Surviving a relationship breakup.

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

How to recover from that relationship.

Alone after a breakup.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Breakups can be traumatic. Losing a close friend is difficult. Ending a relationship with a romantic partner is especially tough. You not only lose your primary partner, the one you’re closest to, but you also may lose your hopes and dreams for the relationship you expected to have. It’s not unusual for people going through a breakup to wish they never gotten into that relationship in the first place. Some people will even tell themselves and others they will never fall in love again. Other people try to cope by immediately jumping into a new relationship. If you find yourself either swearing off relationships forever or frantically trying to find a new lover, look at some of the tips below on how to survive a romantic breakup.

Give yourself time to grieve.

We all start off relationships expecting them to be wonderful. Few, if any relationships live up to those expectations. Making a romantic relationship work is a challenge. Ending a relationship can be traumatic. While you may not be sad because the relationship you were in has ended, you may even be telling yourself you’re better off without them, you’re still likely to need to grieve the loss of the idealized relationship you had expected.

Sometimes individual problems take their toll on relationships. If one or both partners has struggled with drugs or alcohol or a mental illness those issues can damage a relationship beyond repair. Many people in recovery, who had recently ended a relationship, find that they need to spend time outside of a relationship to find themselves again.

Spend some time focused on yourself.

Periods between relationships don’t need to be sad or unhappy. The task you need to focus on is looking forward not back. These times of being single again allow you to experiment with new activities and new friends. Rather than always doing what a partner likes to do, this can be a time for you to discover what you truly like to do. The best friendships develop out of shared activities and experiences.

Pay attention to self-care.

Once out of a relationship it is important to take some time to pamper yourself. Once on your own again it may be a good time to upgrade your wardrobe, get rid of mementos that remind you of your ex. The stress of navigating a rocky relationship can take its physical toll. Proper diet, getting some physical exercise, good sleep habits, all will contribute to an improved physical and mental health.

Reconnect with friends and family.

Often in a new relationship, people spend all their time with their new partner. Once out of the relationship you may realize that your friendships and connections with your family have suffered. Use this single again time to do things with friends you haven’t seen for a long time. Invest some extra time in your family.

Avoid ruminating.

Avoid the temptation to sit and turn that relationship over and over in your mind. Avoid the temptation to over analyze who did what and what went wrong. This process of chewing on what’s bothering us is often referred to as rumination.

The more you sit and turn over the mistakes of the past, the more likely you are to become depressed. If there are lessons, you need to learn, make a note of them and then move on.

Skip the unhelpful thoughts.

Watch out for black and white thinking. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking because this relationship ended you will never find another partner. Don’t say I will always be alone. Those all or nothing, black and white thinking problems can mislead you into all kinds of unhealthy behaviors. The fear that if you lose this partner, you might not find another keeps many people in unhealthy relationships. Watch the words you use. Never, always, can’t, should, must, all should be eliminated from your vocabulary.

Fill up your time.

Being alone doesn’t mean you must be lonely. Being alone with nothing to do gives all those negative thoughts and empty mind to play in. Stay active, consider trying some new adventures, things you always wanted to do but didn’t because your past partner wasn’t interested in them.

Pick up an old hobby.  Be creative again.

Post-relationship you need to rediscover you. When people enter new relationships, it becomes all about “us.” After a period in this relationship, it is common to begin to wonder if there’s still a “me,” now that there is an “us.” Finding yourself again is an important task.

Think about things that used to bring you joy, that you may have stopped doing while in this relationship. Consider doing an old hobby or starting a new one.

Create some space for new things.

Freshly out of a relationship you may find your living space is full of reminders of your ex. This is a good time to clean out closets. If there are things that continually remind you of your ex, pack them up or get rid of them. At some little touches to make this living place truly yours. Redecorating can help you adjust to the change.

Look at your wardrobe. Weed out the things you don’t need anymore. Get yourself some new threads. Prepare yourself for new adventures.

Consider getting some counseling.

Some sadness post-breakup is normal. It’s even common to cry. If you find you can’t get past the loss of the relationship now might be a good time to get some counseling. If this life event is interfering with your ability to work or go to school, it’s a problem. If a life problem keeps you from being able to be around family and friends, that’s also a problem. If you’ve reached the point where you’ve decided, it’s time to get over this breakup, now might be a great time to see a counselor.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three 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.

