadedTail said...

Zack chose a great font and love the heart too! Wishing you much strength, love and happiness in 2013!

Shopgirl said...

I think we often watch what others are doing but not ourselves. Working on me is hard...what I will put up with, what gives me peace,understanding, happiness and joy only comes if somewhere along the way you have had sadness and troubles. The people we love can make life hard for us because we care. We hate to lose in the game of life, but I am not sure about the winning. I get up wanting to do it right. I want to make the people I care about happy with me. I want to love and be loved. But not everyone is on the same page, it is complicated...one day at a time...SMILE. Big Hugs, Mary

MaryL said...

Hugs to you Lori! I know what it is like to struggle with depression. Take care of yourself, you are worth it.

Catherine said...

Beautiful words to live by indeed!

Shaiha said...

Beautiful words for a beautiful person. I just know that 2013 is going to be a better year

CraftyHope said...

I've wanted a tattoo for years but have struggled with what image/words would I want permanently imprinted on my body. So I've faltered at getting one. I love that you had a middle of the night revelation on this one, that you included the heart for Zack, that this tattoo is there as a constant reminder for you that life is worth living and loving. It's a beautiful symbol of what you've struggled through and overcome as well as of your own strength. I'm so glad it's there and am looking forward to this year with you!

SummersStudio said...

What a beautiful tattoo. Loving your life and yourself is the beginning and the core of happiness. I know. I've been there. Hugs

elizabeth said...

Hey whoever the fog buddy is, love me too!

indigo heart said...

such a beautiful blessing over your life, lori. i wish you the very best. your honesty humbles me and moves me. you are *such* a *gorgeous* *soul.* i just love you to pieces. i wish you *hope* and *wholeness.*

tattoos designs said...

beautiful tattoos designs really gives nice feelings,

Annette said...

I think you are wise to focus on you and what you need to become whole and well. Your new tattoo will certainly inspire you along the way. So glad you could join Sally's challenge!

*Kel* said...

It's a beautiful thing, that bond, that special relationship you have with Zack. How blessed he is to call you Mom, and how blessed you are to call him your son. Be the light in each others life. I know there are days I only survive for my girls and Keith. They're my sunshine on my darkest days. And I'm so thankful for you, for sharing and writing the things I don't have the courage to admit to myself or the world. Thanks for showing me how to and being one of those reasons I love my life. You're a ray of sunshine, a glimmer of hope in the lives of so many all over the world! Loves!