I usually take my social calendar way down during a cleanse, except for gotta-go's (like a family wedding coming up in two weeks), work-related outings, and emergency get-togethers with close friends (ie. someone's gotta vent). But generally both my husband and I use my cleanses to chill and restore.
He doesn't completely cut out alcohol (he's never had a problem with drinking - I think I've only seen him really drunk once: on our honeymoon, after a $1000 dinner at La Tour D'Argent, wandering drunkenly down the banks of the Seine on our way to Le Caveau de la Huchette, this underground jazz club in the Latin Quarter where we saw a stunning gypsy-looking woman with flowing black hair and green eyes completely mesmerize a group of drunk sailors. She took one of them upstairs ... probably rolled him from the looks of it. Maybe a couple of them. This place is amazing, btw - an ancient labyrinth dating back to the 1600s, it was turned into a jazz club in 1946.)
Anyway, because I cut down during a cleanse, so does my hubby. And trust me, he's happy to. He was the one who suffered (almost) as much as I did when I went on my drunk angry binges, so he supports whatever I have to do to make sure those terrifying nights don't happen to us again. He'll occasionally have beer here at home or if we're out, but not always. And our fun good-bottle-of-red-pasta-nights are ... well, just pasta nights.
But the hardest part of any cleanse is the first weekend. I'll be honest. I'd love to say: "Yippy! A Friday and Saturday night with nothing but tea and O.J.! Wow! Sign me up!" Nope. That first weekend is actually kind of boring. Friday night was uneventful. I was in bed before midnight, absolutely zonked and unable to keep my eyes open.
Saturday was almost as hard. We usually go for dim sum for lunch, a meal I don't have with wine anyway, so that's not a problem. But even all the carbs and calories of har gow and noodles could not give me that extra boost of energy I needed so badly. It seemed as if my brain had been soaked in Ambien, wrapped in cotton batting, then packed in a shipping crate for an overseas flight. Zzzzzz. My advice is to just go with it. Sink into the lack of energy. Sink into the lethargy. Sink into the pointlessness of it. It won't last forever - like I said, that first weekend is the worst.
Saturday night we went to a movie. We stopped at a nearby resto for dinner. I had O.J. with mine (helps me absorb iron, anyway) and the hubs had iced tea (without the Long Island part). We went to the show - "Dinner For Schmucks" - and almost didn't stop laughing. Nobody did. But afterwards, I couldn't stop thinking of the restaurant. We were there around 9pm and there were quite a few tables. Over the course of dinner, more people poured out of the theater and came in for coffee, dessert, snacks. I didn't see a single beer, drink or glass of wine in eye-shot. And these people were adults! It made me wonder how many of them were recovering alcoholics unable to drink at all - ever. Having to sit there and nurse sparkling water and quiet conversation with like-minded saps. I mean, clean-livers. I'm sorry, but I couldn't do that forever. And I'm grateful that it's just eight Saturday nights a year that I have to. Because a life without wine seems pointless to me. Period.
In "You Can Heal Your Life" - a wonderful book by Louise Hay (Hay House, Inc. 1984) she states that one of the probable causes of alcoholism is a feeling of futility. There are others and I'll go over them in turn, but that feeling of futility - that's what life felt like when my drinking was at my worst. That I had absolutely no control over any aspect of my life, not just drinking. When I took my six-month cleanse, that feeling escalated for the first few weeks. But then it started to ease off.
I know these early sensations of cleansing will ease off soon, too. In fact, they've already started. As difficult and fuzzy and tiring as that first weekend is, I've done these cleanses enough to know that ... the hardest part is already behind me. :)