Talking. That’s the key thing for a person with depression.

Unfortunately, for many they don’t talk and that allows the dark demons to build up and take over. And by then it’s too late to get those thoughts, the thoughts no one knows or sees, take over.

For myself, it’s been a tough past month for my depression hitting with the sad news across the world and here at home where a firefighter friend died in a training accident. Those have hit me hard. But thankfully, I have friends who are there for me.

It also is helping that I have the ear of my therapist, who I started seeing in one-on-one sessions in March. Two years after I was registered.

Since that first session, I have been talking about things and how I am feeling, how these tragedies and my job as a reporter in covering them are affecting me. Opening up and talking to my therapist about these feelings I have found to be very beneficial. It’s getting the thoughts out, and not keeping them in to the point where they all merge and become overwhelming.

In my therapy sessions in Elmsdale, we’ve had talks about the triggers for me and how I have noticed them, when many others in the same boat as me don’t. That might be from me knowing people who have suffered through this and seeing what they’re going through.

One of the things that has been suggested by my therapist is to ensure I look after number one first. That’s something I will admit I have not done a great job at in the past. But lately, I have been—at least attempting to—taking more me time. Although, like anything it can still be improved more.

What I’ve done is on my days off I have put down my cellphone and turned off the laptop. I have to admit for such a newsy guy this has been hard.

Going without my phone or laptop and being online has made me feel relaxed, but also anxious that I will miss something, and let down my followers and readers by missing a story or two. But in the end, I am getting it through my head that I need this, and that I can’t be everything to everyone.

I actually felt bored and naked when I did this the first time. But at the same time, not having to deal with either made me relax and feel different. It was hard to accept, given I am a (at least according to friends and mom) workaholic.

Work is my life, or has been, so adjusting to this new routine on my self-care mental health journey is one that I’ve found difficult. But hopefully this is a step towards continuing bettering my self.

That includes continuing talking out my feelings, so there won’t be any dark clouds surrounding me now or in the future. So I’ll keep talking, and hopefully people will keep listening.

– Pat Healey