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Christyn 48 You too should put your story up here ,let us know what happend to you,and what made you decide to get clean,and how you became clean. I would like to read about it. MY 2 years EXCELLENT!!!
Dear Christyn, Hi--I would also love to hear your story. I have tried to find it on the forum but have been unable to locate anything. I think that is awesome and I would love to know how you did it and how you have been doing since coming off the methadone.
I have read the stories of Arlene, Peacenik(Dave), Sean, Mary and others who have successfully managed to come off of methadone--and I read them over and over every day because they motivate me now as I am detoxing.
Honey, click on "new topic" and start your own thread. Here is little bitty you with your HUGE amazing success story hidden down here.
When you start your own thread you will get many responses from others and you will also be a huge inspiration for the rest of us trying to get there.
Also, now that you are clean and sober, it's not just bye-bye Christyn, for recovery is life-long and we can all help you with any challenges you experience in your recovery.
Thanks so much for sharing your story. You are such an inspiration to the guys here just starting out.
And what a powerful and moving story you have! I'ts so full of positive energy, and willingness, and perserverence, I don't know how to pick a favorite part. Maybe one of the very simple things you said touched me the most:
"In the beginning, I had no idea where I was being taken on this journey of becoming Ďdrug free and cleaní but Iím glad Iím here now. Iím going to be OK now"
Yes, brought a tear to my eye as I remembered feeling the same way, and all the wonderful years I've had since...
You will too Mary, it's very clear from what you've written. We who are in recovery don't have the time, or the luxury of complaining about how tough it is, we're too busy trying to find out what lesson we're supposed to be learning from all this.
And of course I remember when you were just starting out, and struggling, and those at another site were telling you that you weren't going to make it. It's so gratifying that I was able to steer you over here, and see how far you've come. I was thinking about that issue just this morning when I read this:
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."
Just keep goin' girl :) I'll tell you, after 6 months, things get better and better.
I started out using amphetamines. Didn’t take long for things to get out of control, though I thought I was fine, fine to be awake for 3 days at a time. Only when I came down I would be in physical agony. Was working in a brothel at night to support my habit, mum by day.
A friend recommended trying heroin to help “come down”, and , of course it worked beautifully, and so inexpensive, I only needed so little, compared to the amount of money I was spending on speed it was a godsend.
I thought I wouldn’t become addicted , of course, I was far too intelligent for that! Ha ha, guess the joke was on me.
Only took a matter of weeks before heroin was my drug of choice, and I had dropped the speed altogether. My 2nd marriage had just fallen apart, I had three children under 6, and the heroin helped numb the pain. Unbelievably I still believed I wasn’t addicted…..Till I tried to stop…
I thought I had the flu at first…except every time I had gear, the “flu” would disappear, only to return the next day. It got harder and harder to look after the kids, harder and harder to get out of bed. Took about 2 years before I awoke to the fact that I had a habit, and went to seek treatment.
At the time I was withdrawing pretty badly, and not coping too well. Didn’t have support, I was estranged from my family, I felt I couldn’t go through a “cold turkey” , not with the kids to look after.
I was offered methadone, and jumped at it……and at first, it was great! It did “normalize” my life.
I was able to get out of bed in the mornings and function like a normal mother.Didnt have to sell my body to support my habit..Life was pretty much ok for the first two years.
I switched from a private clinic to a public one. Started to sell my done, told myself “everyone else is doing it”, I was buying the kids stuff., overcompensating for the guilt I felt I guess. I couldn’t work out why all the guys from the clinic were all “hanging out” really badly all the time.
Then I started injecting my “done”, and I knew.
I was on 130 mg a day, on 5 takeaways a week. I would go into the clinic, have my “dose” and pick up my takeaways and inject the lot.
And be a very sick lady for the days in between. Depression. Depression Depression. Could hardly drag myself out of bed on Tuesdays to get to the clinic, I would be hanging out so bad. The kids raised themselves. Mum stayed in bed.. ………time…passed…………..8 years………..I was mrs rip van winkle……They brought in a new “policy” at the clinic. Anyone who had been on there for more than three years would either have to find a chemist (and pay for their methadone) or would be offered a chance of treatment. Rapid detox . The drug trials. I wasn’t interested, at all of course, I had heard on the streets that they only detox you off methadone if you are under 40ml.. And, besides, I didn’t know anyone who had done it successfully, you know how it is, you know someone who knows someone who did it, and it didn’t work, etc etc..
