Long pauser talking
Margrethe emailed us from France. That she was open to an interview. It is her first time IkPas and she is a real ambassador. Because her life has only gotten better and better since her break. You can read here how she went from joie de vivre with alcohol to joie de vivre without alcohol.
“We have been living in France for 12 years. Life here is wonderful. There is a lot of peace, the region has pleasant temperatures and many lovely people live there. We have a large social network. Throughout the year we receive many invitations and the summers are dominated by the night markets. The night markets are characterized by the many food and drink stalls and live music with singing and dancing. And when you think of drinking, you have to think of wine. In France they don't see wine as alcohol, so they drink well.
I did that until half a year ago. Not always with the same sense, but it happened. I am not a big drinker of my own and yet it happened much more often than I would have liked, that I again drank much more than was good for me. I slept badly, often got up drowsy and put on weight. I wanted to do it differently. Because we still watch and listen to Dutch television and radio in France, I heard about IkPas. I had never participated in it before. But now that I knew there was a community, I went for it. Before 00.00 on December 31, I drank a delicious champagne and then toast to the new year with a champagne glass of Perrier (sparkling water, ed.).
A few days later I had to rush to the Netherlands because my mother had passed away. A tough week followed, but despite the sadness and stress I didn't drink. I really needed to be proud of myself. I had made a promise to myself and to the community. I wouldn't drink for a month and I wanted to stick to that no matter what happened.
During Dry January, I managed very well not to drink by telling everyone I was in this big alcohol break. When I said: 'I don't drink, I participate in Dry January from IkPas', then no one else pushed anything. After that January, I extended my break, because I wasn't quite sure what role alcohol could play in my life. And I noticed more and more of the benefits that not drinking gave me. I slept better than ever and woke up refreshed. Unfortunately, the weight loss went less smoothly than hoped, but this was also due to my new candy habit. It took me a while to get over that 'addiction' too.
|Tip from Margrethe: “Does everyone at the table drink wine? Ask for your non-alcoholic alternative in a wine glass. In this way it will not be noticed that you are not drinking wine and 'you still belong'. Then if you take a regular glass of water next to it, you can drink from that and just sip from your wine glass. That way you won't be an exception in the company, not even for yourself (if, like me, you're sensitive to that). Only you don't have a headache the next day."|
It is quite difficult to live completely sober in a wine country like France. We live here between the vineyards of the Cahors and everything here is accompanied by drinking a good glass of wine. In the beginning I had a hard time with that, when everyone is drinking wine together and I am sitting there with my clumsy glass of Perrier, you feel a bit left out. But now, so many months later, I'm definitely not sad about it anymore. I feel liberated and discover many new and tasty alternatives. In the newsletters I have come across many alternatives. I have even passed on the discoveries of blogger Margreet to befriended restaurant owners. I have made it my mission to promote good non-alcoholic alternatives in my area.
As for alcohol in the future, I can be quite brief. I'm the 'all or nothing' type. A little drink or the occasional glass is difficult for me. So not unachievable. But now I feel so much better without alcohol that I don't want to drink anymore. The alcohol facts in the IkPas Newsletters continue to remind me why life is so much better without alcohol. I stick to my wine glass filled with a cozy non-alcoholic alternative. The benefits of not drinking really outweigh the 'benefits' of drinking alcohol.”