My Wicked Mistress – Part 3 – The Final Piece

Back in ’13, I was sloshing through life smoking cigarettes, drinking booze, and eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

But then I met Annabelle, and everything changed. I stopped smoking and went on the Paleo diet to look better for my new girlfriend.

I went from a 36″ waist to a 32″ waist in about two months.  It was miraculous. I never slowed down with my boozing, but the ciggies were gone and so was the fat off my body. It was great.

But what I later realized was, that I didn’t do it for myself. I did it to look good for a 26-year-old girl whom I just met at age 52.

I was never in love with her. I was in love with the idea of being in love. The rush of new love and romance. That dopamine drop I got from falling in love was better than any glass of liquor or drug you could ever take. It’s a euphoric high.

But it’s not healthy. I simply traded ciggies and fatty junk food for something else. All for the wrong reasons. I didn’t realize any of this at the time, but it’s just a weird cycle of events that one can spiral through at the onset of a new relationship.

The relationship only lasted 9 months for obvious reasons. We had nothing in common. She had no idea who she was or where she was going. And she was too young for me and from a world that was different than mine. The fundamental things that make for a good relationship between two people just weren’t present.

I didn’t mind that she was gone, but I didn’t like that she kept coming back every month for these little drunken hookups. It never allowed either of us to heal. It just kept the wound open and I had to put a stop to that. So I cut her off for good.

It’s all well documented in the series on this blog, and in my first book, Phicklephilly: One Man’s Journey to Find Love in Philadelphia.

You can read about that disaster here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

So, once she was gone I went back to smoking cigarettes and eating and drinking whatever I wanted. But I remained active and never really gained the weight back.

But in 2018 I gave up cigarettes for life. I was just sick of them and no longer enjoyed any part of it so I ended it. But in the first part of this series, you can see how I traded it for the JUUL vapes. I like them and at least nothing’s burning, there’s no carbon monoxide, there’s no mess, no dirty cigarette smell on me and my clothes and house, and no dirty ashtrays. Just a cleaner vice. (For now!)

Then in 2018 I had the health scare and cut out the consumption of the “oceans of chardonnay and the lakes of vodka” I consumed like I was in Motley Crue in the 80s. Now I consider myself a teetotaler. I probably drink less than the average American now and it’s great. Like cigarettes, I’m just not that into it anymore. I like feeling good and being clear and sober.

I used to write this blog drunk all the time in the beginning. The booze helped loosen my mind and my tongue to release all that content from my brain. But now I only write sober and hardly drink at all anymore. It’s great!

Now here we are in 202o-2021 and I go from running the sports bar on 11th street and 18th street on weekends to sitting at my desk all day writing my blog and my books during covid. This goes on for the rest of 2020 into 2021.

I’m writing my blog, which I’ve monetized, there are book royalties that roll in, and I write freelance commercial articles for companies across the country. So there are a few revenue streams but I still want something to do once my year and a half of being on the dole runs out.

The first retail place I drop my resume off hires me the next day. Spectacular. Any fear that I’d be too old or not able to find work after the pandemic vanished. I’ve got the gift of gab and a myriad of talents, so off I go again into a new vocation and social chapter of my life. I have no fear about anything now. I have no one to impress. I’ve had a colorful life and I just want to keep living and feeling good.

They gave me a couple of T-shirts to wear while working there. But I quickly realized the only ones that fit me comfortably were XL. Extra-large? Really, Chaz? You’re 5’9″ and have been a relatively slim guy your whole life.

But I haven’t been slim. I’m supposed to be, but my boozing and poor diet kept me looking bloated and paunchy. I could hide it with a black button-down shirt and a blazer, but there’s no escaping what your body really looks like. I’m not fat. I’m just out of shape and carrying too much weight for my sized frame.

So I decided to go back on the Paleo. It worked like a charm back in 2013. But I did it for the wrong reasons. I did it to look good for some young lady. You have to do things for yourself. Not someone else. That never works. You’re lying to yourself. You have to eat right and exercise and live right because you want to look and feel healthier for YOU. You should look like you’re supposed to look.

It’s pretty hard because you don’t need cigarettes. That’s a toxic poison. You don’t need drugs. You don’t need booze. You can live perfectly well without any of that. But you must have food. If you don’t eat, you’ll die. And that’s why it’s so difficult for most people to lose weight. We’re surrounded by food in our culture and so many of the things that make us fat or are bad for us taste soooooo good!

But you have to discipline yourself. Cut out the refined carbohydrates, sugar, and caffeine and you’re on your way. Fish, lean meat, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. All foods found in nature are all you need to be healthy. (Sure you need some carbs, but you can always add them back after you’ve turned your weight around)

By the time you read this, I should have already achieved my target goals months ago, but I thought it important to talk about these negative elements that have been in my life for so long.

I’m happy to be free from them and living the healthy happy life I’m supposed to be living and should have been living for my entire adult life.

It took a long time working through my anxiety, depression, and self-medicating to survive. But don’t get me wrong, I had a great time doing all of that bad stuff for years. I wouldn’t trade any of it, because it’s all been a part of my journey.

But I’m happy to say, I finally added the final piece to my health puzzle and it is now complete!

 

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

My Wicked Mistress – Part 2 – Sick

Philadelphia, PA – May 2018

(Warning: graphic content)

It was life as usual for me in 2018. things were good and not much had changed in the last year.

I didn’t get out as much and preferred a quiet life at home. Some of my friends and drinking buddies had moved on to other cities and careers. Bartenders moved on to different positions and the big drinking and social life was over.

I had cut loose most of the detritus in my life. All the crazy girls were gone and I rarely saw anybody from my old life in media.

I hadn’t been feeling well lately. I had some aches and pains that I was attributing to middle age and work.

I was trying to drink a lot of water. I would drink maybe 80 oz a day. I figured that was good.

But no matter how much water I drank I began to notice that my urine was more of an amber color than the usual healthy yellow.

I had also had diarrhea over the last day or so. Loose stool and yellow bile.

I called out sick from work because I just felt like garbage. I figured it was simply a stomach flu.

But in a day my mind brought me around to what was happening to me.

I pre-gamed with a cocktail or two before I would go out at night. While at the bar I pounded 5 to 6 glasses of wine. Then maybe stop somewhere else and have a nightcap. Usually a Manhattan. Then home. Grab a rock glass and pack it with ice. Crack open a can of seltzer and start pouring in the vodka.

By then I had no idea of the dosage of vodka I was imbibing. The only way to get an accurate measure would be to see how far down the vodka was in the bottle. If a lot of the vodka was gone out of the bottle, well then I drank a lot.

I went online and looked at the signs of alcohol damage to the body.

Oh no.

I stopped drinking that day.

I had an uncracked half-gallon of Nikolai vodka in my room. I gave it to my daughter Loralei and told her it was now the house vodka and she could have it and share it with her friends. I also gave her a 6 pack of spiked seltzers.

I still had all of the expensive bottles of booze in my room.

They always say throw away all of the booze in your house. But my life doesn’t work like that. I’m not going to drink that fine liquor. I have no triggers. I’m just going to stop buying gallons of vodka and pouring it into my body. I don’t know what demon I was trying to drown. It was like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

From what I read and saw, my liver was struggling to break down the alcohol because it was overworked. Hence the yellow bile in my feces. My kidneys were also struggling. They couldn’t break down the blood properly to purify it.

I was toxic.

I also read all I could about alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal. I went to the grocery store and loaded up on fruits, vegetables, and vitamins. A multivitamin, Vitamin E, B12, Melatonin, and Milk Thistle.

Google all of that. Find foods that are antioxidants.

I did all that and braced myself for the worst.

I had some trouble sleeping but that was it.

Within two days I felt so much better. By being completely sober I gave my body a chance to heal after years of abuse.

In a couple of days, everything went back to normal. Regular and healthy urinary and bowel function.

I have a strong immune system. I’ve written about it before. I not only bounced back, I felt SO MUCH BETTER!

My appetite returned with a vengeance. I suppose it was resetting from getting over 1000 empty calories a day in pure booze. I was so ravenous for food about a week after I stopped drinking.

After a few days, I realized the reason I was drinking the way I was. It was because I was stuck in an old nightly ritual I used to NEED to turn off my mind. I had so many problems in my past life I had to have something to make them stop.

The quiet darkness. Like a silent shroud over your day. You huddle down in your bed and wait for them to come. The cycling thoughts and fear that you’ve allowed into your life. My anxiety and depression… like shadows, were my only company.

But all of those things have been banished from my life in the last few years.

It’s like cigarettes. I once did it for happiness and then to relieve pain, and then it was just something I was simply doing out of habit and no longer had a use for it.

