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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion Part 2

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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion Part 2

Old 10-07-2011, 07:30 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Oh and I apologize for the inconvenience and I appreciate the concern from you all by the way.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:45 AM
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April,

I don't think you need to leave the forums on account of it. I'm sure if you contact the mods they can probably delete those posts for you.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:29 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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You're being too hard on yourself, April. Yet another thing I do NOT miss about drinking. I used to wake up in the morning in a panic over what I had or had not done, especially on the internet and would then feel anxious all day about it.

Sorry this is off the AVRT topic, but just wanted to quickly say that this is not the place where you need to feel embarrassed or apologize for drinking. You're younger than most of us and I'm just happy you're here.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:59 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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I have a question that maybe isn't in the realm of AVRT to answer. I've read the crash course, so maybe it's not there but is addressed in the book.

I think I've got the ME part, the Beast part, and the Addictive Voice part sorted out, which all deal with psyche. But where does one put the physical part?

This is my 3rd "abstinence" (I was going to say "recovery", but thought better of it). My first was from alcohol over 20 years ago. My 2nd was from a mix of drugs surrounding a poor coping response to severe loss. This one, my 3rd, is from opiates I began using surrounding bilateral torn menisci (knee cartilage) followed by bilateral total knee replacements, from a 2 year oxycodone gig.

Let me get to my question. The alcohol was far easier for me to shed than the following two substances. Especially the last one, and I quit oxycodone last December. Both the physical and psychological effects seemed far more severe to me than what followed my alcohol use. With alcohol, for me anyway, it was ALL psychological as I hadn't totally pickled my body with it, even though I drank for over 15 years. With the drugs and opiates, the physical withdrawals almost stopped me from abstaining even before I could tackle the psychological part. The physical withdrawals are something I now try to help others deal with on the substance abuse forum, but I use a "form" of the Addictive Voice concept when talking to others about how to take a stand against their substance abuse. Does AVRT deal at all with how to deal with the physical part of abstinence? I see AVRT as the preferred method to STAY quit, but it's the early days that are the downfall of many. I mean the physical part. A lot of why it took me so long to quit was I was using not to get high, but to not feel sick, which was all I seemed to feel any more.

Last question. In the RR crash course, it says "In Rational Recovery, we suggest that you make a Big Plan:a decision to totally abstain from alcohol and drugs, forever."

In my break from opiates, I made a decision early on that my new identity was that of "A Non-Opiate User". Period. Just like, years ago, I made a decision that "I Am A Non-Drinker". Any thoughts of using or drinking are easily dealt with by asking myself, "What would a non-user/non-drinker do?" I hold those concepts dear to my heart and they are what make me part of who I am today. I just don't know if that constitutes a "Big Plan". I suppose I could take it one step further and make a contract with myself, but I feel strong in my stance. Any thoughts?

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Old 10-07-2011, 09:09 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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I think I've answered my own question.

Our "physical part" doesn't think on its own. Every sensation in our body is a "perception" by the brain. In order to take command of feeling hung over, dope sick, or any other kind of bad, one must take control of their perceptions of discomfort and how to deal with them.

In early withdrawal from opiates, I did turn to my question "What would a non-opiate-user do?" And the answer was NEVER to use more opiates.

Okay.

Well, maybe my question will help others sort this out for themselves.

FT
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:33 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
I think I've got the ME part, the Beast part, and the Addictive Voice part sorted out, which all deal with psyche. But where does one put the physical part?
The Beast is the physical part, the part that is actually generating addictive desire. The Addictive Voice is its human voice, the cognitive and emotional expression of that desire.

Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
Does AVRT deal at all with how to deal with the physical part of abstinence? I see AVRT as the preferred method to STAY quit, but it's the early days that are the downfall of many. I mean the physical part. A lot of why it took me so long to quit was I was using not to get high, but to not feel sick, which was all I seemed to feel any more.
Yes, and many get to this point. I myself had been drinking straight whiskey all day every day for two years at the end, and had become physically dependent on it. RR does have on its web site a "Physician Advice for Withdrawal From Alcohol and Other Drugs" article, and the book does recommend medical detox for those who need it.

