Noisy Gremlins: Please Help

Oh, my gremlins are so noisy today! And although I’ve written all their voices down on the fortune cookie paper strips, they are still clamoring. Maybe you can tell me true things that will help?

8things from Magpie Girl

*8 Things my Gremlins Are Telling Me

1) You can’t do anything to help the people you love.

2)You can’t live a cushy life and you can’t keep to a schedule, therefore you are doomed.

3) There’s no way around your insomnia. It will always suck all your time.

4) Depression will always have it’s hooks in you.

5) The people you feel passionate about could care less. You are making a fool of yourself by caring.

6) The work you feel passionately about doesn’t want you.

7) p.s. you are fat.

8) p.s.s. and lazy.

Jena says I should ask my Soultribe for what I need. So please, please send advice and encouragement my way today. Love, Rachelle

Grow your gratitude. Live Satisfied. Join us on Facebook for our weekly *8things roundup.

Sue January 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm

(Your gremlins are bitchfucks. But don’t tell them that. This is an aside to you :).

1) I suppose that’s true in a way, if you mean in the way of saving them or rescuing them from harm. I really struggle with this too. Sometimes love needs to let people fall on their arses. It’s hard for women to do that. We are taught to enable. But really, Gremlin, you know yourself that ultimately, all we really want from those who love us is their love and support. You can help the people you love by loving them.

4) Hmm, maybe it will. I have been telling this to myself just yesterday, actually :) I guess it’s one of those things you need to embrace and bear up under, because its easier to deal with when you embrace it and embrace yourself. I don’t do this either, I tend to yell and Gremlin at myself for feeling depressed. I think maybe we should both treat ourselves a bit more kinder :)

maggie ann. January 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Dear~Heart Rachelle,
Each moment you embody is perfect, whole and complete.
You have already helped countless lives, both known to your heart, and unknown, through your honest, forthright perspective on living life spiritually and soulfully. The tearing down and rebuilding that you have done is a grand work in itself. The life that you live is uniquely yours and a blessing just waiting to be unwrapped and explored. Those sleepless night are perhaps a way of soul rearranging. Our physical and mental being operates according to the rhythms and rhyme of much greater resonance that we cannot sometime understand immediately.
You are not a child of depression, but a child of love, light, and pure divine soul. The emotions that you have are gifts from the Great Infinite, there to lead you into a deeper more intimate relationship with yourself. Your passion and work are meaningful and FULL OF LIFE AND LOVE. You are no fool, but a priestess choosing the road seldom traveled. You work is invaluable, just think, these obstacles that you meet are sure indicators of something of divine importance. It is not lost on us that when we are doing something divine, right, and significant the trials get harder and the voices get louder. Push through my darling! You are a goddess.
You are beautiful, divine, significant. You are driven with a force beyond that of this earthly world. You are a feminine vessel of artistic, spiritual energy who it full and still filling. You are loved, quite so.

The Other Laura January 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm

1. You are exactly where you need to be.

2. You are a light and an inspiration to the universe – and to me.

3. Have hope.

4. The world is a better place with you in it.

5. This too will soon pass.

6. Write your way out of the dark. Use your pen as a flashlight.

7. Have faith in your power.

8. Breathing always helps.

I’m sending some light your way (all the way from Texas)!

monsterpants January 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm

This list is very familiar to me. I definitely have some of the same gremlins as you. What I find interesting and I hope sends you some encouragement is that you are one of the most inspiring people to me, and it’s encouraging for me to think that a person with these kinds of dark gnawing thoughts can still continue to inspire such a wide-spanning “audience” of people. Your positive, thought-provoking, heart-warming influence crosses continents, time zones, beliefs, and situations.

This makes me feel better about myself- that even with my gremlins, I am probably able to do the same. It gives me some hope for my dark moments to put things in perspective like this, for whatever that’s worth!