So I dumped it.

Booze for me was the same thing. Once I could sleep unassisted, I was better. I felt clear. Happy. Sharp. Better physically.

It was like I was ingesting insecticide into my system every night and suddenly stopped. The body wants to be well. Once I stopped hurting myself, my body went right to work on repairing the vessel.

I even went to an AA meeting.

That was an eye-opener about a lot of things. The people that are in there are there for a reason. Alcohol is the one thing they should never do again.

Alcohol makes them crazy.

They drink and it changes them chemically. It destroys who they are and everything around them. They’re at a point in their lives where they can no longer even have a drink. But like I said… it’s a spectrum. It’s not black and white. Everybody’s physiology is different. Some people change when they drink. Others not so much. I just did it out of habit and to soften the world a bit at night.

I heard all of the horror and heartfelt stories in that AA meeting.

But when I left the meeting I knew I wasn’t like them. I’m not an alcoholic.

Abstinence isn’t the solution for everybody.

I enjoy the occasional drink now, but that’s it.

I’m so glad that dark chapter of my life is over.

Tune in next Tuesday for the 3rd and final chapter in this little series.

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

My Wicked Mistress – Part 1 – Alcohol

Philadelphia, PA – 2018

I quit smoking cigarettes years ago. I was no longer addicted to nicotine and it had just become an expensive toxic habit I no longer enjoyed.

https://atomic-temporary-111921946.wpcomstaging.com/2020/08/04/my-wicked-mistress-chapter-1-cigarettes/

I could write a whole blog regarding this subject, but I’ll keep it focused on this forum.

I had my first taste of beer when I was a kid. My dad let me try it. It was so bitter I spit it out on the kitchen floor. I agree that you should let children try things they’re curious about. It demystifies those things. People always want the forbidden and the taboo. If you just let them try it and show them that it’s not bad it removes the desire.

Everybody reacts differently to drugs and alcohol. It’s not black and white. Nothing in life is. As my daughter says about sexuality and mental health, it’s a spectrum. I’ve always agreed with her. No one is either crazy or sane. No one is either sober or an alcoholic.

It’s a range. A long winding, grey area.

I know I’m going to piss a few people off here but that’s not the purpose of my words. I’m writing this because I want to tell you all about my experience with alcohol.

I’m going to open with this. Alcoholism isn’t a disease.

Disease: A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of part or all of an organism, and that is not due to any external injury. Diseases are often construed as medical conditions that are associated with specific symptoms and signs.

When I think of diseases I think of the big ones.

  • Autoimmune Diseases.
  • Allergies & Asthma.
  • Cancer.
  • Celiac Disease.
  • Crohn’s & Colitis.
  • Heart Disease.
  • Infectious Diseases.
  • Liver Disease.

Stuff like that. They happen. But alcoholism isn’t a disease. It’s called that because so many “normal” folks are afflicted with it. It destroys lives indiscriminately. Yale to jail. Top to bottom.

But…

It’s a disease you have to BUY.

You don’t just catch it. You have to willfully do it. You have to go to the bar or a store and pick up a bottle and decide to drink it.

That’s not a disease. That’s your mind and body vs. alcohol. Everybody’s different.

But this piece isn’t about that. That’s for another blog. Not mine.

This is my brief story. I’m going to keep this as short as possible because it could eat up my whole blog if I go on too long about this subject.

I’ve always suffered from anxiety and depression. That coupled with low self-esteem and being an overachiever is a perfect cocktail for alcohol consumption.

I remember the first time I caught my first buzz from alcohol. I was out on the fishing pier one night in Wildwood, NJ with my friend and bandmate, Wolfie. We had a 6-pack of Molson Golden Ale and I had maybe 3 of them. I was 17 years old.

I walked back out onto the boardwalk when my very first buzz from alcohol hit me.

It was beautiful.

I felt exhilarated, euphoric, and indestructibly confident.

I couldn’t believe the power of this bitter elixer. It made the weak strong, the tired energized. The sad, happy. The loser, confident.

I went home and told my mother about my experience. She had also suffered from anxiety and probably some depression her whole life. I explained to her how good it made me feel and it also made my anxiety, (Which was really bad back then) simply vanish.

“That’s great, but don’t ever let it become a crutch.”

“What do you mean, Mom?”

“Don’t rely on a drink to carry you through something.”

Those words stuck with me my whole life.

I love to drink. It’s fun. It feels good. It’s a wonderful social lubricant.

I’ve had my ups and downs with booze. Many of us have. The fights. The drunken misunderstandings. The brilliant hilarious nights. The random hook-ups. The crazy sex. The bad decisions. The great ones. The bed spins. The vomiting in inappropriate venues.

I’ve experienced all of that stuff.

I drank beer and wine. When I got to California I started getting into sipping Jack Daniels.

I enjoyed beer and cocktails in the ’80s in my 20s. I went into banking. Having a few drinks after work was just something everybody did.

Happy Hour. What a lovely name for something that involves people, booze, and lasts two hours instead of one.

I think during my very unhappy marriage is when my drinking escalated. My wife wasn’t much of a drinker and certainly didn’t like my drinking.

I would sneak nips from a half-pint of Smirnoff’s Vodka hidden in my garage.

I can see it all very clearly now. My social drinking had now become a band-aid over the pain of my domestic life.

My drinking didn’t end my marriage. Turns out we were simply incompatible as people on so many levels. I should have never gotten married. I know now it’s not an institution I can belong to. This shark needs to be free to swim and roam the oceans.

With my wife gone, I was now free to drink all I wanted whenever I wanted. I could listen to the stereo,  rock out to my music, and drink my Ketel One and tonics.

I was never one to drink in the morning or during the day. As much as I loved to drink, I always had strict rules regarding time. I would only take a drink after 5 pm.

Sure, I’d have the occasional glass of wine at a brunch or something, but no more. The real drinking happened at night. In a bar or behind closed doors and drawn blinds.

I was writing a book back then so I would just disappear from my sad life into writing and booze.

I didn’t even realize what was happening to me or why I was doing it. A former artist and musician, reduced to a branch manager at a bank. My marriage is already over. The only one in my family divorced. And then there’s dividing up all of the assets I had worked so hard to construct. Then the child support begins. $600 a month of your net income vanishes from your account every month. For 15 years! Do the math. It’s a financial nightmare that seems without end. I missed my little daughter. My little family was destroyed. Ruined.

When you begin drinking it’s for fun. It makes you laugh and feel happy. Later, it can be used to extinguish pain. Alcohol numbs you to the point where for that night you no longer care and have no worries about life in general.

But you might as well throw gasoline on a fire to put it out.

The booze kills the pain. But alcohol is a wicked mistress. You love her and she’ll fool you at every turn. She’s a beautiful and sexy girl. Doesn’t cheat on you. Won’t ever disappoint you. Always there for you. Comfort. Forget your problems. “Don’t work through them, honey. Just drink me in. That’s it, dear.”

I drank like that at night for the next 10 years.

I had no problems with my drinking through the 2000s. It’s just something we did after work.

Let’s jump to the Spring of 2018.

I quit cigarettes. My daughter lives with me. She’s happy. I’ve left corporate life. I have a nice little job I like doing. Child support is long over. But I continue to drink as if I’m covering some sort of pain.

But I’m not sad anymore. I have wisdom. I fought through anxiety and depression over the last 50 years without therapy or medicine. I’ve won!

But I continue to drink out of one directive. It’s simply a ritual. Just like smoking became. But one far more deadly.

I think I thought at the time I needed it to fall asleep. I did. Because I could no longer fall asleep without alcohol. My body needed it to shut down. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I never really addressed why I was doing it. It simply became a function of my evening life.

Everything was good in my life. This became a dark secret.

I could be out at the bar having a few drinks but the minute I got home I just kept going on my own. Alone in my room drinking vodka and club soda. One after the other. I never counted. I just did it until I could sleep and off I went.

But my will is strong. I can drink like that and get up for work the next morning with Metallica Metallicano problem.  Never call out and I’m never late. Am I doing this to overcompensate for my drinking? Probably.

If my mind wouldn’t race at night maybe I could stop drinking so much in the evening.

Two to three times a week I would go to the liquor store and pick up a 1.75 bottle of Nikolai or Wolfschmidts vodka. I wasn’t quite at the level of drinking as Guns n Roses bassist, Duff McKagen, but I was working on it.

My older sister said I was a functioning alcoholic. Normally that would be correct.

But not in my case.

Was this something I was simply stuck with from my old life, for the rest of my life?

Time would only tell.

