How the City Shrugged Off My Much Duller Lifestyle

How the City Shrugged Off My Much Duller Lifestyle

Over the years, I feel like my city has maintained my interests and helped me pass by my period of depression. This post sticks to the topic of epilepsy, although I can’t deny that talking about Manchester is a habit I wish to continue.

Growing up in Greater Manchester, I was happy enough in Sale, a decent town sat south of the metropolitan county. I made a lot of friends at Ashton on Mersey high school, and continue to stay social with many of them today.

As a teenager, I started to gather more interest in popular music. The city of Manchester has many music venues, clubs and independent stores looking to offer popular music to its fans every day of the week. A lot of music memorabilia is also for sale, and certain areas of Manchester are always looking to spread the history and culture of popular music to others.

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Paramore at the Manchester Arena

Through my teens, I thought my city was pretty interesting when it came to down to the music. But I didn’t have time to visit every place I would have enjoyed. When I was 19, I decided to head to Derby, looking to get myself a degree in BA Music Technology and Production.

But that never happened; I left after three months. If you read my previous post, you can probably guess that the reason for this cuts back to my trouble with epileptic seizures, managing AED side-effects and socialising with others. Derby didn’t seem too interesting to me either at the time, although again, I don’t think I found every place that could have gathered my interest during my short stay.

Although I was moderately depressed and disappointed with myself when I returned, I’d say Manchester was a great city to meet again. The main reason I stayed in the region is that I could talk to my family, friends and epilepsy specialist on a one-to-one basis properly without much planning. But when I started another course the University of Salford, I was still struggling to socialise with others.

My Second Attempt

Throughout university, I was always anxious and depressed. But in my spare time, I didn’t just lie on my bed and stare at the ceiling. I knew the city next door pretty well. I wanted to learn more about it.

What was offer? Well, if I was on my own, the choice was up to me. Most of the time it was a secluded journey to some interesting places. But I still had a social life, heading out to bars and clubs with old friends. I still had fun.

Classy front Pic (2)

Despite my heavy memory loss problems, I think I have a decent knowledge of what’s available in my city. I have a lot of interests in things like music, writing, reading, football, film, art, culture… In Manchester, there were a lot of places to go that just kept me entertained.

I’m Not Here To Brag

Now, I know everybody doesn’t live in Manchester. By writing this article, I’m not fighting for my right to say, “it’s the UK’s second city”. I don’t want to keep yapping on about every little positive point it has, and can’t deny that it’s got a few negatives too. However, it is a developing city, and I like to keep track of what’s happening around town as time continues.

 

There are other cities to head to if you want to have a good time. I’ve also enjoyed spending time in London, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Edinburgh. I’ve never been to Birmingham, but for some reason, it closely follows Manchester as the third most visited city by tourists in England. I’m also hoping to take a trip to Brighton soon because my mate seems to enjoy student life there, and it has praised by a lot of people I know.

Not Up to Much?

Research has shown that about 60% of people with epilepsy have had feelings of loneliness since their diagnosis. Along with anti-epileptic drug side effects, this can lead people with epilepsy into depression. In fact, around one in every six people in the UK will have depression. If you have epilepsy, your chance is about one in three.

If you’re feeling depressed, then I want to ask you a question: Do you want to try something new? Maybe you’ll sort yourself out a bit if you look around and find out if there’s something good on offer. Just browse the internet.

Search your interests in your city, and you’ll find out what’s on offer. If you’re looking for more friends, then there’s plenty of groups to join that share at least one interest with you. I’ve worked my way forward with both writing and walking groups. Maybe you want to join a canoe or karate club.

If you have epilepsy and think you’re depressed, Epilepsy Action holds information online to help you overcome it.

My City Helped Me Out

So, as I said earlier, I feel like Manchester helped me make my way through university. I’m not sure taking trips to places of interest on your own would work well for everybody, but I just got quite used to it! For me, it wasn’t that bad.

Manchester Central Library
Manchester Central Library has been a useful place that was further developed after I left university in 2012.

Still, I can’t dismiss my social media and family network. For the love of God, please don’t leave me alone now! I very much prefer heading into town and doing stuff with others.

Penthouse View of Manchester by Keith Byers

Paramore by Will House

Manchester Central Library by Tim Green

 

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