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.

Will this winter be a catastrophe or a challenge?

Winter
Winter. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

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

How will the coronavirus and potential lockdowns affect you?

For many people, winter is a challenge every year. But this year, it’s likely to be a tough challenge. Coronavirus has had a horrific impact on our society. How long this will go on and how it will affect you is probably outside your control. But how it affects you mentally, there may be something you can do about that.

Currently, there’s a glimmer of hope. Over the long haul, one or more of the vaccines now in development may prove to be the solution to our coronavirus problem. But even if the vaccine works perfectly, it will be a long time until enough vaccine doses become available and enough people are vaccinated to have any impact on the prevalence of the illness. Until then, life can be a challenge.

Depending on where you live, you probably experienced one or more lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, or disruptions in your job or education. Some people would prefer the option of going ahead with their life knowing there’s a chance they will catch the infection and either die or pass it on to someone close to them.

Other people would prefer to hunker down, isolate as much as possible, and ride out the viral storm waiting for safer days. Regardless of your preference, some things are going to change. Some of these changes will be severe short-term losses for some and minor inconveniences for others. Other changes may be permanent. Businesses have closed, and more will close. Many jobs have been lost. Some will return, but other jobs may never come back. People have died. More and more of us know someone who has lost a family member.

I believe that some of these changes we’re seeing will turn out to be permanent long-term changes. The coronavirus has just accelerated the rapid pace of change. The trend toward online education was already well underway, with some colleges offering their entire curriculum as online classes. In the future, I think working from home and learning at home are going to be long term trends. These are things we may just have to get used to.

But between now and the time we reach our new normal, we will face some extraordinary challenges.

The challenge of seasonal affective disorder.

A significant portion of the population typically suffers from seasonal affective disorder. While we often think of this as seasonal depression, commonly called winter blues, there are also seasonal increases in anxiety disorders, OCD, and other mental illnesses.

Changes in the weather, especially changes in the amount of daylight each day appear to naturally alter human being’s moods. The large number of holidays during the winter may be an effort for us, humans, to cheer ourselves up during an inhospitable time of year.

What if our attitude toward the winter season is an important factor?

Not everyone, everywhere, seems to experience seasonal affective disorder. This article in the Guardian shows us another way to look at challenging circumstances.

If you approach the winter season with the attitude that it will be difficult, you’re predisposed to negative mood states. But if you take a different view toward it and view the winter season as another situation full of possibilities, you may experience a different set of feelings.

When it comes to mood, your mindset matters.

How you think about things alters their effect on you. The way you look at things can affect your mental health and your physical health. Your attitude affects your blood pressure and heart rate. People who think of things as catastrophic and tell themselves that this thing mustn’t, shouldn’t, happen experience it is much more negative than those who see the event as an opportunity.

Is it a threat or an opportunity?

How you approach things often depends on the resources you have available. By resources, I don’t mean just financial ones. Education, available opportunities, and your support system, can also alter the way you view challenging circumstances. Having a good support system, developing coping skills, and improving your resiliency all buffer you against stressful times.

Telling yourself, you’re excited reduces anxiety.

Many people experience having to make a speech in public as terrifying. Public speaking is the number one fear in America. And yet, other people enjoy speaking in public. If you are terrified of getting up on stage, becoming an entertainer will probably be a highly stressful career. But if you love the applause of the crowd, you won’t experience it as anxiety-provoking but as energizing.

Some athletes become anxious before competing, and they are at high risk of choking. But those athletes who interpret those butterflies in their stomachs as excitement can use that energy to propel them to even more remarkable achievements.

Planning positive activities reduces the impact of challenges.

Whatever your challenges this winter, and many of us will face a great many challenges, plan for some positive activities. Those little bits of pleasure and happiness, you should pay attention to them when you find them. Amid all the struggles, you should plan on becoming a happiness expert.

Admittedly the winter ahead will not be easy. There will be costs, and there will be losses. Let’s all keep our eyes peeled for the pockets of happiness ahead.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seems like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

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.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

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

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

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Growing Old

Growing old picture of books

Growing Old – photo courtesy of Pixabay

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

As the year comes to an end, I thought this was an excellent time to look at this topic.

“We are always the same age inside.”

― Gertrude Stein

“The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.”

― H.L. Mencken

“Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”

― Betty Friedan

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

Do you trust your intuition?

Intuition. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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

Intuition makes up half the decision-making system in your brain.

People who study brain functioning have investigated two different ways in which people make decisions. This is sometimes called the dual-process theory. One system, the deliberate decision-making system, is slow and requires a lot of information to arrive at a decision. The other system, intuition, reaches a conclusion rapidly, often based on very little conscious information. Relying on only one of these two systems can get you into trouble. The challenge is to decide when to use the slow, deliberative decision-making model and when to use the fast, intuitive model.