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, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

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.

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Belonging.

Sunday Inspiration.          Post by David Joel Miller.

Belonging.

Belonging

Belonging.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“How could you ever feel comfortable if no matter where you went you felt like you belonged someplace else?”

― Mark Peter Hughes, Lemonade Mouth

“I didn’t belong as a kid, and that always bothered me. If only I’d known that one day my differentness would be an asset, then my early life would have been much easier.”

― Bette Midler

“The desire to belong is in every mind.”

― Debasish Mridha

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Lonely Holidays

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

Woman alone at the beach

Alone for the holiday.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The holidays can be a tough time for many people.

The season comes with high expectations. Things you should do should have and should be. Compared to your expectations this season can be a disappointment. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you are thinking about who you wish you were with and they are not there it can be sad.

For some folk the only visitors this season will be the demons: sadness, depression, guilt, and self-doubt. Rumination and revisiting the past can generate all forms of unhelpful thoughts.

Loneliness is often accompanied by his pal, emptiness, that giant-sized hole in your middle. There are a host of ways you might try to fill that hole and keep the loneliness at bay. Most of these loneliness cures promise to make you feel better for a moment but at a long-term price. They will reach for the things that only work for a short while. Let’s talk first some things that are unhelpful then review some suggestions for coping with holiday loneliness.

Spending your way to happiness is unhelpful in the longer run.

This season is the time for the annual binge behavior. Many people expect to gorge themselves on things in an effort to make themselves feel better, feel adequate. It is a short trip from treating yourself to a new gadget to thinking that your self-worth depends on your ability to spend and spend.

Don’t have the cash? You can dine on a diet of debt. Many people will be vomiting up their money for the year to come after the overindulgence of debt spending.

There is no magic pill for feeling lonely.

This holiday season people around the globe will look for all manner of substances to satiate that uneasy feeling that they are not what they should be or that what they are is not good enough. Drugs and alcohol are chief among those things that will be abused aplenty.

Some people will discover this holiday season that they too are candidates for an addiction or alcoholism. One dose of your drug of choice makes you forget what is bothering you but at the price of becoming dependent on that drug. Addiction is a gift that keeps on taking.

If you have a health challenge, physical or mental, a diagnosed illness, medication can be important. But no medication changes your unhelpful thoughts and makes your loneliness vanish.

The kind of drug most people will take this year, the self-prescribed alcohol or street drugs will let you forget your discomfort for a moment at a high long-term cost.

Do not let the wolves in the door.

When you start to feel that loneliness knocking at your door it is tempting to let all kinds of harmful people in. People will hook up and reconnect, often with the people who have caused them the most pain. It is tempting to let a dangerous person into your life to keep loneliness at bay, but that creature may destroy you later.

Avoid dogmatism, fanaticism, and revenge.

Dedicating yourself to a cause and trying to annihilate those who disagree is an intoxicant. Trying to make yourself less alone by launching a program of forcing others to agree with your politics, religion or other dogma, may divert your attention from your unhappiness for a while. Inflicting pain on others will never heal the wound in your heart.

Stalking and seeking revenge keeps you connected to the person who harmed you and maintains the pain. Do not believe that someone’s departure from your life is the sole cause of your loneliness. Living the best life possible now is the cure for the loss of someone from your life.

What does work to keep loneliness from entering your life?

Being alone does not equal being lonely.

If whenever you are alone you find yourself feeling lonely and frantically looking for something or someone to help you feel better, the problem is that you have not learned to be comfortable in your own company. Learn to like yourself, become your own best friend. Discover the ways that you can please yourself. In other posts past and future we can talk about things to do when you are alone that are positive and nurturing of you.

Reconnect with positive people.

The holidays are a good time to reach out. Mail or email someone who was a positive influence in your life that you have not talked with in a while. Plan to visit some old friends and some younger ones. Take yourself back to some places that are filled with happy memories.

Pain, loneliness, and regret have a way of pounding on your door. Happy memories wait patiently outside that door for you to invite them in.

