Hi, I’m Cory.

How do you even begin to talk about mental health?

The idea that you don’t have your shit together is a tough pill to swallow. The truth, however, is that sometimes (more than I care to admit) I don’t. Acknowledging that sucks.

I can also say that I didn’t even become aware of mental health until I was 30. 8 years later it’s still tough to process…

Back in 2009, I made a choice to pack up my life and move to New Zealand.

I was very aware that I was unhappy, but I had no idea why. So I made a choice to reset my life.

That choice was the scariest thing I had ever faced in my life, and here’s why. It wasn’t the travel, it wasn’t the loneliness, or giving up stuff, or even the unknown.

It was the idea that I would be letting the people I cared about down. I was abandoning all my accomplishments and hard work I had put into my life and the guilt of that was horrible.

Do I live my life to make my family & friends happy or do I live my life for me?

On paper, I had everything you could want. How could I possibly be unhappy with that or even consider giving it up? How could anyone support this?

Ultimately, I took the leap.

And then it happened…

Everyone was SUPER supportive. I realized that all anyone wanted for me was to be happy. The how of my happiness wasn’t really an issue (as long as I wasn’t being an asshole, of course)

Living through that experience taught me this:

The story we tell ourselves can be a real problem.

I was full of negative self-talk and it was incredibly toxic. No one was going to be upset with me for choosing to move, but the story in my head was just the opposite.

I assumed I would let people down.

I assumed people would be upset.

I assumed I wasn’t worthy of something great. I wasn’t worthy of love. Of fun. Of adventure… I wasn’t good enough.

I was destroying myself with toxic self-talk. Whether it was true or not, that story was my reality.

Moving saved me. It allowed me a chance to rewrite my story.

I let go of everything that didn’t serve me. I woke up every day doing the things I wanted. I started reading again, I painted a house, I took a silkscreening course, I rebuilt a bicycle… I was becoming me. The real me.

I was full of passion again, and that’s when I found art.

Art became a conduit for all the good and allowed me to face all the bad inside me. I used it as fuel, and after every painting, I was mentally stronger. I found that thing that had been on the tip of my tongue for 30 years and because of that, I finally started telling myself the right story.

Life had a new sense of purpose and I was HAPPY… 

I was more than enough.

Now, not everyone needs to move halfway across the world to learn that lesson. But if we face our fears (whether they be in our head or not) every day, in all facets of our lives, we fundamentally improve how we see ourselves and our overall mental health.

So be kind to yourself. Embrace who you are. Run towards it because you, my friend, are FUCKING AMAZING.