When I was new to AA, I’d hear this constantly. I’d nod along and smile as If I understood, but the truth is this made no sense to me at all. ‘Keep what in the day’ I’d think to myself. How does this work, what do you mean?! After some more time in the program I have slightly more understanding of what this means, or at least a meaning which makes sense to me…
Keeping things in the day has become a way of looking at my overall approach to life, an approach that’s very different to how I used to see, and deal with things.
When I was drinking I’d have a relentless, frantic energy in everything I did. An obsesion to plan and control everything I could, that was my way of dealing with life. I felt alone, no one was there to help me and so I’d have to help myself if I was to ‘win‘.
With things related to work, I’d constantly stress about unnecessary things, I’d think of every possible outcome for situations and conversations. It would be a seemingly endless mental mind-map to help me to be able to win-out in the end. There’s something to be said for sensible forward planning but this went way beyond that, it was verging on insane behaviour and thinking. The future wasn’t my only problem, I’d also obsess over the past, thinking about decisions I’d made, conversations that had happened and thinking about how I could or should have handled things.
I’d do similar things in my personal and home life. I’d try to forward plan things and take control of everyone’s lives, because It was what I thought would be best. It only ended in my family resenting my controlling nature and ultimately drove us further apart.
Now I try to not obsess over the past, things which I accept have happened now and can’t be changed. I won’t worry about an endless list of things which might possibly happen in the future. This only serves to create unnecessary stress, drives my overthinking and ends up in me taking on too much. I’ll do some reasonable forward planning where it’s needed, but beyond that I’ll deal with things if and when they come up.
I’m able to better deal with problems which arise now, thanks to the programme. I try to look instead to just deal with life as it comes, with what’s in front of me today. If things are going badly, I do the best that I can and remember that tomorrow is another day. The Just For Today reading is a great to help keep me grounded and remember this.
I don’t always get things right, I’m sure that I’m not alone as an alcoholic who lets things get away from them sometimes. It’s easy to fall into old thinking patterns, to get inside your head and begin to fret about the past or over-obsess about the future. When this happens, the programme and tools that we are given help me to let some things go, help me to practice acceptance and remember that there are things in the world we have absolutely no control over.
The programme helps me to keep it in the day…