6.20.2017

We Need to Talk

Friends, we need to talk. 

After 7 years of blogging 5 days a week about beauty products and some of my life, I realize I need to do more of the latter.

I'm a very private person and never want to trouble anyone with my problems. But I have realized that not reaching out for help or not sharing our struggles only causes us pain the long run and creates this unnecessary stigma of weakness.

So here goes:

I have been suffering from extreme anxiety.

Anxiety is nothing new to me. I have had it since I was about 4. But lately it has hit an all-time high. It all started back in October. TMI alert here, so you can skip this paragraph, but essentially I ended up having a period for 3 months. Yes, you read that correctly. It really wore me down, just having no relief, and that I got no answers as to why it happened. Everything is fine now, but it kind of made me depressed, I guess you could say. My hormones definitely felt out of whack. I didn't feel like myself.

Then in December, as I was leaving for Christmas break, I overheard at work that my position would end when the new school year begins. I am a nanny and the youngest will start preschool, so they won't need me anymore. I love the family and my job and 100% support their decision. However, it totally broke my heart and I finally got the confirmation it was true a couple of months later. I will miss those kids something awful. I began to panic on needing to find in job in 8 months. That's plenty of time, but at the time, I felt overwhelmed.

In February, I had the flu. In March, I had pneumonia. I felt so down, so tired. No energy.



And then after a really good end of 2016, my blog stats, my Instagram, everything started to plummet. It really bothered me. Why was this happening? Was it me? Why didn't people like me? I refuse to be a blogger that does things for click bait--do your makeup with Cheetos using a sock! Um, no. I refuse to be the blogger that buys every single new beauty product, every single shade, just to be first. I can't do it. I don't look like the contoured to the Heavens girls of Instagram. I don't want to be like everyone else.

I began blogging just a few times a week. I thought maybe taking a break would help. It didn't. It made things worse blog-wise and that made more anxiety.All things beauty--my biggest passion--weren't enough. My last haul was in January. I never shared any of those products and they sat in a box for months. I quit painting my nails, wearing makeup most days, even doing my hair. That sounds SO artificial/first world problems/vain, but those things make me feel better about myself. I wear makeup/paint my nails/do my hair only for myself. I didn't feel like myself. 





All of these things, plus some additional personal issues, caused my anxiety to build up. I began to retreat into myself and away from everyone.

But one day I couldn't take it anymore. Something had to give.

I began to open up to others and share what I'd been going through.

It turns out that I'm not alone. Imagine that!

I began to practice self-care--that sounds like such a selfish thing to do, but taking time out for myself really, really helped. I know we're all busy, but scheduling that time really helped.

This was drawn for me by Rebecca Jo! Thank you!
I turned to my faith.

I focused on the good, on the positive, on the things (not necessarily material here, just a general term) I have instead of the negative. Is __issue worth getting upset over? Will it matter in 5 minutes? A month from now? No? Then let it roll off your back.

Instead of focusing on overwhelming big problems, I put them into smaller pieces.

I realized that it's okay and that there is no shame in having anxiety.

While I am not currently on any medication for my anxiety, there is nothing wrong with that either. No shame. The same goes for talking to a professional.

I write this today because I see that light at the end of the tunnel. I am closer to feeling back to myself than ever before, closer than I've been in months. I feel like I am over the hump and running towards the finish line.

Not allowing anxiety to have its grip on me has been the most freeing feeling. Taking things one day at a time, allowing myself to feel emotions and not hide them or bottle them up is freeing. And then letting them go.

Today I feel free.

Have you suffered from anxiety?



53 comments:

  1. So sorry you have been going through all this! I am really happy for you, though, that you seem to be on the other side of it, or at least getting there!

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  2. Elle, thanks for sharing!!! Please know i am a huge fan and really appreciate when you open up about your life. Thoughts and prayers are with you and can't wait to hear about your next adventure when your nanny job ends.

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  3. p.s. I was worried that this was an "I'm ending my blog" post, but am SO GLAD it's not!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this! I'm happy to hear you are getting through it and feeling more like yourself again! Breaking things down into smaller pieces always helps me too when I'm feeling anxious.