Good luck Rachelle!
– Gwen

Christine January 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Ok, first of all, you have already helped me on more than one occasion – seriously helped me. What you wrote about leaving your church because it no longer worked for you, truly inspired me. The same thing had happened to me, but I didn’t know how to voice it and I certainly didn’t know that other people had the same experience. As I read your words I felt like a dark cloud has moved for me (or from me). You inspire me every time I read your words, whether here or at BlogHer. You inspired my tribute post about my Grandmother back in November. You have inspired me to create space so that I have room in my home and in my life to find my soultribe locally. Most importantly, you’ve inspired me to write about my spiritual journey and to be more open about it to myself and to the people in my “real” life.
I think you rock and I appreciate you and your honesty and your spirit.
Oh! And it was your tweet about BlogHer accepting applications to the network that alerted me, caused me to apply and consequently be accepted. So there. *Great Big Hug*

amy January 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm

a) you are stronger than you give yourself credit for.
b) simply loving the people you love helps them.
c) caring never makes you a fool.
d) life goes in cycles. what is bad now won’t always be. hang in there!
e) remember, your gremlins are lying liars filled with untruth.

Sharon January 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm

1. You can love them, the rest is up to them/
2. I think you can have moments of both, but in our current state, living the uncomfortable lives of Danish princesses, we are straddling two worlds. Grasp those fleeting moments of balance and remember them.
3. yep – insomnia sucks. This one I can’t offer solutions, but the good news is folks in the states are awake..
4. It may always be with you, but it does not control you. I know this from my personal experiences and from knowing you these past few months.
5. See #1.
6. As a fellow artist, I know this is a struggle – and it is cyclic. See my artblog for a reminder of passion, struggle, disillusion, and in the end, triumph.
7. Dude – You are beautiful and certainly not fat. Bitch-slap that skinny-assed gremlin bitch!
8. Remember our email exchange about this? You thought you were a slacker and I asked what is a typical day for you. Girlfriend – you came back with a list a mile long!!

I understand these gremlins – they are evil, evil. You are right to reach out to you peeps for a reality-check.

Your fellow Danish Princess,

Jen Payne January 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Rachelle, I just like you so much.

One of the things that has helped me *some*times is to marshal the mother in me to come alongside this insecure part of me (which always feels young and small) that is being bludgeoned by gremlins and give her some nurturing. Which actually almost always involves really listening to what she has to say about what she’s feeling. (Sometimes I’ll write it out using third person, “she…”) Given number 1 maybe it’s not the most helpful thing today. :) But imagine if your girls came saying they feel depressed, tired, worthless, stuck, fat… I imagine you doing something creative, or if you just didn’t know how to help them, you would stay with them until the storm passed.

You’re great and I just miss you so much. If it were a year ago, I would say get thee down to Essential Bakery and I will be there in 20 min. And then we would both go see Dr. Lewis. :)

Love ya’.

Aine January 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm

1) You can’t do anything to help the people you love.
Actually, just loving them is one of the best things you can do.

2)You can’t live a cushy life and you can’t keep to a schedule, therefore you are doomed.
Think about what you CAN do — reframe those thoughts. You are clever and can make the most of your resources. You can express your gratitude for what you have. You are flexible and can improvise.

3) There’s no way around your insomnia. It will always suck all your time.
This will get better. I’ve been there.

4) Depression will always have it’s hooks in you.
Again, it will get better. And when it does, it will be amazing because normal feels so good when you’ve experienced feeling bad.

5) The people you feel passionate about could care less. You are making a fool of yourself by caring.
You can’t know what’s really in someone else’s heart. You may be surprised how much people do care. There are worse things than being a fool. (I’m partial to the tarot fool, so I kind of like that childlike-empty-beginning thing.)

6) The work you feel passionately about doesn’t want you.
If you want it, you have a role to play. The work itself can’t reject you.

7) p.s. you are fat.
All people need body fat to live, we come in different shapes and sizes, and there will always be someone younger, prettier, healthier, and so forth. There will also always be someone older, less attractive, fatter, or thinner. Appreciate what your body does for you. I’m fat (the Wii Fit cheerfully tells me, “That’s obese!”) and it’s taken me ages but I’m starting to realize there are far worse things.

8) p.s.s. and lazy.
According to whom? We all tend to avoid doing stuff that we don’t like (me: cleaning the house). You blog regularly, you nurture your family, you find time to love others. Seems to me you work hard on the important stuff of life.

Blisschick January 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Just tell those gremlins where they can stick these stories — cause that’s all they are…STORIES.