When might ignoring intuition get you into serious trouble?

You’re in the big city, walking across the street. You glance up and suddenly realize a bus is speeding towards you and you are about to get hit. Which decision-making model do you think you ought to use?

If you’re a very logical person, you might want to think this over a bit. How many feet away as the bus? How fast is the bus traveling? You look ahead and see how many feet it is to the other side of the street to get out of the way of the bus. You might also want to look back to estimate if you turn around and jump back onto the sidewalk; how far must you go? While you’re gathering all this information, the bus driver is slamming on the brakes, and you are betting your life on whether he will stop before impact.

What if you decided to use your intuition?

People who use an intuitive decision-making model would leap one way or the other without thinking. If you pick the right direction, this improves your chances of survival. Of course, you could choose the wrong direction and run directly into the path of the bus. Or you might decide to turn around and run back for the sidewalk you just left. One of these decisions, maybe both, might save your life.

Are there other situations in which you might want to use your intuition?

Social situations are a time when you want to rely on your intuition. You meet someone, and they say hello. If you stand there too long thinking over what the proper greeting would be, you’re going to appear socially inept. In the pre-Covid days, if someone put out their hand, you wanted to put your hand out and shake. Now your automatic response might be to bump elbows or perform some other gesture. What you don’t want to do is stand there staring blankly.

Making good decisions in life involves using both decision-making systems.

Relying too much on one decision-making system and not enough on the other are characteristics of two specific mental illnesses. Research on decision-making tells us that people on the autism spectrum rely heavily on thinking things over. They are high on rational decision-making, but that leaves them unable to make automatic decisions based on their intuitive systems.

On the other end of the spectrum are people who make almost all decisions emotionally or using the intuitive method. Relying solely on the intuitive decision-making system is one of the characteristics of schizotypal personality disorder.

You can improve both decision-making systems.

Some people believe that they are using logic to make their decisions, but their decision-making is so full of logical errors and flaws that it’s not very useful. Studying logic and how to make better decisions can improve the slow, deliberative decision-making system.

Many people don’t realize that the fast, intuitive decision-making system can also be improved. In some upcoming posts, I want to talk to you about improving your intuitive decision-making and deciding when to trust those fast decisions and when to use the slower logical decision-making system.

Other posts on related topics can be found under the following categories.

Overthinking               Rumination                 Worry              Finding Yourself

Personality                  Inner Child                  Intuition             Personality Disorders             

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seems like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

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.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

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

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

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Puzzled.

Puzzled.

Illustrate the word puzzled

Puzzled?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

“The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true.”

― Carl Sagan

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

What is good mental health?

Mental Health and Wellness. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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

Good mental health affects every part of your life.

Mental health has a significant impact on your thinking, your feelings, and your behavior. Impaired mental health damages relationships. While poor mental health is connected to specific illnesses such as depression and anxiety, good mental health is associated with positive feelings like happiness and contentment. It’s essential to learn to recognize the signs of good mental health.

Mental health lies on a continuum.

Just like physical health, mental health lies on a continuum. People can move from being physically or mentally healthy to less healthy before finally reaching unwell. A lack of wellness doesn’t necessarily constitute illness. But low mental wellness can quickly turn into a mental illness.

A mentally healthy person has a life that is in balance.

Life is challenging, and each person has many roles to balance. Keeping the various parts of your life in balance promotes both physical and mental health. Work is important, but it shouldn’t be the only activity you have time for. Relationships with family and friends impact your mental health as well. Physical health and mental health are not two separate things; they are interconnected. Good sleep and diet, along with exercise, promotes both physical and mental health.

Learning to listen to and manage your feelings can contribute to your mental health. For some people, their spiritual or religious beliefs are also a significant part of them feeling connected to something greater than themselves. Social relationships also factor into your well-being. During this time of Covid-19, many people have had to limit their face-to-face contacts. Maintaining those relationships by phone or the Internet can also have a positive impact on your mental health.

Good mental health improves relationships.

Positive relationships with family and friends, as well as with an intimate partner, promote mental health. Unhealthy relationships are likely to damage your mental health. This relationship works in both directions. Generally, people with many good relationships have better mental health. Working on your mental health through counseling or using self-help methods can also improve your close relationships.

Being mentally healthy means enjoying life, having fun, and being able to laugh.

Happiness can be elusive. Don’t mistake temporary pleasure for happiness. Become a happiness expert. Many adults don’t know how to have fun without alcohol, drugs, and sex. Learn to have fun in positive ways and to recognize when good things are happening. Don’t forget to laugh. Remember also that contentment is a sign of good mental health.

Mentally healthy people have a meaning and purpose for their life.