 

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

California Dreamin’ – Ashley – 3 Strikes – Part 2

Los Angeles, CA – 1983

One day I somehow acquired tickets to a David Bowie concert out in Anaheim. (It may have been the Glass Spider tour) We were on our way to the show when my van suddenly stalled. I had never had any problems with it before, but this was the worst thing that could have happened at the very worst time. I remember a truck full of Mexicans was kind enough to push my disabled vehicle off the highway.

We missed the show, but I got the van running again. Ashley was incredibly disappointed so I made it up to her. I took her to a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant. It was the very first time I tasted veal.

On another occasion, we were out partying in a bar somewhere and were on our way to her house. I was on the freeway when the cops pulled me over. They said I was swerving, but I know that I wasn’t. I think they saw the New Jersey tags on an old 1969 VW minibus and decided to stop me.

They took me through a sobriety test which I passed, but when I blew into the breathalyzer, I failed. I remember Ashley telling me that while this was happening, one of the officers was hitting on her. “What’s a nice pretty girl like you doing with a loser like him?” the cop said.

So, they arrested me and took me to jail. They photographed and fingerprinted me and tossed me in a cell with a couple of drunk guys. I remember sharing a cigarette with one of them. It was a rare bonding moment with another inmate. Odd thing was, I wasn’t even scared at all. I was only 21 years old when all of this happened.

I guess one of the cops took Ashley home and they left me in the can to chill. I got my one phone call and spoke with my roommate. I told him where I had some cash hidden in the apartment. He hopped in a cab and came to bail me out.

The cops told us where the van was impounded, but said not to get it and drive it because I could be stopped again. Which would make my current infraction even worse. We agreed and left the precinct.

We immediately went to the impound lot and got my van out. I drove my roommate and me home and we were fine.

Bad night.

I called my father and told him what happened. He was cool about it and was just glad I was okay. I had left a grand in my bank account back in Wildwood, NJ in case of emergency. This was that emergency.

I had to go to court, plead no contest, pay the fine, and attend classes. (All of it seemed like fee income for the city of LA and a waste of my time.) After all of the negative experiences in LA and the feeling that it didn’t matter where you were in the world, it really came down to who you were at that given time in your life.

No matter where you run to in this world… there you are. You make or break the place where you live. I was fed up with all of the phoniness of LA and didn’t see any point in staying out there anymore. I wasn’t going to become the next heavy metal god and was really feeling despondent about my life there. It had all become very mundane. (I’ll write about the deeper parts of this decision in some future post)

My roommate and I eventually decided to pack it in and return to New Jersey. I was tired of LA and missed my family and friends. I was just done with the whole scene out there.

Of course, Ashley was heartbroken that I was leaving, but I had to go. There was nothing I could do. I wasn’t staying out there. She was, and our relationship was over.

I guess that’s how I was back then. My whole existence was about survival and dealing with my anxiety and depression. But I thought nothing of just doing what I needed to do to survive. I know now that I broke some young hearts back then. I never intended to hurt anyone intentionally, I just kept moving. But I see now I was running in circles.

More tomorrow!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please like, comment, share, 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

An Evening With James – Part 2

Yesterday I began the two-part saga of hanging out with my friend James. Thanks for tuning in for the conclusion!

The Lyft arrives and it’s a five-star driver with a pleasant personality and a clean car. I’m safe and on my way to see James. Based on my calculations I’m less than 15 minutes away from his house. But for some reason I guess I was traveling during a surge period and this ride is costing me $17! What the heck?

But I let it go because it was my mistake that got me here and I’m happy I’m safe and in an air-conditioned, clean vehicle to my friend’s doorstep. I chat with the driver and he points out all of the hot spots in town on our way there. Noted. I’ll pass these recommendations onto James when I see him. He’s single now and should get out in the real world to hunt and not so much on these dating apps.

He drops me off and I knock on James’s front door. After a few minutes, I hear a window opening above my head. I look up and James is sticking his head out the window. “Didn’t you get my text? The door’s open. I’m just out of the shower.”

I go in and head for the kitchen. He has a jar full of those peanut butter-filled pretzels on the counter and I munch on a few of them. Nothing’s changed since I was here last. Several pieces of furniture are gone, but he’s set up a turntable and some speakers next to the 50 plus liquor bottles in the corner of the room. He wants to install a bar of some type to put his collection into but he’s just been too busy. But it’s been a productive busy. Lots of interesting dates and the obligations of running his talent agency.

I think about the last time I was here. Lethal cocktails, beers, burgers, and dogs. I loved it all but at my age, none of the above loves me back anymore. I was under the weather for 2 days after that last time. That won’t happen again, right?

James comes down and starts making cocktails. I’m petting one of his exotic cats. I like the grey and black one that resembles a tiger. James thinks that cat is an a$$hole but I like him because he’s so handsome.

James gives me one of his famous Manhattans. It packs a punch but is delicious. Are you supposed to use 100 proof rye whiskey in that drink? Probably not, but  I can’t say no to a freshly made quality cocktail that’s made with authentic ingredients right down to the brandied berry on the toothpick. Plus… they’re free. Free always tastes better than paid for. James makes really good cocktails and never scrimps on the quality.

So I tell him about the last few weeks of non-stop commercial writing assignments, my encounters with Lin, and my harrowing trip to get here today. Then it’s his turn.

His life now that he’s single sounds like my life when I started this blog back in 2016. Non-stop dates, events, and oceans of alcohol.

He’s hungry, so he whips up some tasty little frozen chicken nuggets. James is the king of hot sauce and dipping and he brings out the plate of snacks. He’s telling me about all of his dates in detail, (which I love because I’m now living vicariously through my young apprentice) and we munch on the chicken while sipping our potent beverages. (I even ripped off a few little bits and fed them to his cat which he enjoyed!) James told me that could give the cat diarrhea later but I figured a few little scraps wouldn’t hurt him. Cats have far more robust and septic digestive systems than humans or even dogs.

The next couple of cocktails I consumed were whiskey and coffee liqueur based and they were delicious. But I was already buzzing from my first Manhattan.  Did I know that these venomous drinks were a recipe for a hangover tomorrow? Of course, I did. But did it at any time cross my mind during this social visit with my friend? No, it did not.

So, it turns out I was right about his motives for the evening. It was number 2. Strip club. Okay, James. Whatever you want buddy. You’ve never been there and you should at least see what it’s all about.

We’ve been chatting for a few hours and through several cocktails and I’m fine with it. It was probably around 10:30 or 11:00 by the time he called the Lyft to take us to Delilah’s.

Delilah’s describes itself on their website as “a landmark in Philadelphia for over a quarter-century. Over that time Delilah’s has established itself as the premier entertainment destination for business travelers, celebrities, and uninhibited Philadelphians alike.”

That sounds great, but that’s never what any of these kinds of places are like. Even using the phrase, “gentlemen’s club” is abhorrent. You can hang whatever title you want on any of these joints and they are all just strip joints, plain and simple. It can be big, and fancy with tall stripper poles and lots of fancy lights, stages, and music, but it’s all the same stuff.

A den of iniquity full of sleazy, sweaty losers who are looking to escape reality. A place where these losers can flash some money and get the attention of a few desperate, damaged women in skimpy outfits. The last time I was here, was for my friend Duncan after his divorce. I don’t go to places like this because I never need to. I can meet real women in the real world. Places like this are gross and so are the men who frequent them.

I used to know a guy that was addicted to these scum holes. He has no personality or game of any kind and has blown thousands of dollars at places like this. He’s always been a sleazy loser and this is the only way he can ever get the attention of fit young women. He has to pay for it. Pathetic.

The women who work there are usually all mentally damaged in some form. What girl chooses to end up in a vocation where she has to parade around in her underwear for a living and be nice to a bunch of gross losers while they stuff dollar bills in her bra or thong? No little girl ever dreams of being a stripper when she grows up. She’s been damaged by someone along the way. It’s so sad.

We arrive and go inside. We’re both in good spirits due to the amount of distilled spirits flowing through our veins and just being together. James pays our cover which was $10 each. We have to go through a vigorous security process similar to getting on a plane. Maybe worse. Patted down by burly security guards, put your keys, wallet, and phone in a tray while you pass through a metal detector to enter the club. I whipped out my vaccination card but nobody cared. As long as I wasn’t packing any weapons they didn’t care if we were patient zero and carriers of covid and ebola!

We walk up to the first bar as you enter the main area. The last time I was here I prefer to sit in the back because it’s quiet and a bit more remote. But James has never been here before and he’s dazzled by the energy of the place and all the female pulchritude.

Within 30 seconds two attractive blondes in skimpy outfits were upon us.

