New Year's Eve is the ultimate excuse to party hard.
For once the rest of society seems as excited about partying as you are every other day of the year. Call it amateur hour, but New Year’s makes drug users everywhere, reformed and not, pause and remember crazy years past. So what can you do on New Year’s, if you aren’t planning to get high?
I won’t be drinking or using drugs this New Year’s. I haven’t for eight years. I know that no matter how good the party started, with music or friends, the party always ended with me looking for more more more. Usually alone. Usually sick.
So what can you do on New Year’s, if you aren’t planning to get high?
1. Accept that you might feel weird.
Changing habits takes time. Drug use is a habit. Being stoked about partying on holidays? That’s a habit. Changing it will feel uncomfortable.
2. Think about what you enjoy.
This can be hard to do when you quit drugs. I used to think I wouldn’t love anything as much as I loved drugs. Now I know I love reading, writing, jogging very slowly, and incredibly dark movies. It took me awhile to find all that out, after I quit.
3. Give up cool.
I had a big attachment to my lifestyle and my scene as cool when I was drinking and using heavily. I had to redefine what was cool in my eyes, because I was glamorizing my lifestyle. Being dopesick or running to the bathroom constantly from shitty coke cut with baby laxative isn’t cool.
4. If you need to do something, do something safe.
If you’ve decided not to do drugs, don’t go out with your using buddies. Hit up those kids from high school you ditched because they felt too square, or ask your family if they’d like to have a New Year’s Eve dinner. That way, you won’t freak out about spending the night at home alone.
5. Search for a sober activity.
Don’t know of anyone who doesn’t drink or use? There’s an entire world of sober activities out there, from 12-step programs, to church activities, to recovery advocacy groups. Search for sober events in your area and check one out, or just join a sober Facebook group to test the waters.
6. Block out your time.
If you do decide to spend the evening at home, pick activities you love and fill your night with them. This stuff doesn’t have to be complicated:
Choose a favorite Netflix show to binge (new season of Black Mirror, anyone?) and give yourself permission to watch it all the way through.
Hit up a coffee shop and get buzzed on caffeine.
Deep clean like you didn't in 2018, decluttering and making your home comfortable for 2019.
Need more ideas? Check out this Buzzfeed list of other activities to fill your time with that don't involve drinking/drugging.
7. Reach out to a few people.
Have you lost touch with anyone in your life? The New Year is the perfect time to rekindle positive relationships. Give them a call.
You know when drugs have stopped working for you. If you’re tired of the struggle of needing drugs and never getting enough, getting off drugs is possible. I once couldn’t imagine spending a New Year’s without drugs, and now I’m grateful for the freedom I have each day without needing them. If you’re ready for a new way of life, it's here for you.
Get support in recovery with Workit Health.
As Workit Health's Head of Marketing, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine. She's interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them. She's written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. Connect with her on Twitter: @kalireadsbooks.