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About 4 years ago, I finally accepted a huge part of my life and stopped hiding. I 'came out'. I thought that was the hardest part over, but BOY WAS I WRONG. Being true to who I am was the beginning of my journey and 3 years ago, after suffering with Depression and Anxiety since my mid teens, I decided they had taken over my life for long enough. Instead of ending my life, which trust me… was a thought never far from the back of my mind, I chose instead to change my life, to LIVE life. Over the years I've sought out counselling, CBT, self-help lessons, alternative medical treatment, therapy, healing … for a boy of 18 finding my way out of depression was exhausting and at times that feeling of failing to find my happiness has been soul destroying, yet I know to find the happiness I’ve been searching for I must see and accept parts of me that I’ve hated.
There’s been times where the only way I knew which day it was was because it was written on my tablets. Days stopped being days, instead they became nights, long dark nights that I didn’t know how to deal with. I was hiding, hiding who I was, hiding my depression, hiding my tablets. It’s funny isn’t it how you isolate and hide yourself from the people you love the most, who can see straight through you anyway, who were there gently holding my hand from the sidelines giving me the strength I needed to take each next step. Looking back I see it now, it’s just when you’re in the thick of it all the darkness felt like I was walking through life without breathing. I couldn’t cry, couldn’t reach out to those I loved because that involved me telling the truth and I wasn’t ready for that. Instead I was trying to deal with all this anguish on my own so no one would know how truly weak I was on the inside…
I suffer with mental health, I battle with depression and anxiety, self harm and have problems with eating and self image. It’s something that I’ve learnt to be vocal about in hope that parts of my journey would inspire and help others through theirs - to make my scars worth something.
What is a secret though, is that I still haven’t fully accepted who I am (shhh) and I still struggle with it every day. There are times when it feels like I’m always climbing that bloody mountain! Recently I was diagnosed with body dysmorphia, on reflection I’ve realised, it’s because I still don’t accept who I am and I project that on my appearance and how others see me. I realise I’m trying to mould my body, my appearance into what is accepted by society, posing in the ways that I know will get more likes from people I don’t even know on social media, to prove to myself that I’m ‘liked’ because their affirmation resembles a little bit of the social acceptance that I’m searching for.
The counselling, CBT, spiritual healing the medication ... I’ve done all that. And yes of course it helped. But what helped me the most is the amazing support network and encouragement from my parents, my brother, my family and friends. I was and still am, encouraged to be me, all of me and be the best version of me I can be. That’s who I am now, strong, resilient and brave. I’ve learnt that I am strongest when I’m most vulnerable, and that it’s ok. I’m still creating myself every single day, I take a breath, finding new spaces for me to fill with colour. I’m learning how to manage the thoughts in my mind and how to challenge my limiting beliefs and the behaviours that come as a result of that - not to better myself, but to better the relationship I have with myself.
I’ve cried so many tears, I’m still fighting to be perfect and still learning that to find the perfection in the imperfection and y'know, I don't regret a thing. All of this has made me who I am today, and whilst I’ve still got a way to go, I’ve unleashed an inner strength and resilience I didn't know I had. I’m making something from all the hurt and the torture this journey of me has taken me though. I’m living for my scars, not because of them, so I can help other people do the same - no one deserves to feel the overwhelming feeling of sadness and loneliness I still feel somedays.
Not everyone is as lucky as me to have the support network that I had and am still so VERY lucky to have. That makes me sad, yet it also fuels a drive and passion in my heart to help people, to help the people that don’t have the support that continues to make a difference to my world every day. Today I’m raising money for the Princes Trust charity, with all the funds I raise directed to mental health support programmes. My dream, one day, is to set up my own charity. For now, on the 24th June 2018 I’m jumping out of a plane (hopefully with a nice looking guy strapped to my back) and take the leap, to fly like I’ve longed to do for so long, like Peter Pan … I AM GOING TO FLY ... Second star to the right and straight on ‘till morning is where I’ll be heading - for myself, for all the other lost boys, for people just like me to unlock their true potential and find their beautiful smiles again.
“I'll teach you how to jump on the wind's back, and then away we go.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Help me, help others, believe, believe in them, in me, in you … Donate today and lets do this together …. thank you xx
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Aug 7, 2018
Better late than never! Well done you beautiful boy, inspiring as always!!! Never change, you are amazing xx
Jul 10, 2018
Well done Josh you should be very proud of yourself doing the jump and raising money for a great cause 👍
Clare & Toot
Jul 10, 2018
Well done Josh!
Jul 2, 2018
So proud of you ! Love Mom, Matt, Granny, Steph and Mrs S xxx
Josh Taylor Watson
Jul 1, 2018
Jun 24, 2018
Jun 22, 2018
I love you so much <3
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