Interview with author of The War Stories Chronicles: Addictarium Nicole D’Settēmi on overcoming addiction & mental illness
“The War Stories Chronicles is a compilation of memoirs, journals, poetry books and other creative pieces that share my story of over-coming addiction and mental illness.”
Visionary Award Winner, Nicole D’Settemi is a bestselling Amazon author who resides in Hudson Valley, New York with her long-time partner and fellow artist, Miguel. Raised in Niagara Falls, a small town bordering Canada, Nicole has always been a self-described poetic, nomadic and creative soul. At six, she wrote her first philosophical poems and was selected for the city-wide project “Young Authors Club.”
“I am an enthusiast of a variety of artistic mediums, but consider writing my number one form of art,” Nicole explains. “Everything else is just an extension of that passion and creative outlet.”
In her late twenties she began writing novels and published her first literary fiction memoir Addictarium last year; her first instalment in The War Stories Chronicles. The series is a compilation of memoirs, journals, poetry books and other creative pieces that share her story of over-coming addiction and mental illness. Addictarium chronicles her story of years spent in a therapeutic community recovering from heroin addiction, mental and emotional illness. The book also shows her restoration from creative despair that caused a deep and darkening depression.
“I am trying something new; the series will include different mediums in creative writing, and each book or collection will tell its own unique tale,” Nicole says.
Nicole has also penned True Colors; a three-part poetry series that touches on similar themes. With her trademark style of a street-prophet poet, Nicole shares an amazing and compelling look into the life of an artist and imaginative soul that was on the very thin line between life and death, and one bottle away from an overdose.
How does The War Stories Chronicles differ from your other books?
The memoir, and poetry collection released in the War Stories Chronicles are about addiction and recovery, my other poetry collections tackle other issue in addition to these things. Creativity and genius, madness, depression, anxiety, societal issues such as feminism and racism, and more. I want to discuss a wide range of topics. Anne Sexton loved discussing topics that were hush-hush at that time, like menstruation, the holocaust, female sexuality. Now, those things aren’t such a big deal to discuss, but there’s always some things that we keep taboo, and I want to discuss those things.
Why did you want to share your story through your books?
I always wanted to write, and have always written. Wanting to share my story came with time. I knew that I wanted to write a really candid and honest literary fiction piece, and then my story came. When I was going through my addiction and especially my recovery, I met so many people, learned SO MUCH an in that invaluable environment. Then, I fell into this magical but dangerous love, and it was all just so chaotic, I knew I had a great story to share.
How did you overcome these obstacles in your life?
I started to simplify everything, and stopped feeling sorry for myself. Overcoming self-pity and loathing, is a huge step in becoming healthy and successful. I had to be able to do what I feel I was meant to; to create. Be creative.
Like, once I started writing this novel–the memoir, Addictarium, then I fell into this amazing love, and then I ended up getting a chance to perform work I love doing, and all this other great stuff happened, I was like okay, now I get it–this is pretty amazing. Life is. It can be brutal, and obtuse, and ridiculous too, but it is amazing.
Who do you suggest check out this book series?
Anybody whose suffered addiction, mental illness, family of those who have, those who enjoy literary fiction / memoirs / biographies, those in recovery, those who WANT recovery. Those who enjoy great writing / stories! Those who like raw, real love stories.
What do you suggest other people do today that are struggling with similar things in their life?
I think each person’s struggle and each person’s awakening differ. I know that for me I hadf to suffer a major physical ailment–losing eye sight in one of my eyes due to injecting bad heroin, but I really woke up when I understood my personality, and accepted things about my personality. When I could look at my flaws from the outside in, I knew I’d end up a person I didn’t want to be.
I didn’t want to squander my talents any longer walking through life, in an opium induced stupor. That was another thing–I didn’t want to waste my talent anymore. I KNEW I had gifts, and I KNEW I was going to die before I used them!
What are you currently working on writing?
Most recently I have released War Stories: Bombing Narcotica, the first poetry series in the collection. I am also penning Narcotary: Chemical Warfare, my second memoir and instalment in The War Stories Chronicles.
When Nicole isn’t writing, the former art and photographer’s model also facilitates Voyage Addictarium, a downloadable ePAPER with material on art, writing, poetry, recovery, rehabilitation, mental illness, emotional disorders and more! In 2018 Nicole will be launching Starving Artist; a blogazine and eZINE that includes all aspects of lifestyle and living for the creative.