If you can’t readily identify things that give your life meaning and purpose, it’s time to search for your life’s meaning. Your purpose in life may be to be a good parent or spouse, or it may be to have a good work-life. Some people find their meaning in religious and spiritual practices and their relationship with their higher power. Even if a physical or mental problem prevents you from full-time employment, there are many volunteer opportunities or other ways to be productive.

Good mental health is characterized by hope.

Hold onto your hope for all it’s worth. Having hope powers the rest of your mental health. Hope consists of two factors. You need to believe that if you try, you can achieve some measure of success. Secondly, if one path you’re taking doesn’t help you reach your goals, hope tells you to look for other ways that you might find what you’re looking for. If you’re low on hope, please check out some of the other articles I’ve written about help.

Mentally healthy people are more resilient.

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back. Many people have been knocked down repeatedly. Those people who can bounce back are inspirations to us all. Study resiliency and how highly resilient people recover from life’s setbacks. Cultivate a resilient spirit. Resiliency is so important that I wrote a book on this topic, titled Bumps on The Road of Life.

Being flexible and able to adapt is a sign of good mental health.

Avoid the tyranny of the “musts” and the “shoulds.” Learn to be flexible and accept that sometimes things will turn out the way you want them to, and sometimes they won’t. Insisting that the world be the way you want it, can cause you a lot of stress and lead to poor mental health.

Good mental health leads to self-acceptance.

Stop comparing yourself to others and accept yourself, however you are. Working on yourself does not mean there’s anything wrong with you. We are all in the process of learning and growing. Don’t focus on what is wrong with you. Focus on life’s improvement opportunities.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seems like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

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.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

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

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

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Faith

Faith.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.”

― William Shakespeare, The Passionate Pilgrim

“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”

― Paulo Coelho, Brida

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

Did you get that book written?

I get this question every year.

Ever since I started to take my writing career seriously, I participated in the NaNoWriMo contest every November. The purpose of this contest is to challenge writers and would-be writers to complete a first draft of a novel or other book during November. The goal traditionally has been to write 50,000 words though some people are overachievers and exceed that number.

Setting writing goals has helped me immensely.

Whether you’re one of those people or just know one of those people who has been saying for years that someday they’ll write a book, this may be the path for you to take. That book I wanted to write stayed floating around in my head but never made it onto paper for decades. And I’ll be honest that the first time I tried writing a full 50,000-word novel in one month, I fizzled out early on. But like playing a sport or an instrument, you must practice your moves before you can play in the big time.

November 2020 marked another completed novel.

Having that deadline hanging over me pushes me to write just another hundred words before bedtime or squeeze in an extra chapter during my lunch hour. That self-imposed pressure to reach a specific goal has transformed my writing process. Knowing that I need to get it done by a deadline keeps me moving forward even when I don’t know what will happen next or can’t think of the right word.

November 2020 included an additional challenge.

I spent five days in the hospital, most of it in the Covid ICU unit. If you want to read about that adventure, look at Monday’s post titled At Least I didn’t die. This absence resulted in the loss of five writing days, and I struggled with being extremely tired for the rest of the month. Despite my doubts, somehow, I still managed to reach that 50,000-word goal.

Absolutely, this book is a first draft.

I’ve heard from writing coaches and repeatedly read in books on writing that you can’t edit a blank page. Almost all writers write atrocious first drafts. Mine are no exception. My goal is for my final drafts to be as good as some famous writers’ first drafts. There will be a lot of revision and rewriting needed to move this book from the first draft to a published version. Some of my first drafts never make it to the publication stage. But having that first draft, that work in progress, is a huge step in the right direction. Typically, it takes me six months or more to transform that first draft into something I want others to read.

So, what is The Olmsted Bridge about?

The Olmsted Bridge is the story of a young reporter, Walter Bush, no relation to the political family, who writes for a weekly local newspaper called the Olmsted Outlook. Late one night, Walter hears a call on the police scanner. Teenagers have been racing cars along the River Road, and one of the cars went into the water. The female passenger in that car, Lily May Olmsted, is the daughter of Sheriff Olmsted. Her body is never recovered.

Sheriff Olmsted and the town believe that the driver of that car, a young man named Samuel Heard, is responsible for Lily May’s death. The rest of the book is about Walter’s efforts to uncover the truth about what happened that night.

So what genre is it?

Readers of every genre have certain expectations. As you can see from my list of finished books below, I’ve been experimenting with several different genres.

The Olmsted Bridge is a fictionalized true crime story. I’ve drawn on several true crime stories to create this tale, which is mostly about how a reporter sticks to the trail of a story even when people don’t want him to find out the truth. There are, of course, elements of a mystery. There’s a dead girl, or is she dead? And if she is dead, why can’t they find the body?

Would you like to read this story?

