In his darkest depression, one idea brought Christian Lewis out of the depths - and into a new life. Finding Hildasay is a brutal and beautiful true story of depression, survival, walking, and the meaning of home. With a foreword from long-time supporter Ben Fogle.
‘Now I was finally out of the force of the wind, my body began to warm – the part where the real pain sets in. I’d felt it plenty of times before on this journey, but this time it was different. As I began to regain feeling in my fingers and toes, it burned so strongly that I just sat in tears of pain.’
Ex-paratrooper Christian Lewis had hit rock bottom, suffering with depression so severe he would shut himself in his bedroom for weeks. Then while surfing – his only respite – he cast his eyes along the coastline and realized it was the only place he really wanted to be.
Making an impulsive decision to set himself a challenge – walk the entire coastline of the UK – Chris gave himself a few days to rustle up a tent and walking boots, then left for good with just a tenner in his pocket and two days’ worth of food. Little did he know at the time just how long it would take to cross the finish line – and the encounters that lay ahead that would turn his life around.
Five years later, Chris has navigated the West Coast, Northern Ireland, the hard-rock cliffs of Scotland and the perimeters of the Scottish Islands . He spent three months on an uninhabited island called Hildasay, where there was no fresh water or food. It was there, the most barren his route had become, that the more pride and respect he found within himself – and the more remarkable his journey became. Happiness and hope was just around the corner.
The word ‘inspiration’ is often overused; Chris really is an inspiration. I urge you to read his tale
Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO of SSAFA