Medicine is...Tattoos with Michael Potter

First words

This series takes a look at the different kinds of Medicine that are used in recovery.  

In each entry, we give an example of how someone uses Food, Movement, Tattoos, Work, Art, Practice, etc. to bring relief from the pains of an addictive past, as well as an experience of moving forward into a better future.


Medicine is...Tattoos: Michael Potter

This post features Michael Potter and how he has used tattoos in his recovery.  I “met” Michael online via the recovery social media network and he’s been kind enough to share his experience of how this works for him.





What are the tattoos that helps you in recovery?

The door plate tattoo has a few meanings for me.



What is it about this tattoo that gives you Medicine?

First is the idea of locking away my addictions. The death’s head is a symbol of addiction. I also see it that the death’s head is my reflection being reflected on the plate. To peer into the keyhole is death for me. 

It is a tattoo of the underworld. It reminds me that I can walk back and unlock my passage back to my past (…on my leg I have a tattoo of a key) to walk to the liquor store or a dealer.




What is the next tattoo?

The second tattoo is the tree of life/knowledge. 



What is it about this tattoo that gives you Medicine?

The semi colon is to show others I am a survivor of addiction and of suicide. The three birds are years I have in recovery. This is my warrior tattoo to show my strength to others but also my badge of a healer for others in the same place I was.






It's interesting that you've got that other tattoo holding the key to the first tattoo's doorplate. Can you explain that a little more?


So that is the key tattoo. I got it before I even got the lock. It is on my right side of my right calf. I have to say that the Gods had a hand (no pun intended) in this whole experience.


The designs are nearly identical. My key has so many different symbol interpretations. One way you can see it is I can always walk toward my addictions and unlock that demon at anytime.




The artist is Kevin Lamontagne. He’s the owner of Skin Deep Tribal in Hooksett, NH. He’s will be doing both my arm sleeves slowly but surely.

Thanks again to Michael for sharing his Medicine of tattoos.  He can be reached at his Instagram account: Michaelpotter7234





Connection: What's Your Medicine?

Tattoos?  Movement?  Food?  Music?  Art?  Practice? I'd love to find out what your favorite Medicines are and how you use them in your sobriety. If you feel like sharing, let's connect:

Email me here

or FaceBook here

Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts about this blog and the entire series.

With Blessings,

Randy Lyons