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  5. ((((hugs)))) Elle. I'm so proud of you. It takes guts to write what you did and to share such a personal story, and so happy to read as well that you are on your way to getting/feeling better. And yes....you are definitely not alone.
    XOXO

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  6. This is such a great post, thank you for sharing how you were feeling and how you dealt with it personally. So many of us keep it all inside and we're convinced that everyone else knows what they're doing while we stumble around clueless and that's not the case. Being open and talking about it really can help because you're not alone. Lots of love, so proud of you for sharing this xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

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  7. My sister suffers from anxiety, and it takes a huge toll on her. Thank you for sharing. I know it isn't easy, and I'm glad you are feeling better! I also love that psalm, and will be sharing that!

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  8. this is such a big post for you to share, congratulations! We all love to read about your life, the good and the bad! I love the products, but love the little extra Elle the most. You have such a great outlook on things amidst the anxiety and are such a beautiful person. Always knowing how to be you!

    Xoxo,
    Whitney & Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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  9. thank you for so bravely sharing all of this, you definitely are not alone! I'm so sorry you're experiencing anxiety, but am glad you've found a few coping methods to help-- practicing self-care is not selfish at all, really it's survival. I'm here if you ever need/want to talk, and I'll keep you in my prayers.

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  10. I am so glad that you are feeling a little bit better and availing yourself of some of the supports available for you. There's a fairly profound streak of depressive behaviour/anxiety that runs through the female members of my family and I absolutely feel as though it is a factor in my life. It's something that I'm typically able to "manage" but at times of high stress/external pressures, it comes to the fore with a vengeance and I usually set up some appointments with a therapist to be able to talk through it.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

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  11. Though it's something I personally cannot relate to, I am so sorry you are going through this and feel this way. I think turning to something like your faith was a fantastic move on your part. When those who struggle actively acknowledge the problem, help is always there. Props to you for being so transparent about all of this! <3

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  12. Elle it takes courage to write about your anxiety and everything you're feeling, trust me I know since I have shared similar experiences on my blog. In time you'll feel better. Sending hugs!

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  13. Oh Elle, I am so sorry to hear you have been suffering like this! I have also suffered depression and anxiety in my life, especially before huge life changes. I have been on medication and talked to a therapist, and those things helped. But what really changed my situation was my faith.

    My husband and I are about to move from Florida to Texas and I am not worried at all. Why? Well, it took me so many years to learn this, but now I truly believe God has a good plan for me and has laid the path for me. All I have to do is trust Him and keep walking forward. That doesn't mean it won't be hard or scary, but it's not my job to carry the weight of things I can't control!!!

    God has a great plan for you, Elle. He sees everything you want and need, and He cares. You are a tremendous blessing to me and I can't WAIT to see the next chapter of your journey!!!

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  14. I am so glad to hear that you are starting to feel like yourself again. I've been thinking about you. It's always difficult when we go through hard times in life. And they really seem to all come at once. It's never one difficult thing at a time! But your suggestions of using faith, focusing on the positive, and trying to do little self care things can really make a difference! Those are the things I did when trying to get through all the overwhelming infertility process we went through. I'll be praying for you and hope you continue to get back to yourself!

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  15. I love when people share struggles like this because it brings people out of the wood works in knowing they are not alone. It takes bravery to share - THANK YOU.
    & you know I've told you, I suffer SO BADLY from anxiety & if you havent been through it, you cant understand how bad it can consume you sometimes.
    Keep speaking out - I think anxiety works best when its kept in the shadows. Bring it to light my friend. Surround yourself with all the support you are getting.

    Side note - did you talk to your doc about the 3 month period? Isnt it fun being a girl? I just skipped a period for 3 months. UGH - talk about hormones being out of whack!

