How Not to Cleanse

By Kerry

So the cleanse is over and I’ve taken a few days to mainly stuff myself with actual real life foodstuffs until I want to vomit, but also to meditate on how it all went. And to be honest I think it was a bit of a failure. Quite a big failure actually.

Let me explain.

As you all know there were three separate elements to the cleanse so I think it best we tackle them each individually…

THE DIETARY CLEANSE
By far the most successful element. C9 you have been well and truly defeated. I have lived off pills and pond water for 9 days straight whilst attending daily classes, running anywhere I could and slowly losing my mind to insomnia. As a result I am lovely and thin once more. Totally batshit crazy but nice and thin so who is complaining.

Success.

THE SPIRITUAL CLEANSE
This was definitely less of an all out success. This wasn’t really a success at all. Kath really outdid herself and put together one hell of a program. Unfortunately whilst I fully embraced some elements, others really brought out the worst in me (hello hug challenge). Let’s break this down by day…

Day One – Withnail and I
This was a brilliant start to the whole process. A gentle reminder of what might happen if one does not embark on a cleanse/detox immediately via the medium of film. I think the best way to reflect on this would be via a transcript of my internal monologue whilst watching the film…
Hmmmmmmm I don’t think I have watched this film since I was a teenager. This boy who I was very much in love with (he was angry and angsty and mysterious or at least he thought he was and so did 17 year old me) was a bit obsessed with it so I was forced to watch it on repeat for the length of that miserable relationship). I really can’t tell the McCann brothers apart. I wonder which one this is. How many of them are there? Shit look how old Richard E Grant was even then. He’s meant to be 29?! Jesus Christ Richard E Grant is not 29. Richard E Grant was never 29. I wonder if he is actually 29 here or whether they did like Dawson’s Creek where they got 30 year olds in to play teenagers. Dammit I’d like a glass of wine. Or a vat of wine. A week in a cottage with nothing but a bucketload of drugs and booze is such a good idea. That’s much more fun than detoxing. I was fun once. I was really fun.  I would have won at Withnail and I once. I would definitely have been Withnail. No one wants to be I when they could be Withnail. I would have been better than Withnail.  I’d have wiped the floor with him and then some. Oh shit maybe this is a problem. Surely the point of watching Withnail and I is not aspiring to be more like Withnail…oh shit.

Fail.

Day Two – Positive Affirmations
I may have been a little late to The Rookery but once I got there I fully embraced this. I had a lovely time sitting on a bench surrounded by OAP joggers chanting self help drivel. But once again, although I completed the challenge, I fear I missed the point. The chanting may have helped me find my happy place but it turns out my happy place is showing off on a bench and giggling to myself at the absurdity of the sentence, ‘I love life and life loves me’. I’m pretty certain this was not the point.

Fail.

Day Three – Write Letter, Burn Letter, Scream
As I have never matured much beyond The Craft loving angsty teenager of yesteryear this task was by far my favourite. I definitely took the whole thing far to seriously. I even found a playlist named something stupid like ‘Teenage Emo Angst’ on Spotify to listen to whilst I put pen to paper. I didn’t manage to listen to more than 30 seconds of it. Turns out My Chemical Romance sound as bad in 2016 as they did whenever it was that they were a thing. Anywho, the whole process was quite therapeutic. Really therapeutic actually. I wrote some really good home truths (that Bernard will never read) and I jumped up and down on a book he gave me with real vigor (I thought burning literature was a bit too Nazi). I suggest that you all give it a go. It wont solve a thing but you’ll really enjoy yourself. And then go away and watch The Craft because, well, because it’s a bloody great film.

Success. Ish.

Day Four – Rock Salt Baths and Whale Song
I am really not a fan of a bath. I don’t get the point unless your shower is broken or you are suffering from an injury of some kind. I find them boring and I get flustered. I was not keen on this at all. Even less so as I wasn’t allowed to occupy myself with a book or music or anything. This seemed like a complete waste of my time. As did the whale song in a dark room that would follow.
I was right about not enjoying the bath. It was exactly as hot and dull as I expected and left my bathtub with rose petal mush blocking up the plug hole.
The whale music though was a revelation. Apart from the fact that Jeff the dog took an instant dislike to the whole business and sat outside my door barking throughout it really was quite relaxing. Maybe I was just overtired, but I genuinely could have laid there in the dark, napping, all evening.Not sure what the benefits were spiritually but I had a lovely time.

