Good God. I've been thinking about yesterday's post. And that excerpt from the first cleanse I blogged in 2010.
Pointlessness? Sink into the pointlessness (of sobriety)? I mean, it's one thing to be tired or even occasionally bored when you start a cleanse. But pointlessness? If there's one thing I can't stand, it's 'pointlessness.' So naturally I had to go all the way to that.
I can be so dramatic sometimes. Always have been. It's probably one of the reasons I found myself with a problem in the first place!
Anyway, I remember that cleanse so well.
I remember the exact moments sitting at dim sum for lunch, feeling as if my head was wrapped in cotton batting.
I remember the exact moments on the couch staring at my glass of orange juice that Friday night.
It was probably one of the hardest weekends I've ever had on a cleanse. Naturally, I'd have to blog about it first. I don't know - maybe sharing it for the first time had something to do with my mood. But I wanted to be honest about it at the time - and I'm glad I was. Because honesty is a big part of getting control of your drinking, whether or not you're using the 12 steps. ;)
I know from experience now that one of the things that had an effect on that cleanse was the fact it was in August. When I first started cleansing, my second annual one was usually in August. That's just the way it worked out because my first 6-month cleanse started in the summer out of necessity (I had to get control asap!) - so I just kept up with that. But I've learned over the years that summer cleanses aren't as easy as fall or spring ones. Which is why my cleanse cycle has changed.
Now if you live in Hawaii or Australia or some other place where it's always nice, it might be hard finding two months a year where umbrella drinks and patios aren't beckoning you around every corner. Just do what feels right for you. You'll figure it out. (Anyway, I don't feel too sorry for you ... because, well, you live in Hawaii or Australia. ;))
You'll soon find that every cleanse cycle you'll learn something about how to make it easier and more enjoyable for yourself. About how to integrate it more seamlessly into your life. And maybe for you, that might mean not drinking in August because that's when your sober aunt who was like a mother to you comes to visit. That's fine, too.
Whenever you decide to cleanse - just like life - some days might be easier than others. But I promise you, there's something almost mystical about cleansing. About knowing you're doing something good for yourself, but that there's a light (and/or a drink) at the end of the tunnel. It means that once you get the first week down - even the first few days - you'll find yourself settling into the new rhythm of a sober life and enjoying it more and more.
Honestly, even with the odd bump in the road, I wouldn't give up cleansing - ever. Even if I didn't have to do it anymore, I would still keep it up. Because I really do love it. I love what it does for every aspect of my life: my psyche, my skin and my soul, just to name a few.
So don't despair. If not being able to drink for a temporary amount of time is giving you pause - and I completely understand that - know in your heart that if you've got a problem, it's just going to get worse. Addiction doesn't go away without removing the addictive substance from your system. So the choice is yours. Will it be forever? Or will it be for a lot less than that?
Because I'm 100% convinced that cleansing can reverse addiction - without having to permanently sacrifice the real pleasures that drinking can bring to life.
And I mean pleasures! The pleasures of a glass of wine or a cold beer on a patio on a hot August night. The real pleasure of a cocktail when you're out with friends or after a hard day. Or a couple drinks on the plane when you're on vacation.
(Because there was definitely wine on the flight back from Vegas!)
I know the idea of highlighting the "pleasures" of a drinking life must sound blasphemous to people who've managed to abstain completely - or to many professionals working in the addiction field. And that's okay. We've all got to find our way through life, our own path, our own direction. For some of us, that might mean quitting drinking forever - and being happy with that.
For others ... it means ... one more day!!! :)