Monday, February 28, 2011


It's the last day of my regular drinking cycle. Tomorrow I start my 28-day-cleanse.

Don't be surprised if you feel a little melancholic about a cleanse coming on. It probably seems as if it's going to be an almost impossible thing to do - going without a drink for four weeks. But your brain definitely needs it and so does your body. I bet your soul could go with a break, too. So as Kathy Freston says - and I really like - "lean into challenges" - including your alcohol cleanse.

Here's a tip for the end of your drinking phase: Make sure you have enough of your preferred beverages on hand the last drinking weekend you have. You don't want to feel anxious or uneasy about depriving yourself. This last weekend is for indulging yourself.

As you come to know your own changing tolerance to alcohol, you'll be able to gauge how much is too much. You're not trying to crash your liver inside of a week. But you should feel free to enjoy yourself. I think I had at least a bottle and a half of wine every day since Thursday. And it's been a blast!

But this isn't something you do often. You work your way up to it throughout the five months of the drinking cycle. And then you really treat yourself as the cleanse approaches. Party. Socialize. Laugh. Love. To me, not only is it a fun way to head into a cleanse, it's also helpful to have had - ahem - "enough." If you're partied out, you'll honestly feel more ready to take a break.

For me, the pre-cleanse party cycle is essential to the overall success of the plan. Because what I find really unappetizing about long-term abstinence programs or even the Moderation Movement is the predictability of them. The monotony. I believe people who've had drinking problems are predisposed to drama (let's call it a 'sense of adventure'), to extremes and to peak experiences. Having a life that includes moderation, abstinence, AND actual PYAO (Partying Your Ass Off) keeps things interesting and fresh. It feels less like a recovery program - and more like a workable, enjoyable lifestyle. Which is what it is.

And I promise - it's going to go by much more quickly than you think. Promise.

Source: Quantum Wellness Cleanse by Kathy Freston

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