Have you ever walked onto the property of a used car lot? What’s the first thing that happens? Right… you are immediately accosted by some sleazy used car salesman who descends upon you like a desperate starving vulture.

That’s what it felt like. These girls are looking to maximize their earnings each night and we are simply ATMs. They charm us with their wiles to figure out our emotional PIN, and their job is to separate us from our cash.

These two hapless souls were all over us from the minute we got to the bar. We barely had time to order a couple of Stella Artois. James picked up on the vibe immediately, and we got our beers and headed to the back away from these cute piranhas.

We take our seats at the end of one of the bars and enjoy the show. The women that work at Delilah’s are better looking than the gals that work at some of the other clubs in town. This is the premier place, right? But as I said, it’s all the same trip in every one of these places across the nation.

James seems to be getting into the spirit of things though, so I’m happy he’s having a good time. He’s never been here so being newly single again, he’s glad he can go where he pleases and do what he wants and doesn’t have to answer to anyone anymore. He doesn’t have to get permission from his girlfriend to go live the life he wants.

I tell him since I wasn’t entirely sure we were coming here tonight I didn’t prepare. (I never prepare because I never go to places like this.) When you go to a strip club you should always bring plenty of cash because it’s king in these joints. Cash for lap dances in the private rooms and lots of singles for stuffing in G-strings.

So against my better judgment, I head over to the ATM. Now, when I used to go to the Gold Club down in center city with Johnny R before I cut that alcoholic loser off, I knew to never use their mac machine. Here’s why… Strip clubs know they have a captive audience full of drunk, horny losers. They exploit every inch of that real estate. Crappy drinks are overpriced, the girls are money-hungry jackals, and the fee to use the mac machine is usually jacked up. They know you don’t want to leave to get more money. You want that lap dance from that hottie who’s been teasing you for the last hour with promises of love and maybe other things in the back room.

The Gold Club is a place where sexual stuff can happen. I’ve witnessed Johnny R get all kinds of favors from the girls there in the back room. It’s a low-class place and the staff isn’t as pretty as at Delilah’s so they’re more apt to give a few favors for the right price.

The ATM fee at the Gold club is around $6. Which is twice to three times what you’d pay at an average ATM anywhere else in the city. But dudes pay it and probably don’t even notice they’re getting hit with the fee. Being drunk and horny clouds their vision. But, here I am at Delilah’s, the “classy” joint in town and I’m about to take money from their ATM. I figure, what the heck. I’m only going to write all about this later and it’ll be more informative to my readers if they know the real deal.

So I go to the mac machine and put my debit card in. I choose to take out $80. I get my four twenties and receipt and head back to the bar to see James.

I pull out the receipt from the machine and show it to him. He doesn’t notice it at first, but see if you can.

Yea… a horror show. A $16 fee just to get your money out of that thing! That’s highway robbery!

I’m a cheapskate anyway when I go to these kinds of hellholes, so seeing this I knew I would NOT be spending much money in this dump. I wouldn’t anyway, but wow. Just wow. It made me wish that I was the owner of that ATM. What a cash cow!

James laughs in surprise and whips out a neatly wrapped stack of $100 in one-dollar bills he has to have gotten from his local bank of account. I laughed at his planning. Well done, James! You came prepared. You’re a regular boy scout!

I gave him 2 twenties and he reluctantly counted out $40 in one-dollar bills to me in exchange.

He’s been chatting with probably the prettiest, fit dancer in the place and tells me he’s going off to get a lap dance. Good for him. He needs to experience this place to its fullest. But I think he’s in for a rude awakening. We all know what happens and NEVER happens in the champagne room at Delilah’s.

While he’s gone two really cute Hispanic girls approach me. They’re both adorable and alluring. I haven’t seen them in here all night, nor have I seen either one of them dances on stage. They both proceed to cut right to the chase. “Give us $300 and you can come in one of the back rooms and have s*x with us. (Gotta watch the words I use here. Google Adsense flags anything sexy on my sight now. If I want to earn ad revenue on here, I gotta keep it clean) I graciously decline their offer, as tempting as these two lovely sirens are.

James returns 15 minutes later, and I ask him how was his “lapper” with the brunette.

“Sucked. She sort of writhed and hovered over me, and there was no touching.”

“Welcome to an upscale gentleman’s club, James. You can get tossed for touching in this place.”

I can tell James is disappointed with what we’ve experienced thus far. We throw back a few beers and the good news is, neither of us was drunk. I tell him that even though I had to let my friend Johnny R go because of his multiple addictions and failure, the guy was right. He never wanted to come to Delilah’s. He always preferred the Gold Club in the center city because he liked its authenticity. It doesn’t pretend to be a classy joint like this place does. It knows it’s a sleazy strip club and it does it well. The girls are average and very friendly, the day shift is a little scary, but at least they’re truthful with what they provide and what they are.

By the end of the night, we were approaching the 2 am witching hour and last call. James was determined to spend some money apparently and stay in the spirit of things. He was crumbling up bills and tossing them onto the stage. At one point he went to the edge of the stage and just laid out money along the edge. It was all one-dollar bills but he seemed to be enjoying himself despite the grinding disappointment of this place and their ilk.

He encouraged me to do the same so I placed 2 bills on the edge of the stage. God, I hate these places but I love James, so who cares. We had a fun night out. I took a LYFT home and he was within walking distance of his house so he headed home.

When I get home, I notice my clothes smelled of cigarette and cigar smoke and I reek of cheap perfume. Hopefully, a hot shower will wash the stench from me, but sadly the women that work there can’t wash off that kind of a shame.

And the best part? I got a colorful story out of it, and when I checked my wallet the next morning  I still had most of my money! I had $38 in ones and $40 in twenties, so at least I didn’t get fleeced last night!

The only thing is, I didn’t have a migraine the next day, but all those rich cocktails did give me a headache for the rest of the day, and my stomach has been a little shakey for two days.

I’m getting too old for this rich life, but I’m having fun doing it. I think next time we go out, I’ll stick to spiked seltzers, lots of water, and some good food to sop up the booze.

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

An Evening With James – Part 1

James and I have been friends for over 10 years. I met him one night with my then-girlfriend Michelle at a fashion show at the 23rd Street Armory. He worked for a local talent agency as a talent coordinator. We both loved movies and film in general and kept in touch on social media.

Then he went off to LA for a few years and I rarely spoke to him. But he came back a few years ago and we re-connected.

James has been a great friend and we’ve had some great times together. We both have busy schedules, but we hang out together at least once a month.

You can read about him here:

https://atomic-temporary-111921946.wpcomstaging.com/2017/07/24/james-2012-to-present-modeling-agency-mogul/

https://atomic-temporary-111921946.wpcomstaging.com/2020/08/13/james-southgate/

https://atomic-temporary-111921946.wpcomstaging.com/2020/08/20/james-at-the-drive-in/

Recently, James broke up with his girlfriend of 7 years. He’s now 34 and has been out of the dating game for years. A lot has changed but some things stay the same. I’ve helped him with his online dating apps and offered whatever advice on navigating the treacherous waters of the dating world. He’s been doing well and going on lots of dates.

But like my friend Duncan, who after his divorce wanted to go to a gentleman’s club to blow off some steam, James was ready to do the same.

I wasn’t too keen on the idea because I associate those kinds of places with losers who can’t talk to women in the real world, cheaters, and unhappy married guys.

But he had never been to the supposed “best one in Philly” so he wanted toexDrive-In-girlfriend long-tim6 pm, every day go one night. I reluctantly agreed. I didn’t know exactly when we were supposed to do it, but I knew it was looming on the horizon.

We were supposed to hang out on Wednesday but I had to postpone because I was buried in commercial writing assignments. But the next week cleared and we locked down the next Wednesday to go out.

When the day arrived, James texted me to confirm and we were a go. But in his text he suggested I come to his house, and then we’d jump in a Lyft and head out for the night.

This never happens. He usually drives down into center city or takes a Lyft down here and we go out. This was a first. So I knew it had to mean one of two things.

  1. He wants me to come to his house so I can see how he’s fixed it up and redecorated since the exit of his girlfriend. Then make be a few delicious, potent cocktails to get a base coat on and save money. Then, we both hop in a Lyft and return to center city-girlfriend long-time reading Jamereading James6 pm, every day reading JamesDrive-In for a night of fun, frolic, and frivolity. OR…
  2. He wants me to come to his house, ply me with lethal cocktails and coerce me to go to the local gentleman’s club with him to see a bunch of strippers.

It was the latter.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I had finished my last big writing assignment the day before so it was my first day off in over 3 weeks. I went to breakfast at Rachael’s Noshery and then went for a nice long walk to get some exercise.

