Breakfast Cereal – Part 1

Philadelphia, PA – 1960s-1970s

Growing up in the suburbs in Philly was great. We lived in a pleasant, quiet neighborhood. It looked like a snapshot from nostalgic America back then. All of the dads headed out in the morning in their cars to their jobs and the moms stayed home and took care of the house and kids.

Breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Sure, lunch usually consisted of a sandwich on white bread with some potato chips and a drink, and dinner was a protein, a vegetable, and a carb. You got a couple of cookies for dessert and a glass of milk.

All good, but breakfast was the most fun meal of the day. That’s because back then, we had so many cool cereals to pick from. Many of them tasted the same and were just manufactured into different shapes and brands. But they had such great personalities. No other food in your life as a kid had funny characters and mascots like breakfast cereals did. You also never got a prize in a bag of peas or a can of baked beans.

I used to love going to the supermarket with my mom. She would be off somewhere in the store pushing the cart and collecting items from the handwritten list she’d made at home. I would be standing in the cereal aisle for the entire hour. Time moves slowly when you’re a kid, and normally doing errands with your parents was boring. Unless there was the promise of some treat at the end of the trip for good behavior, it was a drag.

But looking at all of the cereals in the aisle made the trip worthwhile. So many cool cereals to choose from. Most of our moms worked on a pretty strict food budget. They had to think of the five people at home and how to make the food money go the farthest.

But as a kid, you have no concept of money because you simply don’t have any, nor the skills to earn any of it for yourself. (Unless you had a paper route, then you were an earner!)

I would stand in that aisle and read all of the boxes carefully. Never worry about any nutritional value or cost. The big questions in my mind were always the same. What kind of prize is the best out of all of these cereals? How many box tops do I need to send away to get an even better free prize?

Before I begin, remember Tang? That weird orange drink that the astronauts drank on the Apollo spacecraft? I tasted it as a kid, and it reminds me of the flavor of today’s Sunny D. We never had Tang as a kid. My mom would buy these rolls of frozen orange juice concentrate in bulk. I remember her mixing it up in the kitchen. Chopping through the slushy mess until it became orange juice. She was always nice enough to strain the pulp out of mine. I thought pulp was gross. It always felt weird in my mouth. Like I was drinking something that had some weird stuff in it that shouldn’t be there.

I write these nostalgic pieces and I really enjoy it, but sometimes I like the reader to come away from it having learned something.

Do you know why kids like candy and sugary cereal? Why do we crave sugar in any form as a kid? The reason goes back millions of years to the origins and development of our species.

What’s usually the first thing a baby does when you hand it something. Yep. Right in the mouth. Why? Because we’re predisposed to test objects we find as babies to see if they are a potential food source. That’s how we learn what we can and can’t eat to survive. Over thousands of years of evolution, babies developed a taste for sweets.

Why? Because most things that are sweet are not poisonous. That’s why little children like sweets. They won’t die if they put it in their mouth like everything else. So the next time you reach for that Kit Kat, you’re just doing what your ancestors knew was right.

Let’s talk healthy first. I remember my dad never agreed with us chowing down on bowls of sugary cereal every day. “It’s not good for your teeth!” “It’s a bunch of sugary crap that has no nutritional value!” “It’s junk!”

All the while he was chowing down on fried eggs, and greasy bacon every morning. Cholesterol and fat city, dad!

He once had the idea that we should all try cream of wheat instead of eating sugary cereals every day. We all tried it one morning on a weekend. It was horrible. We’ve already been eating the crunchy, sugary deliciousness of store-bought fun cereals. Why would we ever want to eat this swill? A big warm bowl of gruel? What sort of medieval torture is this? Gross! No, thank you.

I will say this. My mom was awesome. Every morning for 20 years I would roll downstairs and have a seat at the table. I ate a bowl of cereal while intently reading the back of the box. Next, 2 pieces of bacon, a slice of buttery toast, and a glass of orange juice.

remember waking up in your bed, and you could smell the bacon cooking downstairs? there’s nothing like that in the world. Why does bacon crackle and sizzle when you fry it in a pan? Yes, because it sounds like applause. Bacon has rightfully earned that ovation!

