Two years ago, my cardiologist once suggested not drinking for 6-8 weeks to measure the effect of alcohol on my arrhythmias. I looked at him with concern, because he added: well, that's very uncomfortable, isn't it?
A year ago I bravely agreed with my doctor to cut down on my alcohol consumption to see if that would have an effect on my blood pressure, which remained on the high side despite the medication. She encouraged me and expressed her confidence that I would succeed.
I then managed to reduce somewhat: the top was already off (I rarely drank more than six glasses in one evening) and I had already achieved something at the bottom: occasionally I didn't drink anything for a day.

When a few colleagues in January said not to drink for a month, I cried out with conviction that I would never succeed. It did, however, make me think. Why not? 25 years ago I had also stopped smoking. From one day to the next because I was pregnant. And because I had spoken to myself all these years that I would stop. And that worked without difficulty. Just don't do it anymore. Make and keep an appointment with yourself.

That should also be possible with alcohol, right? Moreover, I did not want to stop permanently, but to take a break. And above all reset. Trying to get rid of that idiotic habit of always opening the fridge when you get home and pouring a glass of wine. A moment for yourself, with a nice snack to go with it. Two glasses. Then cook and have another glass with dinner. Even though I didn't really feel like wine, I did. And sometimes later in the evening a nightcap. A pure habit.

A few weeks later I was ready: on February 26 I texted my friend that I was considering joining IkPas from March 6. He didn't hesitate: 'then I'll join you'. The whatsapp conversations we have had about this since then are classic and hilarious. It helped a lot to start it together. After the carnival, which we did celebrate with beer, the time had come. Late Tuesday night we both had our last glass of red wine in our own home. Delicious.

It is now day 36 (although I haven't been counting the days for a long time). I look back on an effortless alcohol-free period. With dinners, ski huts, parties and with a stock of wine at home that I could just look at. Occasionally a crodino, non-alcoholic beer/wine or non-alcoholic gin and tonic for special occasions, but usually nothing. And I didn't have a single difficult moment when I did want to drink. At least I wanted the taste of wine with the delicious food, but they should be allowed to remove the alcohol. Too bad that 0.0 wine still doesn't match the taste of real wine.

I'm now figuring out how to proceed with this. I do want to drink something tasty again on special occasions, but no longer open that fridge on autopilot every day. I will probably choose not to drink anymore when I am alone.

I am especially happy that I succeeded. That I can do this. Incidentally, I hardly have any advantages: I sleep more deeply and am slightly more concentrated. But I have not lost weight and the effects on my health are not yet noticeable. It is with great pleasure that I put the compliments of my surroundings in my pocket. It worked out nicely for me anyway.

Ellen (54 years)


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