Mental Health - With Kori Swabey

Are you lucky enough to have never had to feel the effects of mental health? Fortunately I am.


Mental health is something that 5 years ago I didn’t even believe in. My response once was ‘attention seeker’ and I’m not proud to say that but it’s true, I was uneducated & blind to it. It’s something that only in the last few years has become something people who suffer have started speaking out about.


I recently read a book that said if you have never been effected by mental health issues then you can never understand how exhausting it is to wake up everyday and live with them.

So this week I decided to ask one of my best friends who has struggled with mental health his whole life some questions so you could read about what it’s like first handedly!


I’ve known Kori for years, I know why he struggles and find it LITERALLY mind blowing that someone can be so strong. So many people suffer due to past trauma & horrible things that have happened to them, but very few actually talk about their problems because they feel it’s embarrassing or it makes them weak. It’s actually the complete opposite!


I asked him some questions and this was his response..


What’s your story?

My name is Kori Paul Swabey, I’m 25 years old and I’m a little bit of everything.. I think of myself as a chameleon, not in appearance, but life itself. If I feel down, I’ll write about it and turn it into something that makes me happy, like music. If I’m bursting with positivity, I’ll probably shout about that too, I’m pretty open when it comes to mental health now, because for as long as I can remember I have felt caged. I live with PTSD, anxiety and depression. I’m emotionally unstable, but I’m here and that I am proud of. I don’t let life experiences and trauma define me, yes I live with the affects of those things, but I use them to create change and to educate those around me on how to better manage their own demons. I’m still learning how to manage mine, but I’m getting there.


How long have you suffered with mental health?

I’ve been fighting my mind for as long as I can remember, I have always felt different, alone and allowed small minded people around me to convince myself that their words are true.. that I’m weak, lazy and “just not working hard enough to be like everyone else” but in reality, it’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to not be like everyone else or to be “thriving” in ways that they are, because I am thriving in ways that they aren’t.


Do you think there is a stigma attached to mental health?

I know there is, I feel it every day. I do believe that times are changing, we are opening up a lot more but there is still so much more work to do. For so long I felt embarrassed about talking about my feelings, but they matter, they’re mine and no feeling is “right or wrong”. Men especially have this stigma attached to them, that we can’t cry, feel or show any emotion other than strength and power.. but I ask this “What is more powerful than using our voices? What is stronger than fighting back against our minds?” & to that, I say “nothing”.


What would you tell your younger self suffering with mental health problems?

Speak up sooner, reach out and even though you feel alone, the world around you feels it too and the good days are coming. Think about those good days, think about how far you’ve already come & know you’re going further and even though you’ve hurt, you have survived and soon you will thrive.


How are you feeling right now?

I have good days and bad, just like everybody else, but the conditions I live with do make some days harder to live with than others. I take my medication and speak with therapists most days of the week, which I am grateful for. I have a great support system & as I’m typing this, I feel great. I feel stable, happy and healthy.


How would you advise somebody who is also suffering from mental health?

Find something that you feel is your purpose and hold onto it, fight for it and you will get to where you want to be. Surround yourself with those you feel safe with, loved by and who build you up. Remember that YOU are in charge of your own happiness and if anything affects your happiness, remove it from your life.. hate the job? Quit. Unhappy in a relationship? Leave. Tired of negativity from family members? You CAN also cut them out & never let anybody make you feel guilty for putting yourself first. Life is too short to allow anybody in life to dim your shine & you will never fully be happy unless you start to say “no”, say “no more” to whatever you feel uncomfortable with or that you find isn’t beneficial to your life and happiness. THAT IS SELF CARE.


What do you do to try and maintain a good mental state?

I use my safe space. I make sure I surround myself with people I love and who love me. I take time to myself when I need it too, whether I need a walk, a nap or to chill in front of the TV. I also use the professional support around me to manage my medication and therapy services to ensure I’m receiving the care I need. Time with friends, animals and indulging in my favourite TV shows or snacks always makes me feel safe. I love my garden too, I can’t wait for the sunshine to come back so I can feel the sun on my face and hear the birds again.


Do you think it’s possible to fully recover from mental health and past traumas?

I’m no medical professional, but personally I believe that although my mental health conditions caused by trauma may be present forever, I won’t hurt forever. I believe the more I understand the illnesses and the more I push through the darkness, I will recover in some way or another. Looking back at where I was two years ago I never would have thought I’d feel the way I do about life now so who knows how much I’ll recover over the next two years.


Moving forward, do you have a vision for a future where mental health is no longer an obstacle for you?

I want closure and freedom from someone who hurt me a long time ago, but right now I’m unsure if I’ll ever get that. I’ve wanted to be truly happy for a long time & I’m working on that. Freedom is what I want in life. Pain is my obstacle right now & I’m hoping that freedom will erase some of that pain. I have worked hard to get where I am right now, I’m not yet where I want to be, but I’m closer than I was yesterday. I want anyone who reads this to know that painful life experiences do not define us, what we do to overcome them does. If you’re experiencing any distress or suffering mentally, please reach out to a medical professional & if you’re concerned about someone you know, reach out to them, let them know that you’re there and care. Research ways to help support them or you too can reach out to a medical professional on their behalf to educate yourself on how to support their needs.

Thank you for reading my story, thank you for fighting on and thank you for being YOU. You matter, you are loved & you will be heard.




Despite not having suffered myself from any mental health problems, I now understand that mental health isn’t a choice, but the way you respond to it is. Everyone’s path is different.

My amazing friend Kori has wrote a song that is available to buy on Apple Music, it’s is called ‘Will you ever feel what I feel’ it’s a song addressing the trauma he’s faced & the money from every song brought gets donated to First Light - a charity helping people with domestic abuse & sexual violence.


I have posted the link below, if you can please show your support and purchase his song for 79p.

He’s amazingly talented and is one of the bravest people I know.


Will You Ever Feel What I Feel? - Single by Kori Paul Swabey