It began with relentless bullying. The pain was transformed into a mission to take her message to the community through artwork in support of the cause, ‘To Write Love On Her Arms,’ and a truly inspiring story. Tuesday, September 4th, Tabitha Clough paid a thank-you visit to Pomegranate Health Systems to present CEO Angela Nickell and the acute therapy team with an impressive artwork at a reception in recognition of her voyage. The artwork is a large canvas featuring many voices, following a theme of hope, growth, and love coming through expressive color and design. A Plexiglas overlay features words of encouragement from visitors to Tabitha’s art show held this past summer, which raised thousands of dollars for the cause, ‘To Write Love On Her Arms’. See www.twloha.com.
Make sure to read the ‘vision’ page of the website, which states: “You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters.” There is also a blog for this non-profit organization, which serves as a bridge or link to additional professional help sources.
“Doing this artwork meant a lot to me. It made me feel so much better. I thought it would be really cool to make an art piece. You guys really helped me to change. So many artists represent things through their work, from many backgrounds, expressing the things that have happened to them. Everyone that came, put encouraging thoughts on it. I designed it so everyone could see it, read it, be touched by it; to give them encouragement that ‘this is going to be a really good place for me,’” Tabitha explained to the assembled staff, with encouragement from her Dad. Pomegranate CEO, Angela Nickell, thanked her and said, “Many adolescents come in with the same issue. Bullying is a huge problem across the country.” The new artwork will hang in the acute admission room to share her inspiring message as each new client comes in.
Tabitha explained, ‘Whenever I hear of friends facing bullying, I confront it. I have developed a really strong heart, a passion for people going through it, and put it out there. I used to sketch and draw before this, but after my stay here, I have been doing art as a way of coping. I’m going to go to school and be an art therapist like Darci,” she continued. (Darci is Pomegranate’s acute hospital art therapist) Tabitha described her healing process through her art since she discharged from Pomegranate, once black canvases- now with “neon bright light breaking through the darkness.” Her dad interjected, ‘You can see the difference like night and day since she left Pomegranate. She definitely expresses herself. The artwork is not completely all dark now.’
When asked what the 1st thing to do when facing bullying is, and how she’d counsel other teens, Tabitha said, “The most important thing is to just brush it off. You don’t have to believe what they say. They just want you to be upset. Know that you’re better than what they say. You’re here for a purpose. Every person is amazing in their own way!’ Way to go Tabitha, and thank you for your inspiring story of surviving bullying!
[Photo caption: Tabitha presents artwork to Darci, art therapist in appreciation for care received at Pomegranate Health Systems acute hospital]