5.6 miles later I came home and chilled out for an hour. I then proceeded to write about Lin and a few other subjects. You’d think after writing non-stop for 3 weeks I wouldn’t want to touch my keyboard. But it just felt good to write about things I wanted to write about. My blog!

We were set to hang out at 7 pm that night so I wrote for about 5 hours and knocked off around 6 pm. I had been to his house before so I knew just how to get there using public transportation. It was a nice mild day, and I gave myself plenty of time like I always do. My dad always taught me to leave early to avoid any unforeseen delays and I’ll always arrive relaxed at my destination.

So, I left my house and headed over to Broad Street. I walked up to Locust Street because I knew there was a train station there on the corner. I walked down the steps to the station, swiped my key card, and headed down to the platform. There was a train sitting there and I happily hopped in. Just to be sure, I asked someone on the train if this train stopped at Huntingdon and they said it was a local express train. So, it wouldn’t. They then told me to get off that train and wait for the regular one that comes on the track just on the other side of the platform. I thanked them and stepped off the train and waited on the platform.

Within minutes, the other train arrived. I hopped on and off I went. After a while, I was wondering when the train would come up out of the subway and become the elevated line. It seemed to be taking a long time. I looked out the window and saw that the train had stopped at the Fern Rock Station.

Where the heck was I? Had I missed my stop? What’s going on?

I asked another passenger and she tried to explain. The train was noisy and she struggled with her English and she was wearing a mask.

Thinking quickly, I exited the train to get my bearings. It was only 6:30 at this point so there was plenty of time to make any necessary adjustments.

I walked over to the ticket office and spoke with the nice lady working inside it behind the bulletproof glass. I couldn’t hear a word she was saying so she stuck her head out the door.

“Hi. I’ve lived in Philly for over 12 years and I think I got on the wrong train.”

“Where are you trying to go?”

“Huntingdon stop in south Kensington.”

“Oh… you’re way off.”

“Where am I?”

“You’re way far up into North Philly right now.”

“Oh. Can I just go upstairs and call a Lyft and leave from there?”

“Ain’t no Lyft coming to this part of town, honey.”

“Really? Why not?”

“It’s pretty busy up there.”

“Busy?”

(Looks me up and down) “You shouldn’t go up there. It’s not a good kind of busy up there.”

“Ohhh… What do you recommend?”

“Go down that flight of stairs over there and get back on the southbound train. You were on the Broad Street Line. You need to take the train south down to 8th and Market and switch to the Blue Line and then go north to Kensington. You’re way west of anywhere you want to be right now and you do not want to go upstairs into that part of town.”

“Okay. Got it. Thank you!”

I scamper down the steps and wait for the southbound Broad Street Line train. What was I thinking…. or not thinking? I’ve lived in Philly for over a decade. I know where everything is and I’m an authority on public transit. Am I getting dotty in my old age? Has senility finally come to call?

No. I just had a brain fart and got on the wrong northbound train. I need to fix this, but I’m not going back to 8th and Market.

The train arrives and I’m the only caucasian on that train. I’m the minority and look a bit out of place, to say the least. I’m a little nervous but it’s 6:30, still light out and there are plenty of people around. I hatch my escape plan as the train roars south.

I’m listening to Rockbar on Sirius radio on my earbuds and it was almost a joke when the next song comes on. It’s Welcome to the Jungle by Gun’s ‘n Roses. Just as the train pulls into the Cecil B. Demille stop I hear Axl Rose scream into my ears…”Do you know where you are? You’re in the jungle, baby… You’re gonna DIE!!!!”

Oh, the cruel, yet the hilarious irony of this journey.

I hop off the train because I know this stop is the one above Girard Avenue and based on my geographic skills I figure I’m just slightly northwest of my destination. I climb the stairs and come out on the sunny sidewalk. Again, I am the minority and feel the weight of how out of place I am at this moment.

I call a Lyft and wait alone on the corner of Cecil B. Demille and Broad to wait for it.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of this little saga…

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

Tales of Rock – 15 Insane Stories of Rock Stars Causing Mayhem

One of the most interesting things about rock stars is their larger than life personalities. Many of them entertain us on stage with their dynamic, show stopping presence, entrancing voices, and mind-blowing talents. For some, when they leave the stage the show is over, but others let their leather clad persona leak into their personal lives and are unable to separate themselves from the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll image, taking the volume of excess from zero to eleven, every, single, day.

They play their music loudly, but they live even bigger, often partaking in over-the-top and dangerous pastimes, with beyond bad behaviour captured by fans, roadies, groupies, and the paparazzi. Some of these stars live in a perpetual state of adolescence, many suffering from full blown and dangerous addictions. Sure, these stories make excellent stories for rock bios, or episodes of Behind the Music, but they’re also activities not safe for anyone, even though their antics are the stuff that rock legends are made of.

Not many tabloids publish stories about the band who ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and sipped on tea after each show on a world tour, because it isn’t all that interesting. However, readers can’t wait to read about the celebrity who was wildly out of control and decided to go on a lengthy cocaine binge with their significant other or where they kidnapped people (Rick James actually did this twice). Nonetheless, here are 15 stories of legendary rock and roll debauchery at its best (or worst); you be the judge.

15. Keith Moon – Banned From Every Major Hotel

via innocentwords.com

Some would say that Keith Moon, the former drummer for The Who, was the grandfather of bad rock star behavior. It would appear he made it his own personal mission to promote deranged antics that would now be considered pretty cliché. He trashed hotel rooms, ate horse tranquilizers like they were candy, and had nude cake fights. He truly believed it was his sole job to behave badly. One time, after leaving a hotel, he was convinced he’d forgotten something and insisted that the driver turn around and go back. When he returned, he raced into his room, picked up the television, and chucked it out the window and into the pool below. What he had “forgot” was that he needed to leave his signature path of destruction before moving on to his next location. The drummer also used to hit the road with a large supply of cherry bombs and other explosives, using them to destroy toilets pretty much everywhere he went. He was eventually on a permanent ban from the Holiday Inn, Sheraton, and Hilton for his toilet bombs.

14. Nikki Sixx – Came Back From The Dead

That popular Mötley Crüe song, Kickstart My Heart, is based on a real story of when Nikki Sixx died. Mötley Crüe embraced every possible stereotype of hard-rocking, metal stars imaginable, including their penchant for Girls, Girls, Girls and drugs, drugs, drugs. On December 23, 1987, after a night of partying hard with members of Guns n’ Roses and Ratt, Nikki Sixx took a fatal dose of heroin. He was revived from a heroin overdose after two minutes of clinical death, just like that infamous scene in Pulp Fiction, when two shots of adrenaline were stabbed directly into his heart. Instead of spending some time in the hospital recovering, or even at rehab reflecting on poor life choices, he left the hospital and hitchhiked back home. Sixx has said of the experience, “There was a cop asking me questions, so I told him to go f— himself. I ripped out my tubes and staggered in just my leather pants into the parking lot, where two teenage girls were sitting crying around a candle. They had heard on the radio that I was dead and looked kind of surprised to see me.” The girls gave him a ride home and a lecture on giving up drugs. He celebrated not dying that night with some more heroin.

13. Keith Richards – Snorted His Dad

There are endless jokes about Keith Richards being an undead, pickled, and smoked version of himself from the endless amounts of booze, drugs, and God knows what he’s ingested over the years. A number of years ago, Richards made headlines because of a response to a journalist’s question about what the most peculiar thing he’d ever snorted was. Keith’s answer was simple, “My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared. It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.” His manager insisted this was a joke. Odds are Richards wasn’t joking, after all this is the same man who mistook police raiding a party in his house in 1967 with uniformed dwarves and welcomed them with hugs because he was tripping on LSD. Richards also commented on being on a list of celebrities most likely to die for a decade. He was rather disappointed when he no longer topped the list.

12. Dave Navarro – Blood, Orgies, And The Playboy Mansion

Anyone who believes that it’s impossible to be too extreme for the Playboy Mansion is wrong. Dave Navarro, guitarist from the band Jane’s Addiction, managed to get himself banned from Hef’s place. In his book Don’t Try This At Home, Dave describes the incident that saw him chucked. It all took place in “the orgy room” with three female “friends.” Dave decided it was a good idea to shoot up in the middle of intercourse and then wrote on the wall with the syringe and his own blood. He tried to clean off the evidence, but they had the whole thing on video. Later, security guards were waiting for him outside of the room to permanently escort him from the property and asked him to never come back. Dave wrote, “All my life I’d wondered what it was like and here I was, at 30, squirting blood on the walls with 3 naked girls at my feet.” Party fails Dave, party fail.

