Monique: Environment: support us

“Why are you doing this to yourself? You can just drink only on weekends, right?” I was told when I told them at work that I was participating in IkPas again. Or: “Yes, but in those 40 days you are allowed to sin once. Just do it in moderation on a girlfriend's weekend.” And: “You're going to make a toast when your granddaughter is born, aren't you? The champagne has been cold for a long time.” And a very original one: “Do you know that Lent does not count Sundays? Count it, it really is forty days of fasting, but without Sundays. Sunday is a holiday and you don't have to fast.”

My husband respects my decision and supports me, but wonders if I still want to go into town for a Friday night snack and drink to kick off the weekend. Of course I still want that. Even though I won't drink alcohol. It's mainly about the fun and atmosphere, catching up together after a busy week. I will have a hard time seeing the wine glasses around me, but then it's just a matter of swallowing. I can hardly live under a rock, just to avoid confrontations with alcohol?

All those well-intentioned comments remind me a lot of the haggling in my head. As if I hadn't considered all those exceptional moments. I still don't dare to put my hand in the fire for being able to stay sober for forty days in a row.

Fortunately, I also get support. It turns out that a number of people in my area are also 'dry'. One voluntarily, the other because of an operation and recovery. The one who hasn't drunk alcohol for two months is one of the friends who are going on the weekend trip. She just doesn't seem to be able to handle it anymore. “I'm getting old,” she jokes. Indeed, I hear that more often: women who go through the menopause, and suddenly can no longer tolerate alcohol. Of course, it also does not help with hot flashes and sleepless nights. On the other hand, the over-45s belong to the group of large consumers.

People who have little or nothing to do with alcohol can hardly imagine that it can be difficult for others to avoid alcohol. The same goes for food, smoking, drugs and other addictions. Of course I don't want to say that if you find something difficult, you are immediately addicted. It doesn't just depend on how much you do something. It also depends on how much 'sigh' you have, how important the food/smoking/drink is to you, and how often there is a loss of control: you often pretend to do things differently, but you make it anyway not true.

In the end, everyone can decide for themselves how things are going. But dear environment: please, support us in our New Year's resolutions.


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