Why I Declined New Year’s Eve Plans

with ritual, intention and wonderful women

Brenda Fredericks
4 min readDec 31, 2019


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

When I was young, my grandparents drilled fear in to me about doing drugs, drinking alcohol and smoking.

My grandma used to say, “If you smoke and drink at the same time, you will die.” I took that very literally and never did any of it.

Besides, control was much more of a drug of choice for me.

In looking back at my family through the lens of the Twelve Step work I have done, I learned that my great-grandfather was an alcoholic and this was her way of ensuring the next generation wouldn’t get involved in that.

My grandma’s plan worked.

Drug culture for me started the summer before seventh grade, at an art and performance camp I attended. I had one real friend and together, we would avert all the kids doing drugs between classes.

Mostly they would smoke pot. One time an older boy offered me pills and my mouth went dry. I can still see his hand outstretched with his offering. I was so scared and I declined.

I never wanted to try the drugs. I was never curious. And I was always scared.

Another time, my friend and I found a bag of pills and flushed them down the toilet. I can still picture the blue pills swirling down with the water.

I never felt like I fit in.

In middle school, my best friend smoked a lot of pot with her friends. For some reason, I hung out with them all the time, even though I never smoked.

They never felt like my friends.

I would follow them into the woods or hang out in someone’s house when their parents weren’t home while they smoked. I watched them roll joints and make apple bongs. They always offered me a hit, and I always declined.

I felt left out and frozen inside — like I didn’t know exactly what to do with myself and my strong conviction of not wanting to do drugs.

When I look back on my middle school years and those “friends” I hung out with, I can feel the deep desire I had to belong to a group of friends and be part of something.



Brenda Fredericks

Event Magic, Coach, Alchemist. Musings on being a Woman and a Mother on a Spiritual Journey. In service to Truth and Joy. https://www.brendafredericks.com