BVHe could taste a drink for years, but Tom Helsen (45) has definitively renounced alcohol. The Flemish singer-songwriter took that decision after the sudden death of his comrade Geert Maris, the frontman of Nona Mez. “Alcohol destroys lives and makes bad feelings even worse,” Tom explained on Facebook. “It’s over for me.”
Helsen just announced his decision on Facebook. “This is a post that will be awe-inspiring for many to read,” he says. “It’s the most confrontational – but probably one of the most important – I’ve ever written. Last night I drank alcohol for the last time in my life. I sat at the bar in Café Sport (a well-known Leuven folk café, ed.) to drink away my grief for my friend Geert, who had just died.”
A day earlier, Helsen already announced via Facebook that that friend was Geert Maris, the frontman of Nona Mez. “A good comrade, one of the most genuine and sincere people I have ever met and a fantastic songwriter,” it sounded. In the same post, Helsen also indicated that he felt guilty. “I lost track of Geert for a few years. I said to myself so often: I urgently need to meet with Geert, and I didn’t. He’s been really lonely the last few years. He died alone and that’s terrible.”
Take care of yourself
But numbing his grief at a café was not the solution, Helsen now indicates. “Alcohol is a hard drug. It destroys lives, people, families, relationships. It arouses aggression, makes bad feelings worse and many people eventually die from it. I want to stop for my friend Geert.”
“Unlike many of my friends, my body cannot tolerate alcohol very well,” says Helsen. “After a pint or five I was already at my maximum. And if I didn’t drink three liters of water before bed, I would have a super hangover. But many of my friends continue to drink: hard and way too much. One can of course handle it better than the other, but it is poison and very bad for your head and body. Obviously grabbing a pint every now and then is no problem, but for me it’s over. I just want to lead by example…You don’t have to quit like me, but moderate please, take care of yourself. Life is way too short.”
Tom Helsen is not the only BV making such a choice. Presenter Evi Hanssen (43) and actress Cathérine Kools (40) also recently stopped drinking alcohol.
Tom Helsen leaves the MIA’s after fifteen minutes: “Suddenly a feeling of emptiness and superficiality overcame me”
Evi Hanssen gives tips to (temporarily) renounce alcohol: “People often do not understand why you should stop drinking if you are not in the gutter”
Actress Cathérine Kools stopped drinking 561 days ago. Together with expert she gives tips to say no to alcohol (+)
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