Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pleasure/Pain Principal

Oh boy, did I not want to take a cleanse day yesterday.

Around 4 in the afternoon, I was ready to say: "Screw this! Tonight's going to be an on-night!" Because I felt like having a drink!

I didn't have that drink btw. It ended up being a great cleanse night and that moment of craving was short-lived. It's cleansing itself (both the days and the months) that allows me to stay in control, even when I want to drink. 

I notice this toward the end of a five-month drinking cycle: taking cleanse days can sometimes become more challenging.  It's amazing to me. To watch the addictive nature of alcohol sneak up on me again. 

The reason for this is because I'm predisposed to become addicted to alcohol. Everything in my past, everything in my physical makeup, everything in my family, even in my DNA, has singled me out to become an alcoholic. The more I learn about the specifics of alcohol addiction, the more I recognize the patterns in myself.

And this close to the end of a drinking cycle, I can feel the subtle signals starting again. Drinking a bit more when I do drink. Wanting to drink when I'm cleansing. Making sure I get time for a trip to the liquor store. But this is the WHOLE REASON I cleanse in the first place. Because I know what my body feels like when it's addicted. And I  know what it feels like when it's not. Which is why I'm actually looking forward to my coming cleanse. On every level.

I know it's hard to believe. That a whole month of not drinking is actually something I'm looking forward to - even though I actually want to drink more at the end of a five-month drinking cycle. It's a paradoxical equation. But alcohol is a paradox in itself. It can bring such pleasure. But it can bring such pain. And I know them both - very well.

The reason cleansing works for me is not because it stops alcohol from being an addictive substance. It can't do that. Alcohol is addictive - and cleansing can't change that. What cleansing does is work with your whole body - and your life - to interrupt the cumulative effects of an addictive substance on your system - so you can't get hooked. Your body and your brain and your soul know that you're in control.

It's a really simple - but strangely complex system. Becasue I know in my heart that a month-long cleanse resets my whole system. I love the feeling of health it brings me. Of control. Of relief. Of safety. I love the way life changes when you cleanse. I love the freshness and the newness and the clarity of it. I love the simplicity of it. Not worrying if this is a cleanse day or that's a drinking day. More than anything, I love the feeling of knowing that I don't have to face the challenges, obstacles and temptations of 'abstaining' or the dangers of 'relapse.' Every minute of my cleanse, I love knowing that I can work drinking back into my life in a healthy way. That I don't have to quit forever.

Regular cleansing can stop addiction in its tracks - while not depriving me of the real pleasures of alcohol in the long run. It's an amazing system. :)