However, AVRT itself does not make any distinction between the source of the desire, whether physical or psychological, attributing both to the same source. Physical withdrawal is (normally) more intense, but remember, at the end of the day, psychology is biological. This is why psychiatric medications, as well as recreational drugs, work to alter psychology, and why lobotomies result in such drastic personality changes.

Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
In my break from opiates, I made a decision early on that my new identity was that of "A Non-Opiate User". Period.
This sounds reasonable and permanent enough to me, but only you can truly know if it is full-proof. Does "period" mean that you won't ever change your mind? While I try to stick to "classic AVRT" when discussing it, and there are indeed some key aspects, such as a personal commitment to lifetime abstinence, AVRT is not deep psychology. As long as you get the job done, that is fine.

One example is the "counting days" thing. AVRT will naturally expose the dual implications of this practice by asking how your Beast interprets counting days as opposed to how you interpret it, just as with anything else. Does that necessarily mean that if you celebrate the day that you got your act together that you are going to explode into drunkenness, though?

Of course not.

PS: READ THE BOOK !
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:42 AM
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The Big Plan is there to expose your beast and drag it kicking and screaming into the light where it can be seen for what it is and thereby shut down. For me, this was a helpful part of the technique. It exposed the beast more quickly and completely so that it could be beaten down, instead of allowing it to circle looking for a weak spot in your defenses.

FailedTaper, this progression that you have shared with all of us is truly amazing and inspiring. The wisdom of your commitment will become more apparent as the physical discomfort eases. Stay the course, you are almost there!
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:55 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Yes, to me "period" means THAT'S IT. Done. Overwith. NO MORE. To me, I will never drink/use again means that I am a permanently committed non-drinker/non-opiate-user.

That term drove another poster mad recently and exploded into an argument of whether I am a "real addict" or not. The implication was whether I am a disease victim or not. I am not going to get into a scientific argument here that not even the researchers can agree on (despite the recent declaration by the American Society of Addiction Medicine -- not to be confused with the American Academy of Addition Psychiatry -- in a policy statement declaring addiction to be a disease entity).

Frankly, I am tired of arguing semantics, because I am going to treat my propensity towards addictive behaviors in the same way regardless of the terminology. I AM A NON-OPIATE USER.

As a non-opiate-user, if I have surgery, I will accept anesthesia for surgery and take pain medication IF needed postoperatively, but that will not change my mind-set not to self medicate with opiates EVER again. That's where the trouble begins in some cases, so due diligence is in order. It is the MIND SET (neurobiologically-based as it may be) that does not change. I will still be a non-opiate user before, during, and after a surgical event. Postop, I'm on my own to maintain my non-opiate-user identity.

While I do not consider myself diseased, I will never again be "opiate naive" as it is medically defined, however. That's why due diligence is so important when exposed to these things.

For those determined to continue identifying addiction as a disease, AVRT still works. Even cancer is being "treated" in the major research centers using a mind-set approach. Studies have been done using imagery by the patient to kill cancer cells. "Mind over matter" may be an age-old concept, but it is not a myth.

I've gotten off track, but I wanted to address those issues.

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Old 10-07-2011, 10:12 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
Yes, to me "period" means THAT'S IT. Done. Overwith. NO MORE. To me, I will never drink/use again means that I am a permanently committed non-drinker/non-opiate-user.
Then don't worry about it. Your "Big Plan" is yours, not anyone else's. Indeed, RR recommends not telling anyone else about it. Your recovery is for you to know about, and for others to find out about.

Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
That term drove another poster mad recently and exploded into an argument of whether I am a "real addict" or not. The implication was whether I am a disease victim or not.
Next time someone tries throwing the disease theory at you, try reminding them that the disease theory of alcoholism/addiction defines addiction as a primary disorder, meaning that it is not a secondary symptom of anything else, and therefore there are no "underlying issues" causing it that need resolving in order to quit. It works even better if you link to the official definition from NCADD, which explains what "primary" means.

Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
For those determined to continue identifying addiction as a disease, AVRT still works.
Of course it does. AVRT will naturally expose how you view the disease theory versus how your Beast sees it (as an excuse to "relapse"), but when people say things like "my disease is talking to me, trying to trick me," they are doing the same thing that is done with AVRT. They are objectifying the desire to get drunk or high.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:52 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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ALL:

I really don't want this to devolve into endless discussions over the merits of the disease concept of addiction/alcoholism. For the purposes of applying AVRT, the disease concept is irrelevant, unless, of course, it becomes part of your Addictive Voice and justifies further drinking/using, in which case, AVRT must necessarily identify it as an obstacle. AVRT is essentially a working model of free will, based on the uniquely human ability to resist desire. If you don't believe in free will or the ability of humans to resist desire, then AVRT will not work for you, and you're going to have to find something else. That's all there really is to it.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:06 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Hi TU,

I agree with what you are saying, mostly because the discussion can become centralized on how we got here instead of how to make this work.

What I like about AVRT is that it is EMPOWERING, instead of disempowering. And, NO, this has NOTHING to do with the "higher power" issue either. At least to me. I don't much care where the individual's inner strength originates, just so that inner strength is what is promoted and not suppressed.

In the medical field, part of patient/client care is to promote the concept of "self-determination". To me, AVRT fits that concept very well. Human beings fare so much better when they are empowered to make decisions for themselves, take CARE of themselves, and think independently.

Thank you for pointing out that the physical part of addiction really does fall back on the Beast. I had not separated that out clearly in my mind, and the concepts work even better for me now.

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Old 10-07-2011, 06:16 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
Thank you for pointing out that the physical part of addiction really does fall back on the Beast. I had not separated that out clearly in my mind, and the concepts work even better for me now.
Addiction recovery can become obfuscated by the infusion of theories that, while possibly interesting, have no actual bearing on the way people usually self-recover. AVRT is an attempt to cut through the fog, simply all of this, and get right to the heart of the matter. The message of AVRT is: addiction is a complicated, convoluted mess, but recovery is not. Once you are shown how it is done, recovery is simple, and anyone can learn how to quit for good.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:01 PM
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Well, as you pointed out before, TU, AVRT is based on what people who are self-recovered had done. Although it would be hard to document, I would imagine this technique is very, very old...people have probably been doing this in a similar fashion since the beginning of time. That seems to indicate that it does work and can work for anyone who chooses to apply it. Just my thoughts.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:38 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Well, as you pointed out before, TU, AVRT is based on what people who are self-recovered had done. Although it would be hard to document, I would imagine this technique is very, very old...people have probably been doing this in a similar fashion since the beginning of time. That seems to indicate that it does work and can work for anyone who chooses to apply it. Just my thoughts.
That's precisely correct. People have been using similar methods for a very long time, well before any treatment for addiction ever existed. Indeed, this is how people usually quit smoking. It might take them 157 quit attempts to figure it out, but eventually, most people do figure it out. RR just studied it, documented it, and came up with a way to disseminate the information.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:15 PM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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AVRT Tip

A few of you have reported relapse anxiety surrounding “Beast activity," so here's an AVRT Tip.

People typically view the AV as their nemesis, a specter of bad times to come. They live their lives in full reverse, fleeing the Beast as they would a dreaded foe. They are often elated that they haven’t had any AV for a while, and live in a state of false security based upon the idea that it is good to not hear an enemy stalking from behind.

This is not the best approach to take, though, since it puts you on the defensive, and you need to go on the offensive instead. Consider that the AV is actually a sign of robust health, and that therefore you can welcome the AV into your life as a natural function of a healthy, human body. Addictive desire and the AV are very much like one’s sexual libido, and you wouldn't choose to neuter your libido in order to keep out of trouble, would you?

In AVRT, we actually practice craving on purpose in order to bring the Beast out from hiding, expose it, and learn that it is genuinely powerless. There are a few sections in the "RR:TNC" book that address this, specifically, the "Shifting" exercise on page 202, "Aggressive Listening" on page 205, and "Attack Your Beast" on page 206. The "Relapse Anxiety Grid" on Page 190 is useful for these exercises, and it might be a good idea to bookmark the page with a paperclip to refer back to.

