The Secret Life of a Fundraiser

That’s step 1 done.
At least I got out of bed after 36 hours of festering in my own misery.

In that time I didn’t open the curtains despite it being a wonderful sunny Good Friday.
I didn’t eat.
I barely drank anything and cried most of the time.
I threw in some sleep for good measure but didn’t shower or brush my teeth.
I’m still in the same clothes I was wearing 3 days ago.

Yeah, in know, it’s gross. Judge me if you want. Sympathise. Empathise. Whatever.

Just now, I got out of bed and can feel the horrible dark cloud finally lifting away.

This fundraising malarky for my Great British Rowing Challenge is the toughest, most relentless thing I have ever done. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think it would be easy, but I certainly didn’t think it would destroy me like it has.

As a result, I’ve lost my appetite, lost the ability to think about anything else, I don’t want to socialise and because my mind is so busy all day, I have the weirdest dreams that wake me up in the middle of the night leaving me unable to get back to sleep.

Was this what I expected when wanting to row around Britain? No!

I can quite honestly say, I have ruined the last few months of my life and am now genuinely worried about my own mental health.

People are starting to question if I should carry on.  Even the ones who fully support me in everything I do are questioning if I should carry on. They can see I’ve lost my personality and am on the edge of depression. The truth is, I am too scared to admit to them that I am actually depressed. Not getting out of bed to even eat or brush my teeth for 36 hours pretty much highlights where I’m at right now.
I’ve cancelled all my Easter holiday plans and don’t want to see anyone. I’ve been there before, I know what the signs are.

So, why am I carrying on?
Why am I doing this to myself?

7 weeks today, I leave from Essex to row 1,800 miles around Great Britain. Do you like my optimism?
I have dedicated the last 12 months to this challenge. Even when I didn’t have anywhere to live and sleeping in my van, I would spend my days in the local library, learning how to design my own website and contacting sponsors.

With less than 2 months to go, I’m not going to give up.  I could be just one day away from a sponsor wanting to get involved. If I throw in the towel now, I am going against everything I believe in, and that’s working hard for the things we want the most.

I’m the top one

If I give up now, I would feel just as bad as if I carry on.
Imagine the questions…

Them: “How’s the training going for the row?”
Me: “Oh. I’m not doing it anymore, it was too hard.”
Them: “Oh.”  **Thinks: Clearly she’s not as tough as I thought.**

It would be just as much of a ball ache to cancel all the media appointments I have booked, refund everyone their donations and I’d likely go into hiding just so people didn’t ask me any questions.
It’s just as easy to carry on.

I’m £7,000 into my £21,000 target to row around Great Britain.
I do not have family members supporting me.
I do not have a marketing business, PR company or design team giving me advice.
My charity is unable to support me until I have raised the £21,000 to take part in the challenge.
I’m teaching myself everything and making it up as I go along.
It is the biggest learning curve I have ever been on and I am shattered.

I have 5 weeks to raise the remaining £14,000.
Most say it is impossible. But I don’t know unless I keep trying.
I have sent thousands of emails and invested a few thousand pounds of my own money into this. There are weeks where I sacrifice my food shopping money for marketing materials. (Thankfully I was sent some free peanut butter).
I cannot even begin to guess how many hours I have dedicated to this project.
Something from this has to result in something, surely?
Please, Universe. Reward me with something 🙏🏼

Next time you are scrolling through Instagram and see someone getting paid to go on adventures, next time you watch a celebrity and think they have it easy because they have loads of money and a massive support crew, that person who blogs about products and gets paid for it, it’s likely they have all worked their asses off to get to that stage.
I wonder if they ever stayed in bed for 36 hours and didn’t brush their teeth as well?

On that note, I have a date with my toothbrush and my rowing machine. I’ll likely pull it out of the shed and into the fresh air to help me make my next action plan. I’m thinking about doing a half marathon to get rid of the demons and send the black dog on his way for a few days.

The truth is, doing this alone is so very lonely but I suppose it’s all part of the challenge.