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Old 05-06-2019, 01:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lately Iíve been worried about relapse


I was at a meeting and heard someone relapsed because they got a resentment at the meeting and stopped going to meetings and drank. I hear people stop going to meetings and it scares me . I donít want to drink today nor in the near future but I get discouraged at people who say then stopped going to meetings and died or relapsed.

I get sick of the meetings sometimes and I only have less than two years. I am scared Iíll get sick of the meeting and itíll get old donít you guys get sick of going to meetings sometimes?.
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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meeting makers make meetings.
meeting makers that work the program,then practice the prinicples in all their affairs recover from the hopeless state of mind and body that made them drink and dont drink again.
there was a time i lived that fear based program- the thought that if i missed meetings id drink again. i am very glad old joe showed up and helped me read what THE program is.
on this:
someone relapsed because they got a resentment at the meeting and stopped going to meetings and drank.
they didnt drink because they stopped going to meetings. they drank because they didnt treat the resentment.
Never forget that resentment is a deadly hazard to an alcoholic
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
meeting makers make meetings.
meeting makers that work the program,then practice the prinicples in all their affairs recover from the hopeless state of mind and body that made them drink and dont drink again.
there was a time i lived that fear based program- the thought that if i missed meetings id drink again. i am very glad old joe showed up and helped me read what THE program is.
on this:
someone relapsed because they got a resentment at the meeting and stopped going to meetings and drank.
they didnt drink because they stopped going to meetings. they drank because they didnt treat the resentment.
Never forget that resentment is a deadly hazard to an alcoholic
Peopel often say the stoppped going to meetings. But they fail to mention they stop with the disciplines of 10 and 11 and stop helping others and step 12. Many people say this an excuse to sop going to meetings is that they drank again.
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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some meetings are sick meetings
I leave those alone and search out the solution based ,out of the book,meetings
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't get to many meetings, but somehow my higher power keeps giving me sponsees......
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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some meetings are sick meetings
I leave those alone and search out the solution based ,out of the book,meetings
Tommy, i have found those around here. i have also found those to be called "nazi AA" at other meetings.
i didnt know i was a nazi AA member!
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I go to meetings, I go with the attitude of what can I give to the meeting rather than what am I going to get out of the meeting. I look at it as a small way to repay all of the gifts that recovery has given me A way for me to show my gratitude and to say thanks. The weird thing is when I have the attitude of giving, I receive far more. :~)

No I don't really get tired of meetings, but on the occasions that reluctance looms or I can think of reasons that I don't need to go, those are the days I need to go.

I am not a meeting junkie and don't have a set number of meetings that I feel I need to attend. At times, my attendance has been real sporadic, but if I pay attention to messages from my higher power, my attendance rate works out just right.
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Meetings are one part of the entirety of my program. I have gone up and down in the number and if I get down to 2 a week, I self-correct the next wk. 4-6 is my sweet spot and right now I'm doing 90/90 again (I am 3+ yr sober).

It's not about going or not going to meetings, the act itself, but it's about how I am working the entirety of my recovery.

Sometimes different meetings ebb and flow in attendance or something else about how they are run or whatever, so I have switched up where I go over time, and try to have a couple different places I go - usually 3 different locations each wk.
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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some meetings are sick meetings
I leave those alone and search out the solution based ,out of the book,meetings
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There are 570 meetings here in Santa Clara County each week in 133 locations.

and ive actually been to ~90 of those locations

so if i get a resentment which the book says is my #1 offender and destroys more alcoholics than anything else ...

i can simply go to another meeting and not work on myself

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Old 05-07-2019, 03:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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This is my 3rd go at sobriety using AA as my recovery method. The first two times I stopped going to meetings at around the 2-3 year mark and eventually relapsed, the first time at around 6.5 years and the 2nd time at around 7 years. In each case I never worked the steps.

I just passed 6 years sober again and I'm still going to meetings, but this time I worked the steps within the first 3-4 months of getting sober. I have found that for me meetings are a crucial part of continuing to work the steps, especially step 12. What better place can I try and carry the message to alcoholics that is suggested in step 12 than at an AA meeting? I have also found that the opening sentence of Chapter 7, "Working with Others" in the Big Book pretty much sums up why I continue to go to meetings after 6 years.

"Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics."

Alcoholics Anonymous 1st Edition: p. 89
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I was at a meeting and heard someone relapsed because they got a resentment at the meeting and stopped going to meetings and drank. I hear people stop going to meetings and it scares me . I don’t want to drink today nor in the near future but I get discouraged at people who say then stopped going to meetings and died or relapsed.

I get sick of the meetings sometimes and I only have less than two years. I am scared I’ll get sick of the meeting and it’ll get old don’t you guys get sick of going to meetings sometimes?.
My history/experience will, hopefully, make some sense and be of some benefit.

I just hit 12 years. I've probably only been to a couple thousand meetings - that's somewhere between 2 and 3 meetings per week for 12 years. There were times I did a lot more than 2 or 3 and times I did a lot less. If I were to add in the hours I've spent listening to Big Book Studies, open talks or times spent on AA retreats....... then that number of "meetings" would be somewhere around 9000 hours..... 11,000 hours... I can't say precisely but it's a LOT and it's probably north of 11k but whatever. Looked at another way, for the average person attending 2 hours of AA meetings per week, it would take them about 67 years to hit 7000 hours. Given this absurd amount of time spent listening/learning AA, it's almost never, now, that I hear something new. I can't recall the last time I went to a meeting and learned something I haven't heard before. Im not brilliant...... I've just heard a TON of stuff over a 12 year time frame. It stands to reason that the amount of "new info" is going to dwindle over time.

Now........ if I were still selfishly going to meetings because I wanted to GET something from them, well they lost that shine yeeeeeeeeeears ago. And ya know, people who go to AA, or are part of AA, to be takers...... none of them stick around. They may last years (usually it's not that long though) but I've seen it over and over and over again. At some point they either make the switch to being givers......or they go. The spiritual life isn't a theory right - we MUST live it. And there's not much room in living a spiritual life living as a spiritual thief.

Here's the thing though. When Sally-AA leaves the meetings, gets drunk then comes back and says she got drunk because she quit going to meetings.... what I've found in every case I've talked to someone about is that they thought "going to a meeting" and/or sharing their day and/or going to a meeting for help/support/and instruction constituted being IN AA and being an active AA member. Very rarely will there also be a strong history of having a sponsor.......or of sponsoring others. Very few will be involved in service to AA be it in AA's service boards or even in the local meetings. Most won't have taken the 12 steps and the vast majority will have some really "interesting" takes on how they customized the steps to suit themselves. I could go on but you get the idea. The points are these - 1. Were they REALLY in recovery to begin with and 2. Is it possible that they're just looking at what was just the final straw as being the whole deal? If I don't study for a test, skip class, don't read the book, stay up late partying, and oversleep on the day of the test and show up to class late..... did I really fail the test because I "didn't have enough time to complete it because I overslept?" ....or is that just a convenient excuse that takes the light off of all my other actions and inactivity where it really mattered?

And finally..... I think it's, and this is MY OPINION only, almost a sure thing that if you attend enough meetings where you're looking for something for you......looking to be enlightened or entertained.....hoping that the right ppl show up to give you what you think you want, I'd say it's guaranteed that you WILL GET BORED with meetings. If we just pretend I'm right (which of course isn't guaranteed by any means), then one better start looking for a solution to the boredom problem because it's coming your way. I found when I go to meetings looking to give, to help, to share in a way that's attractive to those I'm sitting with..... they never get boring. There's been a shift in my approach, and that makes a huge difference.

