Photo taken by first-time contributor John Kelly, a 44-year-old combat veteran from London who has battled depression and PTSD. Having served 9 years in the Royal Air Force, including periods in Kuwait and Iraq, John entered a period of great turmoil in his life, but had no idea why. With the break up of his young family, and the loss of his job and accommodation, John suffered a complete meltdown, going to some of the darkest places he could ever have imagined, and on more than one occasion contemplating an end.
A guardian angel contacted an organisation on his behalf, run to help veterans in similar situations, and it was here that John was formally diagnosed with combat related PTSD. At last, the mood swings, depression, night terrors, flash backs, hyper vigilance and anxiety had a name. John attended an intensive period of treatments at the centre, where he was reunited with one of his passions….photography. The treatments and therapies are aiding in his control of the situation, and whilst John knows it is going to be a long and sometimes painful journey, he has better tools at his disposal to fight a different battle.
John has three main anchors in his life now. The support of ‘Combat Stress’, the charity that is assisting on the medical side of things, his photography, that lets him see the world through different eyes, and his family, who have supported him throughout, and continue to do so. John and his wife are currently working hard to reunite his family once again.
About this photo: “This image was taken at Canary Wharf in London, which is the main financial district. My thinking behind this was two fold. Firstly, the majesty of such building, its design, its construction, its place in the landscape. My second thought went back to the financial crash of recent years, and many of those responsible now working within this building. Hence the title of the image……’Altar of Coin’. I wanted to portray the stark, cold, and harsh aspect of that world, but give the building some sort of character, even warmth. I hope I have succeeded.”