Nicole. Norfolk, VA.

“When people see me, they see a girl that looks happy and someone who acts silly. When I look at myself, I see the real me. The girl that battles with depression constantly. I also see a girl, that has learned to understand those depressed feelings and project them into writing. I always have my phone or some paper on me because at any given moment I may need to write. My poems are pretty dark and my stories can be pretty sad because I feel as if I am writing away my depression into works of creativity. I used to wonder if depression made me a freak because maybe I wasn’t normal. That’s what society says at least. They say a mental illness is just a fake way to get attention, that you can just “get over it if you really want to.” But it really isn’t that simple. Thanks to writing and music though, I no longer feel like I’m not normal. Maybe when I act silly or make funny faces I’m not normal, but I like being weird in that way. I didn’t like being “not normal” because my brain was lacking certain chemicals. I am normal. My illness is not fake, it’s real, but it doesn’t define who I am. I am not my label. I’m just me, and every part of me is perfect and beautiful.”