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Overcoming My Fear of Needles

Ever since I was young, I have been terrified of needles. It started after a nasty accident involving my foot, a rusty nail, and a tetanus shot, and increased exponentially when I got my ear lobes pierced twice. The television show Miami Ink jump-started my interest in body modification when I was fifteen, but I knew that sadly, I would never be able to take my own mods further than the four holes I already had in my ears. There was no getting over this fear; my phobia of needles was so intense that numerous times I had refused IVs in hospitals and required restraint to receive vaccines.

However, as I got older, more and more things peaked my interest in the body modification world, and I knew that one day I would have to come face-to-face with my fear if I wanted to pursue this interest of mine. I contemplated piercing my own lip with the mindset that perhaps if I did it myself, I would be more trusting of the environment and would not panic. However, my better judgment and common sense kicked in before I took the needle to myself. Not only would it be really stupid of me to do, but I would have had a higher chance of nerve damage and infection. I decided that my best option would be to do some research, buck up, follow Nike's slogan and Just Do It!

After searching online for customer reviews and what to look for in a good piercing location, I finally decided on Hellbent Tattoos and Piercings in Arlington. Their website was immensely helpful to me. It offered FAQs over piercings and tattoos, and even had a preview area where I could look at other customers and their finished products. There were areas about their artists and pictures of their location, including the different work stations for piercing and tattoos. I knew that this had to be the right place for me.

Before I went in, I took a nap to relax myself. I woke up, ate a salad, brushed my teeth, grabbed my mother, and we went on our merry way. Texas State Laws require anyone under the age of eighteen to have a parent or guardian with them along with tons of proof of relation. Although I was fresh out of high school, I was only seventeen, so I needed to meet all of those requirements. Thankfully, we managed to acquire everything we needed. When we walked in, we browsed some of the ear jewelry selections, then got down to business. The people working there were very friendly. The environment as a whole was professional, laid back, and welcoming. I knew that I was right in picking this location to get my piercing. My only worry was that I would chicken out at the last minute, overcome by my fear of needles.

When I walked into the piercing area, I saw that Connie, my piercer, had already laid out all the materials she needed. At first I was pretty irked because, after being interested in body modification for two years, I knew that unsanitary environments can lead to too many problems and complications. However, right next to all of the instruments were the sealed packages they came from, and there were tons more air-tight, sealed bags on the counter. Their website also stressed the importance of sanitary instruments, so I had a feeling I was in safe, sanitary hands. My mind settled, I sat down as Connie marked the right side of my face. I double-checked and told her to go ahead. I did my best not to look at the needle and just stared at the ceiling. She clamped my lip and shut my eyes. This was do or die.

And I did it! When she was inserting the jewelry (I went for a stud instead of a ring), I couldn't help but mutter a few curse words because of the stinging sensation, but it didn't hurt too badly in the end. When I opened my eyes, it hit me that I had just let a needle jab itself through my flesh, and surprisingly, I wasn't that upset by it. I was kind of shaky, but mainly proud of myself.

I know a lot of people have the same fear that I do, so the advice I would give to anyone in the position where they are terrified of needles but craving a piercing would be to do what I did. Make sure you do your research and go into the studio prepared, sober, and knowledgeable. Listen to calming music before you go in, not anything to make you fall asleep, but something to just relax your mind and body. When you get there, try your best not to think about it too much if you're absolutely sure that you want to get it done.

My piercing is still healing now. It's sore at times, but all in all I'm immensely satisfied with my first facial piercing. I know I'm going to be getting more after this one heals, because I know I can handle the situation now. I literally "faced" my fear of needles and now have a reminder right on my face that I can overcome anything.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 16 June 2008
in Lip Piercing

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Artist: Connie
Studio: Hellbent+Tattoos+and+Piercings
Location: Arlington%2C+Texas

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