Caecil: Forty Days to Ponder

March 7, 2019 / Topical / blog

Two years ago I participated in IkPas. Because I started on the day after Ash Wednesday, I participated the entire Lent. I saw that as a kind of Ramadan and found it a challenge to let the wine sit for a while. It didn't just work out. There were days, especially on weekends, when I really missed reaching for the wine bottle. But, to speak in Easter terms, I've done it.

Last September I broke my elbow and on October 1st I had surgery. Based on the idea that the anesthesia had to leave my body and that it was wise not to drink while I was still officially 'under the supervision' of the surgeon, I did not touch any wine for six weeks after the operation. The first weeks were very easy, because the recovery from the operation required a lot of attention and the lust had literally disappeared. The rest of those six weeks went pretty well. Only the beginning of the weekend was difficult and usually evoked the association with wine.

When I was discharged from the surgeon on November 13, I first celebrated that in the evening with two glasses of wine during an ad hoc party dinner with friends. However. And already after a few weeks I was drinking again at my old level. Then the holidays came and all of a sudden it started to annoy me; eating a lot and extensive, often and drinking a lot, I didn't enjoy it much anymore. Those six weeks of being dry had apparently done something to me after all. I remembered a fresher head in the morning, more concentration and focus on conversations (particularly in the evening), sharper memories of the night before and less fluid retention.

Facebook reminded me of the Ik Pas month in January and I signed up. Good to turn your back on the booze for a while. When the flu took hold in the in-laws, it was my turn too. Perhaps partly the result of all that eating and drinking, that just does something to your resistance. On New Year's Eve, I was like a dishcloth. My eyes would rather not open, my nose ran, there was a carpenter in my head and my stomach protested. Let alone that I was in the mood for oliebollen, wine and champagne. My Ik Pass period started a day earlier than planned.

On February 1, the wine rack called to me that there was another bottle waiting and it opened immediately. Just like in November, I started with one or two glasses, but after a few weeks the pace and quantity were back to normal. This time, too, it was against me. A week before I Pas Lent started, I said goodbye to the drink again. But now I'm starting to doubt whether I want to drink at all. Forty days to think about.

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