A former drug addict mum has tattooed her entire face to help her on her road to recovery - and being reunited with her daughter.
Sarah-Jane Howell says her facial inkings have helped her overcome her drug addiction and have helped to prevent a relapse.
The 26-year-old says when her addiction was at its worst she didn’t see her daughter for more than a year.
She says she started getting more and more tattoos to help her cope without her child and with each tattoo she took another step closer to recovery.
She believes further tattoos will keep her clean.
Sarah said: “Drugs are a way to escape reality and when I stopped doing them I got more tattoos because I obviously had more money and time.
“I just find when you’re sitting in that chair it is that relief and release at the same time. It’s that way of letting go and just being under the needle.”
But Sarah Jane says she was scared of what her daughter’s reaction would be to her inkings - until she revealed she had the child's name and date of birth on her face.
She said: "I went on a Facetime with her a couple of months ago and I was a bit concerned she wouldn’t recognise me but she didn’t say anything.
"But a few minutes in I told her and pointed to her name and birthday and she was shocked but in a happy way."
However the Essex mum says not everyone has been so accepting of her face tattoos and says she often gets started at and quizzed by strangers, reports the Daily Star.
She said: "I get stared at and stopped a lot and I had a woman last week who pulled me and asked what my trauma was.
"I usually give a sarcastic answer and I told her it was childhood trauma and she said ‘oh I can see that and I really hope you get better’ and I was like 'cheers'. I just have a laugh with it.
"At first I was a bit concerned about walking the street publicly and what people would think,” she revealed.
"But after a week I got used to it and now I forget I have them to be honest."
The young mum is days away from being six months clean of drugs and believes the face tattoos have played a big part in keeping her clear of her demons.
Among Sarah-Jane’s face tattoos are the quotes ‘love is pain’ and ‘stand out be original’ along with a butterfly on her cheek, a tattoo that covers up a previous tattoo of a crying angel.
A barmaid by day, Sarah-Jane is also a social media star, regularly sharing her body art via TikTok with her more than 74,000 followers, under the name ‘essexink’.
After getting her first tattoo at 18, Sarah-Jane said she’s now lost count of her current tattoo number but she has her favourites, including a portrait of Halloween’s Michael Myers on her arm.
“I’ve always liked a man in a mask,” she said as to why it’s among her most liked inks.
While she already has quite the body art collection, Sarah-Jane says her aim is to get her whole body covered in ink as soon as possible.
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