But the time came when the clinic gave me the ultimatum, And I went home and checked out the pamphlet they had given me a few months earlier about the drug trials. Don’t really know what made me ring, I was so sure they wouldn’t do me, guess I was just curious. To my surprise, they booked me in for an appointment to see a councillor. After two visits, she really got behind me and fought for me to be a part of the drug trials. She was so very determined. I didn’t believe she would be able to though, so I wasn’t too concerned. Well, wasn’t I shocked when she got me in. I was SCARED. And so soon, too. Less than two months time I would be in the hospital doing a rapid detox. They booked me in for the 26th November, two days after my 36th birthday.
And time flew.
Before I knew it I was travelling down there. Coz of my high dose, they told me that the longer I could go without dosing, the easier it would be for me. I hadn’t had any methadone for four days. I was sick. Had to travel on public transport, and lie down on the train, a lady abused me, but I was too sick to respond.
Finally, to the hospital, but they knew what to expect, and medicated me with benzo’s straight away. Thing is, you had to be free from benzo’s for months before you did the rapid detox, or it wouldn’t work, coz they use the benzos to sedate you, as well as medazoline (dazzle) so they don’t put you right under, only a “twilight” anaesthetic, so they don’t have to intubate you, less risk.
And what a day that was! Get put under “hanging out like a dog,” come to and you don’t know what your name is. Who are these people next to me, I know I should recognize them, but I don’t know who they are (my children)
Still in withdrawal, kinda anyway, but not “craving”. I was so weak . My brain and my body were out of sync, inside I was screaming out, but my body was sleeping, and I couldn’t move.It was like I was still there, but my body had gone on holidays, and was doing the “cha cha cha” Apparantly, these were all aftereffects of the medazoline, and usually you sleep through them, still “under”, but because I was on such a high dose, I had a tolerance like a bull elephant. The next day, I was given a list of instructions, a huge bag of meds, and sent on my way, with my “support person”. That’s where the fun started. I was taking avanza(antidepressant), clonodine(blood pressure), xyprexa(anti-psychotic),stematil(anti nausea), Naltrexone(100mg per day, tablets) valium, temazepam, quinusol(cramps) Buscopan(stomach cramps) ondansitron injections(diahorreah). Anything else? Now I cant remember. But I do remember leaving the hospital, and I saw a girl I used to see at the clinic, I wondered where she had got to. Apparently she had done the rapid detox 3 months earlier, and was now heading in for a benzo detox. Bloody hell. I was determined I would take it easy on the benzos. I didn’t want that to be me…
The next two weeks was hell. I wanted to die. I wanted to sleep. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get comfortable. My back hurt, I was too weak to get out of bed, too anxious to stay in bed. My heart was racing, I couldn’t keep food down. Diahorreah so bad even with the injections that I had to stuff tissues down my pants all the time. My kids had to get me out of the bath one night, I was too weak to get out myself, just sat in there and cried. Everything was too bright, seems even my sense of sight had been dulled by the ‘done’. Now it looked like the colour had been turned up too high on the whole world. I had a friend look after the kids for the first four days, thank god. But my friends were all on methadone, too, even my support person. My next door neighbour started checking in on me, we had been casual friends, but now became close. I forced myself to walk every day, even if it was just to the local shops, to try and raise my endorphins. Most days during that first week I didn’t think I would make it home. Id have to lay down on the courtesy seat in Woolworths, and just breathe. The days were so long, a minute felt like an hour. Some days I would have to ring a taxi to get me back home and I lived less than 1km away. My kids came back home, and they were really scared. They busted my “support person” shooting up in my bathroom, she was asked to leave, and my neighbour took over. Seemed like I would never get through it, every side effect that I was warned I may have, I got. My heart raced so badly I went to see a heart specialist. Just my body in ‘panic mode’, searching for opiates! Painfully slowly I could see an improvement. Just a little tiny improvement, but everyday I was just a tiny bit better than the day before. Three weeks down the track I still couldn’t eat. Four weeks, still couldn’t eat. Began to drop all that weight I had stacked on from being on the methadone. I was 86kg when I was weighed in the hospital. Now I was 70kg. I rang my mother. She hadn’t heard from me for nearly 10 years.. She sent me and the kids plane tickets the next day. And she got me up there, I was living in Sydney, she was in Brisbane. She started feeding me, at first I couldn’t keep anything down, but she started me on miso soup, I kept that down, kept improving, day by day. My kids were getting agitated. They didn’t know their grandparents, and resented being chastised by them. They were playing up, they didn’t know who I was, only that I wasn’t the mum they had always known. I had recovered enough to take them home.
