I am writing this not because I feel compelled to, I am writing this because I want NEED to tell my story.

2016 was a tough year for many. For me, the first few months were almost unbearable. I decided to try out a new career and I also moved into a new place… I didn’t know what I had just gotten myself into.

During the months of May, and all the way until September, I was completely broke. I mean, I was able to pay off my recurring debt and rent, but other than that, I had less than R500 to live off of for the rest of the month.

Now, I grew up in a very wealthy household until the recession struck in 2008. My parents lost absolutely everything, and I was angry at the world. This same anger filled me up again during those few months of 2016. I turned to drinking almost every single night. I didn’t go on a drunken spree or anything, I just kind of sat at home drinking and watching TV. I could’ve done more, sure, but I was hopelessly down in the dumps. A constant, powerful rage crept into almost every aspect of my life.

I tried to stay afloat by selling stuff I didn’t need anymore, but even after all that, I still felt crap. Nothing was going to get me out of the slump. I was not good.

But then something happened in late in September. It was a Wednesday night when we were invited to a Ugroup,  a group for young people who meet every week to talk about the love of God and a bunch of other things I had no time for prior to that night. Well, we decided to go… actually, I was forced to go.

And man, that night was an eye opener. I realised just how much I wanted in exchange for nothing on my part. I realised that I needed a drastic mindset switch. I realised that I am messing up my life, and the lives of those around me.

Within days of joining in and actually starting to believe that there is something greater than myself in the universe (and giving a damn about it), things started to change.

I was happy, even though I’m not living the dream. I was filled with a joy for life, I was actually smiling and laughing again (not because of drinking), I had an inner peace. It may sound like mumbo jumbo to you, but it completely made sense to me.

Even my financial situation was not in the red anymore.I made my end of month calculations including my vehicle installments, rent, and other things that needed paying, and for some or apparent reason I had in excess of R5000 to do stuff with. It didn’t make any sense. I didn’t receive an increase, nor did my outstanding debt suddenly go down. I made my calculations 20 times over. It boggled my mind. I thought I might’ve missed something somewhere… I did, the grace of God and His Son came into my life.

From there on out, I was way less quick to anger, and along with that came a much less destructive desire to drink (I still love my weekend beers). I started to actually follow the scripture, and I actively tried to become a better person. Give with an open heart, and if something unexpected happens in turn, it’s not by my hand, but with love from above.

Now, this isn’t a post to try to convince you to seek out something bigger than yourself. Not at all. This is just my story. A lingering tale I had on my heart for weeks but couldn’t quite figure out how to put it into words. I found it fitting to write this piece during December, as January will be tough again, and I can refer back to it when I’m feeling down. Even as we speak my dad is in ICU… if this happened during August, I would have no idea how to handle the situation. Now, I pray for him, praying that he will get better and that my “Ou Ballie” will be on his feet in no time, laughing with me, telling me old “war” stories and complaining about the Springboks…

Back to the article. Not only did I overcome the horrible path that was laid before me, I actually learned something from it. People are a peculiar species. Friends come and go, but the Lord will always be there for you, even if you deny him around every single corner.

He is always there for you.

I’m not claiming that I’m flourishing and making millions every month, and I won’t be able to handle that responsibility, I can see that now. I am good, just as He wants me to be.

In case you’re worried about Why Ed, we will still be bringing you all the music news, entertainment bliss, and festival feedback that made us what we are today. You can count on that, it’s our passion! And in totally related news, I have taken up skateboarding again (and it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought it would be), which I wasn’t able to do a few months ago.

With 2017 basically at our doorstep, I pray that all our friends, family and even acquaintances will have a great year. 2016 was rough, but I am truly excited for next year as I am planning on moving down to the Cape come 2017, and hope (and trust) that I can also be good there. Let’s gooi and have a great festive season! I’m coming for you SlaapStad.

I would like to thank first and foremost, Xavier for giving me the idea to attend something I rejected most of my life and my lady, for always believing in me, as well as Jacques and the rest of the guys at Unite180 for giving me a new perspective on life. It has changed me for the better.