Seriously, having suffered from many serious bouts of depression, my new favorite quote about that ugly monster is from DiSalvo: “Depression is an untold story.”

This would imply there is a story somewhere inside of you that is stuck or blocked and needs to come out — your gremlins see that story vaccuum and rush in to fill it with their poison.

Of course, gremlins are tiring. Take naps. Baths. Baby yourself. It’s that fine line between giving in and giving up that we need to ride, isn’t it? Where we allow for the care but still do the work.

Emme January 7, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Do you know about the Emotional Freedom Technique? Its an extremely effective accupressure technique you can learn and use on yourself to often times completely free yourself from “stuck” emotions and major physical issues too. There’s a free downloadable manual on the website and lots and lots of articles too. It’s pretty amazing, and it actually works. I urge you to try it and see what happens. Many blessings to you!

rowena January 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Say: “Thankyou for sharing, Gremlins. I respect your worry for my care, but these thoughts aren’t helpful. Goodbye.”

Then replace:

1. You already are.

2. You are dynamic and organic and that is a rich and fertile ground for creativity and productivity.

3. Martha Stewart only sleeps something like 3 hours a night and look how much she gets done.

4. I am convinced that there is a deep purpose to the down swings that we call depression. What is it? I don’t know, but it’s the waves that roll the deepest that can move you forward the fastest. Ride the wave.

5. The world needs more caring, not less, and by caring, you inspire others to care, too.

6. PS You are lush and sexy.

7. PPS Everyone needs downtime, so stop feeling guilty about it and start enjoying it.

rowena January 7, 2009 at 5:22 pm


6. The work is playing hard to get, and needs that excitement of the chase to really blossom. The work wants you to do the work and really understand it before it is ready. The work is shy and just needs some courting.

Katie January 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm

i have very severe seasonal affective disorder. i have resigned myself to it for several years now, determined to live with it the best i could and try not to let it quite literally kill me.

it is january and i am still well. i was 100% certain that my depression would always have its hooks in me. it doesn’t. i am still here. i have bad days. most days i have trouble getting out of bed. but i have not yet lost myself, and it is the first winter since high school that that has been the case for me. i am still here.

so are you. you are still present. i read it here on your blog, in every post, and i am a stranger living on the other side of the world. your feet are still planted on the earth. you are still here.

there is always hope. (you bring it to me regularly.) your depression does not always have to have a hold on you either, and i don’t think it will.

Jennifer/The Word Cellar January 7, 2009 at 7:22 pm

1. That’s a lie.

2. That’s a misrepresentation of the truth.

3. That is false.

4. This is untrue.

5. This is not factual.

6. This is the opposite of true.

7. This is erroneous.

8. This is inaccurate.

Or, think of it this way…

1) You give so much to the people you love.

2) You can only live the life that is yours, and there is no doom in that.

3) You will find new ways to rest.

4) Depression does not define the whole of you.

5) So many people love (even secretly) that you care passionately about them. In this there is no foolishness.

6) The work you feel passionately about needs you and loves you.

7) p.s. you are beautiful and strong.

8) p.s.s. and productive.

Jena January 7, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Damn, Woman. Reading these responses makes me want to ask for support more often myself! This post alone is a gift.

Much love to you from the hinterlands.

p.s. if you were really lazy, you would not have done your homework.

Trish January 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Hi Rachelle,

1. Passion is contagious…when you care about others…it ignites energy and will circle back to you…what you give out will return tenfold…

2. Doing something, anything, one things helps the people you love. Opening yourself up helps the people you love…sharing of yourself helps your readers me included.

3. The only foolish act is withholding your affections for and from others…your passion (see #1) is emitted and received from those you direct it towards…it will bounce back to you…ebb and flow…

4. The only thing fat about you is your big, juicy, yummy dreams and intentions. Your are PHAT (pretty, hot and tempting)!

5. Can is a great word…can’t eliminate the apostrophe and t


7. I would be honored to be apart of your soul tribe.

8. Depression will visit and then it will retreat just like this month of January.

Bright horizons to you,

Jolie January 7, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Rachelle, you’re amazing and encouraging and your words offer me so much hope. Tell those gremlins to go to hell.

