Only benefits

When I was a student, I drank a lot. When working life started, I gave up and drank only a few times a year. A few years ago I went through a difficult period, in which I started drinking more and more. At one point I drank at least three days a week and usually had to empty the bottle of wine. Although I didn't experience any negative effects from drinking (I thought), there was always this vague voice in my head that said, "All that drinking wasn't good after all." I drank more than I would like and didn't feel good about it. That is why I registered for IkPas for the first time over a year ago.

That hit me hard! I thought it would be pretty easy not to drink for a month, but it wasn't for me. I sinned five times that month and I was very upset about it. Yet it was not a 'failed' period, because I have drunk considerably less and less often in the past year than in the years before. Full of good courage I started my second IkPas period on 1 January and luckily it went a lot easier than the year before. Unfortunately, exactly halfway through, I gave in to the wine witch. The next day I picked it up again.

Would it work now, 40 days without drinking? I hope so. That doesn't sound very convinced, of course, and I tend to get mad at myself and say, 'Make a decision and stick to it! How hard is that at all?! Just do it!' But yeah, that doesn't help. What does help me is keeping in mind the benefits of not drinking. And those benefits for me are these:

  • Sleep! After a while of not drinking, I sleep like a baby. When I started IkPas last year, I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. It was like having to relearn how to sleep 'normally'. But after about 10 days I slept wonderfully! In the past year, in which I drank much less than before, I stayed in the 'normal' sleep mode: an occasional bad night when I'd been drinking, but then (almost) immediately good again.
  • Knees. For the past few years I've had pain in my knees in the mornings. Not a big deal, but annoying. I thought it had to do with getting older; I'm not 20 anymore after all. Not so. When I hadn't drunk for a while last year, I could jump out of bed in the morning and run down the stairs.
  • Wake up refreshed. In addition to the above, I wake up fresh, fruity and early and feel like doing all kinds of things.
  • I just feel like it more if I don't drink for a while. And sports makes me happy, although I feel a (fresh) reluctance beforehand.
  • Without alcohol the night before, I don't wake up – at night or the next morning – with a dry mouth and thirst.
  • Working just goes better.
  • I like to watch police series or detectives on Netflix. Preferably the Swedish one. When I look at this soberly, I remember a lot more details, including those that are relevant to 'solving' the case. And really, the series is much more fun!

A long list of benefits. I think I'll LIST it and put it in a place where I can see it every day. In any case, I'm looking forward to the fitting period and wish all my fellow fitters a lot of wisdom and fun!

Until next week!

My name is Maaike and I am 40 years old. I live near Utrecht with my two children aged 8 and 9. I have spent most of my working life in a laboratory. Two years ago I retrained as a data scientist and now I am programming and building computer models on a daily basis. Delicious. In my spare time I like to meet with family and friends to eat and chat. I also read a lot and I like cycling.

During my student days I drank quite a lot and often. With the start of working life, I stopped and drank a few times a year, on occasions. When I went through a rough period a few years ago, I started drinking more and more wine. After a while I noticed that it was difficult for me to get rid of it and decided to do something about it. This is the second year that I participate in IkPas. Last year only in January; This year I am also taking on the 40 day challenge. I'm looking forward to it again!



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