So I've been thinking of getting another tattoo and here's my thoughts. I've had issues with depression for about as long as I can remember. I've come to the conclusion that it is probably something that will never be "cured" just as an alcoholic will always be an alcoholic. I will, someday, learn to control it and not let it rule my life but there will probably always be episodes where the black dog will return from the shadows and haunt me again. This is where the tattoo comes in. I've been trying unsuccessfully to find an image of a black dog to have inked to serve as a reminder of my tendencies and that I need to be proactive in my habits so I don't fall back into a slump. Churchill called his depression his "black dog" although, interestingly enough, he didn't coin the phrase. I found a paper on the etymology of the phrase as a term for depression and it actually goes back quite a ways. Winston certainly brought it back to the popular vernacular, however.

Just as the tattoo will never go away, neither will my tendency toward depressive episodes. Placement and the actual image are still things I'm trying to figure out. I like the images below but want something else. Something a bit more stylistic. I want something slightly menacing or sad (it is the black dog of depression after all) but nothing horroresque. I really wish I could pick up a pencil and design my own but, alas, the limitations of my skill set preclude me from doing such a thing. Hopefully I can find a good tattoo artist who will work with me on the design and come up with something unique as well as meaningful. The next step is convincing my wife to let me get more ink. She hates the one I have.

Views: 669


You need to be a member of Art of Manliness to add comments!

Join Art of Manliness

Comment by Sir on March 10, 2010 at 9:42pm
Well, it varies. I put on a tattoo symbolizing the good father within who drives away the abuser.

And I am considering another one, symbolizing strength. I may use the Chinese ideograph for this.

Both of these are personally meaningful, and have taken a lot of thought. I don't know what would be right in your case -- of course! -- but I hope you find it!
Comment by Chris Hamm on March 10, 2010 at 3:07pm
Thanks guys.

Will, you may be right, focusing on the positive rather than the negative. I guess my stumbling block there is what symbolizes the solution? Not sure about that. Either way this isn't going to be something that happens tomorrow. I'm excited by the idea now but want to make sure it's something I really want to do before I permanently mark up my body.

Shields - I agree, I like the abstractness of the 2nd picture. The others are far too realistic but I grabbed a few that caught my eye as a starting point. I don't need a show ring dog on my arm but as far as breed and some of the details (the tail in the 3rd picture, the chest fur on the 1st, some of the detailing in the 4th) I wanted to have a few thoughts before I walked into a tattoo shop and said, "Uh, can you, like, put a dog on my arm?".
Comment by Sir on March 10, 2010 at 1:42pm
Your call, of course, but... what if you made a symbol not of the problem, but of the thing you did or do to overcome it?

(And: I was clinically depressed for 10 years. Now I'm not. There is hope, if you go after that hope like a bulldog after its prey.)

Latest Activity

Jack Smith replied to Chris Pogon's discussion Introductions are in order!
"Welcome here!"
15 minutes ago
Chris Pogon posted a discussion

Introductions are in order!

Greetings!I am Chris and I am 25. I live in Greece and I suppose I am here because I would like to have some meaningful conversations, the kind I, for some reason, get in real life, in day-to-day life.I am studying to become a programmer, I am almost done and starting to think about my actual future in the workforce, while at the same time a lot of my opinions have changed lately. I feel like I'm going through a second puberty... A good thing I suppose, I am becoming a better me! And I would…See More
51 minutes ago
Chris Pogon updated their profile
59 minutes ago
Chris Pogon replied to RayRay's discussion Hair or Sex?
"Don't know if you have already tried it or not, but do the drastic thing, shave everything off. In the beggining you will not like it, but stick with it, try it for a month. No matter how bad you think you look, keep shaving (or buzzing) that…"
1 hour ago
Tarquin Anstruther left a comment for Doug B
"look forward to chatting again soon"
2 hours ago
RayRay replied to RayRay's discussion Hair or Sex?
"Thanks to all for the pretty unanimous responses. I suppose it was never really much of a choice. Yet the main challenge remains, not even in terms of accepting that you can still look manly/sexy whatever - rather that you just look different. We…"
4 hours ago
Elkster joined Bruce Uall's group

The Shirtless Man

Shirtlessness is the essence of manliness.
8 hours ago
Elkster updated their profile
8 hours ago

© 2016   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service