11. Rod Stewart – Put Drugs In His Butt

Rod Stewart probably doesn’t seem like a bad boy rock star, particularly since now most of us see him hanging out in mom’s music collection with his feathered hair and come-hither expression. He certainly doesn’t seem dangerous when he’s played on the easy listening radio stations at the dentist’s office either. Back in his heyday, specifically the 1970’s, the Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? the singer had it pretty bad for cocaine. Here’s the thing about his cocaine addiction: he knew the damage the drug could do to his nose and wanted to protect it from the negative side effects of snorting (mostly septal perforations or holes, chronic infections, nosebleeds, and nasal deformity). That’s why he selected another method to ingest the drug. The star would purchase anti-cold capsules, replaced the regular medicine with cocaine, and then inserted them where the sun doesn’t shine, “enjoying” the effects of the drug as it dissolved in his rectum. Hopefully, by now he’s kicked that habit in the butt.

10. Boy George – Whipped A Fan With A Chain

For anyone who’s spent a good deal of time watching or reading rock bios, it’s probably no surprise that the Karma ChameleonBoy George, has had his share of struggles with drug addiction. Unfortunately, Boy George didn’t leave his addiction in the 1980s with his chart-topping hits; he took them all the way into the 2000s. In 2007, a Norwegian escort named Auden Carlsen believed he was going back to The Culture Club’s lead singer’s home to participate in a nude photoshoot. To his surprise, Boy George really wanted to hurt him and he ended up handcuffed to a wall and beaten with a chain. A trial following the incident confirmed that both parties had ingested cocaine that evening. Boy George, presumably due to some cocaine paranoia, believed that Carlsen had hacked into his personal computer and decided the escort was going to “get what (he) deserve(d)” whether he liked it or not.

9. Duff McKagan – His Pancreas Exploded

This list would be entirely incomplete without explicit details of the escapades of members of Guns N’ Roses. In fact, one-time bass player Duff McKagan took this bad boy image to explosive ends. One day, he drank so much alcohol that his pancreas exploded because it was combined with his steady daily regimen of cocaine, proving to himself that his body can only take so much. When it burst, it swelled to “the size of a rugby ball” and then ruptured, leaking a lot of acidic fluids meant to remain within the pancreas. The acid was so potent it caused third-degree burns inside McKagan’s body. Duff miraculously survived saying, “It was a real, real wake-up call. It was a gentle relapse off the alcohol. I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and it gave me time to really think about how I got there.”  A word to the wise, don’t let your pancreas explode.

8. Peter Buck – Fought Flight Attendants

via thatericalper.com

Some bands are better known for their sound than for their antics, and that makes it even more embarrassing when someone in the band acts like a crazy rock diva. REM is known for its philanthropy surrounding human rights, AIDS & HIV, and disaster relief; not for being bad boys. In 2001, about a week before the band was scheduled to perform at a concert promoting peace, lead guitarist Peter Buck got into some trouble on a flight to London. Apparently, Buck had been drinking on the flight and didn’t like the idea of being cut off. The guitarist fought two flight attendants over a yogurt cup, which exploded everywhere and shoved a CD into a snack cart (believing it would play music). He even tore up the yellow warning card the crew of the flight issued for his poor behavior while saying, “I AM R.E.M.” The pilot eventually air radioed the authorities. Later, Buck apologized profusely blaming a poor reaction between the wine he consumed on the flight and some sleeping medication saying, “I am very sorry for the incident, and, by course, very embarrassed about the whole thing.”

7. Ozzy Osbourne – Snorted Fire Ants

There are probably enough stories about Ozzy Osbourne’s hard-partying ways to fill a book. He started off his solo career in 1981 by biting a head off a dove, and in a 1982 Iowa concert, he bit the head off of a bat (although he thought it was plastic at the time). When you mix Ozzy and Mötley Crüe together for a 1984 tour, there is bound to be a whole lot of trouble. This tour was rightfully called, “The craziest drug- and alcohol-fueled tour in the history of rock and roll.” In something that cartoon parodies and rock legends are made of, Ozzy and Nikki Sixx decided to hold a contest to see who could be the most balling rocker. In the event that was highlighted in a bio penned by Ozzy’s wife, Sharon, Sixx set himself on fire, so Ozzy responded by snorting a line of ants (some of which came out of his mouth). There is some debate as to whether or not the ants were fire ants. I guess we’ll never know for sure.

6. Steven Page – Squeaky Clean Rocker…Coke In The Car

via culture.org

The Barenaked Ladies are a family-friendly band who was just about to release a children’s album when lead singer, Steven Page, literally went off the rails at the worst possible time. Back in 2008, officers were called to investigate a car oddly parked in a small town just outside of Syracuse, New York. The car was Page’s Prius and the driver’s side door was allegedly left wide open. While investigating, the officers spotted a man and woman at a kitchen table with cocaine in front of them. Turns out the drugging duos were Page and a friend (who he later married). The apartment was searched, more cocaine and marijuana was found, and the If I had a Million Dollars singer was arrested, but released on $10,000 bail. Page quietly left the band in the months that followed and has since pursued a solo career. Page says, “Once somebody gets caught with drugs, everybody brands them a junkie. Somebody gets kicked out of a bar for being drunk and people don’t automatically say they’re an alcoholic. I’m not making excuses.” Page says he’s grown up since then but has no plans to rejoin BNL.

5. Chris Robinson – Spit On A 7-Eleven Customer

A lot of stuff that we read about Chris Robinson (no matter how nice Kate Hudson claims the father of their son is) doesn’t paint him in the best light. A lot of it is more childish than rock and roll, including a bizarre incident at a convenience store. In 1991, following a concert in Denver, Colorado, the Black Crowes singer was livid when a clerk at 7-Eleven wouldn’t bend the rules and sell him alcohol after midnight. As he had his tantrum, another customer announced, “There’s the lead singer of the Black Crowes!” Another customer indicated she didn’t know who that was only to have a petulant Robinson insult her by saying she’d know who he was if she didn’t spend so much time eating Twinkies. Next, the rocker spat on the customer before storming out with two cases of beer under his arms. The singer was charged and pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace.

4. The Toxic Twins – Held Shooting Practice In An Abandoned Convent

via popsugar.com
They look like a couple of old ladies…

There’s a reason why Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler have been affectionately nicknamed the “Toxic Twins.” They were always side by side and totally believed that anything worth doing, was also really worth overdoing. Known for racking up $100,000 hotel bills, they entertained groupies, trashed rooms, and gorged themselves on copious substances, again and again. In 1976, they worked on an album in a renovated convent in upstate New York. During this time they crashed their brand new sports cars, did a lot of drugs, and decided it was a great idea to hold firing practice; shooting guns in the attic, all simply because they could. Tyler once told Rolling Stone Magazine: “Jerry Garcia says that we were the druggiest bunch of guys the Grateful Dead ever saw. They were worried about us, so that gives you some idea of how f–ked up and crazy we were.”

3. Slash – Shadowboxed Monsters All Night Long

via hattershostels.com

Slash’s autobiography reveals some pretty explicit details of his hard-partying ways. It was 1989, and he’d just returned home after two years of touring for the Appetite for Destruction album. He was bored, feeling out of place, and partying hard. He felt like his addiction was getting out of control, and decided to join Steven Adler in Arizona while he tried to scale back his habit. The amount of drugs Slash had brought himself to last four days was quickly gone. Soon, he spotted monsters on the other side of the curtains of his room, which he shadowboxed, all night long. By morning, he decided to have another line before hopping in the shower, only he saw another monster, and when he attempted to punch it, he put his fist through a glass shower door and completely shattered it. Next, he saw evil Predator-like creatures entering his room, and decided it was time to flee, dripping blood and was stark naked. He went into another room, hid behind a maid, ran into the lobby, and eventually hid in a shed on the fairway of a golf course behind a lawnmower. He wasn’t seeing monsters anymore by the time the cops arrived, and he gave his testimony, but he still told the story about the creatures that were trying to kill him. Steven Adler finally arrived and handed the naked Slash a pair of sweatpants.