The shifting exercises are a radical departure from AV anxiety. In AVRT-based recovery, we don’t have relapse anxiety, because it is always an example of the AV itself, and we don't fear the AV; we welcome it as a sign of robust health. This is very different from traditional approaches, and may sound counter-intuitive at first, but it is what will allow you to walk free, without fear of triggers or slipping. If you are having relapse anxiety or are afraid of the Beast, try the exercises in the book.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:46 PM
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I just read through this thread tonight and I find the discussion surrounding AVRT to be very interesting.

I have been an everyday beer drinker, heavy smoker, and a few other abusive uses of substances for most of my life (the last 33 years) but I do not really view any of that as a disease at all. I also do not feel that there is any excuses beyond the fact that part of me wanted to do it and so I did.

Since I have stopped drinking alcohol (138 days) and now smoking (19 days) I also have no desire to avoid people. places or things out of fear. I may avoid them because I want to but I do not want to live in fear. I have decided that I will not use any of these things anymore and that is that. At least that is the way I want it to be and the way I see it could be. It is a decision I could make.

I plan on reading more about AVRT. It seems to me that there is alot I could learn from it.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:54 AM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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Hi TU,

Awhile back you told me that my "cold duck method" of quitting alcohol was something akin to "shifting".

Here's the way it worked, for those who didn't see what I had said about how I quit. I used to drink a couple of bottles of cold duck every night after work. I'd buy one bottle on the way home with the intent to drink one, then go back out and get the other one with my tail between my legs, when I couldn't stop at the one.

One day, I bought my bottle on the way home, but I'd been trying to quit drinking for years, and I'd especially been thinking about trying to quit again for the prior few days. So when I got home, instead of opening the bottle instantly, I put it in the fridge. I told myself I could have it at any time I pleased. Then I had dinner, and that night I left the bottle alone.

I left the bottle in the fridge where I could see it right away when I opened the door, and every night thereafter I'd look at the bottle and not open it. I'd eat dinner and go back and look at it. Every night, my plan was to drink it after I ate IF I couldn't tolerate not drinking that night, but I promised myself to ask myself if I REALLY wanted it before drinking it. The days wore on, and the bottle stayed put. After a few weeks, the plan to drink after dinner dissolved away. After a few months, I didn't deliberately go look at the bottle continually any more, but I knew it was there.

Sometime after a year of the bottle being in the fridge, it disappeared, but I can't remember who gave it way or threw it away. I couldn't bring myself to pour it out, but I no longer used the excuse of "how can you waste a perfectly good bottle of cold duck" to drink it.

That was over 20 years ago. I've had more recent failings of short duration than the booze (which was 15+ years), and I did not risk this method for my self-recovery from oxycodone. The oxycodone was a bigger hook than alcohol for me, so I set up a 100% no-access situation with it.

I think perhaps now I could put myself in the position of having oxycodone around, but there would be no reason to do that. I am exposed to schedule drugs in my profession, so I suppose I am "practicing" a little in that way, because I never feel the temptation to use in my professional life.

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Old 10-08-2011, 11:21 AM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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I'm not suggesting that people don't get rid of the supply initially if that will pose a problem for them, but here is a typical scenario. A newly abstinent person gets rid of all the booze in the house, and avoids all functions and "slippery places" that serve alcohol, hiding at home watching TV instead.

Initially, their Addictive Voice will rail at them, but eventually, it settles down. At this point, they think "WOW, this is great! No more AV!" and then hop on the forums and announce to everyone "I HAVE NO DESIRE TO DRINK."

This seemingly innocent announcement, while on the surface appears to be a good thing, when viewed through the lens of AVRT, is identified as pure Addictive Voice. Why? Because it suggests that if they did have a desire to drink, that they would go straight to the liquor store.

So, not hearing their AV, the newly-abstinent person decides to go out again, to a party, for example. They think "WOW! This AVRT stuff is great! I can't wait to test it out at Joe's BBQ!" This, too, is their Addictive Voice, because it is based on the uncertainty principle, since "testing it out" suggests that they might not succeed.

In any case, they go to Joe's BBQ, and perhaps they give in and have a few beers, perhaps not. If their AV doesn't pop up too much, and they don't have any beers, they then think "WOW, this is great! That AV is a goner." So, they go on about their life, and lo and behold, one fine day, they end up drunk. They think "I don't know what happened, I was driving home, and next thing I knew, I was at the liquor store."

What happened is that they didn't get any practice identifying their AV, which will lay low until the perfect opportunity presents itself, and they got broadsided. The idea is to prevent this sort of thing. Don't let your Beast hide in the dark. Instead, bring that sucker out, even if it doesn't want to come out.

For me, the first few months had intense Beast activity, so I didn't have to do anything to bring it out. But, after a few months, things started looking good, no more AV. So I hopped on Youtube and searched for "Single Malt Scotch reviews" and sat down and watched them. They go into great detail about taste, smell, etc, so my Beast got very aroused.

Instantly, I used the shifting technique, where I switched back and forth between how my Beast saw the scotch [Yummy! Fun Times! ] and how I saw the scotch [Evil! Danger! Poison! Ruin! ]. Then, I wiggled my fingers, stopped to look at my hand, and said "OK, Mr. Beast, if you are so powerful, wiggle my fingers, then. If you can do it, I will head over to the liquor store and get really loaded."

Naturally, Mr. Beast, while IT wasn't too happy about being jerked around this way, wasn't able to wiggle my fingers. I repeated this exercise every single day for a while, until I felt comfortable. Eventually, I moved on to the real thing, a live bottle, which I still have, BTW. Over time, it became apparent to me that my Beast was powerless to do a damn thing without my approval. I had become its master, and IT had become my servant. The gig was up.

This is AVRT.
Recovery with an attitude.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:28 AM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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Can I ask whoever is using AVRT...was there a motivating factor that made you start using AVRT? Like, did something substantial happen in your life related to your alcohol abuse that initiated your desire to stop drinking immediately? As opposed to saying, you were active in your drinking, only slightly agitated with your drinking habits and thought you should maybe quit and one day you wandered into a book store, read the RR book and BAM, just stopped drinking out of nowhere for the next 5 years?

I'm wondering if there's something that you experienced or something that happened to you, that made you severely want to stop drinking and before you chose AVRT as your method. I guess in AA speak...(sometimes still the only language I know) I'd mean did you have a "spiritual experience" or "hit your bottom" before you decided to use AVRT as your recovery method?
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:13 PM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AprilMay1895 View Post
Can I ask whoever is using AVRT...was there a motivating factor that made you start using AVRT? Like, did something substantial happen in your life related to your alcohol abuse that initiated your desire to stop drinking immediately? As opposed to saying, you were active in your drinking, only slightly agitated with your drinking habits and thought you should maybe quit and one day you wandered into a book store, read the RR book and BAM, just stopped drinking out of nowhere for the next 5 years?

I'm wondering if there's something that you experienced or something that happened to you, that made you severely want to stop drinking and before you chose AVRT as your method. I guess in AA speak...(sometimes still the only language I know) I'd mean did you have a "spiritual experience" or "hit your bottom" before you decided to use AVRT as your recovery method?
April,

I would encourage you not to compare your experiences with those of others. With AVRT, you are entirely on your own, just you against your Beast. Addiction is drinking/using against your own better judgment, not anyone else's judgment. What is enough for someone else may not be enough for you, and vice versa. If I had to guess from your post here, this is what your AV is telling you...
"OK, April, maybe you're not that bad. Maybe you haven't hit rock bottom yet. After all, you still have a job. Maybe you still have a few more years left to drink before you have to give it up for good. Why don't you ask those fine folks on the AVRT thread for some stories of despair so that you can compare yourself to them. If they really screwed up their lives and ended up in the gutter before they made a Big Plan, that means that you can drink some more! "

How'd I do?
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