I just found this last night and I love it:

It might be just the thing you need today.

Kristin January 8, 2009 at 12:58 am

Two days ago I had about 2 minutes to talk with my husband before we had to go separate ways in the evening and this is what I chose to spend that 2 minutes saying: Remember that woman Rachelle I told you about a while ago? The one who blogs? I’ve been so inspired by her unfolding story and so honored that she’s choosing to share it like she is. I feel like freedom is opening up more and more in me because of the things she’s sharing – freedom to be who *I* am, and to tell *my* ongoing story.

Not sure that addresses your gremlin voices specifically, but I guess regardless of what your insomnia or depression or weight or laziness or whatever else…or maybe *because of* those things…your honesty here is quite a light for so many of us.

darrin January 8, 2009 at 12:59 am

rachelle…i don’t know what to say other than you have great friends….take hold of what they say and keep it close to you…darrin

pen* January 8, 2009 at 1:13 am

1. you love them, you already help.
2. you are dynamic and flexible. you are creative.
3. the night is full of magic, time is just a concept.
4. this too shall pass.
5. you make the world a better place.
6. oh your work wants you! (the gremlins are just trying to keep you with them!)
7. you’re gorgeous (i don’t even need to see you to {know} that!)
8. you listen to your body and rest when you need to.

i’m new to your blog, but thank you for being here already.

Tami January 8, 2009 at 3:35 am

I KNOW these are lies… because I know you and well enough to state with sheer confidence that they are lies. How do we let them creep in and hook us? Your passionate work WANTS you, the people you care for LOVE you, the schedule and cushy life are irrelevant, I KNOW you are not actually fat, or lazy. :) Truth, dear, truth must break in here. You are wise, talented, cool, light/hope/inspiration to others (myself included) and a force of powerful beauty. The depression is simply a force that pushes us deeper into the pain that awakens us to true freedom… smile at it and tell it that you will no longer believe it’s lies or allow it’s hooks. It’s a lame attempt to drag you, a person it really wants to hook, down. For without people like you in our world – well, a sad weary place it would be.

gem January 8, 2009 at 3:57 am

ah, yes, those gremlins are on stage again…stole the microphone from the angels & fairies & earth mommas & healers. no worries, the angels & fairies & the rest of your crew don’t need microphones anyway…there are so many of them! their collective voice & message are loud & clear.
look at that one over there! she’s wearing her “You Are Divine” t-shirt. and, look over there at that one, she’s singing “You Are My Sunshine.” oh and that one waving her color*full flag with your picture on it and underneath your picture are these words: “You’re Our Rock*Star!”
you, dear one, are so not alone…

Shan January 8, 2009 at 6:46 am

1) Yes, you can. You can pray for them and be a supportive/positive voice for them to hear.

2) The schedules will come, in time. Besides, schedules are soooo dull.

3) Sorry, just part of the family genes, but only recently is everyone talking about it. *c* we could have all be IM’ing each other at 3am for a while now!

4) It will always need to be managed; exercise, protein, iron, carbs are required for serotonin production (2 enzyme process; the whole body’s enzymatic pathways were “art” on the wall when I lived in CT *c*)

5) No, there is not enough love and care in this world.

6) We are all given a passion for a particular work that needs doing in this world. yea, some days just are bummers, but I look forward to the good days!

7) Whatever! You look FAB!!!

8) Umm…how many dozens of cookies did you make for the holidays? You are constantly busy!

Sometimes, these kinds of negative thoughts enter my world, too. However, I don’t have time for negative thoughts and refocus them to positive; I have Ian to provide and care for! If the thought really just wants to “be” for the day, aka gremlin, I give it a job, like reminding me to take the trash out or wash Ian’s pants (there never seem to be enough…) Laughter is good, too! We are constantly laughing and making each other laugh. Othertimes, I remind myself of how BLESSED I am! You are soooo blessed with wonderful family and the opportunity to bless so many people!

Peace, blessings and hugs to you!