I don't think my findings have been unique or special either. What do they say over and over again in the Big Book - work with others, help others, fit yourself to be of maximum service to others....... over and over and over and over. That's what being in recovery looks like. And when I'm in that mode - of giving, of serving others - and I'm focused on others...... I'm not thinking about myself...... so it's therefore impossible to think about being bored. Right? How can I be thinking about myself if I'm thinking about others? When I'm focused on me though...... bam - bored (or sad, or mad, or etc) - and when I'm in this mode, I'm not on a spiritual path, I'm back to living in selfishness and if I'm really an alcoholic, it's guaranteed that I'll drink again.......or just be miserable until I finally die.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Daytrader that helps a lot. I see this in other people especially this one lady with two years she complains about meetings but doesnít do anything to add to them . I always had a service commitment in AA and I hang out with people who are involved in AA. I know a chronic relapser he never gets a commitment then complains about AA.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Realest - I totally get what you're saying.

Lemme hit you with a challenge though. Rather than looking at how you see others doing (or not doing) X or Y and how it leads to trouble for them...... instead try and look at what others are doing/not doing and then look to see how you're just like them.

It makes it a lot more personal and it's a lot tougher. It definitely is tough on the 'ol ego and one's false pride, that's for sure. While it may come natural for me to look at others and get somewhat judgmental (or maybe just be observant and see things.....), the way that info really becomes valuable to ME and MY recovery is to see not necessarily IF but HOW I'm just like that person.

Take the "don't drink and go to meetings to stay sober" person. Let's just say they don't have a spiritual program, aren't really in action, seem to have the power to get and stay sober, haven't worked the steps........etc. Ok, now I look at myself:
1. I may have a "more" spiritual program but how many days have I skipped praying. How many times today should I have turned to God but didn't? How did I do turning my attention to God when I was angry or scared instead of focusing on the problem at hand instead focusing on the source of my strength?
2. Ok, I sponsor a couple people and I went out of my way 3x today to do something kind for others. But..... didn't I look for some congratulations for the help I provided? How may people in the last couple meetings did I NOT go up to and offer to sponsor? How many times did I duck doing what I really felt I should have done because I felt lazy, too busy, or like it wasn't my responsibility?
3. I "say" I don't have the power to keep myself sober but do my actions bear that out? If I truly believe I'm powerless over alcohol and my life is unmanageable (ie - the AA definition of someone with alcoholism), then there won't be any times during the day where attempted to play God, manage my life, or manage other's lives. ......I've yet to get through a day where I was not guilty of at least one of those - and usually it's all of them. So it seems MY actions are those of someone who thinks they can manage their life and thereby keep themself sober..... hmmm. See a trend here?

I could continue but I think you catch my drift.

Several things happen with this exercise. One, I realize "those" poor suffering alkies aren't all that much different than me - the supposed "recovered alcoholic who's been working a spiritual program of action for 12 years." Two - it really gets my ego right-sized, presuming I'm honest with myself. Three, I see that when I first ask myself if I'm guilty of what I see "them" doing my first reply is NO......and I believe it. Upon further investigation I see where even NOW with all these years of practice, I'm still the victim of delusional thinking and I'm still sometimes driven by a whole bunnnnch of false ego and pride. Most importantly though, it lets me really identify and empathize with others. Hell, I'm no better than them. I have a lot of better practices for sure but really, I'm still not scoring all A's over here. I still fall short - a lot. And who am I to believe that my 3/4 program is enough to keep me sober today .......tomorrrow .......this year ......next year? It down-sizes my egoic self and puts me in a more humble position - and it's from this position that when I talk to those other folks I sound a whole hell of a lot more attractive and interesting and a helluva lot less authoritarian and dictatorial. It also gives me a helluva daily 10th step, sets me up for a great evening review in the 11th step and gets me back in touch with the first step - which is the root of my willingness and desire to work the rest of the program daily......... because I start to see that no matter how well I'm doing (or think I'm doing), there's plenty of room for improvement.

I'g guilty of the same thing I see pretty much everyone doing quite a bit of in AA..... trying to convince myself I'm doing enough to stay sober. And if that's not bad enough, I catch myself all the time finding ways to rank or place myself as "doing better" than as many folks as I can. From what i've seen, it's this spiritual-one-ups-manship behavior that takes a lot of people with time out. And isn't it really, at it's core, just that same old egotistic, judgmental, selfish and self centered thinking that we have been warned over and over is THE most dangerous thing there is for an alkie? .....more dangerous than even booze, if the Big Book is to be believed (and I believe it. ) .

I was asked.... and eventually came to believe.... that we see people and experience situations in our lives not so we can wonder just "why do THEY do that" but to take those things inside ourselves and look for the similarities. And while it can be a very tough task, I don't usually have to look too hard anymore to see the same thoughts and behaviors in myself. Once I get to that point, I'm a lot more effective when I'm with those other folks AND I've got some great direction for my own recovery to get focused on.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ive witnessed many AA members alcoholism convince them to walk out of AA. Most donít come back. I see them sometimes on county jail rosters that I peruse on the internet. Whatís to blame? I think untreated alcoholism. Many good answers and solutions posted here.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Realest - I totally get what you're saying.

Lemme hit you with a challenge though. Rather than looking at how you see others doing (or not doing) X or Y and how it leads to trouble for them...... instead try and look at what others are doing/not doing and then look to see how you're just like them.

It makes it a lot more personal and it's a lot tougher. It definitely is tough on the 'ol ego and one's false pride, that's for sure. While it may come natural for me to look at others and get somewhat judgmental (or maybe just be observant and see things.....), the way that info really becomes valuable to ME and MY recovery is to see not necessarily IF but HOW I'm just like that person.

Take the "don't drink and go to meetings to stay sober" person. Let's just say they don't have a spiritual program, aren't really in action, seem to have the power to get and stay sober, haven't worked the steps........etc. Ok, now I look at myself:
1. I may have a "more" spiritual program but how many days have I skipped praying. How many times today should I have turned to God but didn't? How did I do turning my attention to God when I was angry or scared instead of focusing on the problem at hand instead focusing on the source of my strength?
2. Ok, I sponsor a couple people and I went out of my way 3x today to do something kind for others. But..... didn't I look for some congratulations for the help I provided? How may people in the last couple meetings did I NOT go up to and offer to sponsor? How many times did I duck doing what I really felt I should have done because I felt lazy, too busy, or like it wasn't my responsibility?
3. I "say" I don't have the power to keep myself sober but do my actions bear that out? If I truly believe I'm powerless over alcohol and my life is unmanageable (ie - the AA definition of someone with alcoholism), then there won't be any times during the day where attempted to play God, manage my life, or manage other's lives. ......I've yet to get through a day where I was not guilty of at least one of those - and usually it's all of them. So it seems MY actions are those of someone who thinks they can manage their life and thereby keep themself sober..... hmmm. See a trend here?

I could continue but I think you catch my drift.

Several things happen with this exercise. One, I realize "those" poor suffering alkies aren't all that much different than me - the supposed "recovered alcoholic who's been working a spiritual program of action for 12 years." Two - it really gets my ego right-sized, presuming I'm honest with myself. Three, I see that when I first ask myself if I'm guilty of what I see "them" doing my first reply is NO......and I believe it. Upon further investigation I see where even NOW with all these years of practice, I'm still the victim of delusional thinking and I'm still sometimes driven by a whole bunnnnch of false ego and pride. Most importantly though, it lets me really identify and empathize with others. Hell, I'm no better than them. I have a lot of better practices for sure but really, I'm still not scoring all A's over here. I still fall short - a lot. And who am I to believe that my 3/4 program is enough to keep me sober today .......tomorrrow .......this year ......next year? It down-sizes my egoic self and puts me in a more humble position - and it's from this position that when I talk to those other folks I sound a whole hell of a lot more attractive and interesting and a helluva lot less authoritarian and dictatorial. It also gives me a helluva daily 10th step, sets me up for a great evening review in the 11th step and gets me back in touch with the first step - which is the root of my willingness and desire to work the rest of the program daily......... because I start to see that no matter how well I'm doing (or think I'm doing), there's plenty of room for improvement.

I'g guilty of the same thing I see pretty much everyone doing quite a bit of in AA..... trying to convince myself I'm doing enough to stay sober. And if that's not bad enough, I catch myself all the time finding ways to rank or place myself as "doing better" than as many folks as I can. From what i've seen, it's this spiritual-one-ups-manship behavior that takes a lot of people with time out. And isn't it really, at it's core, just that same old egotistic, judgmental, selfish and self centered thinking that we have been warned over and over is THE most dangerous thing there is for an alkie? .....more dangerous than even booze, if the Big Book is to be believed (and I believe it. ) .

I was asked.... and eventually came to believe.... that we see people and experience situations in our lives not so we can wonder just "why do THEY do that" but to take those things inside ourselves and look for the similarities. And while it can be a very tough task, I don't usually have to look too hard anymore to see the same thoughts and behaviors in myself. Once I get to that point, I'm a lot more effective when I'm with those other folks AND I've got some great direction for my own recovery to get focused on.

I’ve been guilty of spiritual one upman ship and I’ll lose every time, there’s always someone you I perceive doing more than more or less than me. And I am wrong most of the time because I have to follow them around all day to seee what kind of program They’re working, I guess I just have to take my own inventory in the tenth step, I’ll give you an example. I always saw this lady around and judged her as being a person who just whines and just doesn’t drinks and go to meetings. Meanwhile she’s the treasurer has double digit sobriety and works a good program. I gotta become more tolerant and less judgemental I don’t know how though
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I gotta become more tolerant and less judgemental I don’t know how though
regarding resentments - We could not wish them away any more than alcohol.

I find that statement is true regarding more than just resentments. There are a whole lot of my character defects that I demonstrate "lack of power" over. I guess it's true where Bill wrote that lack of power IS our dliemma.

Anyway, in the spiritual realm, a lot of my responsibility is to be willing to look for my deficiencies, acknowledge that they're in place, and take them to God - asking for them to be removed. From there, we take reasonable steps to avoid exercising those defects.

Seeing how judgmental I can be is part 1. Discovering if I can wish it away is part 2. And if I can't dismiss it myself... I go to God for help, guidance, direction and relief. From there, I practice living AS IF I wasn't so judgmental. I practice letting it go and I practice not exercising that muscle anymore. (for me, one of the best ways to do that is to see how I am just like the other person.... that seems to stop a lot of my judgment right in it's tracks).
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Realest, the word that popped to my mind at your "how" question is one that DT just used - "practice." That's the only way I can do a decent enough job at this whole program thing to keep going and living well.

I don't know if you want a practical suggestion, but here's something I do every morning - I read pp 417-418 in the BB (after I do 84-88 and ask myself the inventory questions about the day prior) - and I have the St Francis prayer on a bookmark on those last pages. I pick 2 words in the "seek to..." side (as in seek to understand, not be understood) to try to focus on that day. Basically, whichever jump out at me- and sometimes I jot them on my day planner. Today was love and understanding.

Probably bc my husband and I just went thru an emotional upheaval involving Mother's Day and had to quite seriously try to understand each other- mainly me trying to understand how he could hurt me badly, and not get resentful (or stay that way)....and "letting" him understand me. Scary stuff- but it's practice of all this that keeps me at it.
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"Sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
nez
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I gotta become more tolerant and less judgemental I don’t know how though
When I came into AA i was not tolerant at all. That is because I knew. I knew how my life should go. I knew what you should do. I knew the best way for the universe to run. That attitude of I know qualified me for my seat in the rooms but it certainly didn't get me in the door.

When I finally admitted "what the hell do I know anyway?" I came through the door. AA was not what I wanted, but "what the hell do I know anyway?". AA was exactly what I needed. I have slowly learned that "I don't know" are three of the most liberating words in the English language. When I admit that, I no longer have to be the ruler of the universe. It frees me from my ego. When that happens, it opens my ears and my heart. When that happens, I find tolerance is a natural by product.

My ego is not tolerant. My heart is. I have learned to coexist with my ego by listening to my heart. Serenity and tolerance are not to be found anywhere near my ego.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Great post, Nez and I Love what August said about practice, sure is true for me..

Peace, Serenity and Tolerance are priceless to me.. 3 items I can’t get from Amazon Prime 4 hour delivery either!

Thanks for sharing!
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