However, being slightly more grounded this year, I want to do something to help those who are going through the same pain and isolation that I did.
For those who aren’t familiar with The 21 Challenge it is an initiative run by Open Family Australia to help homeless youth in Australia.
From June 1st to 21st you challenge yourself, or your friends, to do, or not do, something to fundraise for the various services this organisation operate to help the 32,000 at risk homeless youth in Australia.
When trying to decide what to do I considered the suggestions listed on their website, including:
- Give up smoking for twenty-one days.
Declined given that it would, based on my current stress and anxiety levels, lead to some form of breakdown and/or death. And this would possibly be bad.
- Go on a date everyday for twenty-one days.
Reluctantly declined given the complete lack of interest from the opposite sex. Funny how no-one wants to date an ex-homeless romantic. Ah well, their loss!
- Write a novel or short story.
Declined given I’m doing this anyway, so it would (sort of) be cheating.
- Go twenty-one days without chocolate.
I can’t even remember the last time I ate chocolate. Maybe eat chocolate every day for 21 days…nah, too fattening.
But none of them clicked with me.
Yes, giving up soft drink would probably be good for me whilst dress in flannel pyjamas 24/7 sounds far too comfortable. The other problem was (like giving up cigarettes) I needed to find something I could do that took into account my stress, anxiety and mental health concerns.
The last thing I need at the moment is to feel like a failure, hence why I needed to come up with something that (a) I thought I could comfortably manage (b) challenged me in some way and (c) would be helpful to my ongoing recovery.
Eventually, after much pondering and nicotine, I had a brain wave.
What if I took the old saying “do something new every day that scares you” and run with it. This way, on days I was able to leave the house I could do things out there, whilst on days I had to remain indoors, I could do something in there.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
Every day, from June 1st to June 21st, I will do something I have never ever done before, something that scares me, something that sends chills down my spine at the very thought of it. And each day I will report upon this ‘thing’ in a blog post of questionable quality so everyone can keep up to date with what I’m doing and laugh at my occasional insanity.
Sometimes I believe we think a little too grandiose when it comes to this. How many of you had images of skydiving, running with the bulls and wrestling a hippopotamus when you read that quote?
Just so you all know now, I will not (unless the opportunity presents itself) be doing any of this.
What I will be doing is challenging my inner self to overcome some of my personal fears and foibles. To achieve some of the dreams I held onto whilst homeless and challenge myself to become someone again.
I know from first hand experience the pain homeless people go through. When I first became homeless I was terrified but, over time, I found the strength to fight and overcome this phase of my life. It’s now time to help others who are experiencing what I once did.
People who are just as scared, just as alone, just as lost as I once was.
If I believe in anything in life it is that we are all here to fight for a better future. Not just for ourselves, but for those who are not as privileged, ‘lucky’ or fortunate. There are too many homeless people in Australia, and it’s time we did something about it.
Given my isolated state I may not be able to fundraise much, but I at least want to try. If you would like to sponsor me, you can do so here via my 21 Challenge Profile Page here or by clicking on the 21 Day Challenge image in the sidebar.
And from June 1st, I will be posting daily updates on this blog under the tag ‘The 21 Challenge’
- Reflections on being homeless, Part 1 (myjourneywithdepression.wordpress.com)
- Reflections on being homeless, Part 2 (myjourneywithdepression.wordpress.com)
- [365 Day Challenge] 001. Hopes. Dreams. Plans (myjourneywithdepression.wordpress.com)