In 200 Feet.....Turn Right.

By Jamie B 08/08/19

In the modern world we are surrounded by inventions, ideas and 'things' that are intended to make our existence easier, healthier, wealthier and perhaps even wiser. You just have to look around to see the extent to which these concepts and creations have invaded our lives. It seems that as time flies by, the planet that we inhabit just keeps on getting stranger and stranger. In 2013 a company called Second Sight began producing and selling bionic eyes. Technology has enabled humans to produce a 3D 'printed' thyroid gland and implant it in a mouse. I can receive a delivery to my house by drone, space rockets can be re-used and I can now have a magical cup of coffee in my own home at the push of a button.

As Sir Arthur C. Clarke noted when he formulated what are now known as "Clarke's Three Laws", part of his extensive writings about the future -

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Quite honestly, any of the current technology that we use on a day to day basis would seem like magic to our not so distant ancestors. I have wondered what my grandmother, "Nanny Leigh" as my brother and I used to call her, would have made of augmented reality. This technology superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. I can barely make sense of what this is all about, never mind someone who would have  been well over 100 years old had she still been alive.

This all brings me to the automobile Global Positioning Systems that are now considered a 'standard' feature to look for when purchasing a new or used car. Gone are the days of fumbling around in the passenger seat with a non-cooperative, awkwardly large piece of collapsible paper, while the driver berates the co-pilot with regular renditions of 'I told you we should have turned left 3 miles back'. I kid you not when I say that there is an article on Wikihow entitled "How to fold a map". Have we become so dependent on technology that someone, somewhere decided that a step by step, illustrated guide on how to fold a map was required?

There are currently 31 GPS satellites that orbit the earth twice a day so that we can find our way to the nearest 24 hour dog washing parlor. Quite simply, we have become reliant on this piece of technology to make it through our ever more complicated days.

A good friend of mine had a fantastic 'share' at my early morning AA meeting. He was travelling back from Orlando to Tampa and his GPS system was not working correctly. He, like me, is slowly being introduced to this new way of sober living and we were in the recovery center together. He semi-jokingly said that before he had committed himself to giving sober living a fair chance, that if his GPS was broken, he very well may have called the suicide hotline. That was how his mind worked. He wouldn't have been able to figure out what to do and would have become incredibly frustrated, angry and distraught.

Only this time it was different. He accepted that the GPS was broken and that it would be of no use for his drive to Tampa. He has recently moved down here from New York and is still not familiar with the lay of the land. He said that he sat in his car and tried to figure out what to do. It came to him in a flash of inspiration. "I'll follow those big green signs that are posted at regular intervals on the side of the road". That was it. The signs would be able to direct him to where he needed and wanted to be.

Thus, it is the same in Alcoholics Anonymous. We no longer need to live life on autopilot. We no longer have to rely on life's GPS to get us to where we want to go. We tried following the GPS and it took us down many a wrong turn. There are signs all along our own personal 'highway' that will take us to where we want to go. They are the 12 steps. We may never actually reach our destination but they will act as signposts on our journey. We only have to open our eyes and be willing to see them and be accepting that they will guide us correctly and safely to wherever we want to go.

A New and Improved Me - Random Thoughts of a Newly Sober Mind


Join the conversation, become a Fix blogger. Share your experience, strength, and hope, or sound off on the issues affecting the addiction/recovery community. Create your account and start writing: