Having sat in my flat, alone, hungover and semi-human for most of the day, after a decent dose of Cardiff Bay‘s sea air and Pizza Express‘ fiorentina pizza and salted caramel profiteroles, now seems like a good time to get a few things off my chest and into perspective. When I spend too much time alone I overthink, over-analyze and over-stress about most things, and today was no different. Today I feel raw, exposed and vulnerable. That might be because I was introduced to the poisoned chalice known as gin last night, or because no matter how much I drank or how much of a dreamy buzz I experienced, the moment I entered Soda nightclub I felt like I’d been put under a spotlight. In my mind everyone was looking at my awkward movements and could see the dread in my Bambi eyes when we hit the dance floor.
If I think rationally, I know nobody was paying that much attention to me. Inside the club there was a real-life action man struggling to find room to dance thanks to his ballooning muscles, a clique of zombie Disney princesses looking for their happily merry after and a Frankenstein who needed his florescent contact lenses removed because he’d drunk himself into temporary blindness. There definitely was enough entertainment on display to amuse club-goers. But, anxiety isn’t rational.
In typical post-party recovery day style, today I think about all of things that went wrong the night before. I talked too much. I wasn’t able to achieve the same level of carefree oblivion as my friends. I couldn’t dance. It’s always the age-old classics that plaque my mind and I torture myself with the same disease again and again – my imagination. I can’t help but do it. But today I’ve decided to at least try to kick this old habit into touch. I’m going to start with remembering the pretty bloody fantastic parts of my evening.
1. After four long months away from two of my best friends, we finally had our overdue reunion and filled each other in on all the blanks and our cups with a few homemade cocktails.
2. It was a nice change to socialise with some fresh faces. Two medics, two nurses and a flood specialist made for a few interesting conversations about transfusions and floodplains.
3. I got to wear my Evil Queen purple lipstick. Need I say more?
4. Hooch became the new go-to club beverage after one of the girls paid an eye-watering £17 pounds for two drinks.
5. The cheesy chips I ate at 1.30am. Despite being handed a pile of potatoes with unmelted cheese on top, it did the job and kept me entertained in the never-ending taxi queue. The drunk man looking as if he was auditioning for Swan Lake contributed somewhat.
The point I’m trying to make to myself is that hindsight can be the worst enemy of anxiety sufferers as it only highlights and exaggerates the negative parts – making a perfectly good night seem bad. But in reality, chances are nobody noticed that I talked too much or that my dance moves were more Ed Balls than Ginger Rodgers. Everyone was just enjoying a Halloween night out and probably worrying more about having to remortgage their house or selling a few vital organs to afford a vodka cranberry.
I’ve accepted the fact that I’m never going to be the biggest fan of nightclubs, dancing or queuing all the way to west Wales for a taxi home. And I know I will always remember the bad parts of yesterday, but I’m trying my very hardest to also remember the good. At the end of the day, no matter how anxious I felt, last night was all about channeling my inner villain with my best friends as we drank all the gin and soaked up all the Halloween craziness that Cardiff had to offer. On second thought, that sounds like a pretty damn good night to me.