I thought things would be so much better once I was straight, but it wasn’t. I had a lot of emotional s**t I hadn’t dealt with over the last 10 years. I cried like my heart was newly broken over a marriage that had ended a decade ago. I decided to move, my first husband stepped in , told me he would look after me, leave everything behind, just bring myself and the kids. I gave away all I owned, and I did it. Moved over the other side of the country, sick. He started undermining me to the children (the two older ones were his, the youngest to my second husband.) after three weeks, he kicked the girls and I out, and kept his son. I moved to a refuge. Still recovering, still getting a little better every day. Went through court for custody. Got my own place. Wow, life was really hard. I went to the doctor to find out about getting another script for naltrexone, he didn’t want to know about it, apparently they don’t give scripts for naltrexone in western Australia, you either get implants, or you can do a “daily pickup” at the chemist, the same chemist that dispenses methadone.So I quit the naltrexone . I had all this free time, empty days. I decided to find my passion, I was no longer sick. Four months had passed, and I was still vulnerable, but I was ok. I enrolled in tafe, began to meet people. And began to live. Met a beautiful man. Moved in with him. Two years to the very day of doing rapid detox, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. What a gift! And she has a mother that is drug free. I had a lot of work to do with my children, they were teenagers, and were feeling they had been neglected when they were younger. They felt they had missed out. They are really anti drugs now. They needed to get to know me all over again, I was a totally different person.
Four years has almost passed now. On the 26th November is my little girls 2nd birthday, and my 4th anniversary of my emancipation. I have a job now. I found my passion and followed it, I used my stubbornness to get me through. Now , looking back, I can hardly believe that person back there was me. I am so far removed from that person I was. I believe total abstinence has worked for me, not only from drugs, but from people that do drugs (with no desire to quit), and also from alcohol and prescribed drugs. Its funny, but now I wont even take a panadol unless im desperate.
I rediscovered joy, I rediscovered myself. I had lost myself along the way, and at first when I was straight I didn’t know who I was anymore, and would I always be defined by my addiction? Do you go from being a “junkie” to an “ex-junkie? And guess what! The answer is a resounding NO! I love my life. If I can do it , anyone can. You just gotta believe that it can be done. And by the by, my endorphins are working just fine, and I don’t believe that I have any brain damage from taking methadone all those years or from doing the rapid detox. In fact, if the methadone hadn’t been available to me at the time I wouldn’t have made it to the place I am now, I believed I would have overdosed on heroin years ago. You can get off it, you can get your life back. Theres heaps of us out there who have done it, just not everyone wants to revisit it. You go on with your life, and the life you had before seems like a bad dream. Someone elses dream in fact.
Thanks for sharing your story. I really liked your telling of the rapid detox experience. Just goes to show, once again, that there is no "right way" to detox. When it's your time you'll make it.
Also, I see you are totaly abstenent from all drugs, so am I. I never push total abstenence, because I feel that's something people need to decide for themselves, but it's worth noting that most of the people here with a long time off opiates have given up other drugs as well.
I'm here to share my experience, strenght, and hope. It started before back surgery in 83. I was working 2 VA back clinics in the LA. area, the doctors would just give me what I wanted for pain. They didn't have computers. The meds stopped working, and finally had surgery. It worked, but, I was addicted. The job I had, I went in 6 to 8 bathrooms a day, thats alot of medicine chest. I got the nickname of the rifleman, never took to many to get caught.
In 1989, I hooked up with 2 women, that showed me how to chase the dragon, hell I thought you couldn't get addicted smoking tar just shooting it. It started out just friday nights, then turned to friday and saturday nights. Before long, I was waking up monday morning with the flu. I was hooked, line and sinker. So I went into a 90 day in house rehab at the VA. Went to meetings when I got out, and talked out the side of my neck. One night at a meeting, I saw one of my brothers from the program, and found out about needles. I was a gone then, it was my new love. While in the rooms, I heard about methadone. The VA would give it to me free, every day. Back in those days, we had this yellow stuff that was strong.
