About David Joel Miller

David Miller is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Counselor, faculty member at a local college, certified trainer and writer.

Arthur Mitchell and Plutus Mystery #3 is available now.

Arthur Mitchell and Plutus Mystery #3 is available now.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Writer.

Letters From The Dead

Arthur Mitchell discovers a letter from Abigail Morton Pettengrew to Inspector Detective Thaddeus Kincaid describing a kidnap and murder. Abigail and Detective Kincaid are both dead and now someone is out to end Arthur’s life.

Letters from the Dead is the third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

My latest book, Letters from the Dead, is now available.

Letters from the Dead is my fifth book, the third in the Arthur Mitchell and his Dog Plutus Mystery Series. Letters from the Dead is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Counselorssoapbox YouTube video channel continues to grow.

I started this video channel project largely for the students and counseling classes. I can tell the younger students prefer watching videos to reading the text. Creating videos this turned out to be a bit of a challenge for this digital immigrant. The current series of videos about drug use and abuse. Please feel free to check out the videos.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

FIVE David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Letters from the Dead. Arthur Mitchell discovers a letter from Abigail Morton Pettengrew to Inspector Detective Thaddeus Kincaid describing a kidnap and murder. Abigail and Detective Kincaid are both dead and now someone is out to end Arthur’s life.

Planned Accidents. Arthur Mitchell and his dog Plutus discover another mystery.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Advertisements

Learning About Alcohol Video #9- The Disease of Alcoholism

Find video on Substance use disorders

Learning About Alcohol Video Part 9 – The Disease of Alcoholism

Why is it so hard to stay quit?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Drugs.

Drugs.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

“Quitting is easy. I’ve done it a thousand times.”

This old joke has been applied to drinking, smoking, and gambling, and has been attributed to Mark Twain, W.C. Fields, and others. It still rings true. While many people try to quit, relatively few stay quit. For most people who use substances, that use has become a habit, and under times of stress, good or bad stress, humans tend to revert to their usual default behaviors. For recovery skills to work, they need to be over practiced until they become automatic.

Three factors are involved in a return to using substances or to behaviors like gambling. We often call this return to old behavior relapse. Triggers are events or feelings which place the idea of using back into your consciousness. Urges are strong desires or impulses. Cravings are those intense feelings driving you towards a return to active use.

Relapses begin with thoughts rather than actions.

You may have heard the saying, “relapse begins in the mind,” which is sometimes referred to as stinking thinking. There has been a tendency recently to blame addiction or alcoholism on the substance. Certain drugs may have more severe withdrawal symptoms than others, but addiction is more complicated than merely getting the drug out of the body. Many people go through detox and then go without the drug for a long enough time. That the drug is no longer in their system, yet they still relapse. Without long-term treatment, most people, who go through detox, eventually returned to using the drug of choice. Sometimes this relapse happens after months or even years of being clean and sober.

Cutting down doesn’t work.

Many people with a drug or alcohol problem try the approach of cutting down. Instead of finishing off a six-pack of beer each night, they try to limit themselves to two or three beers. Trying to control your use rarely works over an extended period. If your drinking or drug use has reached the point where you need to cut down, you’re far down the path to addiction.

Using alcohol and drugs instrumentally, to celebrate, to cope with emotions, is a dangerous path. Very few people stay “cut down” for very long. If you’re drinking or using, even a little, you’re at high risk to end up with a substance use disorder again.

Trying to control your addiction puts the drug in control of you.

Normal people don’t try to control their use of drugs and alcohol. If you are doing something enough that you need to cut down, that activity has become a problem. Loss of control is one of the characteristics of the disease of addiction.

Addicting drugs and behaviors have three characteristics which bring you back.

Over time, as you use substances, you build tolerance, meaning it takes more and more of the substance to produce the same effect, or if you use the same amount you get less and less effects. Where you used to get a buzz on after one or two beers now, you need six.

When an addicting substance leaves the body, you will develop withdrawal symptoms. Even relatively mild substances such as caffeine have withdrawal effects. Go a couple of days without your coffee, and you will probably have headaches and be irritable. Withdrawal symptoms can be either physical or psychological, such as irritability or depression.