My daughter is Vegan, and I feel sad for her as I write these words.

i could have drunk more than the small 6oz glass of orange juice each morning but you simply don’t need that much juice to get your daily dose of vitamin C. “It’s full of sugar and citric acid! It’s going to irritate your stomach.” Yes… dad again.

But it was a balanced breakfast. Oats, protein, carbs, and vitamin C. Sounds good to me. I think that’s why I love breakfast so much even today. Did you ever go into a 24-hour diner and have breakfast for dinner? Brilliant!

Oh, and when my dad brought home some donuts from the bakery? Cream-filled powdered donuts? My favorite! Good bagels? yes, please! A well-made bagel doesn’t even need anything on it to be awesome.

But I digress…

Let’s talk about some of these breakfast cereals we had as kids.

I’m just going to cruise over the boring adult cereals and get to the fun stuff, but they’re worth mentioning.

  1. Cream of Wheat – Awful
  2. Wheaties – Popular with the athletic sports set
  3. Shredded Wheat – Parent breakfast food. I’m assuming dad needs a bit more fiber
  4. Spoon-Sized Shredded Wheat – Let’s make the same thing smaller so they can shovel more of our product into their gaping maws.
  5. Rice Chex & Wheat Chex – Looked like something you dumped into at a party to snack on. (But I always wondered how they made those little ventilated squares)
  6. Corn Flakes – No taste. Gets instantly soggy, and is really Frosted Flakes that have been stripped of their sugary deliciousness. So sad.
  7. Special K. – Also crap. No, thank you. As bad as Corn Flakes. There’s a reason we called that one girl, Special K  who rode the short bus to that ‘other school’.
  8. Product 19 – Did anybody even buy this cereal that sounds like a failed experiment?
  9. Rainin Bran – What’s Bran? No, mom, I don’t want to eat raisins as a snack and especially not in my cereal. Just chewy grossness.
  10. Life – Is this boring cereal what adult life will eventually become for me? Probably. But, no.
  11. Grape-Nuts– No one believes anything Wilfred Brimley is saying about this cereal. As Seinfeld says, No Grapes. No Nuts. What’s the deal?
  12. Total – I don’t know or care. Totally boring, okay?
  13. Cheerios – Okay… these are good and I still eat them when I get the munchies if you get what I mean.

Remember those variety packs of cereal they used to make? I think they still make them today. But back then they looked cool because they were tiny replicas of the real cereal boxes. I once asked my mom what these little boxes had an I-shaped perforation along the face of each box. She told me, that if you opened it that way and tore open the bag inside, you could pour milk in there and the box would serve as an on-the-go bowl of cereal. I never did that but thought it was an innovative idea. But I thought, what if I went through all of that and then realized I had forgotten to bring a spoon with me?

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2. We’ll talk about the fun cereals!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Karate Lessons

Philadelphia, PA – 1975-1976

I was picked on and bullied in Fel’s Junior High School. I never experienced this in grade school. It just didn’t happen there. Maybe all the disfunction in families comes to a head when kids reach the age of puberty, but I just don’t know.

It was hell for me for much of the whole 3 years I spent at Fel’s Junior High school. It felt more like a juvenile detention center than any sort of educational facility. When I think back on my life my memories are pretty sharp and I have great recall and detail. But when I think back to Fel’s, there isn’t much info. It’s as if during those formative years my mind blocked out much of that horrific pain to save me from mental illness later in life.

There was a show on TV at that time called Kung Fu. My parents used to watch it and my dad loved it. I remember watching a few episodes and although I never saw the pilot, I knew what the show was about. It seemed that this Chinese/American guy wanders around the American west and gets into these different situations. Normally there would be some bad guys who would get their butts kicked by the main character each week.

I thought it was all very cool, and Kung Fu and Karate were hot back in the 70s. There were lots of movies about the subject. Even the Green Hornet had a chauffeur named Kato that could do karate. It was Bruce Lee, who sadly died back in 1973, but he had already established himself as a bonafide star in his short time in show biz. He was the real deal.

