Five Star Review: Another Family Classic

After an untypically warm day in a British city, I made my way into Manchester with my mum and her partner Mike. I can’t remember doing that before, but as always, getting Manchester’s Metrolink into the city was the easiest way to travel. Dressed-up well, we jumped off at Deansgate-Castlefield and took our best guess on how to move towards the Museum of Science and Industry on Liverpool Road.

We weren’t interested in going there though – the museum was simply sat nearby and our guide to find somewhere else. When we arrived, hugs and kisses came from family and friends that attended the birthday of ‘our Lou’, Louise Haslam on her 21st birthday. Louise is my cousin Paul’s daughter, or technical my ‘first cousin once-removed’. She lives in Newcastle but never fails to be mentioned and adored by our side of the family when she joins us from up north.

Although what she drank may have hit her head the following day, she seemed very happy with everything on offer throughout that night. In fact, I can’t remember anybody attending the event who struggled to smile in what was what I’d call ‘Another Family Classic’ – a great event when every person grouping up celebrates another milestone year within somebody’s life.

Finishing in the Top Two

The hosting venue seemed attractive for all – a great Japanese restaurant I can only recommend called Sapporo Teppanyaki. My best guess is that about forty people attended, taking up two unusual tables that gave view to their food being cooked and served interestingly. Of course, Louise was top-priority, and we were all happy to see her getting the attention she deserved.

But as I arrived at the restaurant that night, I didn’t feel like my most positive self. This was because it was back in June, and around a week after I’d been released from my duller drugged-up time in Wythenshawe Hospital. I didn’t quite feel like myself – if anything, it felt like my head was ‘in a bit of a mess’.

After leaving the hospital, I could tell my brain was gradually getting better, just not straight away. But throughout that one night of spending time out in town with my family? Well, I’d say my mind got a pretty big boost out of all that as well.

I can only say what a great impact so many people put towards me: the kind words asking if I was well; people wishing me all the best; comforting conversations with the people I’m closest with. That night wasn’t all about me, but in a way, I did feel like the second most important attendee during a great night out in town.

Family Time can be Tricky to Find

Although my blog is subjected to epilepsy, I know that every person on the planet can benefit with a good family by their side. If you’re just reading this and don’t have any epilepsy-related issues to manage, then it’s something for you always to be aware of too. A stronger family threshold will lead to less stress, which isn’t good for anybody, as it often sets off seizures and causes people to lack greater happiness within their life.

When talking about Louise’s fun night out in June, I happened to be referring to a pretty large part of my family base. Specifically speaking, that night included me, my mum, my auntie, my four cousins, my three cousin-in-laws, my first cousin once-removed, my uncle, my uncle’s brother-in-law and my seven double cousins. Close friends and partners of my family also attended.

During these bigger events, it’s admittedly easier to have a good time. I am aware that building a happy family isn’t always as easy as you’d like it to be. Glitches can occur, but to be a strong member of a happy family, I think it’s important to maintain a quality role in the smaller, more personal group that can only consist of a husband, wife, son and daughter.

Useful Tips?

Despite being part of a household that consisted of my mum and me for a while, it wasn’t uncommon for me to glance at others and wonder what it’d be like to live with a brother or sister when growing up. I’ve got two half-sisters who I love, but they weren’t living with me, nor an everyday part of my life.

From what I know, most of my friends had families that held enough respect and understanding that they have all stuck together lovingly. Don’t get me wrong – plenty of stressful arguments sometimes showed up on topics that caused a fair bit of trouble for quite some time. But these things do heal, and forgiveness is the greatest tool to repair the mistakes that every person makes as time continues.

If there are members of your family that you feel uncomfortable with, then try and discover why. Have a chat with somebody else about the matter; maybe another family member or friend. If you are uncomfortable doing that or still feel aggravated after these discussions, then you’ve also got the option of talking to a counsellor or psychiatrist as well.

I know people who have had difficulty in maintaining healthy relationships with their parents, children and siblings. The fact is that rebuilding these relationships is always possible.

When people choose to neglect their family, sometimes they probably manage to glance along for a while in their life without many mental problems bothering them, and little thought being made about their decision to seclude themselves from others. But eventually, this choice catches up with them, and they’ll need to rebuild their family relationships to keep themselves happy.

From a few stories I’ve heard, this task isn’t always easy to complete. I’m pretty sure I’ll hang on to my membership until the day I die.

Another task that’s never easy to complete is simply coming to terms with epilepsy. It’s very difficult when it hits you for the first time, or when you’re alone in a hospital after having a bad seizure. When these issues come along, you’ll want back-up, and having a family around to help you along is probably the best back-up you’ve got available.

Remembering this so important. If you’re getting very frustrated by your epilepsy and it’s causing you to exploit anger towards your family, then just sit down, breathe and think logically. These aren’t the right ways to deal with stress and depression. Why not practice meditation? It works so well for me, and millions of other people too.

I’ve got some great supportive friends, but it’s true to say that friendships can occasionally come to an end as your life continues. But by showing your respect, a family is always on offer, so try and be understanding and offer them the best service whenever you can.


Happy families by Chris / Happy Birthday by Scott Akerman

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