Now anyone that really knows me will know that all my tattoos are a daily reminder for me to keep pushing. I don’t really have any random non-meaningful ones, although some of them were definitely on the spur of the moment impulsive decisions.

But that’s OK with me, I still love them all because each of them inspire me to do better, and be better. They’re like little reminders and glimmers of hope that I have the power to make a change in my life and I wouldn’t take a single one of them back.

My first one was inevitably when I turned 18. Actually two days after I turned 18. This is after the depression had started and I wasn’t eating at this point due to my anxiety. The tattoo I decided to get was a fairly abstract lotus flower, but making sure the image featured the stem. It’s unusual for lotus tattoos to show the stem, but for me, the stem is the most important part. The lotus starts off in this dirty water but the stem grows until it reaches past all of that and turns into a beautiful flower. And that’s what it represents to me – Eventually, I will grow past all of this and have a beautiful life.


A few months later, whilst suffering really badly with the anxiety, I moved to Canada. I have family out there. I’d never met them at the time but I decided to take the leap and try a new place and new people. Canada quite literally (as cheesy at it sounds) changed my life. The people changed my life, the place changed my life – it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I gained over 2 stone during this time and my anxiety surrounding my eating habits hard virtually disappeared by the time I returned home six months later. This is the reason for my second (and favourite) tattoo:

2My third was the first impulsive tattoo I got. A group of friends and I all decided to get small love hearts behind our ears. It’s so tiny and it’s not nearly as bright as when I first got it done in this picture; it’s barely noticeable. But it makes me think of my friends (not just the ones from that experience, but all my friends) and it makes me think of my family and everyone else I love – which makes me in turn love the tattoo.

3Number four: My Shakespeare quote. I wrote a post just the other day about how I don’t believe in fate and mentioned this tattoo then. It goes down the side of my ribs on my left size (oh it looks so sore in this picture – it was just after I’d had it done!)

It reminds me to make my own life and not blame these disorders for everything that’s going wrong. Yes, I have a fewΒ mental health issues and sometimes life is beyond difficult, but it’s also what you make it. Our lives aren’t already laid out for us, if you want something to happen, make it happen.


And FINALLY, the 2013/14 craze that is…

*drum roll*…

5Yep. The infinity symbol. My other impulsive tattoo. And yes, whilst it’s a craze and something that’s been done a million times, I actually really like it. It links to my previous tattoo in that life is what you make it, it’s limitless. And that’s what I think of every time I look down at my finger.

Let me know if any of you have any inspirational tattoos!


38 thoughts on “Tattoos

  1. mybipolardisorder says:

    Even though I have talked about getting a tattoo forever I have yet to find something that means enough to look at for the rest of my life. Although I don’t love pain so there’s that. Either way, I love your choices and great post!


  2. superfluousity says:

    Hi Lauren

    I was taken aback when i saw your infinity tattoo, because i have tattoo on that same spot on the same finger!!!

    I have many tattoos too, a few because i like ’em, the rest because i wanted to inspire myself since i started being depressed. i have tattoos like “grace”, “enough”, the above “lovely”, and then also flowers, and a ballerina because i used to dance.

    my latest one was last year, and it was a C.S Lewis quote:
    “courage, dear heart.”

    my heart had physically grown weak and i got pretty upset about it. so i got that last one, which also serves to spur me on during difficult days.

    i like all of your tatts Lauren!

    Steph xoxo


  3. Moon Flower says:

    I love your tattoos. I can’t, personally, imagine getting something done impulsively. It took me ~3 years to decide to get the one I have. There’s two more that I want. But, who knows how long it will take for me to decide it’s the right time for them.

    I love all of the meaning that you have behind them – I can’t imagine, decorating my body with things that don’t have any meaning. : D


    • bylaurenhayley says:

      Thank you, I’m glad you like them πŸ™‚ I personally wouldn’t get something that doesn’t have meaning, but occasionally I do look at pretty tattoos and I have to stop myself so I can see why people do! I’m just an incredibly impulsive person in everything I do. I can’t remember the last time I thought about something before doing it. Obviously that gets me in trouble sometimes but it works in my favour too, I never miss out because I’m thinking rather than doing!


  4. gemmaneal83 says:

    Like your tatoos. I only have the one. I had thought about it but got it impulsively!! It’s a buttetfly. I find it inspiring as it reminds me of the little caterpillar, the ugly and trapped chrysalis to the transformed and free butterfly.
    Probably sounds a bit cheesy but it works for me!!


  5. theprettylittlesparrow says:

    I have some birds on my side and it says ‘with brave wings she flies..’ a reminder of my battle. I also have a butterfly on my wrist. I’m getting a sparrow tattoo on my forearm in Feb! Xx


  6. Shauna841505 says:

    I have two tattoos, and oddly, the impulse one is the one that means the most to me! I have a single star outline on my foot that was as impulsive as good be (a little drunk). It means so much to me, when I see it, it brings me back to the time that I got it, to the young adult I was, and to so many memories about who I wanted to be. My other tattoo is the Japanese symbol for “family” or “close peer group.” All of my immediate cousins on my father’s side got the same tattoo, and while it still means a lot to me, I don’t feel as close to them as I used to. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lenasclove says:

    I got a large tattoo on the one-year anniversary after my assault, and it was so inspiring to reclaim that day for myself. Tattoos can be so powerful.


  8. lifeofmiblog says:

    Nice post Lauren. Don’t have any tattoos and never really wanted any until lately. Too late now anyway but my idea was to get one on each arm near the inside wrist. On one arm a sunflower and the other a white tulip. My two favorite flowers.


  9. pippa says:

    Somewhat scarily, (!) I also have a lotus flower (a mandala style flower with an Om in the centre) and a little red maple leaf! I did my PhD in Canadian Lit. and went to Canada a few times, the first time I overcame panic attacks and agoraphobia to get there and I wanted a permanent reminder of the place that helped me heal. I also have the word abhaya on my thumb, it means fearlessness, I use it in meditation and yoga as a focal point. Lovely blog Lauren, thanks.


  10. matts1970 says:

    I have two..a blue sea turtle and what I hope is the Chinese symbol for strength. Got em in February 2003. In remembrance of my Mom who died the year before.


  11. Queen says:

    Hi Lauren! I love your tattoos. I have a couple too. I love that each one means something special to you. I know tattoos can be impulsive and not always have meaning, but I’m glad that even your implusivities still hold meaning to you.


  12. stuffthatneedssaying says:

    I’ve wanted a tattoo for a long time but can’t decide what I want. Actually, that’s not true. I’ve known for a while what I want but now can’t work up the courage to do it. I want white ink tattoos of my grandparents’ signatures, one on each wrist. The places I used to cut myself, so I’ll have a reason to not do it again.


    • bylaurenhayley says:

      That’s lovely. You know I always used to want on my side or on the back of my neck. I’ve never self harmed in the ‘typical’ way, but whenever I’m depression I dig my nails into my neck or side until I bleed. I don’t even know I’m doing it. I’ve always wanted a tattoo in them places to stop me from doing it because I won’t want to ruin it but never have. I think my ribs tattoo put me off getting one on my side because of the pain!


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