I figured if I learned kung fu or karate, I could defend myself from all of the animals at school and in my neighborhood. I remember I had gotten a book about Judo and was reading about some simple moves, and I guess maybe I put it to my parents one day that I’d like to take karate lessons. It just seemed practical, cool and I liked the idea and philosophy behind it all. You have this amazing fighting skill but you only use it for the forces of good. You never pick a fight, you only use it to defend yourself and your loved ones. That’s like some superhero stuff right there. I figured that would be perfect for me since I loved comic books and the dudes that were in them defending the world against evil.

So, my parents signed me up for karate lessons. I remember it was $10 a week and back then and my father thinking that it was kind of expensive.

They sent me off to American Karate Studios in Rockledge Pa. That sounds far away, but it was just a bus ride away from my house. I would go there I think a few times a week. For my dad’s money, I would get 2 group classes and 1 private lesson per week.

I would finish school and then walk north on Oakley street to Martin’s Mill Road and hop on the N bus. Which I think either doesn’t exist anymore or they’ve simply changed the name of the bus route. I googled it looking for any old photos online and came up with this:

https://www.yellowpages.com/philadelphia-pa/mip/american-karate-studios-464769411

https://businessfinder.pennlive.com/1977929/American-Karate-Studios-Philadelphia-PA

Could that place still be open?

I would carry a plastic bag that had my Gi in it. That’s the white outfit the karate guys wear. I thought it was super cool and felt like a real kung fu dude when I wore it. It really allows the freedom of movement when you’re doing your moves.

Here’s a couple of old photos my sister dug out of me wearing my karate Gi doing some moves. Future Kung Fu Dragon!

A photo on the wall of my mother on her wedding day hangs on the wall behind me. Check out that ancient vacuum cleaner in the corner!

Anyway, I remember there being a series of belts you had to earn to move up to be a kung fu master.

Everybody started out as a white belt. That’s the beginner level Then you moved on to an orange belt. Then a purple belt. Followed by blue and then green. There were 3 degrees of brown, and 8 degrees of black.

The dream was obviously to become a black belt karate master. That would take years and years to achieve and I didn’t see myself ever getting there. But if I could learn enough moves, maybe I could defend myself against the minions in the neighborhood who picked on me.

There were a couple of kids that were already members and they wore some of the higher level belts. There was a little guy who had a green belt and he was really fast and had killer moves. I figured if that kid could do it, so could I. There was also this girl who was older than me who had a purple belt. She was really cute and always wore her hair back in a thick braid. The only way I ever saw her was with her hair back and in her Gi. I kind of had a thing for her, but I basically didn’t exist in her world and would never have a chance to get to know her. At least in some way, I was invisible to her… like a ninja!

The group classes were rigorous and filled with a bunch of skinny kids like me. We would exercise the moves that had taught us, like snap kicks and punches. It was fun to play/spar with the other boys because it was like we were fighting but no one really hit anyone else.

Once the instructor made us put a smaller kid on our shoulders and we had to do a series of front snap kicks. So while there is this kid sitting upon your shoulders you had to kick to the knee, midsection, and face to an imaginary adversary in front of you. This all had to be done without putting your kicking leg back down. It felt like some real next-level kung fu stuff!

Another time during the exercise and strength training portion of the class, we had to all lie on our backs on the mat and lift our feet up 6 inches off the floor. This was a great way to strengthen the muscles in our core. But the crazy thing was, they would make you hold it up until it was nearly unbearable. Then the instructor would walk through us and step on our stomachs. It didn’t hurt because our stomach muscles were so tense but it was wild. You wouldn’t think that would work but it did. He stepped on everybody. No pain. Future kung fu dragon!

My favorite part of attending karate lessons was the private lesson with my teacher. That’s where you learned all of the new moves and skills associated with your belt level. It was really cool. Like, if someone grabbed you by the lapels there were a series of moves you could perform to immobilize and destroy your opponent in seconds. I love this!

There’s also a dance you learn along with your training. It’s called a kata. It’s a series of punches and kicks you do in a formation and you have to memorize it and be able to perform it. It included many of the basic techniques that you were being taught for your belt level.

(I just got up from my desk to see if I still remembered any of that kata. Guess what? I went right into the routine like it was yesterday. Wow!)

