U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says she wants to get better and stronger before deciding if she will return to Congress.

Giffords, D-Ariz., made the comments -- "better," "stronger" -- in response to a question from ABC News' Diane Sawyer in a nationally televised interview Monday evening.

Giffords, shot through the left side of her brain on Jan. 8 on Tucson's suburban northwest side, struggled to form a sentence in response to Sawyer's question. Giffords' husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, chimed in, saying, "She wants to get better."

"Stronger," Giffords added.

The hour-long broadcast included the first spoken words by Giffords that the public has heard since the Jan. 8 shooting in which six people were killed and 13, including the congresswoman, were wounded.

The program included video of Giffords in the first days after the shooting, her face blackened with bruises and swollen, bandages covering her wound. Additional video included moments in her recovery over the last 10 months working with therapists to regain the ability to speak and walk. Kelly said he had the videos taken to memorialize for her what he said he knew would be her comeback.

Giffords also recorded an audio message to her constituents in Southern Arizona, which can be heard on her Facebook page. Here's what she said:

"Hello, this is Gabby Giffords.

"I miss you. I miss Tucson, the mountains, blue skies, even the heat.

"I'm getting stronger. I'm getting better.

"It has been a hard year - for all of us. Thinking about that day makes me sad. Six people died. Six innocent people. So many people hurt.

"There is lot to say. I will speak better.

"I want to get back to work. Representing Arizona is my honor.

"My staff is there to help you. They keep me informed on your behalf.

"I miss you, I miss home. I will see you real soon.

"Thank you."