Straight from the pen: Linda
Last year I entered for the first time and decided during the holidays that enough was enough. I didn't dare admit it, but it was true: I just drank too much alcohol. Not to get drunk, but because I just really enjoy my glass of wine or specialty beer. Yet I also had moments when it didn't bother me, when I actually just drank because the evening was not over yet, because there were still visitors, or because the bottle was not yet empty. In hindsight, really stupid reasons…
At that time, the media also paid a lot of attention to 'Dry January' and so my curiosity grew. I asked for, and received, the book 'Unwrapping' as a Christmas present and I vowed to stop immediately after the Christmas holidays, until mid-February, because then we would go on holiday.
I also started reading in my new book. Although I had already read small bits of it, which had been published in the media, distributed via Facebook or through interviews with the author, I was still slightly surprised. Sometimes I even felt ashamed. I could only confirm what I read. I could identify with it completely and just had to admit that I could no longer keep blinders on. The alarm bell was already ringing and I knew it very well. The switch had to be turned!!
I had decided it myself and had to do it 'alone'. That is to say, my Love did not join me, but neither did he insist. And I sometimes found that a bit difficult.
During that first 'dry' period I couldn't really find my way around it and I kept looking for 'something tasty'.
I had bought some non-alcoholic beer, but somehow I apparently had just the wrong brand or taste, because it didn't appeal to me. I actually thought (and still think) a fresh tonic with ice the best non-alcoholic drink.
I therefore had no desire to experiment with mocktails or other often too sweet drinks. In the meantime, my alcohol-free period was progressing nicely and my book was almost at its end. The chapter on alcohol-related illnesses stayed with me for a long time, especially the part on cancer. I never dared to say it out loud then, but as soon as I read about it, I couldn't get it out of my mind.
Breast cancer can be traced back to alcohol use in 25% cases.
And if there's anyone who has enjoyed red wine a lot and often over the past 20 years, it's me. When I read this all so clearly, in black and white, it immediately gave me an indefinable feeling.
Spring and summer followed and I was very conservative with alcohol. I also exercised (for my part) quite a lot and I was very conscious about nutrition.
And yet it just suddenly happened to me. At the beginning of September I discovered a lump in my breast and a few days later I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
After that everything changed. My outlook on life, my eating and drinking habits and being constantly aware of what had happened in my body and that I don't want that to happen to me again.
From the beginning of January I have been alcohol-free for six full weeks and during the last spring break I allowed myself a small break, because we went on holiday for a week. Of course I started the new 'Ik Pas' 40 days again.
How that week went with alcohol and how I picked it up again, you can read in my next blog.