May 14, 2021 – I kind of was like, ‘I’ve already been to prison, how much more can it hurt to get my face tattooed?’ and I really didn’t realize what I was getting myself into,” Zebrasky said.

Zebrasky dealt with hateful comments from friends and strangers alike.

“The things that people were saying about me like ‘oh she’s always going to be a junkie, she’s never going to stop using drugs,’” Zebrasky said. “I’m more hurt than anything because people make these assumptions by just looking at me and I’m not a mean person.”

Joanna Mannon, the co-occurring diagnosis family coordinator at the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Lake County said those kinds of comments stem from ignorance.

“It’s more than making a choice. Folks want to be well, and it’s difficult. There’s a disease process that happens in the brain,” Mannon said. “And the truth is that on social media, folks roast other people and shame others and make fun of others. And it just compounds this terrible weight of stigma on individuals.”

Zebrasky said the negativity piled onto her pain stemming from mental health issues that have gone untreated since childhood.


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