There may be many problems that we experience in life but for some people, an issue with depression and self-harm is experienced. That was the case for Aoife Lovett, a 19-year-old girl who suffered from such a problem.
Lovett struggled with depression and self-harm throughout her teenage years. She stopped doing it a few years ago but the scars continued to remind her of that dark time in her life.
“It’s very hard when you’re a couple of years clean from doing it and every day you’re constantly reminded of what you did. It brings back memories of how you felt then. There’s a lot of shame that comes with it and guilt, especially when you’re around your family,” Lovett said.
Rather than continuing to live with that reminder, Lovett decided to get a tattoo. She wanted something beautiful to cover over the ‘ugly’ scars but a tattoo artist was difficult to come by. It seems as if it is not easy to tattoo over scarred skin and it rarely ever looks as good once it is actually made a permanent part of your body.
That is where Ryan Kelly came in. He is a young tattoo artist and last year, his mentor and best friend committed suicide. Ryan has also struggled with anxiety.
After Ryan’s mentor passed away, a young girl walked into his shop wanting someone to tattoo over her scars. She was much like Lovett, and Kelly took on the challenge.
Kelly said: “A girl just randomly came in looking for a tattoo to cover up some scars and I got talking to her and she started telling me her story and at the end of that it didn’t really feel right to charge her. It kind of felt like it meant more to her than that.”
He took things a step further and started a nonprofit organization, Scars behind Beauty. It helps individuals who struggle with self-harm by covering over the scars with a beautiful and professional tattoo.
The scars that Lovett had were transformed into a work of art that included a dagger and rose.
Now that she has her tattoo, there is nothing holding her back.
There are also many other tattoo artists who make a difference.
In the UK, Poppy Seeger tattooed a young woman named Lydia. She had scars she wanted to be covered and Lydia says that her life has been changed as a result of the tattoo.
Michael Truitt is another professional tattoo artist. He is not only somebody who offers these tattoos and does so at half-price, he also struggled with self-harm in his younger years.
These artists are making a difference in the lives of some very special people. We all have something in our past that we would like to cover but for the scars, a tattoo is really the only option.