Seek out supportive people and give them the opportunity to feel good by being of service.

Self-help groups, 12 step groups, in particular, have all kinds of events this time of year. They conduct marathon meetings, potlucks, and social events so that recovering people do not need to be alone for the holidays. Seek out others in recovery.

Visit a positive online community.

Leave comments, read blog posts, interact with other recovering people. Know that others may be waiting for the blessing of your comment. Look for the good in others and share the best in you.

Practice your religious or spiritual tradition.

Feeling that you are connected to something greater than yourself is an antidote to that empty feeling. Make time this holiday season to think about what you think is important and why you chose that belief.

Feeling a connection to a power greater than yourself can help turn that feeling of loneliness into a feeling of purpose. Practice those ceremonies that make meaning for you. Prayer, meditation, and ritual all put you in proper connection to your higher power.

Alone need not mean lonely.

Just because you are alone this holiday season does not mean you have to be lonely. Alone is on the outside and lonely is on the inside.

What will you do this holiday season to help your recovery and thwart the loneliness, creature?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three 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.

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, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

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.

6 Ways to Banish Loneliness.

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

Lonely person

Loneliness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Ending Loneliness.

In a past post, we talked about Loneliness first-aid – ways to keep that creature from moving into your life. But if you find that Mr. Loneliness has been a longtime guest in your life – How do you get him to move out?

Here are some ways to banish Loneliness from your life. Breaking up, when you are in a bad relationship is hard to do. The person who is causing you so much pain will resist leaving. Loneliness is sneaky that way. You send him packing out the front door and you might find him climbing in the window later that night.

Here are ways to get through to loneliness that he is not welcome in your life anymore.

1. Become your own best friend.

Remember back to elementary school. If you had a best friend they did not like it if you started hanging out with someone else. Mr. Loneliness is like that. He never grew up. So if you start hanging out with a good friend he will not want to hang out with your anymore.

What better friend to be with than yourself.

This is hard for some folks. They tell me they have low self-esteem. They are not sure they like themselves and they would not want themselves from a best friend.

This lays out a clear roadmap to becoming happier. Make friends with you.

Get to really know yourself and like yourself. Stop beating yourself up. If no one ever gave you credit for things well done, learn to take a bow when you did something right.

Accept yourself and forgive yourself. Become the model of a best friend and start by becoming your own best friend.

It is hard for other people to like to be with us if we do not like ourselves.

2. Reconnect with old friends.

Loneliness wants you to forget about people who have been supportive and rely only on him. Look through your phone list and call someone. Call someone or email them every day. Chances are that since you stopped staying in contact with that old friend loneliness has been hanging around their door also.

3. Make some new same-sex friends.

When people are lonely the first suggestion loneliness makes is to find a new lover. Loneliness knows that the high of a new love feeling will only last a short while. Sex with a new partner can leave you alone sleeping with Mister Loneliness faster than anything else.

The loneliest time for most people is after a close relationship ends.

So if you want to avoid the new sexual partner trap Mister Loneliness has set for you, make new friends who are the same gender as you. That takes the mating ritual stuff out of the picture for most people.

If you are gay or lesbian, forget what I just said and work on making more friends of the opposite sex. The idea here is to develop social connections that can chase off Mr. Loneliness without falling into the new relationship trap.

Those hormones in the brain love releases last 6 to 18 months. If you haven’t learned how to be happy without your partner there all the time, then as that new love turns into an everyday routine you will start dating Mr. Loneliness again.

4. Get out there.

You need to get out of the house and do things. Nothing makes you and Mr. Loneliness closer than you isolating from other human contacts.

Now by “get out there,” do not think you need to hit the clubs and bars. That is a good way to run into Mister Loneliness again. He likes to dress up as an alcoholic or an addict. The man who looks like Mister Right probably has some drug habits and a few ex’s, baby’s mommas and the like.

What you need to do is get out there around other happy positive people.  If you have an interest in a sport, join a team or league. If you like reading, join a book club. If you have a religious or spiritual faith, get active in that group.

5. Learn friend-making skills.

Learning to make friends is a skill, not an ability. Some people just seem naturally better at making friends but a few of those naturals have confided in me about the process they went through to get good at making friends. Watch those people who are good at making friends and see how they do it.

