For the most part, a tattoo is permanent. There is something especially potent about the permanence of a tattoo; I think it’s the sense of commitment that one must have when getting one. If you choose to get a tattoo, whatever image or words you decide on, you are in a way beholden to it as you carry it with you for the rest of your life.
Addiction recovery treatment demands a similar sense of commitment, and of giving yourself over to a phrase, an image, and a new definition of life. Perhaps then, the most powerful tattoo is one that is related to addiction recovery treatment.
A tattoo for addiction rehab can serve as a reminder of the rewarding, but trying process of recovery. Like a map of an arduous journey now in the past, a tattoo in remembrance of addiction rehab is both a badge of pride and caution – a reminder of success, but also the ease with which one could find him or herself back in the throes of addiction.
While a tattoo can serve as a testament to successful addiction recovery treatment, it can also function as a promise to oneself for the future. Because a promise to continue addiction rehab and the recovery process is printed onto the skin, the idea is nearly impossible to escape and to avoid.
A tattoo can help one to visualise both the past and the future, and serve as a reminder of the addiction recovery treatment from which one has come and the continued recovery he or she will pursue.
But what about the act of getting the tattoo? In relation to the span of a life it is a short process, but painful – just like addiction rehab. As the physical pain of one passes, so too will the physical, mental, and emotional pain of the other.
And so, it is not just the permanence of a tattoo (and the commitment this demands) that mirrors addiction rehab, but also the process of getting a tattoo. It can be a great way to document, for a lifetime, a personal connection to addiction recovery treatment.