Guinevere Gets Sober

Recovery news, reviews and stories, by Jennifer Matesa.

Sayings From the Rooms: GOD, and HOW to Recover

People who have trouble with “the God thing” sometimes use this saying:

GOD = Good Orderly Direction

“God” doesn’t have to mean a guy in the sky handing out judgments. It’s been suggested to me that “God” (or “higher power”) can be any power greater than myself that gets me out of my own rat-trap head and into a different mentality, preferably one that tries to do for others instead of myself.

Traffic cop

Accepting direction keeps me safe

Five tools I use to take direction (please add yours below):

1. Meetings—listening to other people’s stories helps get me out of my own head; meeting newcomers presents opportunities to help somebody else

2. Phone—people call it The Ten-Thousand-Pound Phone. Why is it so hard for newcomers and people with lots of sobriety alike to pick up the phone? But calling somebody else with more experience helps bring perspective to a confusing situation… and Gives Orderly Direction.

3. Prayer—the line toward the power, the way I ask for what I need (direction) and …

4. Meditation—the silent line through which the power speaks to me. The way I get Today’s Directive, the Memo: How G Will Do Her Day.

It’s up to me to read the memo, and then to do what it says. This is called Discernment

5. Sponsorship—taking direction from a sponsor gives me practice in Taking Direction. Just doing what I’m told. Because addiction is all about Doing Whatever the Hell I Want… And recovery is about reversing that trend. … Also, in working with another addict/alcoholic, I usually end up giving the very direction I need to hear (surprise, surprise! 🙂 ).

Another saying they use in the rooms is:

You wanna know HOW to recover?
HOW = Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness

I often hear this one misquoted. People often say “Openness,” instead of “Open-mindedness.” I’ve thought about this. Openness is good: being open with people, forthcoming, and willing to share of oneself. But Open-mindedness

Addiction had shut my mind like that steel trap. I had to find ways of opening my mind in order even to approach thinking about some of the things it was suggested that I do (for example: stop using; stop asking myself Why I Became An Addict; one of the hardest: stop using language as a weapon to cut myself as a way of punishing myself for becoming an addict).

I’ve never been TOLD to do anything in order to recover from addiction, including all the years I’ve spent with my AlAnon sponsor, investigating my alcoholic childhood. I’ve been given strong suggestions and was told it was up to me.

It was suggested two days ago that I go about the next week thinking:

What if GOD had my back? What would that feel like?

This person said,

Because GOD does have your back. It’s not that things ARE GONNA BE all right—it’s that things ALREADY ARE all right. Right now.

That’s a hard one. I’ve spent lots of years thinking God didn’t have my back. Believing that, really. I put my faith in GOD not-loving me.

But I’m trying. The ice on the pond of my mind freezes over, and I use the crowbar to crack it open again. It’s hard work, taking direction.

Then I had this moment two days ago: God had my back. I felt it. It was like lying in a hammock with someone who loves you.


  1. hi g,

    i love this post. i struggle with the concept of god quite a bit. having been raised strict catholic in a dysfunctional home did it to me. i love the whole good orderly conduct idea. it helps me a great deal. also, i heard someone say that they hear god through other peoples voices. and that made a big impact on me. b/c when i’m working my program, i hear a lot of really great things. for instance my sponser told me that god loves jack more than i do. now that really struck me, b/c only i know how intensely i love my son. it seems impossible to me that there is a love greater than that. but she is a pretty smart lady and those words comforted me.

    thank you always for your wonderful posts.


  2. Great post G. It took me a while to understand my Higher Power. But I know that God does have my back. I don’t have the power to change another. They have their own HP. Love the quote from your friend at the meeting.

Comments are closed.

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Twitter