Kel January 8, 2009 at 9:58 am

i know where you can get these really great earplugs
they might even cut the volume on those gremlins
oh, but then you might not be able to hear all the great things soultribe is sayin’

maybe you can lock the tuner onto soultribe.FM
sounds better to me

Rachelle January 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

Wow! Wow! Wow! Thank you SO much everyone for your advice, encouragment, and most especially for telling me true things. More than once I was moved to tears, and more than once I recieved practical advice from your words and suggestions.

I feel much calmer about the insomnia today (it is what it is), and while the gremlins are still trying to murmur about how I will never get anything done, I’m trying to hold on to the truth that by 9am I’d already done a plethora of things including making breakfasts and lunches and getting in a pre-dawn walk. (So, tthhhhpt to you gremlins!)

I’m sure I will return to this list of comments again and again in the days and weeks to come. Thank you, my tribemates, for holding my hand in the dark.

All my love,


kazari January 8, 2009 at 12:24 pm

1. You help them by loving them.
2. All schedules and plans are science fiction anyway, based on a possible future we can not foresee.
3. Insomnia is a gift of extra thinking time. Give it a pen and notebook and a whimsical thought experiment and see what happens (sweet dreams!)
4. Depression is the gift of re-examination of all your assumptions. You get to revisit your choices and re-commit to them.
5. Be a passionate fool. It’s so much more fun than being an aloof intellectualiser.
6. Work is patient. Just because it doesn’t jump for your attention like an excited puppy, doesn’t mean it doesn’t want to. It just knows (like an old dog) that you’ll come back to it soon.
7. You’re never as fat as the gremlin that tells you.
8. Lazy people aren’t passionate (see 1, 5 and 6).

Tara Eastman January 8, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I love the way you refer to that negative voice we all hear as “gremlins”. Ironically at book club we talked a great deal about gremlins this week! Thanks for airing out the gremlins too.

PS> I gave you a blog award today – Happy blogging.

cora January 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I love the replies about replacing the gremlins negative messages with positive ones. I was just giving a self-esteem workshop this morning, and I gave your blog credit and told the story about the gremlins! But the important part is to replace to negative messages….and to “reject negative programming”….by this I mean – “surround yourself with people who love and support you” (I think this is from Claudia Black. Maybe your search and journey to finding your soul tribe is falling right in line with your gremlins. I know my “gremlins” get louder each time I take a step towards something healthy. Maybe they are getting louder today because they want to veer you away from the next positive steps you are taking in your life?

Thanks for your inspiring blog – which I read regularly, and have shared with my co-workers. (I’m an addictions counsellor – by day).

sarah louise January 8, 2009 at 9:48 pm


Thanks for airing your gremlins. I just found your blog b/c Tara gave you the award (she gave me one too)

I love love love your blog and will be back. Tell that to your gremlins.


Sacred Suzie January 9, 2009 at 12:36 am

According to the booking “Taming Your Gremlin” you are just supposed to say “I see what you’re doing!” to the gremlin and then go about your life. I personally want to smack yours across the head. May I? None of it’s true. The writing world wants you! I want to read your writing. So there Mr. Gremlin!

bridge January 9, 2009 at 1:12 am

your heart know the truth, listen to it.
go to nature and hear it.
hold your child and hear it.
hug someone who loves you and know it.
listen to your heart.
you are beautiful, worthy and strong.

kellybean January 9, 2009 at 4:54 am

I am late on the scene
Have I told you that I admire your Wild Beautiful Questing Honest Creative self…
Thanks for being yourself

Katy K January 9, 2009 at 9:07 am

I haven’t read all of the comments above so I am ignorant of any eloquence that came before and I’m also not sure if someone has said this already but here goes – GREMLINS AREN’T REAL!

I’m not being dismissive, I like this statement – I think it has a double meaning. You are using gremlins as a metaphor, so literally, gremlins don’t exist. Also, you are using gremlins as a metaphor, so I think one way to deal with them is to tell yourself – GREMLINS AREN’T REAL!

