A mother-of-two from Torrington has channelled her mental health struggles into a new poetry collection.
Harriet Knock’s book Emerging from the Storm covers the raw reality of her battle with anorexia, self-harm and depression, as well as her road to recovery.
She hopes her collection of poems will break the stigma surrounding mental health and remind others they are not alone.
The 23-year-old has always had a passion for writing, and said being able to put pen to paper and write down her feelings has been a huge benefit to her mental health.
She said it was a ‘life-long dream’ to be able to release a book.
Harriet said: “Writing is my release and focus, to turn any negative energy into something positive and creative.
“I thought sharing my experiences of battling with mental health problems, through emotive poetry, would be a unique way to express my story and connect with others that may be struggling.
“So far the response has been amazing. I’ve had quite a lot of positive feedback, which really makes it so worthwhile for me.
“For my words to even help one person - makes it feel like the dark times I once experienced were worth it.”
“Living with mental health problems can be incredibly isolating, so by writing this book I hope I can reach people that need to feel empathy and understanding.
“It really helped bring me closure to be able to share my story and speak up about my life with mental health problems, in a way no one has seen or heard before.
“I wanted to delve into the reality and issues that are deeper than the standard conversations around mental illness.
“I want to help break the stigma and to remind others, that no matter what your struggles are, you are NEVER alone.”
Harriet has battled mental health problems since she was 15 years old and with the help of professional support, including cognitive behaviour therapy, she has overcome anorexia, depression and self-harm.
She said while she still battles with anxiety, having her family makes her determined to face it.
“Some days I don’t even want to leave the house, everything feels overwhelming and daunting,” said Harriet.
“It would be easy to let it consume me but I have to push on for my family.
“I think it’s very important to remember to take things day by day, you can’t get over things overnight.
“Recovery isn’t linear and even when you’re better you can still have set backs, this is ok and doesn’t mean you’re failing. Strive for progress not perfection.”
Published by Arkbound, Emerging from the Storm is available now.