Do not start telling yourself that you could never do what they do. Maybe not exactly what they do in their way. You are you after all. But you can pick up a few pointers by watching the popular people.

Ask one of them how they do it and you may get a helping hand you never expected.

When in a new place learn to put your hand out and introduce yourself. Ask about others and wait to be asked about yourself. Do not regurgitate your whole life story but offer up small tidbits to keep the conversation moving.

Keep telling yourself you can get better at making and keeping friends.

5. Learn the skills to be alone but not lonely.

Being all alone should not mean being lonely. If you have done the work on yourself, become your own best friend learned the things you like and the things that are not ok with you, then being alone some of the time should be a good thing.

6. Take yourself on a date.

Do nice things for yourself. Go to places you like to visit. Try out new foods and new positive experiences.

Where would you take a tourist who was visiting your town for the first time? Many people have never seen the top tourist spots in their own city. Take yourself there. If you really like the place invite a friend to go back with you.

Ask people you know for recommendations of places to visit. If they come up with suggestions ask them if they have ever been there and either way, ask them if they would care to join you. If they say no do not take this as a rejection of you. We all have busy lives these days and sometimes people are just not available to go places and do things when you might invite them.

Those are six ways to get Mr. Loneliness out of your life. There are many more. Have you found any that work for you?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three 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.

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, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

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.

7 Dos and Don’ts of loneliness first aid.

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

Lonely person

Loneliness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The do’s and don’ts of loneliness.

Loneliness follows you around. Sometimes that old bugger is waiting just outside your door for a chance to move in. Loneliness is one of the largest causes of relapse. It can take you back to depression, anxiety or drug and alcohol abuse in a minute.

If you hear Mr. Loneliness knocking at your door here are the things you should do and not do to keep yourself safe and headed forward in a happy life.

1. Do practice thought-stopping.

When Mr. Loneliness whispers his message of pain in your ear, drown him out with the positive things you tell yourself. Tell yourself to knock off those thoughts and think about something more helpful.

There are lots of books and articles out there on how to stop negative thoughts and replace them with positive thinking. Make use of thought-stopping.

2. Do reach out to people who are supportive.

Mental health and substance abuse recovery professionals all agree you need a support system. You also need to make sure that those people will really support you in times of need. Mom may let you stay with her but when you are depressed, lonely or feeling like picking up will she know what to say?

Make it a point to maintain contact information for all the people who are supportive of you. If you are a member of a support group or a 12 step community get a list of phone numbers, email addresses or other contact info.

Each day reach out and communicate with someone in your support system. Some people will be there for you and some will not. Some can help with physical things like a ride but are not able to listen to how you feel. Others will be glad to listen to you but can’t, for a variety of reasons, give you a ride.

Know who will support you and in what ways.

Remember support systems are a two-way street. Sometimes when you call, just to check in, you will find that the other person needs to talk more than you do. Be there to support them also.

3. Do pull out your gratitude list.

When you are depressed, lonely or fiending for a drink it is easy to see what is wrong in your life and hard to remember the things that are good.

Whatever you call your lists, gratitude, things that are helpful, things that make you smile, a WRAP plan, write these lists down and keep them close. That way when there is a time you need to see the happy, positive things in your life, you can pull that old gratitude list out and remind yourself of the things you are thankful for.

If your lists are thin, work on these lists with your friends, supporters, sponsor or professionals. Often others can see the good in you and the changes that you are making long before you can.

When you are tired and there is still a climb to get to the top of the mountain, it is easy to forget how far you have already climbed.

4. Do not pick up drugs, alcohol or another addiction.

Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling sexual addictions, these were the old solutions to that lonely feeling and the other pains you wanted to avoid.  These are the solutions that did not work.

Remind yourself that more of the same gets you more of the same and no matter what do not reach back for an old addiction. Keep moving forward.

Things can and do get better. People do recover from all manner of problems and you can too.

5. Do not rush to hook up with someone to hold that loneliness at bay for a few minutes.

The old saying was “marry in haste and repent at leisure.” Most people spend more time shopping for a used car than for a baby’s mother or baby’s father.