I didn't use H for about 2 years. Then started playing around with it. I became the master at beating piss test. I worked at a company and had 10 employees under my supervision. The middle of summer and i'm wearing longsleve shirts. Then my veins started to give out, and got abscesses, so I went up in dose and tried to curb my using. Ended up in the hospital many times from abcesses. VA was testing LAMM, and put me on it. Didn't matter how much I shot, I didn't feel it. Couldn't beat piss test anymore, so I stopped. Got back on regular meth, and went back to using.
I was fed up with it all and got down to 50 mgs, and moved to Georgia in 99. I took my last dose crossing the miss. river. Went cold turkey, 16 days of hell. Checked in a program for 9 weeks. Had a little bout with fentynl. Then started going to meetings, alot of them. I turned into a N/A nazi. Thats what I had to do. Working the steps I started to know who I was. I haven't looked back since. I started to sponser other addicts, and told them to suit up, show up, sit back and shut up. Life is good for me today, the monster is still inside of me, but I keep him at bay. I know i'm just one high away from that PMS, pain, misery and suffering. 6 years and i still wonder if my brain chemistry will ever get back to normal. I just don't ever want to be the pig i used to be, one day at a time. I know today i don't have to be a slave to that poison anymore. I'm free, but I'm aware. You see I am a addict, I accept this. It can be done, theres hope without dope.
Good luck and Godspeed TC
I think it is really great reading everyones success storys.. I hope everyone that has made it tells their story, and the ones of us who haven't made it yet..... can hope for the day we can add our storys..
When someone goes in details about their withdrawls.. and each day.. how they felt.. it dragged and dragged..ECT.. I think that helps a lot of us who are still trying to quit.. because we can really identify with it.. and gives us faith.. that its part of the path to recovery.. and seeing how all of you went through it to get where you are now..
It really is helping me..
Congratulations to everyone who had ended their nightmare.. and the best to those of us who are in the process!!
I've looked around on this forum for quite a while but never posted before. I too have had a terrible experience with methadone. My opiate use started when I was 16 years old. I was hired by Walgreens to work in the pharmacy. I thought it was a cool job. I was very good at it. shortly thereafter i had my first kidney stone. Unfortunately it was a difficult one, two months of pain followed by surgery. During this time my doctor would call me in hydrocodone whenever i wanted it. At work I used to take a couple extra and i would fly through my work. After the surgery i was stuck with an incredibly difficult dilemma, i was addicted to painkillers, just had my source cut off, and i spent 8 hours a day around every opiate legal in this country. Needless to say the next year and a half i worked there i spent steaing meds, transferring stores and doing whatever i could to keep my habit. This was 10 years ago when there was much less regulation and security in pharmacies. After quitting i had a very large opiate habit with my supply yet agin cut off. I started buying pills off of the street. When the expense became too great i went down the normal path and tried heroin. Next was shooting dope. At 18 I was already a junkie. The next couple years were a haze of getting and finding the ways and means to use more, folled by arrest, confinement, and court mandated treatment. After a year of abstinence, (no program crap for me!) dope literally just fell into my lap, and not even conciously i used again. Being married at the time severely changed my using. I isolated from everyone and everything. After a few months she caught me and convinced me to go rehab. after a ten day stay before being booted because of crappy insurance, i made a concious decision to start using methadone. I figured this was the best way to keep from using dope again, i had no clue. I didn't need to go to a clinic as a friend of mine saw a doctor who prescribed him methadone for maintinence. (yes i know now that its illegal, but i had no clue before). I spent a year and a half on 160mg ofmethadone, but i still had this craving to get high, it wasn't at all the cure i thought it would be. After my doctor got arrested i had no choice, the nearest clinic was way too far to go everyday, so i had to detox. I found Summer House on the internet and was told the detox would be three to four weeks. I was dumbfounded as i had kicked dope quite a few times and it always was about a week. I tried to detox on my own. i lasted three days before i went in to summer house. by no means was it perfect, but compared with the stories i had heard it was definitely bearable and they put up with me when no one else would. After i grudgingly agreed to go to a program and i found s**t was pretty good when i wasn't a slave to a substance. After a year and a half i can honestly say my life is better than it has ever been before. Thanks to a little willingness and people who helped me i never have to touch that s**te again.
