I got an email from a friend yesterday who's just moved into the neighborhood. She wanted to know if we could go for a glass of wine and catch up. And, yes, the subject line was simply: "Wine?" (See? Now that's what I call a friend!) I wrote back to her telling her I'd love to, but that I'm on a cleanse and I'd see her in April.
I'm at a time now when most people in my life know that I take these cleanses. And I'm always perfectly willing to explain why I do it. Because you never know when someone needs the tips themselves - or, just as important, knows someone else who could use them.
I understand what it's like living with an alcoholic who dominates your mood and life. Not just because I used to be one - but because I grew up with one: my mother. I sometimes think that if she had an inkling of the understanding about what her drinking was doing to her brain - and that it was possible to heal herself - we all would've had a happier childhood. So I talk openly about my former "problem" and how I've reversed it because a) someone might be able to use the info; and b) because I'm not ashamed anymore. I'm proud.
I love that people accept my cleanses. And I love that "cleansing" in general is becoming so common that people don't really think twice about it. I feel fortunate that - as far as I know - nobody judges me harshly for it or shuts me out of their life. Especially those people who don't drink heavily. Because cleansing is a great time to catch up with them.
Which is just what I did on Friday: I had lunch with a friend who's a bit of a teetotaler. Teetotalism was a 19th century British movement that promoted the act of abstaining from alcohol except for medicinal reasons (whatever that means). Wiki claims that the term originated because Joseph Livesay, the founder of the Preston Temperance Society, was a stammerer and when he required "total abstinence" from the members of his group, he pronounced it: "tee-tee-total abstinence." I thought that was cute - if possibly not 100% accurate.
Cleansing is the best time to keep up with your teetotalling friends and family. They'll appreciate it - and you'll be delighted at the opportunity to catch up with them without feeling awkward for drinking 3 glasses of wine to their one glass of ginger ale. It's amazing when you get to the point where you can actually have fun with a person - actually enjoy yourself! - when you're not drinking. And as hard as it is to believe, trust me, it really does happen. So far my cleanse has been the most pleasant one of all. In fact, every cleanse gets better and easier - thank God.
Of course that doesn't mean that I'm not looking forward to getting together with my "Subject: Wine?" friend. :) Because that's what friends are for. :)