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About these photos: “I like to think of the new year as an opportunity for rebirth. It’s a time to reflect – or if you’ve had a tough year like me to try not to reflect – and look ahead to the limitless possibilities. In this spirit I decided to get a new tattoo. Since my inpatient unit was not locked this time I was able to escape and go get it while in treatment – that is, once I convinced the doctors and staff that it was not impulsive or self-harm. I wanted to get something that would be inspirational on my path to recovery, so I got a phoenix on my ankle/foot to symbolize rebirth, rising from the ashes of depression (as well as anxiety, self-harm, bipolar, etc.), and recovery. I think it is wonderful to have a visual reminder of positive progress on the path to recovery – and what could be more appropriate for someone with bipolar than a symbol for cyclical regeneration? After 2 years of daily struggle, hopefully 2013 will be a year of rising for me, as well as the other people of Broken Light and beyond struggling with mental health issues.”