When people get tattoos, they hope that they will love them for the rest of their life. After all, they're permanent. However, that isn't always the case. Sometimes, after a few years or even a few decades, people face tattoo regret and desire to get that tattoo of a dolphin or an ex-lover's name removed. That's how the story of tattoo removal goes, most of the time.
That wasn't the case for a man from Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire who decided to go on a tattoo binge when he was 18 and have his entire body tattooed. Now, looking back, he regrets his decision and wants every single one of those tattoos gone.
"In total, he will have to spend at least ten years of his life getting all of his tattoos removed."
An unlikely tale
Getting any tattoo removed is a daring feat, as most people know how painful the process can be. It also can be incredibly costly, which is why so many people choose to have their removal procedures done over a long period of time. However, this man is taking it one step further, and it will take a lot of time, money and patience to remove all of the ink on his body.
Paul, now 26, is a father and completely regrets his tattoos, which he sees as meaningless. Regardless of how he feels about them, Paul has a lot of tattoos on his body, even in places you might not imagine. He has a tattooed eyebrow, a tattoo inside his lip, sleeves, a massive set of wings on his back, a lightning bolt on his face, a tattoo on his ear and even a tattoo below the belt. Paul knows that with the amount of ink he has on his body, it isn't going to be a short, easy road. He estimated that in total, he will have to spend at least ten years of his life getting all of his tattoos removed.
He associates the tattoos with his former self, a rebellious youth who wanted to live on the wild side.
"I was living life like it was your last day every day, drink, drugs, tattoos," he told the U.K.-based publication the Daily Mail. "I wanted to be centre of attention, my friends were getting tattoos and social media is a massive thing where people can see what they want. I am an all or nothing guy. What I loved about my tattoos is the attention, wherever you go – the pub, the gym, walking down the street – people stare and that is a buzz."
A changed outlook
Now, he says he doesn't even remember why he wanted some of his tattoos, and doesn't remember the significance of them. For instance, he believes the large wings that rest on his back now look like a bunch of bananas, though he used to say it signified his guardian angel. However, at the time he believes he was addicted to the idea of tattoos and getting them, admitting that he sometimes would sit through 10-hour sessions just to get a new piece – or pieces – of ink done. He was so addicted to the idea of getting more tattoos that in a period of three months Paul had covered 30 percent of his body in tattoos.
While the tattoos stand as a remembrance of Paul's edgy past, he said now he wants them gone as he views himself as a different person – a married man with a young son. He believes that the tattoos only remind him of who he used to be instead of proving who he is now – two very different people in his mind.
Paul has already undergone a few laser removal sessions, starting with getting rid of the wings on his back. He believes that once he removes those, it will be a huge sigh of relief and reason for him to keep going. But Paul did admit that his first go under the laser wasn't pretty, admitting that he felt like he was being hit by a truck during the process.
While tattoos are becoming more popular among youth, it's also becoming more common to remove them. Most people who get a tattoo removed are young women looking to remove a small, black tattoo. Of course, Paul makes his own demographic. Hopefully, his story will end like all the others as he happily looks at where a tattoo used to lie.