"A lot of people just know me as the woman behind DMX," Simmons told Niteside at the Tuesday night launch of her non-profit Women of Strength at Taj Lounge.
"There's so much more to me than that. I was definitely his support team, but there's comes a point when there's nothing you can do. I was losing myself."
Simmons, who married DMX in 1999, separated from the artist just two weeks after he was released from prison on drug charges. She said she began the non-profit to help women cope with abuse and abandonment.
"A lot of women who are married to someone in hip-hop or in the industry deal with drugs," Simmons said. "I'm not quiet about that because the more I talk about it the more people will say, 'Yes, I'm dealing with that.' No one wants to talk about that."
Simmons is also writing a book that mirrors the title of her non-profit. "Strength of a Woman" is not a salacious tell-all but a memoir about her life, she said.
Despite how far she's come in her relationship, Simmons still calls DMX her best friend.
"I spoke to him today. He wished me luck and everything," Simmons said. "I always pray for him everyday because had it not been for him, I wouldn't be the woman I am today."