I'm two weeks away from my next 28-day cleanse. I take two of them a year, about five months apart, and that's what I believe is the cornerstone of this plan. The two days off a week are also very important - but it's the longer cleanses that really help to keep your system healthy.
And - most importantly - these long breaks from the addictive qualities of alcohol help your brain keep producing dopamine at a normal level. And the healthy production of dopamine is what keeps you happy. Drinking too much alcohol will eventually stop your brain from producing dopamine - and that's what makes problem drinkers depressed. Whether they're drinking or not.
I know I've talked about all of this before, but it's really at the heart of why cleansing works and - if you think you have a problem - it's great information to completely ingrain into your life.
Of course, Ms. Functional is always trying to keep things light and fun, so the awesome thing about just before a cleanse is that for those 2-3 weeks (depending on how your schedule works out: this isn't about counting minutes!) you don't have to take the two days off a week. I mean, you can if you want to! But you don't have to. It's sort of like a reward to yourself, a mini-celebration, an honoring of the new time in your life coming up, the change of it, and a tribute to lots of good things that come into your life as a result of cleansing. Like freedom, fun, happiness, relaxation, joy, spontaneity - and, yes, celebration.
Of course ... this doesn't mean you should be getting plastered/wasted/legless/f*cked up/ and/or dangerously drunk. Cleansing means those days are (basically!) over for you. It just means that you don't have to mind your schedule so much. That freedom is a real plus just before you begin a cleanse.
All that being said ... here's a good way to end a drinking cycle: Vegas!!
Yes, the annual pilgrimage to LVNV is in the preparation stages. The hubs and I are heading off soon.
You sure don't want to begin a cleansing cycle by going to Vegas (or probably just about anywhere) in the first couple weeks of starting to drink again. It'll just put too much pressure on your whole system. Your liver, your brain, your psyche. After a cleanse you have to gradually bring drinking back into your life.
But just before a cleanse? That's what Vegas is for! :)