Well the weekend was definitely challenging on the cleansing and emotional fronts, which have become very intertwined.
Coincidentally, a friend of mine has also been on a cleanse and hasn’t been drinking at all. She has three kids and a dog. I have been incredibly impressed! For the last couple of days she’s been telling me that she wants to have a drink and that she is getting her period. We’ve seen the pattern for years now. Every month just before our period strikes, we start to feel, well…rambunctious. Desirous. Somehow insatiable. It took us a while to do the math, never paying close enough attention to our cycles but then we saw it. The day after a ridiculous hangover there it would be. The stain on the panties indicating that menstruation had just begun. And the bell would ding, “Ohhhh. So that’s why I went out and partied like a college student the night before last.”
Studies show that hormones have a direct effect on cravings and behavioral patterns. During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (the latter 2 weeks aka PMS) the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response increases, which increases sensitivities to stress. Meanwhile, progesterone makes the brain more reactive to emotions and stressors. The poor gal looks to her self-soothing techniques to help her cope. Losing yourself in food, alcohol, sex and yes, rock and roll, are all pretty sure-fire ways to find comfort.
My girlfriend kept saying she was getting her period. And asked me if I was, which I said no, because, well, I didn’t think I could already be there. And I put it aside and went about my weekend.
We went to Governors Island on Saturday. After an early 2½-hour exercise extravaganza (30-minute bike ride, 30-minute walk, 30-minute spin, 30-minute walk, 30-minute bike ride), I pounded my smoothie, packed some fruit and an avocado for later and hit the ferry with the kids and our friends. After we finally got there and got settled, it was time for lunch. I didn’t have that much with me and as the day went on, I became ravenous. By the time we got home (a little after 3pm) I was starved and hit the trail mix hard. Even though it was all sprouted it was just too much and my hunger continued.
Then we went to a birthday party aka pizza and cake. I ate olives and pounded water. After the party, I went on a date in the East Village. Someone new. A French guy with a kid and some similar life experiences. It was really fun and nice and felt great to be out on a Saturday night in the village feeling some chemistry. By the end of the evening — I was home before midnight! Funny what becomes the end of a Saturday night when you are 40 plus and a full-time mama! — there was even some kissing action, which was super fun. So we made a plan to see each other the next day.
But then something weird happened. I got totally bugged out. I won’t go into all the details, but all I knew for sure was that I didn’t know this guy. But I was feeling chemistry and having fun. And enjoying kissing. After my last two experiences with guys whom I felt chemistry with and had fun with and enjoyed kissing with…well, all of a sudden I felt nervous and uncomfortable. I think it could be called vulnerability. And I didn’t like it, not one bit.
I was in bad shape after my breakup with my ex beau. Really bad shape. And the last guy I was seeing (my friend and I call him “Tokyo”), well I’m still dealing with the repercussions of our last encounter when he declared he was not ready for anything serious. Since I had already started to develop feelings, I kinda told him I wouldn’t be able to continue seeing him. Then he went away for a couple of weeks. I’ve been aware that he should be returning home soon. Wondering how it will play out when he contacts me. Reminding myself that I will have to be the strong one and just say no to a drug that will send me sky high and then catapult me back down at lightning speed.
Tokyo was a distraction from my broken heart over my ex. Was this guy now going to be the distraction from Tokyo? And how much longer would I have to ride the train wreck of a roller coaster anyhow? Boy! Did I ever wanna start pounding shots now and stop my monkey mind from another word of chatter. And especially from any chatter that made any kind of sense!
So I did what any girl would do. I bolted. Poor Frenchie didn’t know what had happened. I ran past the palm trees, the waterfall and outta that atrium glass-topped palace, straight into the first taxi I saw. He asked if I was all right and if we were still on for tomorrow. I nodded yes, even though I knew the answer was “Not a chance in hell that I am ok and no, I will not be seeing you again, ever!” I went home, checked on my babies, paid the babysitter, locked the door and got ready for bed. When I looked at my phone there was a text from him again asking if I was all right. I told him I was fine and safely back at home. I figured I’d deal with the rest of it tomorrow.
Just before getting into bed I looked at my phone one last time. There was another text. This time it was from Tokyo. He was reaching out, letting me know he was thinking of me, all the way from the Philippines. I put the phone down and climbed into bed. I tossed and turned most of the night.
Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.