It occurred to me the other day that although this is a London blog I don’t actually post too much about the capital.
So I’m gonna try and change that.
Yesterday was my friends bday (Happy Birthday Nina!) so to celebrate a few of us went to a day rave in East London. I used to love a lil rave up in my drinking days, well I think I loved it, who knows, I wouldn’t remember much more than getting into the venue and that’s if I was lucky. But yesterday I remember every part, and it was awesome.
I don’t often venture to the land of the trendies (Shoreditch) it’s pretty far from my homeland (Croydon) and honestly I feel too much pressure to be one of the cool kids when I get within 500 metres of Brick Lane. But I made the journey and it was so worth it.
It’s been a while since I’ve been so something like this and trying to find something to wear was a nightmare. The event was a house day rave with a disco twist (ya what?) so I opted for an old playsuit with some flared sleeves (about as disco as my wardrobe gets) and some shiny, bright, FLAT shoes, because I’m 34 and comfort comes first. I also popped a sparkly headband in my bag (£3 from Primark) just in case I was feeling brave later on. Spoiler… I wasn’t feeling brave later on so here’s a pic of the £3 headband I will never ever wear unless I happen to go to another house day rave with a disco twist.
We met for quick drink in Beach Blanket Babylon – opposite Shoreditch High St station. The bar was quiet but cool and when I asked the mixologist for a non-alcoholic Espresso Martini she didn’t look at me and say – just coffee then? Instead she said – of course, I’ll give it a go. She did and it tasted delish. It’s amazing the reactions I’ve had in some places when asking for this drink. Some good some bad. But mostly just a look of ‘Huh?’
From the bar we walked down the uber hipster Brick Lane to 93 Feet East where the event was held. A pretty cool venue! It was decked out with disco lights, a couple of food stalls and bars. The whole event had a disco theme so the there was an abundance of disco balls, glitter and sparkles.
The vibe outside was pretty chilled so we had a few drinks in the sun (yep I can still use that term even if I’m not drinking alcohol – when I suggest going for a drink to some people they look horrified and assume I’ve relapsed – a drink is a drink – why do we assume it means alcoholic?). I chose to drink Redbull – because clearly the espresso hadn’t pumped enough caffeine into my body – soon I was buzzing and well up for a boogie.
And boogie we did! For 5 hours. Hard house tunes mixed in with some funky disco – it was bloody awesome. I was a bit worried I might be bored dancing for so long, when you’re drunk or high, time flies by but when you aren’t things can sometimes seem a bit repetitive. But the only repetitive thing was me needing the loo every 30 mins because I have the bladder of an 80 year old and the moves I was busting weren’t helping the cause.
A bit later on some skantily clad podium dancers came out strutting their stuff – glittery bras and briefs, donning huge afros and oversize sunnies. They were fabulous. I could have watched them all night. The difference is I was watching them in awe, when I was drinking I would have probably made some mean comments (because I was jealous) and made a wobbly, disastrous attempt to copy their impressive moves embarrassing myself and everyone around me.
By about 9pm my toes started tingling and I had pretty much sweated off my make-up so I decided that was a good time to leave. I had had my fun and it was still early enough to get the train home so I said my cheerios and left the girls on the dance floor.
It’s taken me a while to get to the stage that I am comfortable going to a normal rave. I’ve been to a few sober ones which are sooooo much fun, if you like that scene, are in recovery but maybe not ready to venture back into the old rave world you should give sober ones a go!
Not once yesterday did I feel like picking up a drink or drug. Which is pretty astonishing considering where I have come from. But not for a moment did I think I would have a better time with booze in my system. I danced hard, the way I wanted to with no inhibitions. I felt free. I could actually have chats with my friends and remember them (even if they don’t). I could laugh!! I had such a laugh. There was no anxiety of when I was going to get my next drink. No worry the next morning of how I behaved. I was even able to chat to my friend on the phone the morning after and have a laugh recapping some of the shenanigans of the night before. It has been SO LONG since I have done that. No one ever wanted to call me after a night out in addiction – unless it was to tell me how awfully I had behaved.
Where I am trying to go with this blog is show people that giving up alcohol does not mean giving up fun, or avoiding things you used to do. Being sober does not mean being boring. It doesn’t mean avoiding places where alcohol is, although maybe in the early days its a good idea. It means living happily even when you are surrounded by substance that made you ill.
It’s about being so comfortable in yourself that you can be that ‘Dancing Queen’. It’s about ‘Staying Alive’ in a world of temptation and no matter how big the temptation ‘I Will Survive’.