My name is Haley Tiffany and I am so glad you've found me here!
I am a mental health + personal growth blogger, a social work major (Boston, USA), and an ambassador for Worth Living.
I am not your average 19 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.
I believe if we all are more accepting and open about our past struggles, there will be less judgement, and more empathy in the world.
That is where I stand.
2 years ago, I created a blog, as writing was the only way I could express myself during a rocky time. For someone with social anxiety, it has been my savior, and an amazing coping strategy and outlet.
Now, here I am! Sharing it with you!
- to spread awareness (and perspective) that everyone has their struggles. Be kind to people, always. I am not ashamed of my struggles, and in many ways I want to thank them for inspiring me to reach out to others about issues that affect so many in the world.
- shut down the stigma surrounding mental illness by educating others. I am NOT my anxiety. It is a piece of me, but it is not who I am.
- to connect with other empaths, the highly sensitive person (HSP), and other INFJ types.
- to guide others to live their best life, a life of acceptance, as the person they already are.
I have been an empath, a HSP, for as long as I can remember. Because of this, I would feel overwhelmed, and overstimulation in most environments. Today, my understanding of my sensitivity has given me the tools to thrive, and feel more in control. Though, I had been traveling a winding road before this realization or self-discovery sat in the palm of my hands.
Growing up, I experienced a lot of change.
I coped with change and the worries associated with it, through escapism. I had imaginary friends, an imaginary family, an imaginary world in my backyard. I would write stories of adventure, and sit on my bedroom floor reading books about a faerie realm I wanted to be a part of.
I lived in my head. My favorite places (still are) were the woods, and the ocean. In school, I found it incredibly difficult to focus. I wanted to be elsewhere.
As I got older, it was harder for me to live in my head. I was faced with medical concerns, a heart condition, and an autoimmune disease. My physical health was my (and my family's) number one priority, but I was never educated about how physical and mental health can go hand in hand. I was always tired. I would fall asleep at family parties, I would go from being freezing to hot, and my moods shifted beyond the average teenager. I found it difficult to maintain energy, to keep up with my cousins, and it took more work for me to feel happy.
More changes occurred. Enduring, and witnessing trauma, my parents divorce, the passing of my grandfather, and moving out of my childhood home/sanctuary.
I believed I had everything together. I was in control, life was good. Little did I know, I was fighting far too hard. I was taking on adult roles, and taking care of everyone but myself. I no longer was absorbed in the imaginary, and the real world was too overwhelming.
May 2015, my world turned upside down. I suffered from daily anxiety attacks, IBS, and was too ashamed to talk about it. I believed I was never going to get better, my anxiety would never leave me, and my future would be impossible to manage. I started seeing a therapist, realizing I did need to talk if my health was keeping me from making it through a class period, let alone a school day.
I was told I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, with a possibility of PTSD symptoms. Now I was absorbed in the labels. At first I was hopeful. Those labels meant that there was a reason for why I feel the way that I do, and it would be easier to get help for those things. But as time went by, I continued to struggle, and I left that therapist due to a lack of connection. The labels did not help my healing as much as I thought they would.
I felt hopeless. I found it difficult to ask for help. I found it difficult to talk about something I was so very ashamed of. I felt crazy with my irrational thoughts. I didn't know any better than to bottle them up. When the idea of writing came up, a lightbulb almost went off. I have always been a writer, a story teller. I created my own adventures. This time, I was trying a new, and more uncomfortable approach. I would be writing about me. My thoughts, my weaknesses, my story. I have been healing through the written word since.
Where did "Very Haley" come from?
My site is named "Very Haley" for a reason. 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!" Or a video of another person doing something silly or dancing around looking like a fool, "that's very Haley." In other words, this is me. I fall down, I get up, and this is my story. Very Haley. As real as can be.
Click the picture below to learn more about me, and one of my most favorite self discoveries.