Thank you, Sensei!

I even ordered some cool patches for my jacket. I had a round patch on the back of my jacket with the American Karate Studios logo on it. I also had a tiger and a dragon patch on each one of my sleeves. I was going to be like Kwai Chang Cain in the Kung Fu show on TV!

By the time the semester ended and I was supposed to go to the shore for the Summer I took my test, with one of the owners, (who was a black belt) and I passed! I earned my orange belt!

Of course, my dad said, “They better give you that belt after all the money I gave them for those lessons!”

I should have drop-kicked him.

Karate lessons were a welcome little repose in my tortured life back then. I think it really helped me. I never used any kung fu moves on anybody, but it did feel good learning something new, get some exercise, and be with other kids like myself.

Thank you American Karate Studios and to all of the staff who were kind to me and taught me some cool fighting skills!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Men Who Attract “Crazy” Women: It’s All Your Fault

I’m truly fed up with men complaining that they always wind up with “crazy women” or saying that all of their exes are “crazy.” You want to know why I’m fed up with it? Because when men say this, they are taking no accountability for their own actions. They are refusing to see that they are the common denominator in all of their relationships with these alleged “crazy” women and are unwilling to admit that if they don’t like what they attract, it’s probably because they don’t like themselves. Water seeks its own level aka crazy attracts crazy. The use of the word “Crazy” is also very derogatory, and that’s frustrating in and of itself. But, if you are a man who continues to attract women who wind up being rather unstable, do not complain that that “just happens” to you. You’re causing it. Here’s how.

You first comment on looks

I’ve noticed one thing in common with every man I know who claims he “attracts crazy women”: the stories of how they first pick up these women involve these guys laying on the compliments about the women’s appearances—heavily. Those first interactions are all about telling the woman she’s really hot. Unfortunately, only women who do have some personal emotional work to do would ever go for this. Emotionally healthy women would not like that all of the focus and attention is on something superficial.

And go after the very put-together women

And, to add to that last point, these men who claim to attract unstable women only go after extremely hot women. I mean that level of hot that is only achieved through $500 haircuts, hours of makeup, every waist cincher and bust lifter available, extensions, and freshly manicured nails. Every day. I’m sorry to say it again but there is often a personality type (hello: high maintenance) that comes with this look. But these silly men who “attract crazies” are just drawn to that look, and aren’t perceptive enough to pick up on the beauty of women with a more subtle appearance aka ones who are stable enough to not overdo it on the hair/makeup/designer clothes thing.

One male acquaintance starts every relationship by showering the woman with monetary items. Whether that’s highly expensive jewelry, meals, or trips, the money is obvious and everywhere. I still state again that, gentlemen, if you want to attract a woman who is down to earth, you won’t find her on the other end of a Ferrari wrapped in a ribbon.

This is so common: a man seduces a woman out of a relationship she’s already in, into a relationship with him, and then things turn out to be toxic and turbulent. Oh wow, no way? A woman who was willing to cheat and relationship jump isn’t stable? You’re kidding me. Who would’ve thought?

You like women who mimic your personality

The man who winds up in these turbulent relationships also tends to like this trait in a woman: she mimics his personality. She’s a chameleon. Whatever hobbies or restaurants or people he loves, she loves, too. This is where a man’s ego can really get him in trouble. I have news for you, men: if a woman seems to love everything you love, it’s an act. And if there is some sort of act going on now, there will be some sort of drama going on later. Stable women will have their own personalities and interests. They won’t pretend to love everything you love.

You demand all of their time at first

Funny enough, the men I know who later claim their exes were “crazy,” are usually very needy in relationships. I see them calling and texting a new interest constantly, wanting to see her regularly, and always wanting to know where she is and who she’s with. Another newsflash, men: if a woman tolerates all of that jealousy and paranoia it’s because she’s also going to exhibit it. Men, if you want a woman who is laid back and not controlling, you yourselves must be laid back and not controlling.

Then you’re shocked when they demand yours

These same men are also completely shocked when they go from calling a woman every hour to ghosting her for weeks and she goes a little nuts. What did they expect? They gave her the impression this was going somewhere and then they disappeared. That would make anyone upset.

