By VOCAL member Tammy Ozolins
I had a vision of my first tattoo and I knew exactly what I wanted it to say. I was going to leave it up to the tattoo artist to do the design. I was so nervous, though, this was going to be my first one. Thank goodness for one of my closest friends Amy coming with me. The word “Strength”, was chosen because, that is what is needed every day for me to fight my Bipolar and keep on with my journey. I put a cross for the second “T” because my faith is so important to me. I know without God’s strength I would not be where I am today. I almost lost my life once by a suicide attempt, been hospitalized twice, but now I am living in recovery. Living with Bipolar has made me as strong as I am. That strength is so important especially for those days I have an episode (which do occur still). Plus, the tattoo covers up the scars from my years of cutting. I also realize that those scars are my journey, so not all of them we covered up, but every time when I see them, it reminds me of how far I have come in my journey. It takes strength for everyday people to live and get through the day, but it takes STRENGTH for me to live with this mental illness. I want people who are suffering from a mental illness, find their STRENGTH inside of them it is there, use it to get thru those rough days. I am here if anyone needs it or wants to talk.