5 Sobriety Tattoos You Probably Shouldn’t Get
Need help? Call our 24/7 helpline. 855-933-3480

5 Sobriety Tattoos You Probably Shouldn’t Get


So you’re sober now and you’ve officially begun the arduous process of cleaning up the wreckage of your past. That’s awesome, congrats! To commemorate this brave new passage of your life and your dedication to it, you might be thinking about getting a brand new Very Meaningful Tattoo. Here are five of them that you might want to…not get.

1. “No Regrets” 

Blargh. No need to expound on this one. It’s just clichéd. Boring. Unoriginal. And does anyone really, truly have absolutely no regrets (except for my hero, Madonna)? I know I have regrets, and plenty of them. Most people I know aren’t altogether psyched about or proud of every little thing they’ve ever done. The key to dealing with the memory of your missteps isn’t pretending they didn’t occur—it’s moving on and choosing not to dwell or ruminate on them.

2. Your Sobriety Date

Yeah, we all get the significance. You want to mark the powerful occasion when you finally put the bottle down and picked up faith, hope and clarity in its place. But tattooing your sobriety date on yourself is making an epic display of the idea that you’ll stay sober forever, which is laudable, if it actually happens. Sadly, it often…doesn’t.

3. The Serenity Prayer

Oh, the Serenity Prayer is totally a gorgeous prayer. It’s comforting, wise, and soothing, speaks to so many aspects of life—not just addiction, alcohol or recovery—and is in a Sinead O’Connor song. It’s almost like a personal, universal slogan or motto we should probably all constantly recite to ourselves daily. That does not mean we—or you—should get it tattooed on your bodies, however. It’s just too long and clunky, sorry.

4. The AA Symbol

It’s nice that the program means so much to you, and it’s incredible if you feel like working the steps has turned your life around. But that doesn’t make it a remotely half-decent idea to get the AA symbol permanently inked on your person. Why? Because it’s telling the whole world, including many who won’t care, you’re sober. And for two, because as much as you’d like to believe otherwise, there’s just no guarantee you’re going to stay sober, in AA, forever. Hard truth.

5. “Carpe Diem,” “Breathe,” “Strength,” “One Day At a Time,” etc. 

These are all lovely sentiments, and I realize that speaking out against them being turned into tatts might make me sound like an asshole. But you’ll look like an asshole if you get one of these vague, Hallmark-y, bullshit inspirational phrases etched on your body forevs. They’re just cheesy, you know? But do what you want! In the end it’s your bod.

Any Questions? Call Now To Speak to a Rehab Specialist
(855) 933-3480

About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and CNN.com. Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.