Taking a break all winter

David (41) and Marjolein (51) have a good taste for pausing. Like several participants, they participated in Dry January, the bridging challenge and are still participating in the 40 days no drop challenge. And that being dry suits them just fine.

“It is my first experience with IkPas. I immediately tackle it thoroughly. It was about time too, because I had been struggling with my alcohol consumption for some time. Before corona, I mainly drank on weekends. With colleagues during an -extended- Friday afternoon drink. Or with friends. Dancing, drinking, laughing and talking: I enjoyed it immensely. And yet that alcohol use also bothered me. In the meantime I have seen too much alcohol-related misery around me to enjoy it carelessly. I also sometimes lost myself when I drank. And that's not a nice feeling.

Since we have been dealing with the corona pandemic, I have been working from home. So that has been the case for a year now. Because I don't come to the office, I don't see colleagues and there are no Friday afternoon drinks, my need to drink has also plummeted to a low point. A nice advantage to an unpleasant situation. I don't drink at home and when I see friends, I stick to a soft drink or plain water. Nothing wrong with that either.

In 2020 I spent another half year in Spain. At that time there was no lockdown there, so the terraces were open. The good life in Spain consists of sun, alcohol and tapas. I enjoyed it, but was able to pass the alcohol well. I also saw it as a test. Am I just as cozy without alcohol as I am with alcohol? It turns out that I dance, laugh and chat just as much without alcohol as I do with alcohol.

I don't know yet what role alcohol will play in my life after this break. What I do know is that I feel good. I no longer have conflicts with myself or others now that I don't drink. Maybe I should spend the rest of my life in all sobriety.”

Marjolein (51) also consciously chose to participate in all challenges. In addition, she made another healthy choice and with her participation she supports her partner who has a problematic relationship with alcohol.

In recent years I have been concerned with my health anyway. This is partly due to my partner's alcohol use. He drinks way too much, so I always thought my alcohol consumption was okay. I dare say he is an alcoholic. We were supposed to participate in IkPas together for the first time, but he is unable to drink.

If I don't take a break, I regularly let my partner persuade me to drink too: there is always a good reason to think of. Then I get to hear afterwards that he has been drinking because I wanted a glass. Also to get rid of that, not drinking is better for me and for him.

If I don't drink, it's confrontational for him. He really knows that he drinks too much. When he recently divided his alcohol consumption into units with a measuring cup, it turned out that he was still at nine units on days when he drank little. He thought it was three!

Since I stopped drinking on January 1, I have started taking morning and evening walks. Despite the fact that I already exercised about two or three times a week, these walks ensure that I am getting my 10,000+ steps every day.

I also became more involved in alcohol. I've read several books about it, including "Drink?" by psychiatrist David Nutt. In it I read about the clear link between alcohol and breast cancer. He states that only if you drink a maximum of one drink a year, the risk of breast cancer from alcohol is negligible. That's why I've decided to have one drink in 2021 after my 40 days. So that must be a very special moment. And a very special drink.”

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