Trying to cure loneliness by jumping into a new sexual relationship is a prescription for disaster. When the novelty of the experience wears off you will find yourself in worse shape than before.

It takes two healthy people to create a healthy relationship. Two people can help each other but you can’t fill the hole in your heart with someone else’s private parts.

6. Do not invite Mr. Loneliness to move in and live with you.

Beware making your life all about loneliness. Do not wear your pain on your sleeve for all to see. You can get caught up in rehashing all the reasons you are lonely and find out that you were the prison guard that locked you inside that lonely cell. Do not torture yourself and call that being realistic.

Being alone may be your condition right now but Mr. Loneliness is a cruel person who does not make a good long-term companion.

7. Do not isolate and hope the feeling will pass.

The cure for loneliness is not avoiding people. It is getting comfortable in your own skin and in being around others.  Reach out for help. Do not expect others to fix you. It is the interactions with others that cure loneliness, not the having or being had.

Try these loneliness first-aid tips and see if this procedure keeps Mr. Loneliness away. If you find he has already moved into your life while you were not paying close attention then stay tuned for an upcoming post on ways to get Mr. Loneliness out of your life.

Some people will find that once they let go of Mr. Loneliness they are frantically trying to get someone in their life, anyone, to keep them from feeling lonely, they do not know what to do by themselves. We have a post in the works for that topic also.

Not sure when these posts about Mr. Loneliness and his gang will appear, they are scheduled out into the future, so watch for them and check the topic list to the right of this page for more on the adventures of Mister Loneliness.

Have you had some experiences with Mr. Loneliness? If he is gone – how did you get him out of your life?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three 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.

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, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

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.

Are you lonely?

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

Loneliness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Some tools to combat loneliness.

This is a time of the year when loneliness walks among us and it can swallow up the unwary. There are more people than ever on the earth, the stores are packed and yet one place loneliness lurks is in the crowd.

Loneliness is a major cause of relapse, relapse to drug and alcohol use, relapse to depression, relapse on any part of your recovery.

Feeling lonely is not about the number of people in your world. It is about the connections you have with those people. As we get older it becomes harder to make new friends. Over the holiday’s everyone is so very busy. It is easy to become isolated – then depressed.

This time of year people are prone to start evaluating their relationships. Are they what you want? Some family dinners will be full of love, others will be full of recrimination and fault-finding. More than a few will be drunken brawls.

Your romantic relations may be under strain. You might look around and see presumably happy couples and we wonder if your relationship measures up. When we are lonely we can easily believe it is our partner or our families fault.

What are some ways to defeat loneliness if you find yourself feeling alone in your relationship or lonely in the crowd?

1. Get out of your routine.

It is easy to stay home and avoid situations where others will be around. We call that isolating. It is a symptom of depression. It can also be a cause of sadness and depression. Getting out and mingling is a good way to put yourself in contact with others if only for a while.

Try to do this with a hopeful attitude. Expect to talk to others and to make connections.

2. Reach out to someone else.

One really fast way to make new friends is to reach out to others. Put your hand out and introduce yourself. Say something kind or nice to someone around you.

Start a conversation with someone about where you are or what you are doing.

3. Spend time at a fellowship.

If you are a member of a religious group make it a priority to attend their functions this holiday. When there participate in something.

If you are in recovery attend a 12 step or other support group meeting. In many places, there are “Alchathons” or marathon meetings. These meetings occur every hour round the clock and provide a safe place for people in recovery to hang out over the holidays and not be alone in their own heads.

4. Reconnect with old friends.

Call someone you haven’t talked with in a while. Send out some emails. Do not let yourself dwell on the people who do not respond or who do not have time to talk. Focus on those people who stop and talk with you.

5. Reach out to someone else who may be feeling down and lonely.

In twelve steps groups, the advice is to call one other recovering person each day. That provides support for you in times of need. You may also find that other person needed the call even more than you did.

6. Do something nice for someone else.

Reaching out to others to help them – be of service – this can make you feel connected to others and far less lonely.

How will you defeat loneliness this holiday season? Do you have any other suggestions, not on my list?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three 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.

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, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

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.