You move too fast

I know one guy who falls into this same pit over and over again. He always wants that next thrill (it’s just a form of running from himself and some serious healing that needs to happen). So he’ll move fast with a woman, wanting to live with her or get engaged within just a few months. Again, I will state that, as a man, if you try to move fast, you should know any woman who goes along with it will not be stable. Stable women take things slowly.

Then you abruptly put on the breaks

Then, once these men decide that their new, shiny toy is no longer that new or shiny, they put on the breaks abruptly. One month it’s, “Move in with me” and the next month it’s, “Why are you always in my space?” And, shocker, this can result in some “crazy” behavior on the female’s part. Who wouldn’t be upset by that total 180?

You want something all-consuming

Every relationship that ends up in flames begins as a “whirlwind romance.” Have you noticed that? If two people just take the time to get to know one another, see each other at a reasonable frequency in the beginning and still maintain their individuality, nobody winds up slashing tires or burning down houses. But the men I know who claim their exes are “crazy” always dive into things head first, are attached at the hip with these women, and go totally MIA on the rest of their friends while in relationships.

But stable women aren’t about that

Emotionally healthy women want to maintain their individuality. They want to keep up with their own social lives. They want time to themselves. So, fellas, any woman you meet who is willing to dive into this relationship that consumes the both of you probably won’t be, um, emotionally stable.

You’re looking for a massive ego boost

So, here’s the thing: I’ve noticed that the same men who call their exes crazy also like women who are highly impressed with their money, status, fame, and other superficial elements. These men are deeply insecure and must rely on superficial things to get attention. So they wind up with women who are equally insecure and drawn in by that BS.

Again, stable women won’t give you that

Again, a healthy woman will be repulsed by a man who tries to use his status to gain affection. Sorry, guys, but if you’re going to find quality relationships, you can’t take the easy way of flashing your money around.

You either like extreme partiers

I’ve also noticed that the men I know whose relationships go up in flames are often drawn to women who are huge partiers. These men are usually insecure, and to compensate for that they like the competitive nature that comes with dating a woman who is out at clubs each night. They like to pick fights. They like a reason to be possessive. And women who spend most of their nights partying until the sunrise probably aren’t on the most stable ground right now, either.

Or extreme introverts

The other personality I see these men attracted to is the introvert. Again, men who “just happen” to fall into turbulent relationships (again, it’s totally their own fault) are often controlling. So many of them like women who are introverted and very shy because they know they can trust them to just stay at home and wait for them. But if a woman is so introverted that she’s essentially a hermit, she will likely develop codependency issues on the one relationship in her life. I mean really men what do you expect?! You actively seek out these unstable relationships and then play the victim card when things get unstable.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Do You Love An Addict? If So, Here Are 10 Things You Need To Know

Here’s another great post that was shared with me by one of my followers. 

The word “addict” has become a commonplace word in today’s society, and almost all families have been affected one way or another. Even games like Fortnite took a blow, with at least one lawsuit alleging its popularity among teens was as addictive as cocaine.

But as commonplace as drug addiction has become in this modern-day, it is still widely misunderstood. There are many conflicting viewpoints regarding the causes and nature of addiction, however, one thing is for certain: it takes lives and destroys families.

In my experience as both an addict — now an author, speaker, and counselor to families of addicts — I have dealt with a lot of pain and heartache. I have seen both tears of frustration and of guilt and regret. While, there is no sure way to change an addict from the outside (they must want the change, and initiate the change themselves), there are ways to encourage them to heal while also protecting themselves.

Too many times I’ve seen families and loved ones of those caught in the grips of addiction struggle with some of the hardest decisions of their lives, and inadvertently end up pushing that person further into their addiction when they were actually trying to save them from it.

I have compiled a very important list of ten basic tenets that we should follow when dealing with a loved one who is an addict. Some of these may seem obvious, and some may even seem counterintuitive, but after decades spent on both sides of the addiction fence, I guarantee you that these are things that are necessary.