I was always the small town – pot smoker. Nothing wrong with pot right? Wrong…. If it comes to a time you cannot sleep without it. My life was like that for several years…. But it was just pot.
Then after escaping an abusive relationship and moving to a large city I began taking pain pills on occasion – then daily. Without them, I was without me….but they were just pain pills right…. WRONG! The pain pills led to oxy contins – then to heroin – then from that small town to the big city – homeless to say the least, with my 7 y/o son. I then got involved with some idiot who got me using coke – quite heavily…. Which led to more H to come down, then to speed-ballin’ etc. I had went with him to North Philly – everything was cheaper… built a tolerance…Which leads me to the difference between Recreational & Addiction
My mom purchased a Greyhound ticket for myself and my son to come home the January of 2003 from North Philly. She helped to get me back on my feet as much as she could. Got me an apartment, fixed it up cute, but it wasn’t enough to change me. I started using again within days. It was soon raided and I went to jail on possession. 3 wks of hell, WD in a jail cell. The last wk I was able to eat again; felt better. Got out on my own recognance , OD’d and ended up in a rehab. 28 days of brand new connects….. that is what I got out of that. By that point I had all kinds of H and oxy connects in my old small town…. Much more expensive, and due to the tolerance I had – I started shooting up…. My new love was the needle in general… I shot anything shootable…. My arms were abscessed and gross! But did I care – NOT ENOUGH!
I played with the fire – and have the scars to prove I got burnt.
During the brisk autumn months of 2003 I lie in my bed and realize….. I am a junkie. For several months to follow that was the same routine, waking up sick – soaked – and could not function without that fix. For two years prior I ‘dabbled’ with narcotics; pain pills; meth; coke; you name it…… but that moment was the first moment I could honestly say…. THERE IS A PROBLEM HERE. NOW I know the problem was way back with the weed, which I never would’ve thought that then.
For 6 months or so I fed the demon inside of me. More to keep the demon happy than myself. There came a time, nothing would make me feel better. One morning I awoke and could not get up – I WAS IN PAIN!! SO MUCH PAIN! Thank god someone was there to get me to the hospital. They discovered a mass in my lung the size of a FOOTBALL ….. Pneumonia….My family doctor kept me in the hospital for two wks, trying to treat the pneumonia and the addiction. With no results. My immunity was that of an AIDS patient, all because of the heroin bringing me down. Yet, I still had friends bringing me in H while in the hospital. I was given a choice that November day, Addiction or Life….. I chose addiction at the time. For three months I was in pain from both the addiction and the pneumonia. Which made me do more and more and more trying to numb that awful pain in my lungs. I had went from 110lbs to 83lbs in the last month and knew I was dying…. Literally dying.
I had friends (now foes) who had been in and out of Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) but never really knew anyone who had been successful. They were always getting kicked out for selling – using – abusing by mixing with benzos etc. But the time had come, I had to do something. I was a mother – a daughter – a sister – not just a junkie!!
TIME FOR CHANGE
I called my mom by mid-February and told her I knew I could not do it alone. I needed to go to MMT. I had previously tried rehabs; jails; meetings; sponsors; etc. All of which, to no avail. My mother called the director of a methadone clinic in the next county and plead….. told them that I was not just an addict, I was dying of pneumonia and I needed help. They said they would get me in … IF I CALLED! I called and set up the appt. They bumped me to the top of the waiting list and I was in there by the end of the week.
I struggled a bit that first week, I was a junkie – I wanted to get high…. But then I opened my eyes, my mind to MMT. Could it work if I let it?? How would I know if for once, I tried not to try to cop. By the end of the first month I was at 100mg and though it was still a struggle, it held me. I could’ve held at 60 probably but the addict brain told me “more – more – more” I went as high as 150-160….. Which at that point, it was kind of spacey. Struggling to sleep at night and stay awake during the day. After getting pulled over twice for swerving and falling asleep at the wheel, I was forced to have some sleep studies performed.
