Compassion.

Compassion

Compassion.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Compassion.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

― Plato

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

― Albert Einstein

“Compassion is the basis of morality.”

― Arthur Schopenhauer

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

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

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Ways people put drugs in the body. Routes of Drug Administration video #8

Ways people put drugs in their body. Routes of Drug Administration. Drug Ed video #8

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

How to Guarantee a Relapse.

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

Relapse

Relapse.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are you at risk of relapse?

The concept of relapse generally applies to people with a drug or alcohol issue, where people develop a problem, go through a process of recovery and create a new, clean and sober life. Recently we’ve come to believe that people with mental health problems, anxiety or depression even conditions like psychosis that were once considered incurable can do recover.

Both addiction and mental illness are chronic conditions. With any chronic disease, there is always the presence of a risk of a return to active symptoms. Whether your problem is drugs, alcohol, depression or anxiety, certain behaviors can keep you on the road to recovery and other actions that increase the risk you will fall back into active symptoms.

Here are some of the things people tell themselves that increase the risk of relapse.

Don’t hang out with healthy, sober friends. They are no fun anyway.

You probably have some friends; maybe you should call them acquaintances, that are not the healthiest people out there. There’s a temptation to tell yourself that now that you have recovered you can hang out with those old friends and not be pulled back into your disorder.

Sometimes those friends are drinking and using, other times they are just negative, unhappy people. If the people you’re hanging out with damage your self-esteem or tempt you to engage in the activities that created your problem in the first place, deciding to spend time with them is a relapse in the making.

Ignoring your feelings increases the risk of relapse.

Internal feeling states are tremendous relapse triggers. If you are starting to feel lonely, sad, or angry, don’t ignore those feelings. Relapse and active substance abuse usually begin in the mind well before someone picks up the substances. Trying to pretend you’re not feeling what you’re feeling put you at risk slipping back into active substance use.

Self-medicating your feelings with drugs or alcohol will increase your emotional issues. Alcohol is a depressant it will make you more depressed. Using chemicals to medicate anxiety works only very temporarily when the substances wear off the anxiety will be even worse.

Telling yourself, you can control your problem now leads to relapse.

The great fallacy of many alcoholics is the belief that after a few years without drinking they have been cured and can now drink safely. People with a history of drug problems often come to believe they’ve learned so much about their addiction that they can now control it and will never fall back into a full-fledged addiction.

Having once gotten over your anxiety or depression people often return to a bad relationship or an unhealthy work situation, thinking that this time they will be able to handle precisely the situation which triggered their depression or anxiety in the first place.

Don’t tell yourself that relapse is a part of recovery.

People who believe that everyone relapses give themselves an excuse to relapse. If you tell yourself that you should start planning yours now.

Somewhere along the path of recovery, many people start to tell themselves since their problem is a chronic condition that should expect to relapse. While the return of active symptoms is common is by no means required. Recovery requires active maintenance of the things that got you better. Accepting the idea that relapse is inevitable amounts to giving yourself permission to relapse.

After recovering from one issue, trying another problem leads to relapse.

Many people with a drug problem tell themselves that they need to find another activity to replace that. Sometimes they try a different drug in the belief that they will be able to control their usage. Looking for the same thrills, some people turn to gambling or risky sexual behavior.

Switch to using alcohol, marijuana, or prescription medication they’re not risky, right?

The widespread prevalence of alcohol and more recently marijuana has led many people to believe those substances will be easier to manage. A well-hidden fact is that the majority of drug overdose deaths are the result of consuming multiple drugs. Use of the “legal drugs” alcohol, nicotine, and more recently marijuana can be a first step on the return path to an addictive or dysfunctional life.

Just because the doctor gives you a prescription for something doesn’t make it safe. The recent epidemic of drug overdose deaths has largely been fueled by the abuse of prescription medications often in combination with alcohol or street drugs.

Trying to make up for lost time increases the risk of relapse.

Once you’ve gotten out of rehab for your depression and anxiety has reduced to the point it’s not controlling your life it’s very tempting to try to make up for lost time. Some people take a full-time job, go back to school full-time, and start a new relationship all in the first few months of recovery. Trying to do too much, too rapidly, can overwhelm you and reverse all the progress you’ve made in creating a life that works.

How many of these relapse risk factors have you allowed in 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,Google Play, 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.

Community.

Community.

Community.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Community.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.”

― Bertrand Russell

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

― Mother Teresa

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

― Kurt Vonnegut

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

Stimulant Drugs – video

Stimulant Use Disorders Video.

 

Stimulant Drugs – video

Too busy writing to write anything?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Writer.

Man writing

Writing.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do I describe what I’m doing with all my time?

I woke up the other morning and realized that I’ve been so busy working on various projects that I’ve not yet gotten around to the final revisions and the publishing of my third novel tentatively titled “Planned Accidents.”

