As the great poet Mary Oliver wrote in the last line of her poem, The Summer Day, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Surely in recovery you don’t want to be a bitter, resentful, mean man or woman! LOL, just so you know this is meant as a joke. Of course, recovery isn’t a joke, but there are times you may need to lighten up.
Mary Oliver’s question, can make us think about ourselves and our future. To think of it as wild, can illuminate our animal instincts for survival. Life is precious, and we have but one. It’s ours. Our body is made up of cells, bones, organs, brain, muscles, capillaries, tendons, cartilage, water, flesh, blood, skin and more. We have spirit within us, too, whether the spirit is to go out and route for the home team, volunteer, take good care of our kids, or love one another. Another kind of spirit is esoteric or mystical; it’s something untouchable, but still exists, like a belief of something greater than ourselves, yet within us at the same time.
To sustain our spirits, we must provide nurturance. Through therapy we can begin to understand and change our behaviors. Nurturance, in the form of a healthy diet will help heal our bodies and our minds. The old adage, you are what you eat, is true. These basic forms of nurturance are what we need to tend to in early recovery.
Laughter feeds our spirit, and one day we may realize we are laughing, the pall of addiction has lifted. So, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” We can get a piece of paper and start writing down our ideas. Let ourselves go wild. I want to earn a Ph.D. in psychology, I want to build my own wooden boat, I want to adopt orphans, become an English teacher, open a bakery, raise honey bees, become an actor, or travel the world. Keep writing.
Do you feel lighter? Did the exercise make you smile? Do you see, just by writing things you want to do on a piece of paper, how it opens you to possibility. Keep going. Maybe you can’t realistically do everything you want to do, but possibility, alone, can lessen your limitations and boost your motivation.
Serenity Oaks provides an intensive 5 week program to support your sobriety and recovery from addiction. We aim to provide a space where you can find out how and why you have struggled with addiction. Our therapeutic and medical support are just one of the tools we provide to help set you up for success in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-396-8526.