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  16. Anxiety is horrible, I have run into it from time to time and yes turning to God is always the best way. Or it has helped me so, so much. I think it also does help to talk to others, but sometimes I feel that has caused even more anxiety for me... it seems there are certain people in my life I can talk to about it and others I can't. I am so glad you are coming out of it and are feeling better!! A 3 month period would depress me, too and that is just so frustrating when you get no answers! Glad you are past that, too!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  17. Kudos on the courage to write this, Elle. We all wrestle with something. I share your problem with anxiety and at times it's paralyzing. I'm glad you're finding ways to get healthier. Hang in there and remember we love you.

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  18. I can't even imagine how crippling all of the anxiety must have made you feel! I'm glad that you've found a way to deal with it, and that things are starting to get easier for you!

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  19. So many people suffer from anxiety, it is real and it can be very isolating. I am sorry that you were struggling so badly and keeping it all in. I am glad that you are feeling more like yourself and I think putting this out there will not only allow you to get it off your mind....but I bet there are many people reading this right now that can totally relate and you made them feel not so alone. Sending you all the hugs!!!!

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  20. I'm so proud of you for speaking out, lady- and I'm so sorry your anxiety has been so high these past few months. That is awful! But I'm glad you're taking control and taking time out for you- you have to take care of yourself!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  21. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul and I'm sorry your anxiety has been so rough lately. I have anxiety as well and have been taking medication for the last two years and it has helped me more than I can say. I am glad that you are coming out of the dark a bit more and hope it continues! Love your way!

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  22. Thank you for opening up and sharing this with us! More people have anxiety than we know and it isn't an easy road to recovery. I am glad to hear that you are heading there. I can only say, take it one step at a time and put yourself in a happy and healthy position. Hugs to you and next steps - personal and professional!

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  23. SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH. Sorry for the all caps but I want to shake people that shame us into thinking that. It is necessary! I am so glad you opened up. Suffering is bad enough but suffering alone is WAY worse. I have struggled with anxiety my whole life and it was so bad a few years ago I about had a nervous breakdown. I finally shared with my friends and it opened the floodgates. Keep taking care of yourself and doing what you need to eel good. You are awesome. Control the controllables and be well. Hang in there sister!

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  24. Thank you for sharing your story with us Elle - that takes a lot of courage. I second what everyone else has said and I agree that self care is not selfish at all - it's important to practice self care in order to be able to be productive in other aspects of our lives. Sending you lots of love friend.

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  25. Sharing the really hard parts of our lives here is tough. What is too much? What is faking it? What is being brave? You my friend are brave indeed, sharing something so personal. And, reading through the comments it's clear you are not alone.

    Before our big move I never had an inkling of having anxiety. Sure, I dealt with stress, but not anxiety. Then we moved and I took a new job and holy batman did the anxiety hit with full force. I was crying all the time, tired all the time and just over life itself. Worried about every moment of every day, it was awful. I'm looking into talking to someone now [mentioned it on my post today] and we will see. Proud of you for sharing.

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  26. it takes a very brave person to open up and tell the world about issues they are dealing with. I’ve suffered from extreme anxiety also, I used to be deathly afraid of driving in the car with people. So much that i had to purchase a figure for me to hold on to, then I found out about tapping and it sounds super silly but tapping really helped that and a lot of therapy. Hang in there Elle! You are not alone my friend.

    Also realize that blogging is stressful. My blog has been on a steady climb for the last 8 month, then summer hit and my numbers dipped a little, my other businesses picked up and it dipped some more, right now I’m doing pretty good but I always feel like I could be doing better. In the end all we can do is be the best version of ourself and not stress over things we don’t have control over

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  27. Friend, that last line.. "today I felt free" So powerful. So glad to hear. I am so glad you are opening up and that you are turning to your faith because you are so right, you are not going through this alone. At all. What helped me when I went through it was when I posted on my Moms in the Making group. The responses blew up with women also saying they were dealing with. It's nice to know we are not alone but it's all good that because of Jesus we do not have to stay there. So thankful for that!

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  28. I love this post, and while it was probably hard for you to write and share this I love your honestly and strength to share this. Thank you. Yes, anxiety has been part of my life forever but it really hit me two years ago. Been dealing with it since and it's gotten so much better. No meds, just me focusing on me and my overall well-being. Positive thinking is very powerful so I hear you on that. I don't mind the anxiety but I mind it when it arrives at the worst moments... We are not alone; you are not alone.
    Thank you again for sharing!

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  29. Good hear that you are feeling better! I have PTSD and anxiety. You aren't alone at all. I began talking about my personal struggles as I overcame them and worked through them. It feels so good to help others and in turn helping myself cope with it all. Glad you spoke out because many will share with you and help you feel like you can overcome and deal with your anxiety. Mindful Awareness has done wonders for me. I would suggest looking it up and giving it a try. Has been scientifically proven to heal!

    Cheers!
    Tania
    http://inspiremyfancy.blogspot.com

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  30. I'm so sorry to hear about what you've been going through Elle but I'm glad that you've been taking matters into your hands to help yourself feel better and that you decided to share your story here. Anxiety is a reality for many people but there's still a stigma attached when there shouldn't be. I experienced terrible anxiety when I was ill with a mysterious vertigo and tinnitus a few years ago and I didn't feel comfortable talking about how my own shadow would make me nervous and jumpy. There is no absolutely shame in having anxiety and how each individual chooses to deal with it.

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  31. I am so glad that you're feeling better, but I'm also sorry that you went through so much over the past few months. I hope you've been able to find a new job. I know that causes me a lot of anxiety (and is currently causing me anxiety, as I've applied for a new one). If you ever need to talk, I am here! You have my email. Hugs and prayers for you!

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  32. Sharing your story is both brave and important, Elle. Glad you can see the light at the end of the tunnel! xx

    Beautylymin

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  33. Awe u poor thing Elle! I've had periods that lasted three to even 6 months at a time so I can totally relate there. It is physically and emotionally draining. However I cannot even begin to imagine dealing with that AND the type of anxiety you have felt. That's a whole lot to deal with lady! No wonder u weren't feeling like yourself. I'm glad that u have opened up and I
    Am proud of u for it too! I love the drawing that girl did for u, it's amazing! Stay strong in your faith, I know for me, it's the ONLY thing that helped me survive almost 15 years of struggling with my infertility. I'll be adding you to my daily prayers girl. Prayers for strength, to overcome or push thru your anxiety, for new job opportunities, etc. stay strong my friend! Big hugs from Florida! Xo

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  34. You are never alone! I also suffer from anxiety and the beginning of this year I didn't feel like my self at all either. I was suck in a huge rut, felt anxiety and depressed a lot, and I stopped doing a lot of things that I loved. I don't blog or read much anymore and it. makes me sad. I'm sharing this to let you know that you're not alone at all! It helps to open up about things, and self care is definitely super important. We can never give ourselves too much self care or love! And these definitely is no shame is sharing and admitting to others about having anxiety and such. And as for your blog, you and your blog are wonderful. Who ever stills followed you is missing out. If you are enjoying what you're doing and are proud of your blog, than that's all that matters!

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  35. That's such a tough thing to share but I really appreciate you letting us know about how you've been. I'm glad that you're feeling better and focusing on the positive things in your life. Take your time and do what you need to get better!

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  36. Hello Elle, I am so sorry what you have been going through in your life lately. All that you have experienced is very stressful. I am glad that you are feeling better!
    I love visiting your blog and thanks for taking the time to write such nice posts.
    I do hope that everything will work out for you and that you will be happy.
    All the best and take care.
    Hugs, Julie xo

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  37. I love how honest you are. I've been suffering with severe anxiety since I was a child too, and while I have found ways to manage it... it's always there. I'm glad you feel free now lovely.

    Sharni // A Girl & Grey

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  38. Oh sweet Lady.. I feel for you. I've suffered with anxiety for most of my life. Some from being morbidly obese in my teens/early twenties and most stronger after my Son passed away. I've learned that a lot of it comes from not being able to totally be in control.I understand your being private but more importantly, I'm so glad you reached out. You are very Brave and I know that you can overcome it. I have faith in you. Lots of good vibes and blessings coming your way.

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  39. You are so incredible and you're certainly not alone! What an amazing heart you have and do you even know how many people you're going to help by opening up like this! You're amazing what you do and we love all your beauty reviews, amazing do it yourself ideas and all the fun things you share, but it's your heart and your struggles but I think so many of us can relate to the most! This is beautiful and so are you!

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  40. I'm so sorry Elle.
    What a terrible time in your life, but I'm so glad it is getting better.
    We are rooting for you and sending prayers your way!
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  41. Anxiety sucks and can be a hard topic to discuss. I used to be embarrassed that I had it and that I took medication for it, but I'm it anymore. It's part of my story and who I am. I know exactly how you feel. You know something is off but you don't know how to fix it. Some days are harder than others. I've had days where I could barely get out of bed. It can be so crippling. I hate that anxiety isn't understood. I can call in sick to work if I have a bad cold, but I can't call out because my anxiety is so bad that I can't leave my house. One is not worse than the other in my book. You are so brave and courageous to share your story. I have Phillippians 4:6 tattooed on my wrist and whenever I feel overwhelmed, I look down at that tattoo and remember that verse and I feel a sense of peace. You are not alone and I am always here for you!

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  42. Awww Elle, I'm sending you all the hugs and prayers sweet friend! I can't even imagine everything you've been going through physically and emotionally. You're definitely not alone, and I love this space of yours whether you're posting your beauty hauls, DIY's, or opening up about real life <3
    Green Fashionista

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  43. Elle, I'm so glad yout shared yourself here. When your write personally I feel your emotions. You most definitely are not alone and sharing with others helps them and you.

    I know how you feel... when I lost the ability to exercise due to pain, I nearly lost hope. .. Thankfully like you, there I a light at the end of the tunnel.

    I do think it's wonderful that you are taking care of yourself again, I need to do that again, I've let everything go... it's a good reminder.

    Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts xox ♡♡♡

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  44. I'm so glad you are in a better place now than you have been, but I hate that you've had to go through this! The period that never ends, the sorrow of the job you love, the stress and anxiety... so many things. *hugs* So glad you were able to lean on your faith during this time!

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  45. I'm so sorry you've been going through this, and I'm glad to hear that things are getting better! I'm so glad that you're taking care of yourself and turning to your faith.
    xo,
    Angela

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  46. I am very sorry to hear what you have been going through and still are going through,mthank you for opening up and sharing a little behind the scenes. I noticed you werent as active as before, but I never imagined that was the reason.
    Personally I never suffered from anxiety, but just reading your feelings makes me undestand how awful you must have felt.
    It is good to hear that you have found a way to slowly work through it.

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  47. Oh Elle, I am so sorry that you went through this but true to your nature, you fought through and decided what's right for you and opened up to the world. I hope you will feel 100% yourself again soon. I too have noticed that you are not as active but you know what, your personal time and doing what's right for you matters most. Love you, hugs. xx

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  48. Hi Elle. I'm so sorry to read this post. Sorry because it's happened to you. But not sorry that you are speaking up as it's a good thing. I was diagnosed with anxiety too so I think I probably understand what you're going through. There is def light at the end of the tunnel. Take care. xx

    ♥ Carly Susanne ~ A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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  49. Thanks so much for sharing your story Elle. I love how honest, yet inspiring it is. I'm glad you're feeling more like yourself, and I'm especially glad that you realized that you deserve to take care of yourself and not just everyone around you. Take care Elle!

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  50. Thank you for sharing! Please share as you feel comfortable. We love you

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  51. I'm glad that you are starting to feel better and took that initial step to get better. Sending prayers and hugs your way.

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  52. I'm sorry it's been such a struggle and that your blog stats are hurting. I don't know why -- your blog is awesome and you put so much into it! Take your time, but I look forward to seeing your posts and smiling face on YT again 😘😘😘

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  53. There's no shame in asking for help, ever! I think we tend to see it as a sign of weakness, but actually, not asking for help is a weakness. I'm glad you've opened up and you can see that light. Would love to give you a big hug right now. xx

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