A Recovery G.P.S.: Good Orderly Direction
By Olive Hinnant, Chaplain, Parker Valley Hope
When you are in a car and need directions the Global Positioning Satellite device is a godsend.
This navigation tool comes in most motorized vehicles now. Even our phones have this ability; type
in an address or business and a voice begins speaking to you: “go 5 miles on Elm Street and your
destination is on your right.” If you miss it, the voice tells you, “recalculating” and “make a
legal u-turn” sending you back to the correct destination. If you get lost, the GPS can assist
getting you back on the right road. It can tell you where the closest coffeehouse, restaurants and
more are. But it doesn’t know you are lost if you don’t use it. You have to ask for help.
Ever wish we had a GPS for recovery?
We do: Good Orderly Direction, G.O.D. This is a spiritual compass for recovery. We all have one,
it’s just a matter of whether we use. We want good orderly direction for living in sobriety. Our
common destination is recovery. An instant prayer for guidance is at your fingertips. When craving,
call your sponsor for help.
When old behaviors come back like blaming, resentments, or alibis,
listen for the “recalculating” voice that tells you to make a legal u-turn. Like the GPS, G.O.D.
can guide us back to the recovery destination. We are never too lost that we can’t be redirected.
But only if we ask.
Not long ago, there was an article on the front page of the Denver Post about a GPS on phones for
substance abusers to help navigate the path of sobriety. The device helps the person avoid certain
areas that have been a source of drugs or alcohol. It also has a “help” button that gives access to
a sponsor or counselor. Looking for a meeting close by? Type in the address. Other features include
fingertip interaction with others in the 12 step program, recovery videos, and weekly check in for
mood and behaviors and reminders for Urine Analysis or Breath Analyzers.
This technology was first developed for substance abusers that are deaf or hard of hearing. In review
of where recovery or rehabilitation groups were falling short it was noted that an underserved population
is the community of deaf or hard or hearing people. Attending a 12 Step meeting is frustrating and
practically useless for those who can’t hear. With a GPS device we have the ability to communicate
at anytime to those with hearing loss or deafness, but ultimately anyone. Almost all of us have
become accustomed to instant communication and a GPS device is one more technique that can be used
in this very specific way.
Certainly cell phones can be used for ill in recovery as well. Each step of the path in recovery
comes with choices. We can use what is at our fingertips and ears, but what is inside and outside of
us, our Good Orderly Direction, supports life.
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