2. Phil Spector – Habit Of Using Guns Against Other Rockers

via nbcnewyork.com

A lot of people are probably thinking, “Who’s Phil Spector, and what does he have to do with Rock and Roll?” Phil is a songwriter and producer, who is the legend responsible for “the Wall of Sound” approach to rock and roll. He’s also certifiable. One time, he put a loaded gun to rock poet Leonard Cohen’s neck, and another time he fired a gun in the control room nearly taking off Beatle John Lennon’s ear. The most epic of his all fired up incidents would have to be when he held The Ramones hostage when they were working on the album End of the Century. Apparently, Dee Dee went looking for Joey and Phil and found them in a stairwell where Phil was waving around a pistol. Dee Dee announced he didn’t like having a gun pulled on him and that he was going to leave when Spector pointed the gun directly at Dee Dee’s chest and indicated that everyone was to return to the piano room. Spector locked the room and made the entire band listen to him sing, Baby, I Love You, over and over again, until 4:30 AM, when we assume he got bored and decided to wave his gun elsewhere. Phil Spector’s wild ways finally caught up with him and he was convicted of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

1. Def Leppard – They Coined A Sex Move

via mtv.com

Some people are rock legends, others border on urban legends and warrant their own page in the Urban Dictionary. This is the case for rockers Def Leppard. Apparently, there is a sexual expression coined as “having a Def Leppard,” and this is meant to describe threesomes where two members of the group experience are a mother and daughter. Apparently, exploits with two generations were (or still is) a popular pastime of rock legends Def Leppard. The boys who brought you such musical lines as, “I’m hot sticky sweet from my head to my feet, yeah!” also, apparently, like to help mothers and daughters to come close together. Supposedly, they experienced so many of these “family affairs” that Def Leppard fans decided to turn their love for willing participants into a sex move. Seriously, who (and their mother) would actually say yes to this insanity?  Regardless, they found enough people to turn this weird fantasy into a reality.

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Dating Game Teetotaler Dating: How to Date When You’re Sober & Don’t Drink

No matter the reason you don’t drink, it can be hard to figure out how to date when you’re sober. Here are some of the most fun sober date ideas!

verything from how to date when you’re sober to telling your new partner why you don’t drink can be complicated. Drinking is such a major part of today’s dating culture, so navigating it as a sober person adds a new level of uncertainty.

Dating should be full of fun and excitement. You should have butterflies, not knots in your stomach.

It can be nerve-racking to share that you don’t drink for any reason. People can be judgmental, confused, or even offended. So, navigating the world of dating when you’re sober takes some patience and practice. 

How to talk about dating when you’re sober

Dating when you’re sober starts out the same as it does for anyone else. Whether you’re on a dating app or meeting in person, even at a bar, you start with flirting.

You don’t have to tell someone you don’t drink right off the bat. That is your business. You shouldn’t have to explain yourself to anyone. But, unfortunately, because drinking is such a social norm, people expect it. And they question it when you don’t.

When you decline a drink from someone hitting on you they might take it as a rejection, in reality, you would much rather enjoy a side of fries. If they don’t assume you’re turning them down, they will probably assume you are driving, not that you don’t drink at all.

In my experience, as a sober person in the dating world, it is best to let them believe what they want to at first. Getting into why you don’t drink from the start can erupt a lot of peer pressure.

You may not drink because you don’t like the taste or because you are a recovering alcoholic or for any other reason. Whatever the reason, it is totally okay. But, I cannot tell you how many times someone has said to me that I just haven’t found the right drink or that I’d have fun if I drank with them.

Choosing not to drink for that night or forever is a personal choice. Although dating when you’re sober may weed out your options a bit more, it is possible to find someone who accepts your decision. 

When to tell your date you’re sober

If the fact that you’re sober or choose not to drink didn’t come up before your first or second date, don’t fret.

On a first or second date, you don’t have to share all of that. Just have a nice time. Some people may not even ask why you’re not drinking. That is a good sign.

If you see things moving forward, you may want to clue them in. They should respect that you choose not to drink but may have questions about why. Whether you want to talk about it or not, they should accept it. Try not to get defensive if they are curious. They may truly just want to understand you better.

If not, this may not be someone you want to continue dating. Some people simply cannot understand any reason why someone would choose not to drink. You can list off all the reasons why: from health concerns to addiction, money, taste, and so on, and they will still argue.

And for some, they may have a hard time with it because it is so opposite to their chosen lifestyle.

For instance, it would be hard for me to date someone who goes out drinking every weekend and keeps a lot of liquor in their house when I don’t drink at all. We would have such differing lifestyles.

But currently, I’m dating someone who has a beer here or there with dinner and drinks when he’s out with his friends, but, simultaneously, completely respects my choice not to drink.

Once you mesh with someone that respects the fact that you don’t drink, you can get into learning how to date when you’re sober. 

How to date when you’re sober

The ‘go-to date’ has almost always been dinner and drinks. But, that can be dicey when you don’t drink. Whether you never drink, want to avoid drinking too much, or just want a more unique date, here are some awesome ideas that will be sure to impress your date and actually let you get to know them.

#1 The Adventurer. Whether you live near a hiking trail, an indoor rock-climbing wall, or a national park, physical dates are a great way to bond. Get moving, work up a sweat, then grab a smoothie or pack a lunch with plenty of water to turn a fun workout into a romantic picnic.

Getting fresh air and some exercise in with a new romantic partner leads to a much stronger connection than a few drinks at a bar.

#2 The Artist. A museum is always a great way to share a common interest. You can tour a museum and discuss your opinions on the artist and their work.

And why not take it a step further and get involved with the art? Find a pottery painting studio or even an art class in your area. You can show off your talents or bond over learning some new techniques. Plus, you’ll likely walk away with a moment from your date together.

#3 The Competitor. Some friendly competition between you and your date is a sure-fire way to start some flirty banter. Take your date mini-golfing, bowling, or even to the batting cages. Ax throwing is a popular date spot as of late.

Whether you’re a skilled sportsperson or not, it’s guaranteed to be a memorable date. 

#4 The Kid At Heart. For a purely fun day loaded with games and cotton candy, head to an amusement park or arcade. You’ll have a blast. You could even win your date a stuffed animal from a claw machine. *Just don’t eat too much before going on a roller coaster.

#5 The Foodie. Whether you’re a master chef or can barely boil water, take your date to a cooking class. Not only will preparing a meal with your date bring you closer, but you’ll learn how to make a delicious new recipe, which will last you a lifetime.

Cooking together is very sensual and creating something to enjoy can really ignite a bond you may not feel by just going out to eat.

#6 The Daredevil. Escape rooms are popping up everywhere and are such an exhilarating date idea. If you’ve never heard of this, the gist is that you’re locked in a room and have an hour or so to search for clues to escape.

You can do this as a double date or team up with some strangers. It is sure to fill your day with lots of mystery. It will get your adrenaline pumping and bond you two immediately. Just make sure your date isn’t claustrophobic before making reservations. 

#7 A Little Bit Of Everything. If you’re not quite the planner, but want to do something fun – throw it back to those middle school dates and head to the mall. Go shopping, grab a pretzel, giggle your way around Spencer’s Gifts, play with the puppies if your mall has a pet store, or even build a bear.

Just walk around and do what catches your eye. The possibilities are endless. You’re sure to feel like a lovestruck teenager again.

Which one of these dates will you try out? Hopefully, learning how to date when you’re sober comes easily to you and your future partner.

 

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

Tales of Rock – 13 BOOKS EVERY ROCK FAN NEEDS TO READ

Chock full of colorful characters, constantly adrift on a sea of international adventure and not shy of a plot twist or 25, the rock world feels predestined to generate some of the most horrifying, inspiring, and downright incredible stories imaginable. We’ve stopped short of naming the ‘top 13’ rock biographies – simply because there are literally hundreds out there more than worth your time. Instead, we have listed thirteen of the best rock music books you should read right now.

THE DIRT: CONFESSIONS OF THE WORLD’S MOST NOTORIOUS ROCK BAND (MÖTLEY CRÜE WITH NEIL STRAUSS, 2001)

The classic. A title that’s become synonymous with the bad-boy rock biography, The Dirt feels like the ultimate chronicle of the genre’s ’80s excess. Looking back now, the idea that Mötley Crüe classics like Wild Side and Girls, Girls, Girls only scratched the surface of their unshackled debauchery seems almost unbelievable. A kaleidoscopic odyssey of booze, drugs, groupies, dealers, cops, tour buses, strip clubs, and car-wrecks, both figurative and literal, it’s a tale that needs to be read to be believed. If you only pick up one rock bio today, probably best to make it this one. Devotees should be sure to grab Nikki Sixx’s bleaker but equally essential 2007 follow-up, The Heroin Diaries, too.

