Emma: like father like daughter

"It is a child of the father!" my father always says with a smile when I order my umpteenth glass of red wine in the restaurant. My father likes a good drink and I don't know him any better than when he used to watch television with a headbutt on the couch. My mother has passed away for a while, but she was a Purser at KLM in the 1970s and 1980s and, of course, enjoyed traveling and the accompanying drinks during that period. My parents were Burgundian people and I think I was 10 years old when my mother allowed me to drink my first Breezer. Alcohol was part of life.

I also drank a lot in my youth. From my 15e I hung out with a group in the park and we always had a bottle of rosé and/or a joint in our hands. Every weekend there was a party and we went to the city, like most teenagers. When I went to live in rooms in Amsterdam for my studies, the fence was completely gone. At first I drank alone in company, but soon the appetite for a 'nice wine with dinner' grew and I drank a bottle of red in an evening as standard. I can remember that the bottle was already finished and I quickly went to get a second bottle of wine before 10 p.m. before the supermarket closed, and drank that bottle that evening. I also worked in a bar on the Nieuwmarkt in the heart of Amsterdam where the drink was all up for grabs. The next day the hangovers were terrible. The only remedy I could think of was an ice cold beer, nice and refreshing and you immediately feel a lot better. Sometimes I lay in bed all day.

You can imagine that because of this my study results were lousy and I didn't have enough points to pass. I noticed that this lifestyle was having a negative impact on my life and I was concerned that I had developed a serious alcohol addiction. On the other hand, I thought it was part of my college days and it was just a phase. During that time I panicked a lot and became depressed. I lost control of my studies and alcohol consumption and I felt weak and lifeless. The worst thing for me was that I wanted to pass my studies but also saw it as a huge obstacle. It took me a few years to break out of this downward spiral.

In 2016 I met my boyfriend who also likes a drink, but has better control over his alcohol behavior than I do. He works 40 hours a week and drinks only on weekends, sometimes on an occasion during the week. This also made me drink less partly because I didn't want him to see me as an alcoholic and it gave me the boost to really do something about it. The thought of cutting back has always crossed my mind. We moved in together, which really gave me a big stick. I slowly regained control and picked up my studies again, part-time so that I only go to Amsterdam to lecture on Friday and can work the rest of the week next to it.

I participate in IkPasom to prove that I can easily leave the booze and that I don't need alcohol to have a good time. It feels like a victory to me that I am in control myself. Because of this instructive period I can stop after 2 wines and I no longer have to drink the bottle compulsively. During the week we sit on the couch with a cup of tea. I am glad that with the help of IkPas I have broken my habitual behavior and that I can be more aware of the drink. That I feel fitter and that when I look in the mirror in the morning, I finally get rid of that tired look.

Emma (28 years)


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