Success.

Day Five – Releasing Tina
Another brilliant call here. There is nothing I’d rather do than dress up as Tina Turner and faff around with some sage. Tina is my bloody idol. She not only knew about real life heart break but embodied a too short sequinned dress…my go to look. Oh and remember her in Mad Max 3. I was so bloody ready for this. Apart from the fact it took me two hours and a visit to every supermarket and cornershop between London Bridge and Streatham common to find any bloody sage. Oh and the fact that it needed to be dried sage in order to burn.
The whole thing was an unmitigated disaster. I did get to wear sequins and practice my Tina moves to Proud Mary though, which is the only way to pass a Tuesday evening as far as I am concerned.

Fail.

Day Six – The Five Hug Challenge
There are no words for how big a fail this was.
I was not happy about this from the offset. I am not afraid to ask people for a hug. I just don’t want to be hugged. I have no interest in being hugged for the sake of being hugged. If you are a crying and a mess I will give you a hug because I know that it will in some way comfort you and I’m a generous sort.  If I am crying please do not return the favour. Point me in the direction of a dark, sound proof room, where I can sob it out unseen by the general public. Honestly, I will be much happier that way.
So I started the challenge dubious but determined to succeed because I am bloody competitive and in my mind winning this challenge was the equivalent of beating Kath. In life.
I failed gloriously. Not only did I only manage three hugs, one of those was what Kath described as a ‘digital hug’. From Bernard.

Fail. Epic Fail.

Day Seven – Talk to a Man
Originally Kath tried to roll over the hug challenge for a second day but after I politely told her to go fuck herself she changed her mind. Instead she set me the pointless challenge of starting a conversation that lasted a minimum of four exchanges long with a man. It was a pointless challenge for two simple reasons:
1. She has been sending me on blind dates forever now where all I do is start conversations with men I do not know that last well over four exchanges.
2. I’m a bloody receptionist. I have to make small talk with an array of unknowns in the form of couriers, posties and clients every single day.
This was not a real task. Although I succeeded I still deem the whole exercise a waste of time and therefore a fail.

Fail.

Day Seven – Selective Reading of The Power of Now
The reading was easy. I got reading down to a fine art in like primary school. The content was fine. Obviously a little absurd (my mind is my enemy apparently and is using me) but some of it made sense. I get meditation as a concept. I really do think that being able to separate yourself from your thoughts is a good skill, it’s just not one that I want. Being neutral is not appealing to me. I want the highs and the lows. I want the passion. I want a Parisian architect husband who argues with me and occasionally breaks crockery. Meditation and my imaginary Parisian future husband are mutually exclusive.

Fail.

Day Eight – The Visualisation Board
Again a challenge I was very much up for. I bloody well love crafting. I particularly like crafting that involves cutting up celebrity magazines. I had big plans for my visualisation board. I planned to be be a modern day craft based Dr. Frankenstein. First I would craft my ideal me using the best bits of my favourite female famouses. Then I’d apply the same technique to crafting the ideal man. Finally I’d raid Elle decoration magazines and vogue travel guides to create the idyllic equatorial home of dreams for Mr and Mrs perfect to inhabit. But then I came across a Kooples catalogue. I realised immediately that I needn’t bother with any of the above as all I needed to do was email Kath the link to Devendra Banhart and his girlfriend’s Kooples video. Anyone watching these two beautiful people in their studio making art and being beautiful who doesn’t want their life is beyond help. Really just watch it. You’d be jealous, if you weren’t so in love with them and everything about them.
Again, I think I may have missed the point.

Fail.

Also I watched four episodes of The Affair back to back instead of The 7 Year Switch but I’d imagine they are similar so that’s ok.

THE BERNARD CLEANSE
Well there is absolutely no point lying about this. I failed to cleanse in anyway whatsoever. I spoke to him daily. I didn’t try to do otherwise. I think I have a problem.  I may need to attend some form of group therapy.  Fuck it.

Fail.

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