Pause without great results

Lose weight, sleep better, be fitter, full of energy, glowing skin: when you take a break, you hope to experience one or more of these benefits. Unfortunately for Elizabeth (50) that kite does not hold. Yet she persists and is happy with her choice to leave the alcohol for the time being.

“The first time I participated in IkPas was in 2019. After that, instead of a 'stable', I got more of a blinking light relationship with alcohol. Then again a period yes, then again no. But if I did drink, my weekends soon somehow got longer and longer. Because on Monday there was still some left over from the weekend and on Thursday a birthday.

I felt that I was always in control of my alcohol consumption. I usually knew when to stop. But since I've gone through menopause, I can't trust my body anymore. Sometimes I seemed tipsy after just one glass of wine. It also bothered me that the temptation to drink was great for me. I canceled sports lessons or concluded the next day that my doubts about whether that last glass was still possible had been justified.

I have been on a break since January 1. And I made a deal with myself that I'm going for the hundred days. That is now about four weeks. That's actually way too fast for me. I am not yet sure what role alcohol should play in my life. So I extend my hundred days with a sober spring. Then I'll take a break at least until June.

I haven't noticed my break at all so far. And by that I mean that I don't feel I have improved physically or mentally. Maybe part of this has to do with the menopause I'm in right now. But whatever it is: I sleep worse rather than better, so I don't wake up refreshed, I don't feel more energetic or happier and I don't lose a gram.

But that doesn't stop me from continuing. What makes me feel good is the pride I feel that I can keep this up. Even though I don't experience any of the often mentioned benefits, there is peace in my head. What also helps me keep going is my plan B. For anyone who experiences the alcohol break like me, with no obvious physical benefits; have a plan B. When you start fitting, there is initially the happy rejoicing, the curious about what it will bring you. If it doesn't seem to bring you anything, but you want to stick with it, then a plan B is fine. In my case: 100 days without a drop, whatever happens. Purpose, as Petra Moes calls it. Because that seducer, or the wine witch (Clare Pooley) really knocks on the door and hard.


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