Since you know me Rachelle, I hope you see why I like this pronouncement and I hope you like it too.

hugs from Katy K

Lynette January 10, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for so often speaking what so many of us so often feel, and therefore reminding us that we are not alone. Lately I like to think about times when some of my seemingly constant “running on empty” spaces in my life felt full and overflowing…some of those times have been with you. Perhaps you are my brush with greatness:)

connie carpenter macko January 11, 2009 at 5:32 am

So I ran out to get the BOOK and haven’t read it yet so I can’t help you – yet (LOL) but I will say that you inspire me, and make me smile. You help me by acting as an agent of the universe pointing me in directions I wouldn’t see without you (like directing me to the BOOK. As soon as I read it – I’ll come back and tell you how to shut them up.) If you weren’t exactly where you were, then how could I run into you when I need you? My gremlins say hi to yours! Maybe we could get them to talk to each other and quit bugging us?

deb January 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I came here from Jen Lemen. For most of my life I’ve had those voices inside my head that told me I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t worthy of love, etc, etc. What helped me the most was something called Cognitive Behavior Therapy and a book called “Feeling Good” by David Burns.

I’ve been working on this for two and a half years and I’m much better. I still catch myself thinking negative thoughts and when I do, I gently remind myself that I don’t have to go there. As an added bonus, I found within myself a kind parent who is wise, kind and compassionate. She gently encourages me instead of criticizing. I am not so hard on myself now, especially when I make mistakes. As a child I would be yelled for making a mistake, now I chuckle and gently say to myself, Oh Deb. It’s much nicer.

Here’s hoping you silence your gremlins.

LissaL January 13, 2009 at 4:37 am

Gremlins tell tall tales & will leave you hopeless.
Yet your “soul sistas” know.They can sometimes see & hear what you cannot. (the Truth)So listen to the them for they are wise.
They also love & adore you:)

Monica January 14, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I have had every. single. one. of these gremlins in my head too. They are nasty, nasty, nasty. But having said that, they’re still part of you, no? And the great thing is that the people who love you, love you gremlins and ALL.

The insomnia. It’s a bitch. Been there done that. Lived in so, so, so, much fear of it. Seriously. Depression too. It all wove together to make for the most awful, fearful year of my life. Healing takes such a long time.

There is NO WAY you are lazy, b/c if you’re anything like me, which from reading your posts, I sense you are, you are doing EVERYTHING you can think of, and are able to do, to kick the ass of these gremlins. Don’t start listing all the things you think I don’t know that you’re not doing …. because you just can’t do them all …. and even if you could stuff like this doesn’t turn around that quickly. Things like these are like the Titanic to turn around. But they will. Now, being on the other side of shit like this, I can see how really hopeless things seemed and how hard I worked to turn it all around. But being in it, I didn’t see it. You are not lazy.

I *love* reading your blog. It was one of my most favorite places to be when I was dealing with my gremlins. And it still is. When I see a post up, I often don’t read it right away b/c I want to save it. :) And read it when I have time to truly digest it and soak it in.

Part of me just wants to tell you everything I did that I think worked for me …. but in the end it’s your journey … and the answer is in you. I think the things that helped me the most in the end were the things that I grew to know about and from myself. If you ever want more ideas of things to try just email me. Sometimes you just need to know that you’re not the only one.

Have you read any books by the Linns? Sleeping with Bread and Good Goats were huge in my recovery.

ArtsyCrafter January 20, 2009 at 9:11 pm

You need to replace each gremlin with an angel that says:

1) You can’t do anything to help the people you love. – replace with: If I need to help, an angel will give me the strength to help when it is appropriate

2)You can’t live a cushy life and you can’t keep to a schedule, therefore you are doomed. – replace with: I am free, I am blessed, I have all that I need.

3) There’s no way around your insomnia. It will always suck all your time. – Replace with: I will just enjoy my time asleep or awake

4) Depression will always have it’s hooks in you. replace with: I won’t be a slave to depression, I will do what is necessary and get help to overcome this.

5) The people you feel passionate about could care less. You are making a fool of yourself by caring. – Replace with: My caring and loving others is what life is about, if others don’t reciprocate, they are the ones who lose out.

6) The work you feel passionately about doesn’t want you. – Replace with: I am so glad to feel passionate about something – it’s a gift.

7) p.s. you are fat. Hmm, I have no idea, I bet you aren’t!

8) p.s.s. and lazy. Ditto…you wouldn’t write blog posts if you were lazy!

OH yeah, and look at pretty flowers and things you love, gremlins don’t like those.

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