An Essex mum decided to get her face tattooed in an effort to beat her drug addiction. Sarah-Jane Howell, 27, revealed that she got hooked on drugs after getting in with the wrong crowd a couple of years ago. The barmaid decided to turn her life around and sought treatment for her addiction, and has now been clean for more than half a year.
To ease the pain of recovery and being separated from her daughter for over a year, she hit upon the novel idea of getting her face covered in tattoos.
“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,” she told the Daily Star.
“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.”
Her face tattoos include the quotes “love is pain” and “stand out be original”, along with the name and date of birth of her daughter.
She also has a butterfly on her cheek that covered up a previous tattoo of a crying angel.
Sarah-Jane recalls being somewhat nervous about revealing her new appearance to her seven-year-old in a video call.
“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,” she said.
“But a few minutes in I told her and pointed to her name and birthday and she was shocked but in a happy way.”
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Her facial tattoos have not gone unnoticed by members of the public, some of whom stop her in the street to question her about them.
In one instance, a woman stopped her and asked her what her “trauma” was.
“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’,” she explained.
“I just have a laugh with it.”
The Essex mum started getting tattoos when she was 18 and regularly shares her body art via her “essexink” TikTok page where she has 74,000 followers.
She said she doesn’t know how many she currently has but she is planning to get her whole body covered as soon as possible.
One of her favourites is a Mike Myers Halloween portrait tattoo on her arm.
Explaining why, she joked: “I’ve always liked a man in a mask.”