THIS time two years ago, Josh Codling tried to take his own life after selling his possessions for one last “blow out” of drugs and drink.

But now, the Romsey resident is looking to raise money for the charity that helped save his life by walking 19,000km along the UK’s coastline.

After being expelled from school when he was just 14 years old and kicked out of his family home at 16, Josh became heavily involved in drink and drugs while sofa surfing with friends.

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When he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, anxiety and depression, he was on track to become another number in the escalating world of male suicide.

In May 2020, after he had sold his possessions, he went on a drink and drugs binge with the intention of killing himself.

While he had attempted suicide before, that was ‘only a cry for help.’

“This time was different,” he said.

Four days later, the now-29-year-old woke up from a coma in intensive care in Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital after being resuscitated and airlifted by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance paramedics.

Josh said: “I knew in that instant that I had to do something to change my life, something healing and positive, something big.”

In May 2021, he set off on the South West Coast Path walk from Poole Harbour to Minehead, Somerset, to raise money for the charity that saved his life.

After months of trekking and sleeping in tents, Josh returned home to attend his grandad's funeral.

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But before he could rejoin his walk, he contracted Covid-19 which led to a blood clot in his right lung – the third blood clot he has had due to an underlying condition.

Daily Echo:

Now, back on the dusty track, Josh has decided to push his challenge and himself to the limit and walk 19,000km around the entire UK and British Isles coastlines

“I've already covered over 400 miles of hard terrain around the south-west coast, and I've never been happier,” he said.

“Every day differs. I have no itinerary or set miles to cover. I just keep the sea to the left and walk.

“I'm not governed by time or dates, or society's pressures. I'm as free as a bird and I feel more alive than I ever have.

“My confidence has come back and exceeded anything I could have possibly imagined. I can now walk into a room full of people and happily tell my story with confidence and conviction.”

Josh has already raised over £5,000 on his JustGiving page.

To donate, click here.

If you're struggling with your mental health or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call Samaritans for free on 116 123.

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