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'Be Here Now': The Tattoo That Helps Me Through Anxiety Attacks

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Sarah's tattoo

I’ve always played with the idea of getting a tattoo. After one of my anxiety attacks, I realized I wanted to get one on my wrist to help me through. When I have an attack, the world shuts off, and it becomes hard for me to breathe and function normally. I have two daily medications, but sometimes life and my anxious mind are more powerful. I have a stronger medicine available to take when needed, but I don’t like taking it. I wanted to find something else to help me. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I need to remember to “be here now.” During an attack I leave the present, and that’s when things get worse. If I can be here now, I can recognize the pain is temporary, and I can control it. And just having a visual reminder of that can help immensely.

I had a wonderful experience getting my tattoo. I’m a huge music nerd and apparently so was my tattoo artist, Cole. When I told him I wanted the words “be here now” on my wrist, he asked if it was from the song by Ray LaMontagne. I had actually never heard of it, but he had the song on his computer and played it for me while he worked on my tattoo. This song instantly touched me. The best part was that Cole opened up to me and vice versa. When people understand what you’re going through, it creates this peace within. I decided to look up the lyrics later that night, and I couldn’t imagine any better words to permanently put on my body. The lyrical beauty of this song was amazing. I held back tears as I read it.                                                                                                                  

“Don’t let your mind

get weary and confused

Your will be still, don’t try

Don’t let your heart get heavy, child

Inside you there’s a strength that lies

Don’t let your soul get lonely, child

It’s only time, it will go by

Don’t look for love in faces, places

It’s in you, that’s where you’ll find kindness

Be here now, here now

Be here now, here now

Don’t lose your faith in me

And I will try not to lose faith in you

Don’t put your trust in walls

‘Cause walls will only crush you when they fall

Be here now, here now

Be here now, here now

                                 (Lyrics by Ray LaMontagne)                                  

The meaning of my tattoo is very personal. The words “be here now” are my reminder to be in the present during anxiety attacks. The semicolon not only stands for my choice to continue my story instead of ending it, but it is also a reminder of everything I have and will overcome. Please, if you want to do something like this for yourself, just do it. I’ve learned that if you find a way to help yourself overcome your battles, then you need to do it. Gain control.

Be here now.


Originally published: July 2, 2016
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