When you are deprived of your addicting substance, you’re likely to experience cravings. Giving in to those cravings reinforces addiction. Every time you give in to the cravings, the addiction grows stronger. The challenge in quitting is to go without the substance long enough for the cravings to subside.

If you’ve developed a problem with a substance, consider seeking help. Without help quitting and staying quit is a challenging task.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon,

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Inspiration.

Inspiration.

Inspiration.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Inspiration.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”

― Thomas Jefferson

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Learning About Alcohol Video 8- Alcohol Use Disorders

Find video on Substance use disordersWhen is alcohol use a problem? How common are alcohol problems? Why do people have drinking problems?

Do you have friends who are fake friends?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Fake Friends?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com’

Some friendships are very conditional.

When things are going well, you’re likely to have many friends, but once things get tough, those friends disappear. When you’re throwing the party, they are there, when it comes time for the cleanup those friends have vanished. When your life is working, these friends want to be associated with you, but when times get hard, they moved on.

One article I read described these folks as “Clear weather friends.” When life is sunny, you see this person, but the first raindrop washes them away. There are many names for these people, fake friends, pretend friends, Fairweather friends, clear weather friends, unreliable friends. Underneath all their pretensions they want something from you, but they’re not willing to reciprocate.

It’s tempting to put up with these fair-weather friends thinking that without them they would have no friends. When you feel lonely, you may be tempted to settle for fair weather friends. The worst form of loneliness is caused by poor quality relationships rather than by having too few relationships. So how can you spot these fair-weather friends?

Fairweather friends are never wrong.

Their motto is “I’m right; everyone should be able to see that.” If you’re afraid to disagree with them for fear of losing a friend, that’s a fake friend. When they let you know that you must always agree with them to keep their friendship, what you have is a fake friend, not a BFF.

When problems arise, you can’t tell Fairweather friends.

Fake friends expect you to listen to all their problems, but when your troubles come they don’t want to hear about. They especially don’t want to hear when you have a problem with them. While they expect you to be empathetic toward their issues when you talk about your difficulties, their answer is, “you need to get over it.”

With Fairweather friend’s criticism is a one-way St.

Fairweather friends feel free to criticize you. They may preface the comments with the statement “I’m just being honest.” But their honesty always consists of telling you what’s wrong with you. They have no problem pointing out your every flaw. What a fake friend can’t take is anything remotely like you criticizing them.

You must always agree with fake friends.

Fake friends will tell you that “If you disagree with me about that there’s something wrong with you. I write, I know I’m right.” Rather than sympathy and understanding when challenged, they always attack. With Fairweather friends, it’s not possible to agree to disagree. They will always insist on being right and on your agreeing with as a condition of keeping their friendship.

Fake friends enjoy criticizing you.

Fairweather friends enjoy telling you what’s wrong with you. Rather than building you up, they tear you down to make themselves feel better. If you have a friend, and every time you’re with them, you come away from that visit feeling worse than when it started, good chance you’ve identified a pretend friend.

Fake friends are not empathetic.

Fairweather friends don’t want to hear about how you feel. How you feel is not important to them. They may even tell you that you shouldn’t feel that way. When you’re upset, you’re likely to hear, “Stop being so emotional.” They dismiss your feelings. But these Fairweather friends have no problem burdening you with their miseries. When it comes to conflicts, fair-weather friends will tell you, “If it upsets you, it is your problem.”

Why don’t you believe me, if I said it then it’s true?

Fake friends have the belief that if they say something, that makes it true. They expect you to believe what they say even when all the evidence contradicts their statement. They like to say, “Why don’t you believe me, would I lie to you?”

I don’t want to talk about it.

Pretend friends avoid discussing difficult topics. When problems arise in the friendship, they want to sweep everything under the rug and pretend it’s all your fault. Lack of openness is a characteristic of fake friends.

You will find related posts under – friends, Relationships, and Loneliness.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Prosperity.

Prosperity

Prosperity.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.”

― Calvin Coolidge

“We should not forget that it will be just as important to our descendants to be prosperous in their time as it is to us to be prosperous in our time.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

“If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another.”

― Winston Churchill

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration