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Old 08-13-2006, 09:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What brought you to decide to change... ie face up to your addiciton


HI I am Levi,

What brought you to change? Facing up to my alcohol dependence was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I am just wondering what inspired you all to do the same.

For me it was multifaceted. I knew after about year two that I had a problem. I had escalated from drinking a couple of beers to drinking daily. I knew at about 2.5 years that I had a serious problem, but I wasn't ready to change (I was up to about a mickey a day at that point). It progressed further by year three I wanted to change so bad, but I didn't feel I could. I felt trapped. I hated myself and my addiction.

What brought about the change was as follows:

Tired of the pain I was feeling daily
Tired of the physical symptoms
Tired of the headaches
Tired of the throwing up
Tired of the shame and guilt
Tired of the costs financially ... broke all the time
Hurting despite the drinking... the blackness of it all was no longer sufficient to wipe out how I was truly feeling
Awareness of all that had turned for the worse... going from being very healthy, generally happy, inspired, creative, etc. to being dependent, unable to function well, lack of creativity, feeling like I wanted to be dead rather than live one more day
my father's suicide
my niece calling the cops on me as she thought I wanted to kill myself... not sure, maybe i really did want to and just hadn't found the will to do it
lost my job
hated myself
hated my career despite working 9 years to build it
self loathing
anti depressants no longer working
worsening depression... worst i had ever experienced
emotionally bankrupt and destitute, and
being totally isolated and alone.


For me that was what brought me to know I needed, not just wanted to change. I had nothing left. I had nothing to give. I was emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually destitute.

While the solution did not just appear b/c I wanted and needed it to, it took time, I am so glad that I hit my bottom as I did and that I am now sober by choice and moving along. I no longer even joke about wanting to be single forever... I don't want to be alone anymore. I am proud of me and want to share my life with you all and with a special someone.

I want to live.

Peace, Levi
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I may be at my changing point right now. I hate everything. My husband just asked me if I have a stress coping mechinism and I said "beer." I was sort of joking but its the truth. This is why I suck with stress.
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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For me several, 3 DWI's, one when I was 18 and 2 in the last 3 years, my last DWI spent 2 weeks in harris county jail and license suspended for 2 years also over the last few months I began drinking not for fun, I wouldnt even get drunk most of the time I was drinking to keep from withdrawals, terrible shaking unless I could have a beer and I would wake up in the middle of the night shaking or early in the morning, I also started drinking earlier and earlier in the day to control mywithdrawal symptoms, I would havea hard time just getting out of bed, I would cry from the desperation and depression I was feeling. I am 41 now and have been drinking off and on for at least 20 yrs so I did some reading and research and figured out that I had a problem which I knew deep down but was in denial for a long time and also realized that my disease of alcoholism had progressed to where I needed help quiting drinking. Also some days when I drank I didnt feel like having a beer I just wanted to make myself feel better and stop shaking so bad, and I thought I would never in my life say this but I was tired of drinking and of all the bad stuff that goes along with drinking.
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Old 08-13-2006, 10:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When I got to the point where I no longer wanted to drink but had to have a drink I knew I was in deep. I would gag at the thought of alcohol and had hell keeping it down but to not drink was to shake, puke and want to die. When I started leaving work at lunch to get something in me and then the day that I actually snuck a small bottle into the office in my purse was the lowest of the lows. Watching the looks on my children and my mom's face when I was drunk and trying to cover it up (hard to disguise slurring as anything but). When I would wake up in the morning covered in bruises with no idea how I got them and then had to make up lies to explain them. When the realization hit me that my kidneys were no longer functioning properly. All of these things along with a feeling of utter hopelessness that I could find my way out of the living hell I had created for myself were my bottom. They are the things I try to never forget so that I don't have to go back and live them again.

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Old 08-13-2006, 10:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My long term depression is why I started AA recovery.

It lifted by 3 months sober and has never returned in 17+ years...

This is from my share in the SR Stories Forum..

Quote:
I detested the woman I had become. I was depressed and did
not know why. I was trapped on the misery-go-round. I drank for fun and
it was no longer fun. I drank to feel less guilt and surrounded my self
with the dark despair of addiction. My soul had withered and died ...drowned with liquor.
After 3 suicide tries, 3 mental hospitals stays, years of therapy..... I still drank

Thanks for the topic Levi..
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Old 08-13-2006, 10:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Smile end of the line

Excellent thread, Levi. My bottom was the same as everyone else's. Financially broke, homeless. My girlfriend kicked me out of her house. It was not just my drinking that was the problem, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was unemployed. My depression was horrible. My antidepressants were also not working well. Suicidal thoughts and.....hmmm...let's see. Oh yeah, family was slowing distancing themselves.

Yeah, sounds about right. If you sense some humor, black as it may be, it is my way of laughing at myself. Thank God I can do that. I was in a really sh$$$y place.

Within a year of continuous sobriety and working the steps, I got my family back, money in the bank, depression greatly improved.

The woman and I are still apart. It is best for both of us. My car is registered, no court appearances. Life is good.


Thanks for letting me share.
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Im Sharon and Im an Alcoholic.


Sick and tired of being sick and tired. Honestly I didnt think i had a problem. I thought i was like my grandfather..God rest his soul.....who could drink u under the table. It was others in the family.....nosiness....that sensed there was something wrong with me...." Hey mind ur own business people." They in truth saved my life by doing for me what i couldnt do for myself. After an attempt to end my miserable life with pain pills and a horrible car accident.....the police was called to haul me in to rehab.

Hmmmm an unforgettable memory riding in the back of an EMS truck I dont recall....man once in a life time experience.... and I missed it....Darn.... : )

I do however remember the police car ride....handlest in the back seat....hmmmm what did u think i was going to do....jump out....lol and then the fence to separate me from the officers who kept looking at me from the rear view mirror....What????? Im not gonna bite ya.....lol

It wasnt funny at the time i can tell u now.....That was the lowest of lowest feeling i ever had in my life.....How could my family do this to me????.....Just cause i couldnt hold my liquor or i just wanted to end my life.....hmmmmm Hey ..im just trying to get the heck out of ur way since u think im weird or something.....just cause i cant stay at home like a good little wife should do....

However...they did do for me what i couldnt do for myself.....they seek the help, the intervention to save my life. This helpless, hopeless mom, wife, daughter-in-law....did u really love me enought to save this soul?

Well....they must have if they went thru all that trouble to summon the police and courts to have me committed.

To have those thoughts placed into their heads when they had no clue as to what to do with me had to be put there by the Man Upstairs. He heard my cries of help and dispair and plucked me from the gates of h**.

For that...For Him....For my family.... I am truely grateful to be sober today.

Thanks Levi for a good topic. Your doing good urself. Hang in there.
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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At age 49, my mortality is staring me in the face. My father died at this age of an alcohol related heart attack. I am overweight, with advanced fatty liver disease.
My third marriage is in jeopardy. And I know - for a fact - that I can do so much better with my life.

I have been drinking to some extent or another since I was 14.
I was diagnosed with depression in my 30's, acute panic disorder at 43 - so we added some tranquilizers to the mix.
I suffered a back injury in 8/2003, add pain killers.
I jumped at a chance to take a lucrative severance package and early retirement from my career in 2/2005, with the plan to get physically and mentally well and strong.
Two months later, with my pal vicodin on board, I had an accident with one of my horses that ripped my knee apart. 2 surgeries, an incredible amount of pain medicine and facing rehab just to walk.
I completely underestimated how my work defined me; as a woman, a manager; a success - and was blindsided by the shock and depression that hit when I did not have it. I was now just a crippled housewife, with a younger husband.
Just last Monday, as had become my daily regimen for over a year, I started my day with a drink, vicodin and ativan. By the end of the day I had consumed a 5th of vodka, 10 painkillers and a few more tranquilizers. The next morning, my husband said he had had enough and strangely enough, so had I.
I made plans to enter a 30 day rehab, but it didn't feel right.

I have had two periods of complete sobriety since age 14. When I was pregnant, until my daughter was about 2; and from age 39 to 42. Neither of those periods was for sobrietys sake - obviously the first was for my daughter and the second was to realize the dream of purchasing and training the first horse of my very own. I got in the best physical shape of my life.

That's how I know I can do better. I will get back to that person.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I had lots of noble reasons but the final straw was physical in nature. I really wooried about the example I was setting for my kids and I had paranoia that the cops or my friends or employees would find out that I was an "alchy."

It eventually took realizing that I wasn't having the hypoglycemic shakes after lunch--I was going through alcohol withdrawal from the night before. Also, all the crazy nightmares that woke me up with my heart racing--not just anxiety like I thought but anxiety due to alcohol wihtdrawal.

Those anxious arguments with my wife--certainly fueled by alcohol overconsumtion--or a few hours later...alcohol withdrawal.

The blood pressure that kept creeping up due to my anxiety...well it was creeping up due to alcohol withdrawls. This woke me up. I was going to have to take a cocktail of medicines to control my anxiety and blood pressure and support my alcohol habit (lucky liver)...or I was going to have to quit and give my liver the break it so richly desreved.

So I quit (22 days now). I can't say that I don't miss it--but I do miss the consequences...and I'm finally able to look my teenage kids in the eyes when talking to them about drinking and driving. That's the best outcome of all. I just wish I could have done it earlier and for the more noble reasons...better late than never huh...

Thanks for the thread Levi.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks Levi for the topic,

For me, I realized I needed to stop drinking, not just cut back or moderate it, because I was going round and round in a viscious circle every day about it. It got to a point that I knew (capitol "K") I HAD to stop totally.

I had, for 3 years, successfully (or so I believed!!lol) tried controlling and moderating my drinking, but towards the end of that period, I found that ALL of my potential energy and thoughts, from the moment I awakened until I passed out at the end of the day, were either thoughts of self loathing because I failed once again to go a day or two without a glass of wine, to impatience because it wasn't yet "time" for my glass of wine, to numbness because I had had my 2-5 glasses of wine, to nauseausness the next morning....and on and on like that.

I still functioned at my business, but I knew that soon I would lose my precious business, as I was draining all of my life energy by drinking and obsessing over how to control my drinking, and on concealing my drinking from my clients, and from my family and boyfriend. I even ended the relationship because it interfered with my drinking, it became an irritant to me.

Thanks for the question. It led to a needed reflection for me.
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Old 08-13-2006, 08:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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my alcoholism was very advanced as i know some of yours was--iwas about to lose my third child --first two to my ex-hubbie--state ready to take the third--they dont like alchy moms who puke and pass out all day--well i couldnt lose another--so went to rehab--got out --did reapse some--downhill fast--losing contrl of my bowels --laying in it in bed and not even knowing--waking up in my own vomit all over me--the worst withdrawls on the planet----truly horryfying--vominting blood--cops, ambulances--family--aunt uncles mom refuse to talk to me to this day--parnanoia--so sick go to er and them looking at me with so much dicust--icould go on and on--glad im sober today--lol--
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you all for sharing your story. This really helps me keep my eye on the ball in terms of maintaining my sobriety. I can see some of me in every story I read whether it is the physical symptoms, the mental struggles, or the sheer agony of it all.

Thank you all and I pray that each of you benefit as I have.

Peace, Levi
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leviathon
What brought you to change?
Being arrested twice in about a week -- once for DUI and eight days later for public drunkeness, (its true that the second arrest was unwarranted, but I took it as a sign). Facing my boss and asking him for help the first time was bad enough, but having to do it again a week later as a result of my alcohol use was just too much -- not even I could ignore it. The other contributing factor was the sheriff's deputy running the lock-up telling me that I was the last person he expected to see again -- he looked my square in the eye and told me I was an alcoholic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leviathon
...feeling like I wanted to be dead rather than live one more day...
Sounds like my childhood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leviathon
Tired of the pain I was feeling daily
worsening depression
emotionally bankrupt and destitute
being totally isolated and alone.
Sounds like where I'm at these days (44 days sober) -- all the anguish and none of the "fun".
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Grean Tea, thank you for sharing. Your experience sounds like some of what I went through when I initially quit. I got a DUI and had a judge read me the riot act at sentencing. I remember thinking what a Pri$#, but afterwards I quit drinking doing pot, etc. and totally changed my life around. It had a profound effect on me and to this day I am grateful he was such a Pri#@.

As for the rest of it, that was how I felt when I had relapsed and drank for about a year or two and things were really low for me. They got to their worst when my dad shot himself last year. Today, a year later, I feel so much better. Depression has lifted, shame and guilt are behind me, I am no longer isolated and alone... I have new friends, a roommate in my house ... one that I now own, I am no longer emotionally bankrupt either. I have a good outlook on life.

Keep up your work and congrats on the 44 days sober. That is an amazing start and the future has soooooo much more to offer you.

Peace, Levi.
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I can remember early in my drinking days feeling almost paralyzed in a pub..I knew the sensible thing was to call it a day and go home.. but i kept guzzling
kind of knew then I had a problem.. That was 21 years ago..

there have been many episodes after which I knew I had to stop..Listed a few I can remember right now below...
but my addicted voice kept telling me..Id got away with it.. you can still drink.. just stop if you do something really bad...
People without the addiction problem.. would have stopped after just one of these...

- each time in court and found guilty for following :-
drink driving
assaulting a police officer..
-best friend didnt want to know after i started a fight in a nightclub and his brother got "glassed"
-not able to go out with a circle of friends anymore.. as i had always caused trouble and they had enough .
-fighting with my stepdad in local pub earlier been drunkenly dancing and singing with him..
-shoving my then girlfiend hard in the face in a stupor
-being arrested on premises at works xmas party and being suspended from job for a few weeks.
-being given a warning at my current job for threatening behaviour at a works do at horse racing
-after going AWOL on a night out in a town I didnt know and waking up in someones garden. Had to get train
back in a terrible state.
- after being awoken by a concerned motorist at seeing me collapse on the pavement at 06:00 in the morning
-getting into fights and being so out of it not able to fight anymore. getting beaten up basically
-getting into situation with girl at work ..I really should not have done..
- after night out in US when i was so far gone did not know what city i was in. convinced myself I had HIV and
spent 3 months fretting till the test.
-every time I failed to call the wife after spending the night out, showing 0 consideration to the family
by not calling.


Most recent was after waking up under a bush in a town 30 miles from my home, again not calling wife....
("honey, im sleeping under a bush tonight is that okay")


Problem was.. a week later I went out with my dad.. my addicted voice said its okay.. a drink with the old man
wont do any harm.. I managed to guzzle 10 pints in extermely short time and was begging him to stay for more..
got train home together.. got off at my stop and went to pub on my own.. instead of going to kids and saturday night tv and fun...
I went to go to the bar for my second pint .. it was then it really hit me.. one of those moments..
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:02 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Wow Bob, can I ever see me in you... I too had that early experience... I would go to the bars I worked in on days off and drink to the point of incoherence. It was like there just was no off button... the people I worked with facilitated each and everyone of those nights by filling my glass with so much booze and sooo little mix, but it was not their fault, I wanted those drinks, that craving was there and it was progressing bad.

God, I how I remember those twigged out moments, being emotionally fraught and foaming at the mouth a block from the pub late at night and being found by a friend... the answer, lets get a case of beer and go to a party... Or, ending up in a scuffle outside the bar I worked at... ending up on the ground and still punching the guys lights out... having bruises all over the back of my elbow from hitting the ground as I swung up to hit him again and again... not remembering any of it but being revelled with the "Story" of it all by co workers the next day "Pipes, we never seen anything like it, you slipped on the ice and went down b/c of your cowboy boots and then he jumped you, we were all set to pull him off... then out of no where you grabbed him by the throat and kept hitting him until he fell off of you... God, never seen anything like it before in our lives."

Worst part, I am a pacifist, I abhore violence... yet here I was being regaled with tales of my "exploits" in which I beat someone up in a most unlikely fashion and could not remember any of it... other than the bruises and sore knuckles, I had no recall and hated myself for that. I loathed that I had become my father... he was prone to drunken brawls wherein he pounded people out real bad... I was him... the one thing I had never wanted to be in all of my life.

Thankfully today I am me again... the person that will only fight to protect himself or his loved ones... the pacifist and I am proud to be me.

Peace, Levi
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Bob and Levi,

I can also relate to earlier experiences, was about 20, moved out of my parents house cause of my drinking and fighting w/ my father over it, so after one night of me coming home smashed and fighting with him the next day when the rest of my family was gone at my little brother's soccer game I packed up everything and left. From there went downhill, I was in college which had a pub, went there drank then went to a sports bar around the corner, I would drink and drink until the place closed down then some nights move on to someone's house or apartment and drink more- didnt care if i had to get up and go to a job which called in sick a lot, but the days I went to work I would be shaking while i was working and swore i was not going to drink after work, but then I ended up going straight back to the bar - it was a vicious cycle, and it was every day if i didnt have to work or go to school and then eventually I started cutting a lot of classes just to drink.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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continuation- and the pub I went to my roomate was the bartender there so a lot a times she gave me free drinks not to mention the guys buying me drinks and then the other bar all the bartenders knew me and would give me drinks for free sometimes and they would also let you run a tab if you were a regular and I became regulars at both places and it was pretty bad when they knew what i drank and as I walked in would have my drink on the bar before i even got to my barstool. I am thankful that those days are gone and also thankful that my recent escapades of drinking are also over, whether it was when i was young or in the past few years (used to go out after work with friends with no caring about the fact that my husband was at home with my 2 kids ) that i am thankful cause there will be no more alcohol-related charges and no more going to jail.
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Hi, I am Star and an alcoholic. I would love to share my experience of "facing my addiction". I knew years ago I had a problem but I never cared to do anything with it. Just kept on gettin wasted every day. I sometimes, would go 2 days without drinking then go right back to it.

When I had my daughter in 2001 for a while I was better. Wow, she changed my life, she SAVED my life. But then pressured with my husband going out all the time spending money we didnt have on bar tabs and golf games with plenty o beer got to me and I got back to the point where I was drinking 3-4 times a week.

I got better for a while and then had my 2nd daughter in 2004. Things quickly avalanched. I was suffering postpartum depression horribly and my husband simply did not understand what was wrong with me. I drank constantly and did not eat, but then again, improved with medication and lifestyle changes.

My drinking got as bad if not worse than ever recently when I lost my license due to a BS drug charge. I am stuck in my house and feel like a prisoner literally. I cannot take my kids to the park, library fountains etc. I cant get out for a couple hours for "happy hour" I couldnt do anything. As a result I turned to drinking for boredom/confusion/depression, you name it and alcohol was my scapegoat.

Finally, to the question at hand. I think it was a whole series of events that led to my getting sober. First, funny enough, was an OPRAH episode on housewife alcoholics. I have already stated that I knew I had a problem but this really set home with me. Moms driving with their kids drunk to get them to soccer practice. My kids are still young. Could it progress to that? I never hid my drinks, I didnt have to my husband is an alcholic too. Second,my girls asking me for a drink or grabbing my drinks and me having to yell at them before they could get a sip or they would be drinking vodka. Nice. And the main turning point was one saturday evening (the 18th of June) I went to church with my aunt and we went back to my grandmothers and were having a nice spiritual conversatio with a bottle of wine. We each had two glasses and finished the bottle. No big deal you say, two glasses apiece. Right, thats what i thought. My Aunt went to use the bathroom and I turned and grabbed a jug of rum off the counter and chugged it. THAT WAS IT. I was disgusted with myself. I prayed to God (a form of prayer), My GOD, what the freak am I doing?? What is wrong with me??

I drank again the next night and quit the following day Monday June 20th and PRAISE GOD I have only had fleeting second thoughts of alcohol, and DO NOT want to DRINK!!!!

Sorry so long but thanks for letting me share with y'all.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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All of your posts have been excellent. They have helped me to reflect on those early days of sobriety and last days of wastedness. I never want to get sober again. I have worked very hard to get these fourteen months. I want to continue to work the steps and stay clean. Never again. Thanks.
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