Yesterday was my first big alcohol-free challenge, and I crushed it. Like in the good sense. I am super proud of myself. High five me!

You might not think that having to go to a luxury lodge and eat a five course lunch sounds particularly hard, but being sober around my parents has generally been something I’ve tried to avoid for the past ten years or so. But I did it. I drove us back from Wharekauhau even, and I was charming and funny and polite, and I didn’t even really miss the wine. I think this is where This Naked Mind has really come into its own, because all I could think about was that if I was drinking, I would be stressing about where and when my next drink was coming from. Of course it helped to be surrounded by people who love and support me too.

The menu. I chose lamb.

Full marks to Wharekauhau too, for stocking chardonnay juice and rose juice to match with their menus. It was nice to be able to feel a bit special and to ching glasses with everyone. Oh, and the food of course, the food was amazing. And it was fun to pretend for the day that we were rich enough to stay in a place like that (yes, I’m aware how wanky that sounds given the cost of lunch, but I guess we’re “lunch for a fiftieth wedding anniversary there” comfortable not “stay some nights there” rich). Here’s some photos.

I was absolutely exhausted and wiped out in the evening, which I put down to the physical stress of holding on to a handle thingie all the way on the drive up there thanks to my father’s driving, all the rich food, sitting up at lunch for three hours, being sugared up from all the juice and then deciding to go path of least resistance mentally, telling my parents just “I’m not drinking right now” and answering in the past tense when my mother asked the age of my people as we talked about age differences in couples.

Today I’ve been kind to myself and have taken a nap but also tidied my room, put away laundry and shortly I will be cooking dinner for a babe. Tomorrow a new challenge begins and that’s terrifying and exciting. I don’t know how I’ll feel when I get home from it, if I will want to pour myself a drink or not, but today I enjoyed being able to carry all my groceries at once without the weight of wine bottles, so I’ll focus on that.

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