My name is Haley and I am so glad you've found me here!
I am a mental health + personal growth blogger, a social work student (Boston, USA), reiki level II certified, and an ambassador for Worth Living.
I am not your average 20 year old. I am an intuitive, old soul. In fact, I never felt like I "fit in" and I am just beginning to be OK with that.
This site is authentically me. I am honest, vulnerable, and I hope to inspire others to leave their comfort zone and share their own story.
to spread awareness
(and perspective) that everyone has their struggles. Be kind to people, always.
to shut down the stigma
surrounding mental illness by educating others.
with other empaths, highly sensitive individuals (HSP), and other INFJ types.
others to live their best life, a life of acceptance, as the person they already are.
I grew up in a small, rural New England town. I certainly grew up with an understanding of community, but I also grew up with an understanding of judgment. In small towns, people talk about small things. Whose grass is greener. It is difficult to avoid comparison. This always bothered me. I was an intuitive, and a highly sensitive child. I was attuned to almost everything. I was quiet, but I observed intently, and would feel things overwhelmingly.
I would pick up on the gossip of adults at my friend's birthday parties, saying they would only let their daughter play with the "pretty girls" in the class. I was in 3rd grade, and I was very bothered by this.
I would pick up on my peers whispering and laughing, when I would choose to sit with the new kid at the lunch table.
I was surrounded by messages in my town and in the media, telling me that image would define you. I did not understand. I listened, but I questioned. I still was not convinced, there had to be more.
I was taught that some things, are nobody's business, and we should keep things private. Whether it was a complex family situation, our financial status, etc, I wasn't to share a word. For most of my life, I listened, but I applied this to everything I would do. I never enjoyed being noticed, and this was one way I was taught that would mean I wouldn't be. When big things happened at home, I went to school with a smile on my face because it was nobody's business. But as I got older "keeping things private" seemed less to do with entitlement, but a fear of vulnerability becoming visible. I realized that many of us paint a picture (hypothetically) of how we want others to see us. We remove the imperfections, we share the best parts of ourselves, and hope no one will notice the rest.
As a child, I would write stories, and spend most of my time in the woods behind my house. My teachers had always told my parents I was "a quiet girl", but truly my mind was always busy. I had so many thoughts, so many questions, so much I noticed, so much to say, but where should I start?
At home, I was always singing, dancing, highly animated. I would climb trees wearing dresses with tights, I had imaginary friends, and I was fascinated with books on fairies.
I have always been very clear about who I am and what makes my soul shine. If my mom saw something in a store she would say "this is very Haley!" A video of another person doing something silly or dancing around looking like a fool, "that's very Haley."
I was very expressive, my facial expressions, my body language, my voice. My grandmother would tell my mother, "you gotta throw that kid in a play!" But at school, or in front of a large group, I was anxious, I was quiet, I preferred not to be noticed. I actually dreaded being noticed.
On the school bus, I would look out the window, looking forward to dropping my backpack on my dining room floor. I would take off for the woods with my journal in my hand.
But, those pictures I mentioned- which people are always painting-
I painted my own picture, too.
I tried not to.
I never knew why I did.
Why I was seen to be two completely different people in and out of closed doors.
It may sound odd to some, but I grew up with this feeling, or knowing, that I was here for something big. I have always been future-oriented and a big dreamer because of it. When self-doubt and overwhelming emotions crept in, I felt thrown off course.
During my high school years, I reached a point where things from my childhood had developed into major stressors. I struggled with my health, my self-esteem. I questioned just about everything about myself. I questioned the "point" of this life. I questioned my ability to succeed. I questioned whether or not I was a burden.
I experienced heartache after losing my grandfather, the decline of my health, and affects trauma had on my family. I was losing a lot of weight. Blood tests, doctors appointments, all telling me everything was normal. I was dizzy, shaking, crying to my mother that this was not normal. I felt a loss of control over my own body. Trauma had attached itself to me. At 17, I recall wondering if I would make it to my high school graduation. The me that would be dancing in the kitchen in her pajamas, cracking jokes, and making others laugh, was hard to find. Pain manifested itself with my physical and mental health. I stopped eating, stopped sleeping, stopped taking care of myself. I worried a lot of people. In the spring of my senior year I was sent by ambulance for inpatient hospitalization. I continued to ask myself, how did I get myself here? How? This was not supposed to be me.
My healing came with a bout of resilience, and major realizations of how I fit in this world. Just like my childhood, I was told that "nobody needs to know" what happened to me. My hospitalization for my mental health was a private, personal matter.
What if my honesty, my story could help another find their own healing?
& that is why I'm here :)
I honor my inner child by bringing my love for nature and writing back into my life.
I try not to hide anymore. I express myself by writing my story.
My awareness of my sensitivity has given me the tools to thrive, and feel more in control. I have been an empath, a highly sensitive person (HSP), for as long as I can remember. Because of this, I can feel overwhelmed, and overstimulation in certain environments.
I continue to educate myself on the mind+body connection.
& I encourage others to write (share) their own story by living authentically.
"VeryHaley" in other words, this is me.