The Raves of Our Lives

I feel like I’ve 12 stepped and therapied my behind off in order to be okay with my insane past. I can laugh about most of it but that doesn’t mean I always want to be reminded of it. So when my days as drugged out raver recently surfaced on Facebook, my reaction threw me for a loop.

Last week, I was added to a Facebook  group called something like “I went to raves in Colorado in the 90s”  by one of my oldest friends. I used to poo poo reminiscing yet for some reason this group sucked me right in. The group grew to over 1,000 people all of whom shared songs and memories and photos of the all night debauchery that was set to an electronic soundtrack. The fairy wings, the glitter, the fuzzy wookie boots and other cartoon couture litter the pictures of children who took drugs and danced all night long. I’ve spent this week revisiting my past and I’m surprising okay with it. I went to some of Denver’s earliest raves in 1990 through 1993 but the scene held steady well into the early 2000s. I was 17 when I first got my rave on and rolled it up by the time I turned 21. We did mass amounts  of Ecstasy and danced and made friends and all loved each other. Until we didn’t. Crystal meth came into the picture, parties started getting broken up by the cops and drama was on every dance floor. I mean talk about a recipe for disaster– take minors, add drugs that make you wanna screw your brains out, stir and enjoy! Personally, I had a blast but it was clear from my early days of raving that all I wanted was more. I went every Saturday for months and did Ecstasy every week. And coke and whatever else was being passed around. I burnt out at 20 and  again at 21. But I wasn’t alone, we were all really young and high and the lifestyle wasn’t built to last.

When I turned 21, I shook off the fuzzy backpacks and the people I met in that world.  Raves were for kids and I was ready to drink with the big boys. I didn’t look back. Well until last week. It’s odd. Part of me has truly enjoyed the memories of the people and the music and the general craziness. It’s healthy for me to look back on time in my life with love and fondness. Another sick part of me really wishes I could do it again or live like that today. I know that’s nuts and beyond unhealthy but there you go. The reality is a 40 year-old raver high on drugs still acting like the party never ended would be For me, anyway.

I can’t argue the culture significance of raves as I was always fickle. Before raves, I was goth before that I was a moody Smiths listening teenager. After raves I moved to LA and embraced the glam rock revival and then electro clash. In short, I was always a bit of scenester sheep looking to latch on to the next big thing. But I can  look at those pictures of myself and have compassion for that kid and the journeys he was going to embark on.

8 thoughts on “The Raves of Our Lives

  1. It’s amazing you were able to live through all of it. And I’m glad you can look back with fondness and not just regret. I also understand the longing for those days, but happy you can leave them in the past as all of us addicts must do.

    • Totally. Carrie Fisher calls that kind of thinking “wishful drinking”. It’s like a return to that lifestyle seems glamorous for about 2 seconds and then I play the tape all the way through and realize how ugly it would be. And honestly I don’t know how I lived that way for so long and actually survived. Talk about a Higher Power at work.

      • I read “Wishful Drinking” and saw the HBO special. She’s awesome. I’ve had the same experience the last few days of what you just said: Going, “Hmmmm, I’d really like to do this….” and then remembering why I can’t.

  2. Time has a way of getting away from us when we enter that type of living. I came from a generation much earlier: but nonetheless, for many the ramifications of its effects are still with them. Time warp, I call it. I’m thankful for being saved from its heinous grip.

    The further you travel from that spot, the less you will desire it. Finding a stable cornerstone did that for me.

    I wish you well as you find new direction.

    • Thanks, Shelley. I left that life a long time ago and have now been sober for three years. Life is amazing and I wouldn’t change it for a second. Thank you for stopping by and for finding my blog 🙂

  3. Oh boy. This brought back memories! I was a young Punk in the early 80’s. LSD was our drug of choice until Heroin entered the scene. Nasty nasty.

    God! Wishful drinking. I love that. I am now a ‘regular mom’ (with a Sex Pistol sticker on my car and Fatboy Slim and Radiohead blaring…) I take my kid to school and park in the parking garage and SO want to turn up my stereo and DANCE DANCE DANCE! I have been clean a d sober for 20 years now. I can dance and socialize w/o using. So, why not rave in the schools parking garage! Wide open, darkish concrete spaces STILL scream RAVE to me.

    I am delighted that you found a FB Rave and that it doesn’t tempt the drug demons. That is recovery!

    Peace, jen

    • Oh LSD. That’s a party favor I don’t miss. My last trip involved a strip club, vomiting on the stairs and yelling at people for talking about me even though they weren’t. Oops.

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