I spent a lot of time creating content. I can’t be sure which of that content accurately qualifies under the heading of writing. What we mean by writing has changed so much during my lifetime I’m no longer sure when I’m writing and when I’m not.

What’s the difference between writer, author, content creator and so on.

As a self-published author, there’s a lot of tasks that need to be done. First, I get the idea, then the outline, and finally the slog through producing that first draft. First draft in hand there is the editing and revision, creation of covers, formatting the manuscript, and all the steps to uploading that manuscript to platforms, so it’s ready for purchase. If that was all I had to do, I don’t know what I would do with my spare time.

I tried compartmentalizing my thinking. When I’m in my creative persona, I’m the writer. The steps that involve the editing and publishing I think of as my author persona. The author part of me takes the creative output of my writer persona and makes it into a published book.

Am I really a writer if I spend all day doing things that are writing?

I feel a layer of guilt about even calling what I do writing. When I was younger writing meant using a stylus, a pen or pencil, and placing characters on a piece of paper which could be interpreted by others as the words I intended. Indeed, I am old enough to have primarily written using cursive rather than block letters.

As I have completed additional trips around the sun, I find this a less threatening metaphor than saying I have gotten older, my writing has involved considerably less writing. Over the last century, more or less, I think we came to accept that products created using a typewriter can be justifiably called writing. From typewriters it’s been a leap, sometimes a traumatic one, to producing that same final “written” product using a computer.

Is it writing if I dictate?

The last few years I’ve developed pains in my wrists when I try to type too much. Where I once took pride in “pounding the keys” the keys on my computer began to pound back. Recently I’ve taken to primarily dictating. While writing and dictating are both forms of storytelling, I’m wondering if we’re stretching the meaning of the word writing when I tell people I have written several books when I have in fact been dictating them?

I think the concept of writing has crept ever larger.

Today a lot of people read written material by having the computer convert the words into sounds they can listen to. Some writers turn their products into audio “books.” I understand we shifted from calling things manuscripts when scribes had to hand copy them, to calling them books when that Gutenberg invention allowed for mass production. There’s a part of me that feels guilty about calling something a book knowing that people will be listening to an artificial intelligence convert electronic images into speech. Many people today read a book without either a physical book or the need to use their eyes to look at the item they are “reading.”

Are making videos other forms of writing?

One “little” project I’ve been working on over the last month has turned out to be not so little. Many of my students and more than one of my colleagues has emailed me asking if I had seen a particular video. Notice I no longer call those messages which arrive on my computer as something they have written to me. Emailing letters has substantially replaced writing letters.

I have spent a good part of January creating a YouTube video channel and producing videos for that channel. I noticed that readership of the counselorssoapbox.com blog had suffered as students, went to researching things on YouTube. The net result of this cultural shift is my new video channel with the shockingly creative name Counselorssoapbox.

So far, those videos have been limited to video presentations of the material I covered in the classes I teach on substance abuse counseling. Where we will go from here remains to be seen. What I’m not sure about is calling all that video production time “writing.”

I do know that creating the script from which a movie is made qualifies as writing and has a special name “scriptwriting.”

Maybe the title writer will go the same way as the title scribe.

I’m told that initially writing was created more for high counting then for creative endeavors. When someone had to keep track of 17 camels, 52 sheep, and 114 goats, it is a lot easier to come up with one symbol for each type of animal. And look how useful it is to have numbers rather than to have to repeat that word goat 114 separate times.

While I’m not a linguist, I’m inclined to believe that the occupation “scribe” ultimately gave us the word scribble. I’ve noticed people inventing a lot of new words to try to describe this process of creating which no longer fits neatly into a particular category. Watch for the words – creative’s, author entrepreneur or contraction of that, and several more expressions designed to cover how “writing” is being transformed by new technologies.

Eventually, writing had to expand to include words to describe a lot more than naming farm products. As a result, scribing became writing. What remains to be seen is how much longer I can call all these things I’m doing writing.

Are Audiobooks, podcasts, and videos forms of writing?

Some people are calling themselves videographers. I’ve even seen some people describing themselves simply as “YouTuber’s, or should that be You-Tubers?” I used to know what a tuber was, but I’m not sure any more.

Presumably, audiobooks began as a written manuscript which one or more people convert so that it can be listened to rather than read. If I listen to a book can I say I have read it? The line between writing and speaking becomes fuzzier when we talk about podcasts, which frequently start as an oral conversation, but may eventually end up as a written transcript.

My videos certainly start with a written outline before their produced though I’m not sure I can call that outline writing in the same creative sense in which I use the word writing when I am referring to either my blog posts are my books. Maybe some of you can help me with figuring out which of these creative endeavors I have been doing qualifies is getting around to doing my “writing.”

Thanks for reading my ruminations and if you have any suggestions for why I’ve been so busy writing things that I haven’t finished writing my book, please leave a comment.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

(Book four – Planned Accidents, will be released shortly.)

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.