1). Do not give them money. This may seem like an obvious suggestion, however, addicts are master manipulators. They will use any excuse to get money, and will more than likely use threats and ultimatums as techniques to get it. No matter what, it is not your job as a family member or loved one to support their drug habit or their lifestyle. No one should be buying cigarettes, gas, clothing, or anything else for a using addict who is currently destroying themselves. Stand firm, do not let them guilt you into it.

2). Make their life as uncomfortable as possible. A using addict will continue to use until they are unbearably uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it takes an immense amount of pain and misery to motivate a person to stop using their drug of choice. Families will often follow their loving instincts and provide comforts for the addict, but when you are letting an unproductive adult live in your household, and sleep whenever they want, and not contribute or work, you are sending a message to them of encouragement.

I was tossed out in the streets when I turned eighteen because I was an addict and being cut off from my family, and my stream of resources, forced me to hit my pain threshold much faster than if my family had supported and enabled me through my addiction. Had I been given a roof over my head, money, and basic necessities I may still have been using today, or even dead.

3). Be supportive when they are reaching out for genuine help. As important as it is that we don’t enable someone in active addiction, it is equally important that we are there for them when they want to stop. In our active addiction, there are times where we want to continue using, and then there are times (usually when we’re under the comfortable influence of the drug) when we realize that we have a serious problem and we want to seek a better life. The next morning when the drug wears off, these feelings of a desire for change fall to the wayside, and the desire to get the drug and feel “normal” again usually take over.

The best thing that a loved one can do is to support the addict when they show a genuine interest in changing. Research available forms of treatment, and centers that are available and be ready to present them to the addict when they are seeking help. Be available to offer rides or other services to the addict who is currently active and successful in recovery. It’s important that we express zero support for their use of drugs and alcohol, and yet show as much support as possible for their recovery. This is the best and only time that you should be willing to help if you want to see maximum results.

4). Get educated about addiction and recovery. It is very important that you learn as much as you can regarding the addiction that your loved one is battling. The more that you begin to understand addiction and the inner turmoil that an addict faces, the more you will be equipped against their lies and manipulation tactics. It is very important to yourself and to them that you are guarded against their schemes. An addict lies to themselves, just as much as they lie to others. The more that you learn, the more that you can see clearly from the outside looking in.  There are too many families and partners of addicts that “turn on” their ignorance in order to avoid the scary truth that their son, daughter, partner, is addicted to drugs or alcohol. By trying to maintain a “blissful ignorance” then we are doing the addict themselves a disservice.

5). Do not become co-addicted, put yourself first always. The most important person in your life is you. Your child, husband, wife, parents, or whoever else simply cannot come before you. You must always protect yourself, your property, sanity, and overall well-being before trying to help someone else. Too many people out here become codependent on their loved one’s addiction and end up reaping worse consequences than the addicts themselves. There have been many people that I have met that have become so codependent on a family member’s addiction that they’ve neglected their other children, spouses, etc all to focus on one person’s issues. In this case, no one ends up being helped, and everyone falls apart.

6). Get Narcan training and keep two on hand. Naloxone is an opioid overdose antidote that is almost only exclusively available now under the brand name Narcan. As of 2019, there are some generic versions of Naloxone pending, however for now Narcan is the most widely available. It is now available in not only an injection form but in a nasal spray as well. The drug acts as an immediate opiate blocker which will bring a person instantly out of an opiate overdose and directly into the withdrawal stages. For the stronger opiates like Fentanyl, it is not uncommon to need a couple of doses of Naloxone in order to bring the user back to life, which is why I suggest keeping at least two on hand.

7). Seek outside help from professionals. Do not try to do it all alone. Professionals are there for a reason. Reach out to and speak to recovering addicts, doctors, mental health professionals, peer recovery specialists, or anyone else that you can find in the mental health area. Every case of addiction is an individualized case, and the drugs and alcohol are just a symptom of a deeper-lying issue. Do not try to diagnose and treat these things without professional help or they may flare up worse or even backfire.  When they do, you will be left with a tremendous load of guilt, so please contact someone who deals in this area of expertise every day.

