Thank you everyone who sent messages of support to me after last weeks column.
Day by day I am starting to feel better, and have been getting out and about a little more. My first public outing was to the fantastic Festival Of Dogs, up at Collet Park in Shepton Mallet last weekend.
The sun was shining, and there was an abundance of wet noses, waggy tails, and smiling faces. We took along our two very excited husky dogs, who got lots of fuss and cuddles and made lots of new friends. There were lots of fun dog shows, an agility course, birds of prey and reptile handlers, lots of delicious food stalls including the popular hog roas by Pigalicious and even a gorgeous vintage caravan, which had been upcycled into a dog bakery, selling homemade canine treats. The festival was also an opportunity for local charities and community groups to raise their profile.
I spoke to Peter Bradshaw from Shepton Mallet Dementia Action Alliance , who told me about some upcoming sessions which are being run increase dementia awareness, and will aim to make Shepton a dementia friendly community. The talks are free and are on Thursday 21st June , 6pm at St. Cecilia Nursing home & Friday 22nd June , 12 noon at the library. My husband helped out the the Royal British Legion stall, where people were able to sponsor large poppies, to be displayed around the town in the build up to this years Remembrance Day. The Festival Of Dogs was much more than just about dogs, it brought our whole community together, it educated, inspired and entertained.
Well done to everyone involved! If anyone is interested , my favourite dog was Teddy the fluffiest Chow Chow I’ve ever seen, from Norah Fry area apparently! Apart from attending a few events, and meetings, I also finally decided to get my hip & lower back sorted. Since doing the Glastonbury Road Run, I have not been walking or running and I know that exercise keeps my depression a bay.
There was only one man for the job, Ben Gait from Mendip Chiropractic, on the High Street He’s worked miracles on my husband, and friends,yet I’ve been too scared to go. All that twisting and clicking scares the life out of me!
Well I needn’t have worried. Ben’s calm, reassuring and friendly tone put me at ease. His knowledge and passion for his work is really inspiring. He explained everything to me simply, and having limped into his office, anxious and pained I walked out confident and tall. I’ll need more sessions, but I’m looking forward to that now. I do wish that proven holistic medical treatments like this, were available on the NHS. For things like back pain, all GP’s will do is dish out painkillers which don’t fix the problem only mask the pain. Get along to Mendip Chiropractic, and experience a different level of whole body healing. I’m away on my hols this week, but you can follow my instagram story at @mrsbrysonbanks
The sunshine is finally here, and I really need it. I’ve struggled with my mental health over the last couple of weeks, I’d been feeling fine then a bout of depression just hit me like a tonne of bricks and it was really scary. It seems no amount of yoga, green smoothies or essential oils can hold back the black dog when he comes howling. Though all of those this do help me alot usually. All I could do was submit to that awful feeling of hopelessness, and pray that others understood as I sent lots of apologetic emails and texts explaining why I was unable to fulfil my normal commitments. They say it’s ok to not be ok. And I had some very touching facebook messages when my status updates became worryingly morose. However, I still felt really guilty as I was unable to fulfil my role as mother, wife, daughter, volunteer, blogger or columnist- so it didn’t feel ok at all.
I didn’t get back to feeling normal straight away. I had to be kind to myself and take it easy. The warm weather and sunshine lifted my spirits and gradually the dark cloud began to pass. I’d signed up to do the Glastonbury Road Run again this year, and despite a painful hip- I was determined to complete my 3k challenge.
I remember running it for the first time last year, I was so proud. In my mind, this year I would smash my personal best, be two stone lighter, and look like a professional athlete as I glided over the finish line to loud cheers. In reality, I’m about the same weight ( though less puffy thanks to ditching the booze) my hip popped about two minutes in to the race meaning I was overtaken by about twenty Millfield school kids and a toddler, it was 23c and in the end I hobbled my way round and just about managed a victory ‘limp run’ to the finish line.
I had a lovely day though, it did my mental health the world of good. My husband and kids came to cheer me on, and afterwards we went home to enjoy the rest of our bank holiday weekend in the sunshine.
We were smuggly prepared for the sizzling pre-summer temperatures with a pop up gazebo, sparkling clean bbq, self lighting coals and ofcourse the 6ft paddling pool. I sank onto my lounger, sunhat on, magazine in hand and elderflower fizz at the ready. I was living the dream for all of ten minutes. Next came the familiar cries of “Aaaah the water is freeeezing, there’s bugs in it, he splashed me in the eye!” from the kids, and “ Stupid thing’s gone too hot , the burgers are burning. I thought you’d done the dog poos, I almost stepped in one, where’s my blimming beer?” From my husband “ Then finally … “Can’t we just go indoors and play on our ipads?” Ah, the great British summer.
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)