If you're going to risk mall-jail, make your bed first, says Rebecca Davis

When the author of Self-Helpless decided to quit drinking, she made it her mission to find 'alternative' options to stay sane in an insane world. Here's the final part of our conversation with her about this arduous odyssey

11 July 2019 - 14:14 By Mila de Villiers
Rebecca Davis, author of 'Self-Helpless'.
Rebecca Davis, author of 'Self-Helpless'.
Image: Leila Dougan

Think "Rebecca Davis".

Adjectives including "SA's very best white" (merci for that one, Marianne Thamm), "award-winning journalist" and "the woman who puts the 'wit' in Twitter" ought to be conjured.

But "self-help author"?

If "nah, bru" is your initial response, not to worry - this born cynic would agree hands down.

Self-Helpless - Davis's latest contribution to the local literary scene which chronicles her year-long "journey" of immersing herself in the world of auras, chakras, sweat lodges, mindfulness and (much) more - was spawned when she resolved to undertake "one of the most difficult things I've ever done": Quit Drinking.

'Self-Helpless: A Cynic's Search for Sanity'.
'Self-Helpless: A Cynic's Search for Sanity'.
Image: Pan Macmillan

Intrigued as to why the struggle was so onerous? Take a look at the facts:

The former Rhodent (all together now: "eat, sleep, mare, repeat!") discovered alcohol at 18 and pursued her newfound hobby with such a "passionate intensity" that by the time she reached 34 she calculated that she had spent roughly 9,984 hours of her 16 years as dopper, well, drinking.

Abstaining from the Demon Drink made Davis question How. The. Hell. sober people cope with an increasingly insane world?

(And she has plenty to worry about - giraffes are facing extinction, Day Zero remains a shaky reality, the world is running out of sand... Things are even bleaker now than in '87, R.E.M.)

Cue the alternative method quest to stay sane inside insanity.

Keen to hear how that went down?

Take a deep breath ... Hold for three ... Exhale ...

Aaaaand read:

If you're going to risk mall-jail, make your bed first

Considering that self-help books are among the most shoplifted books in SA one wonders whether Davis would be flattered if someone were to zop a copy of Self-Helpless...

"You know, not at all because I wouldn't get any royalties," Davis rationally states, "but ... I would love the idea; I love the concept," she cogitates with a slight smile. 

"I would be disturbed," Davis continues with a slight raise of her eyebrows, "and I would say that if you were to risk mall-jail then you should do it for a superior self-help book such as..." She mulls her answer over for a few seconds, absentmindedly biting her lower lip, before settling on "Make Your Bed".

"Because that shit works."

Finish en klaar. 


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