8). Join a support group. The stigma of addiction isn’t what it used to be. Do not try to cover it up or keep it a secret, and do not isolate it. Always welcome outside help and support, get second opinions, reach out to friends and family. Share what is happening so that those who care about you who aren’t clouded with emotion can speak clearly to your circumstances. For the best results, you must have a network of people that you can trust that can walk along the outside of this struggle with you. There are Nar-anon meetings and Al-anon meetings for the loved ones of addicts and alcoholics. These meetings are a wealth of information and support for people who are dealing with addiction in the family, or home. Not only will you actively learn about addiction, and how to cope with an addict but you can also meet a great support group of people who are in the same boat as you are.

9). Give them ultimatums. Addicts and alcoholics generally begin using due to pain and fear and usually stop using for the same reasons. Ultimatums will generate a sense of fear that could possibly push an addict towards change. They also give a softer option than completely cutting the person off. Giving them choice makes them feel more in control and generates a sense of responsibility for what happens to them. Because most addicts and alcoholics are stuck in a cycle of self-obsession, cutting them off due to their own misdeeds will still perpetuate a victimhood cycle in their minds. For example; “My mother threw me out, she doesn’t care about me.” versus “My mother told me I had to either go to rehab or leave the house. I chose to be homeless.”

When giving these kinds of ultimatums, it is important that there is a solution involved. For instance, telling an addict to “stop getting high, or stop drinking or else” is setting them up for failure. Chances are if they were able to just flick a switch and stop the misery they are bringing upon themselves and you, they would. Instead, there must be a solution at the end of the ultimatum, such as go to treatment, counseling, recovery housing, etc.

Lastly, stand firm in your ultimatum. If they fail to live up to their end of the bargain then you must follow through with your deal. If you don’t then you expose a weakness, and they will exploit it every time. Do not give an ultimatum that you aren’t ready to follow through with. Don’t threaten to leave them, divorce, or throw them out of the house unless you are willing to stand firm on that.

10). Know that you are doing your best. As a recovering addict myself, I can attest that I literally disappointed myself thousands of times over, let alone the people that cared about me. That is the nature of addiction. Some people get recovery right on the first time, some take dozens of times, and unfortunately, some die trying. There is no one else responsible for an addict’s drug use other than the addict. If you follow these suggestions, you have absolutely done your best. Even if you don’t or didn’t and you followed your heart, you still did your best.

Remember, relapses can and do happen often to people in recovery. Do not give up or get disheartened, be there for your loved ones when they are ready to brush themselves off and get back on the right path towards recovery.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Want To Meet The One? These Are The Top Places To Look

Knowing how to get a boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner, especially without the help of a dating app, might seem like an impossible task in the modern age. However, it’s not as difficult as you might imagine. According to a new study from Compare the Market, 45% of couples still meet either at a social gathering or through mutual friends, and only 7% meet on a dating app. Alas, there is hope!

So fear not, it’s definitely still possible to meet your dream boyfriend, girlfriend or partner, in real life. You just need to know where to find them. Sex and relationships expert for Lovehoney Annabelle Knight breaks down the best places to meet your next partner face-to-face.

Through your uniVERSITY or former school

Somebody you went to school, college or uni with can be a really compatible option for a long-term partner. If you’ve grown up together or come from the same area, then you’re likely to already have a tonne of things in common. Plus, Compare the Market found that 9% of people still meet their partner through education, so it’s definitely a good place to consider starting a relationship.

And even if you didn’t get together with your partner when you were actually at school, there’s still hope later in life. Plenty of us has some kind of missed connection from our uni, college, or school days, someone we wish we’d dated but never actually managed to make it work with. Keeping in touch with uni, college, or school groups and going to meet-ups and reunions can be a great way to get together with old friends, relive your youthful memories, and maybe even hook up with that person that you never got the chance to with at school.

Photo credit: Hinterhaus Productions - Getty Images
Photo credit: Hinterhaus Productions – Getty Images

Social media, obviously

Meeting a potential partner online doesn’t just have to happen through a dating app. There are plenty of ways to meet people through other forms of social media too, with 6% of people meeting their partner on socials, according to Compare the Market. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be great places to reconnect with people from your past, but they can also be somewhere to meet cool new people. Friends of friends can be easy to start a conversation with, as you already have somebody in common. Meanwhile, if you see someone you fancy on Insta, take the leap and slide into their DMs (respectfully, of course). What have you got to lose?

