Thursday, 8 February 2018
Publication Day for The Orphans of Ardwick
They say a little of the author goes into their books and this has certainly been the case for me with my latest, out today, The Orphans of Ardwick.
Several years ago, out of the blue, I began suffering with panic attacks. Anyone who has experienced this will appreciate how horrible it is. Anxiety completely incapacitated me for a while and at one point, I could see no end to it. I was stubborn, proud and afraid - seeking help was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make.
Would people think I was weak, crazy? I hated the condition and hated myself more for being unable to control it. However, I understand now it's not something you can just 'shake off'. Professional assistance is required. There is no shame in asking for help.
None. At. All.
A round of medication later, I began to feel the real me slowly returning. The relief - and pride in myself that I'd fought through this - was indescribable. To anyone suffering in this way, please know you're not alone. Speak to a doctor. You won't regret it.
Anxiety, I believe, never really leaves us. We just learn to control it better. I still have bouts but have devised a few coping strategies that work for me. Everyone is different - what works for one person might not for another, you have to find what is right for you.
As with the sufferer in a strand of the story in The Orphans of Ardwick, I find reciting poetry helps me. Creating the character was at times difficult - dredging up my own experiences to effectively get into their head and portray the illness authentically left me drained most days. But I'm glad I did it. It proved therapeutic and, hopefully, will send the message to readers going through the same thing that help is out there. Perhaps, as my character discovers, in the most unlikely of places...
Emma Hornby is the bestselling author of gritty, Lancashire-based family sagas. Her third historical, The Orphans of Ardwick, is available now. Get your copy here.
Visit Emma's website to learn more about her and her books.