When New Year’s Eve Haunts – and Hope Survives

When New Year’s Eve Haunts – and Hope Survives

Even as a child, I never liked New Year’s Eve.  It always seemed forced to me – forced to feel jovial, forced to reflect, forced to look ahead and make promises I‘d never keep.

But seven years ago was the worst.

There is a saying in AA and Al-Anon:  You can look back.  Just don’t stare.

I won’t stare at the night 2011 turned into 2012, but I will never forget the phone call that afternoon.  A counselor who was watching over Jacob in Florida, where he was ending his first year in recovery – or so we prayed – called to say, “Your son is in trouble.  He needs detox, badly.”

The words detox and badly shot through the phone line, a bullet aimed straight at my heart.  I stopped breathing.  Jacob, in trouble?  After so many months of what we thought were good months, clean months, he was sicker than ever.

The admissions director at the Florida detox facility talked us into inpatient rehab.  It was Jacob’s third, but of course we agreed.  Our son was in crisis. He needed detox, badly.

Walking the streets that evening, my husband and I huddled against the holiday revelers.  How could they look so jubilant when all we felt was rage and despair?

This New Year’s Eve I will remember that awful night seven years ago.  I won’t stare.  But I will look back and be grateful for Jacob’s recovery that began that night and has held fast since.  So has my own.

The phrases I murmured that night helped me then and still do today:  One day at a time.   Know what you can change and what is beyond your control.  And, perhaps most helpful of all – just as 2019 will turn into 2020  –  this too shall pass.

May the new year bring hope to families still suffering, and peace and serenity to all.




8 Replies to “When New Year’s Eve Haunts – and Hope Survives”

  1. Lisa & Dick plus our Mr. Jake! Pam and I love you always! God bless you ” real good” and bring you all peace, solice, continued good wellness!

  2. You write the words I can not express myself. I thank you for this more than you can know. Love and thanks to all the Hillman’s for helping us remember we are not alone and that hope prevails.