Such a deal I’ve got for you. It’s going to be a while before the book is completed, but I would like to get an advanced draft into the hands of some selected alpha readers. Or is that beta readers? Either way, I’ll be putting together a mailing list and sending out advance copies, looking for feedback on my writing efforts in a new genre. The advance copies will be free. All I ask is that you read what I send out and give me feedback. Come release time; I would also appreciate readers who can leave an honest review once the book gets published on Amazon.

Would you like to read some of my previous books for free?

I’m still looking for some people who would like to read my previous books and leave a review. Several of my earlier books will be available for a certain number of free days on Amazon during January. If you read this blog, I will be announcing those free days here.

Thanks for being a reader of this blog and take really good care of yourself and those you care about during these trying times.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seems like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

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.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

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

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

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

At least I didn’t die.

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

The hospital thought I had Covid.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably noticed that there weren’t very many posts in November. Part of that was by design. I was doing the NaNoWriMo writing contest during November. And despite some challenges, I did finish a first draft of that book. 2020 makes the fifth time I have completed the first draft of a book during November. More on that in an upcoming post.

Five days in the hospital, mostly in the ICU, changed my plans.

This illness came on very suddenly. Tuesday evening, I thought it was a little cold in the house. My toes and my fingers both felt chilly. So, I turned up the heater and wore socks to bed. Wednesday morning, I felt normal. By noon I was so cold I was shaking. When I tried to type on the computer, I couldn’t hit the keys. Dialing 911 turned out to be a significant challenge.

My feeling cold turned out to be fever and chills.

Since I felt so incredibly cold, it never occurred to me that I was running a fever. I tried to take my temperature, but my hand shook so much I couldn’t get an accurate reading. By the time I got to the hospital, I was shaking so severely the EMT thought I was having a seizure. I’ll leave it to the medical professionals to debate that one.

If it looks like Covid, you must treat it like Covid.

So many of my symptoms implied an infection with the Covid virus that once they got me admitted, I was sent to the Covid ICU unit. In addition to fever and chills, my blood pressure dropped severely. I’ve never been one to have to worry about high blood pressure, but in retrospect, the numbers they were getting for my blood pressure should’ve made me question whether I was still alive. I had to be given an intravenous medication just to get my blood pressure back within the wishing distance of normal.

Life on the Covid ICU unit.

Being on the Covid ICU unit for four days was a scary experience. My heart goes out to the people who must work in that unit. And remember, I’ve worked on locked psychiatric units, but this one scared me. I feel that I got excellent care. I won’t mention the name of the specific facility. Everyone has their preferences, and some people have had bad experiences, even with an excellent provider. Let me say that I’m delighted to continue to be a member of this medical system.

Watching the staff enter and exit my room was a little like what you might see in a science fiction movie when someone has taken aboard the alien ship. Everyone wore a facemask and a shield. To come into the room, workers had put on an additional transparent plastic garment that totally covered them. When they left the room, that entire outer garment was disposed of. This virus is a nasty enemy, and we can’t be too cautious.

My Covid tests came back negative.

I was told at one point that I had received two separate Covid tests. Eventually, I was given the results, which was that I was negative for Covid. Of course, that didn’t explain blood pressure readings that sounded more like the score of a professional football game, as well as my extreme weakness and inability to eat.

What I had was diverticulitis.

The short version of this is that diverticulitis is an inflammation of the intestine. Some of that nasty junk that should’ve stayed in my intestine had seeped through into surrounding tissue and caused a systemic infection throughout my body. Apparently, I wasn’t far from taking that last elevator ride, which takes you either all the way up or all the way down.

It’s been a slow recovery.

Even once I was able to get discharged from the hospital, I still wasn’t back to normal. Being that sick left me extremely exhausted, and I took the following week off. I am slowly getting back to doing the things I like to do, which for me is working, teaching, and of course, my writing. I have several ideas for topics I want to write about, but that will take me some time.

My online teaching.

To date, I have taught four classes online. I’ve also been taking classes and how to do a better job of teaching online. While online education is a vital necessity in this age of the coronavirus, I believe it’s another one of those long term changes whose time has come. Remember that first portable phone, the giant brick that required hours to recharge? Just as our mobile communication devices have evolved, I fully expect online education to continue to evolve. As the year 2020 comes to an end, and I look forward to 2021, I expect the pace of change to accelerate.

I’m just extremely glad to be alive to be both a witness and a participant in all this change. Please continue to read the counselorssoapbox.com blog, where I will continue to talk about how I see things in the fields of recovery from substance use disorders, mental health, and having a happy life.

P. S. What do you think of the new featured image at the top of this blog? Is it an improvement? Or do you miss the old header?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seemed like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

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.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

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

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Eager.

Eager.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

“The eagerness of a listener quickens the tongue of a narrator.”

― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”

― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

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

P. S. What do you think of the new featured image at the top of this blog? Is it an improvement? Or do you miss the old header?