Losing It

My mad, crazy journey to health and beyond

Promises, promises

on June 9, 2017


On the western head of Knysna sits a house. Not just any house. My house. A house that was bought 26 years ago with two bedrooms, bunk beds and plastic chairs. A house that has grown as we have grown, doubling in size, filling with furniture, knickknacks, memories, and love along the way. It is the place I last hugged my grandmother; the place I first held my nephew. It has celebrated countless Christmases, Easters, birthdays and anniversaries, welcomed friends and family, seen laughter, tears, despair and hope. And yesterday, it watched as Knysna burned.

I’ve always loved my birthday. When I was younger, it was because of the presents and the cake. Now that I’m older, it’s because it gives me the opportunity to celebrate something special with my family and friends. And eat cake. Yesterday however, I couldn’t eat cake. I could only watch as reports came streaming in. 10 000 people evacuated and displaced. 150 homes burned. Our dear neighbours’ house, razed to the ground. Lives, possessions, security, sentiment, gone, in clouds of smoke and fury.

I don’t pray often. I know that as someone who willingly identifies as Catholic, I should. But I don’t. I like telling people that I’m the worst Catholic ever, then ordering another round of tequila and lighting a cigarette. Street cred, yo. But yesterday I prayed. For the people of Knysna, for the town, for the animals, for the emergency workers, and for that house, on the western head.

But because I don’t talk to God often and I spend more time drinking than praying, I figured I had to throw something extra in. Just to let Him know I was SERIOUS. So at 3am on 8 June, just a few hours into my 40th birthday, I promised God that if He kept our home safe, I would give up alcohol for six months.

Your move, big guy.

Now, I have no idea why God would care if I gave up drinking. From all New Testament accounts, Jesus was a mad wine fan. And I’m certain the people of Knysna would care even less. My not drinking is in no way useful to them whatsoever. But as I say, I had to show the man upstairs that I was hella serious. So a sobriety pledge it was.

Spoiler alert: As of 1 July 2017, I will be giving up alcohol for six months.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that alcohol has always been a big stumbling block for me. You’ll know that I’ve gained weight, that I’ve been struggling with consistency, that breaking my ankle hasn’t helped, and that I’m seeing a life coach to help me get my mojo back. Believe it or not I was actually planning on giving up alcohol for 100 days from 1 July anyway. But in the great game of life, the big man has seen me, and raised me.

So yes. If in the coming months you’re wondering why I’m sucking on sparkling water while you’re getting tiddly on wine, here’s your answer. And you can laugh and think I’m an idiot or tell me why you think God doesn’t exist or try to get me to have JUST ONE DRINK or attempt to convert me to atheism or something. Go wild. Unfortunately I have this annoying characteristic where if I make a promise, I stick to it. It won’t be easy. From past experience I can tell you right now that it will be very, extremely, massively, fucking hard. But when I go home to Knysna, I’ll have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, a lounge to veg in, a patio to braai on, and many many more memories to be made. And it will all be totally worth it.

On a completely unrelated note, does anyone want to get unbelievably hammered with me on 30 June?

NB: While my giving up alcohol will do sweet bugger all to help the residents of Knysna, there are plenty of ways to show your support. Click here to find out how you can make a difference.


One response to “Promises, promises

  1. […] Promises, promises Aug […]

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