During which time I went to the Sleep Center and discovered I had sleep apnea caused by high doses of Methadone. I got put on a breathing machine at night and started to lower my dose gradually over time.
I never missed a dose; a counseling session; or anything else revolving around my recovery. Within a couple months of treatment I was hired in a wonderful corporation. Who have supported me through it all and helped to keep me strong. My mother became my best friend. As well as all of the co-workers at my corporation, which were all clean people. I moved to a new country area away from all the old PEOPLE – PLACES – THINGS. So no reminders, triggers were brought upon me. Every once in awhile something or someone would trigger me. Be it reading the paper, obituaries court reporters or running into someone. You just have to stay strong.
I avoided movies even, for a long time, with drug use or content. It was not just the decision to remain clean with MMT it was a decision to change EVERYTHING I was and EVERYTHING I knew. I did it all…… and to be typing this right now, I have no doubt I did it right.
Before I knew it I was to 50mg and stuck there….. whenever I went lower I got sick (or did I) and went back up. This yo-yo dosing went on for a year and my counselor mentioned trying blind dosing, to get me over that hump. I had since started dating and met a wonderful man, whom I was planning to marry. I decided, after we got married, I would start the plunge again. It worked and got me to 30 before I felt BLAH! At 25mg I decided it was time for me to move on. I was sick & tired or being sick & tired!!
At 25mg I went to my boss then I went to the Dr and they both said "GO FOR IT - if anyone in this clinic can do it this way, it's you" He began dropping me 2mg every other day within 2-3 days i was sick enough that i knew it was time..... My boss said, “do what you have to do” I took my last dose of 17mg Thursday March 8, 2007 and here i am into day 17 of a cold turkey detox, and I must say I am truly blessed. Could it get worse - absolutely - Have I had an urge to go dose - NOT ONE! I am sooo determined to get this monkey off my back.
Thru counseling, my son; my husband; my mother; my wonderful job, regaining self esteem, and the fact my street drug addiction was heavy, though short lived. I truly believe that my addiction is dormant..... yes I know it could become active at any time..... IF I LET IT = but that is something i will strive daily to prevent from happening. Relapse is not a worry of mine......Just Recovery!!
I cold turkey quit 100 mgs. of methadone. However, I should point out that on Day 6 I went to the hospital, then spent about 10 days, in, of all places, the Psych. Ward.
I'm bipolar and my meds were off, on top of everything else. So I went to the hospital because I felt suicidal, plus I had serious rage and mania due to too high a dose of Prozac. That was definitely worse for me than the physical withdrawal. Although I guess the "Heebie Jeebies" is both psychological and physical, ya know?
Anyway, I feel great and my physical health was never a serious issue. Also, any day was better than a heroin detox day. It's horrible, but in a more subtle way.
Thanks for being there. I only posted on a few days, but it was SO GREAT to get support, instead of looks, like, "are you out of your mind?"
I should add that I only used methadone since February, so your results may differ, as they say.
I have more energy plus an extra $150 a month for something other than drugs!
I'm not going to say, "if I can do it, anyone can" right now. I think I'll just go out and buy those running shoes I've wanted for the year, and bask in some well deserved self congratulation. But I won't get too happy. That's trouble too.
I was on Methadone for 8 months for a broken bone at the first lumbar vertebral body. I had been on hydrocodone for 10 months prior for the same injury. One day I went to the pain management doctor. I then cleaned out my truck and accidently threw away the script for a month's supply he gave. When I went back to tell the doctor what happened, they showed me a contract I signed saying that they would not give more than one script. I was so pissed, I swore it off for ever. As you well know the next seven days were hell. My new wife was freaked out by my withdrawl, and so was I. I could not eat, I would cry if I even tried, I could not sleep, I got very irritable with everyone and did nothing but lay in the bed staring at the ceiling wishing I would die for a week. It was by far the worst experience I have ever had. Because of the back pain, I got back on hydro after 30 days, then I worked up to fentanyl. Now I am clean. It has been a long hard road. I am still fighting a weekly binge drinking (about a 12 pack) However, where I am today is a long way from the methadone and fentanyl days. I am not sure if I qualify for a success story when it comes to methdadone but would just like to say I have no desire to take any methadone. I wouldn't if I had a bottle of it right here. Maybe it is because there are no pleasant memories with it.
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