Poet, musician, and artist Nicotine on the reality of Depression

We spoke with poet, musician, and artist Nicotine! She is definitely going to shake things in Houston with her amazing voice and messages. Nicotine was excited to drench the audience with her truth. 

What inspires you to write poetry and music? What obstacles have molded you into the person you are today? What are you doing to prepare your future for where you would like to be as an artist wise?

My inspiration from my writing came from within me, long ago. I knew I wanted to be exactly this when I was just a child. I write about my life - my experiences, and my aspirations.

My life has never been easy, but it was not the hardest. I have had to and am still trying to overcome many things such as my depression, family issues, insecurities, and an abusive relationship. All of these things have somehow boiled together to create a strange soup of clarity. I am thankful for every negative moment in my life, because each one taught me a lesson and I grew. I feel unchainable. There is no limit to my work, my voice. I am the only thing that could ever stop me - and I would NEVER do such a thing.

For my future, I have quite a few things planned. I want to release new music constantly. I perform quite often, but I would like to get to the point where I have at least one show per week. I am going to be traveling a lot more, starting in 2016, for my music and other things that I like to do (acting/modeling/art direction/etc.). There are many other things I have planned, but I would rather just do them and show everyone, instead of trying to explain my vision. It would be easier for you all to understand that way.

I want to go deeper in all of the things you have and are trying to overcome. How did you overcome them or how are you dealing with them?

The obstacles in my life seem to be never ending. Just when I think I have defeated my depression, her cold, clammy grip sneaks up behind me and pulls me back down. I have been fighting this ongoing battle for as long as I can possibly remember. Some days I refuse to get out of my bed. I refuse to eat, or speak to anyone at all. It is a complicated feeling, well at least for me it is, because I know that I am okay - that I am safe. However, my brain constantly tells me that everything is going wrong and that I am a failure. My own brain is my worst enemy and my best motivation. Because of the negativity inflicted onto myself, I work even harder to prove that part of my brain wrong. That is how I overcome my depression. I make beautiful music. I write it away and send letters of my success into the universe, and I smile.

The abusive relationship that I was in is still a secret to most people, including my family. I still do not really know how to tell them, especially my mother. I know that her heart would fall to her stomach and she would get extremely ill, for this was one of the dangers of love that she always warned me about. I loved him dearly. I took care of him, his friends, and his family. I spent all of my days with him and I could not imagine myself with anyone other than him. He had a couple bad habits, and I fell victim when he fell under the control of those habits. I have the blessing and curse of forgiveness. In addition, for a while, due to experiences I had growing up, I thought that to forgive, meant to take back. I had to experience the countless beatings and disrespect, to truly realize that this is NOT what forgiveness means. I do not have to sit here and take this. This is NOT what love is. He did NOT love me. I LOVE ME. I forgive him for all that he has done to me, and I wish him nothing but great things. But I never will I ever settle for anything that I do not deserve again in my life.

Why do you feel that you are still depressed? Where do the insecurities come from? 

Living with depression has molded me into the caring person that I am today.

One thing about depression that people often misinterpret is that it’s something that cannot just be shut off. If I could wake up one morning and flip the switch, I most definitely would. However, at the same time, I am very appreciative of my illness, as twisted as that sounds. Living with depression has molded me into the caring person that I am today, along with any other things. I take time out of my day to reach out and uplift those that I see struggling with inner and/or external battles. I let them know that they are not alone and that if no one else will love them, I will. Everyone deserves that love. Absolutely everyone.

My insecurities come from any different things. I was my mother’s only black child, so often I would be treated differently. I fought a lot in elementary school, due to racism thrown from bullies. I hated who I was because I did not understand who I was. When I got to middle school, I was the ONLY girl who had experienced puberty. My bra cup was a C in the sixth grade, and I had stretch marks all around my body. I felt so out of place. I could not wear certain types of clothing, or else I would be deemed a “hoe” by my peers, as well as my own mother.

At the age of 11, two boys took me advantage of and it changed my entire life. I began to fear men, and it is a fear that I still hold on to today. For years, I covered my body with huge jackets and jeans. I did not want to be seen. However, I broke that shell my junior year in high school, and embraced my body. I embraced my pain and I grew from it. I KNOW that I am beautiful. I know that I am worthy of happiness, and safety. There are many girls out there who have felt just like I did, and I just want them to know that things will get better. You will be able to trust a man again. You will be able to love. It just takes self-love first. You have to make sure to love yourself before you try to love anyone else.

Nicotine shed an amazing perspective on depression, and we loved how she was able to share the way she overcame depression. We hope her story inspires others.