Plus, you don’t need to spend time getting to know someone when you do meet up IRL, cos you can find out everything you need to know online beforehand. Put those deep dive ‘research skills to good use…

However, age is also a massive factor when it comes to social media, with 14% of 18 to 24-year-olds meeting on socials, compared to 7% of 25 to 34-year-olds.If you do decide to opt for a dating app or site to find love (or just fun), the top place people surveyed by Compare the Market found a partner was Plenty of Fish, followed by Tinder and Match.com.

Volunteer

Donating your time for a cause you’re passionate about will help you to meet someone with similar values, and that can create cute shared experiences. But, obviously, don’t volunteer somewhere for the sake of getting a date. You should only do it if you want to broaden your network of friends, help an organization that means something to you, and learn. But, it’s through that network that you might potentially meet a new partner.

Photo credit: Juj Winn - Getty Images
Photo credit: Juj Winn – Getty Images

Get out of the house

As simple and basic as it sounds, staying at home is not going to get you that many dates. If you do genuinely want to meet someone, be proactive with your friends and suggest new places to go – galleries, museums, gigs, bars, etc. Basically anywhere that’ll shake you out of your comfort zone and introduce you to new people. If you’re able, try and do something new every week or month which will bring you into contact with new people, whether that’s joining a club or meet up, or a class for whatever hobby you’re into.

Going out the old-fashioned way is still the most common way to meet a boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner. As found by Compare the Market, 27% of couples meet at a social gathering like a party, pub or night out. So, don’t be afraid to get out there and start a conversation with somebody new.

Make eye contact

This is like swiping photos in real life. But the difference is the person is right in front of you and able to make a direct connection. You instinctively know who you are attracted to, and there’s nothing wrong in making that clear through eye contact when you are out. Just obviously be respectful of other people’s boundaries, and don’t creep any out – that goes without saying.

Use your friends

In the nicest way possible, use your pals. After all, they know your great qualities, likes, and dislikes. And, crucially, they know better than anyone if someone is a good fit for you. Plus, you know that any potential dates they put you in touch with already have a bangin’ group of pals. Compare the Market’s study found that 18% of people meet a partner through mutual friends, so don’t be afraid to let your mates know you’re up for introductions to new people – you never know where it could lead. Make sure you return the favor and do the same for your single pals too.

Coworkers can also be a great route to finding love, as you likely already have the same interests and goals in life. Plus, the research found that 18% of people still meet their partner in the workplace. That person who caught your eye across the office? Don’t be afraid to start a conversation.

Photo credit: FG Trade - Getty Images
Photo credit: FG Trade – Getty Images
More

Work out

Only 2% of people meet a partner in the gym, according to Compare the Market, but it can be an easy place to start a natural conversation. Just ask them to help spot you or to move some equipment. Plus, if you go to regular classes you’re probably going to see some friendly faces you can chat to.

But the gym isn’t the only workout location perfect for meeting a partner. Try joining a club or a team for whatever kind of exercise you like: triathlons, yoga, hockey, football, etc. Meeting weekly to work out and going for a drink afterward will mean you meet a whole new set of people – and therefore their friends… it’s all about widening your network.

Accept invites

Yes, of course, it can be intimidating to go to events on your own, but it’s normally possible to get a plus one and bring a friend. If not, try and get out of your comfort zone if you can and go on your own. It’s daunting but gets easier with practice. Plus, the chances are your friends who invite you to these events will have cool and interesting mates you’ve never met before. You can always ask them to intro you if you’re feeling shy or awkward.

How to turn dating into a relationship

Sadly, actually going to the right places to find your potential partner is just half the battle when it comes to starting a relationship. Compare the Market found that 33% of relationships started with casual dating, while 32% actually started as platonic friends. Meanwhile, 20% of relationships began through a series of formal dates, with just 9% evolving out of a purely physical relationship. So, next time you start daydreaming about your friend with benefits or f**k buddy turning into an actual thing, think again as it’s not super likely to happen.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1