The Dirt

TRANNY: CONFESSIONS OF PUNK ROCK’S MOST INFAMOUS ANARCHIST SELLOUT (LAURA JANE GRACE, 2016)

Known, during writing, as Killing Me Loudly, the autobiography from Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace draws extensively from the journals she had been compiling since third grade. Its eventual title ‘Tranny’ is a term the singer hates, but its appropriation here is symbolic of her taking ownership of a personal struggle through which she noted the supposedly accepting punk community were “more closed-minded than the church”. Illuminating. Poignant. Inspiring. It’s equally essential reading for individuals struggling to come to terms with themselves and those same closed-minds struggling to understand.

Tranny

WHITE LINE FEVER: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY (LEMMY KILMISTER, 2002)

Possessed of a godlike air like few others, Lemmy always seemed like something of an unapproachable icon even for those of us fortunate to make his acquaintance. As such, this exceptionally grounded autobiography – charting the life of Ian Fraser Kilmister, son of an RAF chaplain from Stoke-On-Trent – brought us brilliantly closer to the man behind the myth. Of course, from his early musical exploits with Jimi Hendrix and Hawkwind to decades-long scene leadership at the helm of Motörhead, the man led a life that most of us could even imagine. “It’s a fallacy to say I taught him how to drink,” the legend writes at one point, remembering a young Lars Ulrich. “I actually taught him to throw up, and that’s what he did, all over himself. That’s what he got for trying to keep up with older people’s habits…”

Lemmy

GIRL IN A BAND (KIM GORDON, 2015)

Sonic Youth was never a band to shy away from unpleasantries in their dogged pursuit of beauty and authenticity. Fittingly, bassist Kim Gordon’s chronicle of her break-up with guitarist Thurston Moore and the dissolution of their seminal indie-rock outfit isn’t just a tale of heartbreak; it’s one of the sporadic mundanity, unpredictability and seat-of-your-pants adventure of holding a prime seat on the alt.rock roundabout for the best part of three decades. Girl In A Band proves itself essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in the New York noiseniks – or the scene they helped define.

Girl In A Band

HAMMER OF THE GODS (STEPHEN DAVIS, 1985)

Another of the classics. It’s probably not that difficult to write a rollicking recount of one band’s tumultuous journey when that band is Led bloody Zeppelin. From quaaludes to bathtubs full of baked beans to the extremely questionable use of one taxidermied shark, many of the anecdotes here have slipped into rock’n’roll folklore, but that takes little from the experience of finding them compiled into this singular volume. It’s best not to spoil them too much further here. Let’s just say this is another must-read addition, for rockers or anyone else with a heartbeat…

Hammer Of The Gods

THIS IS A CALL: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAVE GROHL (PAUL BRANNIGAN, 2011)

It can be difficult, at times, to get a real sense of what goes on under the surface with The Nicest Man In Rock™. K!’s own Paul Brannigan charts his fascinating story with a dextrous grip on the evolving scenes through which Dave Grohl has endured and a spectacular sense of the adventure he’s experienced along the way. From the kid from the D.C. suburbs who dropped out of school to go on tour with Scream, to the stickman catapulted to superstardom with Nirvana, to the iconic Foo Fighters frontman called upon to play for the Obamas on the White House lawn, few lives share the rollercoaster momentum of Dave’s.

This Is A Call

SLASH (SLASH, 2007)

Most rock bios are about the gritty build and the glitzy payoff. Safe to say, the Slash bio is virtually all payoff. Born Saul Hudson in England in 1965 to a white British graphic artist father and a black American costume designer mother, Slash’s story was never going to be that of your garden variety guitarist. Growing up in Los Angeles ’70s bohemia, his mum dated David Bowie, hung out with Joni Mitchell, and taught the youngster that “being a rock star is [about finding] the intersection between who you are and who you want to be”. As the story of Guns N’ Roses’ meteoric rise and incendiary fall-out (their latter-day reconciliation is not part of this 2007 volume) unfold, they seem like simply the logical narrative developments of one of music’s most dramatic life stories.

Slash

LORDS OF CHAOS (MICHAEL MOYNIHAN, 1998)

Before you see the movie, read the book. As feels inevitable for any volume skewering the adolescent, corpse-painted pomposity of the ’90s Norwegian black metal scene – and laying bare the narcissistic inhumanity of the suicide, church burnings and murders that followed in its wake – the accuracy of Michael Moynihan’s Lords Of Chaos has been called into question by many of those involved at the time. Regardless, this is a fascinating trip into metal’s most evil sub-genre and a chilling reminder of what can happen when the lines blur between the cvlt theatre and stark reality. Special mention to Dayal Patterson’s Evolution Of The Cult (2013) and The Cult Never Dies (2015) for further deconstructing the scene’s horrifically compelling progression, too.

Lords Of Chaos

HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN (CHARLES R. CROSS, 2001)

Much (perhaps too much) has been written about the life and death of Kurt Cobain. This first (arguably definitive) long-form retelling of his life story does spectacularly well to disperse the rumor that hangs around an individual who was, at his core, a musically prodigious slacker from the lower-middle-class of North Seattle. Even better, it charts Nirvana’s explosion of incredible cross-cultural success – one that, we should remember, lasted a fleeting three years – with a remarkable blend of cool analysis and awe. It’s in a chilling final forensic analysis of Kurt’s self-destructive streak, though, that Heavier Than Heaven comes into its own: daring the reader to put aside music and mythos to pass judgment on the individual in the harsh light of the bare facts.

Heavier Than Heaven

SMASH: GREEN DAY, THE OFFSPRING, BAD RELIGION, NOFX AND THE ’90S PUNK EXPLOSION (IAN WINWOOD, 2018)

It’s strange how the story of ’90s skate-punk has been distorted through the retrospective lens of the last two-and-a-bit decades: its lineage conflated and confused with that of the pop-punk genre it helped inspire. Veteran K! contributor Ian Winwood’s book shatters those perceptions, transporting us back to the poverty, addiction, and unhinged chaos of the era that spawned so many of our favorite bands. Finding The Offspring guitarist Noodles working as a janitor, Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong living in a Salvation Army shelter, and Green Day maestro Billie Joe Armstrong infested with body lice during a debut European tour, it’s a fascinating look at the underground grit and shit before the platinum-rated sheen that followed.

Smash

GET IN THE VAN: ON THE ROAD WITH BLACK FLAG (HENRY ROLLINS, 1994)

Something of a gritty yin to The Dirt’s glamorous yang, Get In The Van is a superb, zero-bullshit diary of life on the road with LA hardcore legends Black Flag. Fronting the band between 1981 and 1986, punk’s storyteller supreme Henry Rollins had a drivers-seat view of the violence, squalor, and sheer chaos of hardcore’s early days. From roadies forced into eating dog food to hard-nut cops to borderline psychotic fans, it’s a dirt-beneath-the-fingernails classic unafraid to show the bleak underbelly of life in a touring band – albeit one with an ultimately triumphant arc. Any fledgling rock star wannabes out for fame and fortune should really stop to read this first…

Get In The Van

DARK DAYS: A MEMOIR (D. RANDALL BLYTHE, 2015)

On May 4, 2010, in the Abaton club in Prague, during a concert by Virginian metal legends Lamb Of God, 19-year-old fan Daniel Nosek sustained injuries to his head. Over the weeks that followed, he would slip into a coma and pass away. Although following his initial release on bail, legal counsel advised against returning to the Czech Republic to face trial, frontman Randy Blythe insisted he “could not run away from this problem while the grieving family of a dead young man searched hopelessly for answers that he might help provide”. Those events provide the tragic backdrop for the singer’s stunningly frank account of the dark days (and months) that followed his indictment on manslaughter charges and incarceration in a Czech prison. Even years since Randy’s release, it’s a story that delivers gut-churning jailhouse anecdotes, tales of galvanizing camaraderie, and ultimate redemption that even the most optimistic dramatist might’ve struggled to conjure up.

Dark Days

METALLICA: ENTER NIGHT (MICK WALL, 2010)

It’d be unreasonable to compile a list of great rock biographies without including at least one of the biggest metal bands in the world. Tracking a path from the thrash kings’ spandex-clad genesis to their coronation as globe-straddling, genre-transcending megastars, this packs in all the drugs, booze, and drama any self-respecting fan would expect. From early acrimony with Dave Mustaine through the devastating loss of Cliff Burton to the callous early treatment and furious departure of Jason Newstead, all the personal drama is captured. As are the band’s mid-’90s creative swerves, the (ever-more hilariously redundant) Napster fiasco, and the cringing in-studio therapy that formed the basis of seminal rock-doc Some Kind Of Monster. Crucially, though, Enter Night perfectly charts the band’s place in the rock and metal scene forever evolving around them.

Enter Night

 

Wanna be a better guitarist? Click this link to learn the secret!

https://beginnerguitarhq.com/guitar-exercises/

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

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