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Forums / Staying well / Want to be a hermit?

Topic: Want to be a hermit?

  1. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9212 posts
    17 January 2017

    I suspect not many members will read this thread. Reason being, even people with mental illness commonly maintain their regular contact with others.. .including me.

    However, all my life when depression hits ive been tempted to withdraw fully from people...with the exception of my close family members.Why?

    Sensitivity plays a huge part. Without it a thick skin would shield me against those that hurt. Ok, thats my reason for me being tempted to become a recluse so what stopped me?

    After a few attempts to run away from humans i realised that it wasnt practical even though l was desperate . I still needed health care so a current medicare card (nowadays), supplies for hygiene, utensils, tools, even hair cutting implements..and if something breaks? What about shelter?

    I'd suspect these are the reasons hermits are homeless in cities where they can access services.

    So if you have a burning desire to withdraw from society, what is an alternative?

    A comfort safe zone might be your answer.

    Firstly as people with mental illness we should not feel guilty for not contributing towards society. We are often only capable of focussing on our own survival.

    Find an environment that suits you in housing you can afford. Many of us cant afford much. Consider a caravan...if you are single you are mobile and can park it in someones back yard for low rent..or be a drifter of caravan parks with some roadside or free camping.

    The concept should be to maintain just enough contact with society to enable you to reap the benefits of it. I call it "swanning". I swan into town for my supplies, have a coffee at our fav cafe if it isnt busy and im feeling well, then swan out.

    Over time you will perfect the regulation needed of home and away from home to remain in your best possible mental health.

    A friend of mine a single guy with ptsd rents a cottage in our small town (pop 200). He drives a hiace campervan. His rent is very low here and he can tour around as he likes. He has many friends in Melbourne so when he wants he drives down, stays overnight then leaves the next day. He swans in and swans out.

    If you are so depressed and can no longer tolerate people for whatever reason, resist the feelings of total withdrawal

    In 1983 l expressed to my GP my need to live in the bush alone and with no contact. He said "you'll last about 3 months then you will be very unwell".

    If you have just survived society, take care of yourself and find a safe place on society's fringe.

    Tony WK

    11 people found this helpful
  2. blondguy
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    17 January 2017 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK

    I wholeheartedly agree with your post.

    Mental illness leaves us vulnerable and somewhat 'naked' in society without the necessary 'peace of mind' we require to function effectively.

    Being on the fringe I find the hustle and bustle (the general pace of life) greatly reduced therefore provides me to dedicate my limited 'mental horsepower' towards self nurturing and rebuilding the foundations of my health.

    Thankyou TonyWK for another great method of living our lives in relative peace so we can bolster our coping mechanisms.

    kind thoughts

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  3. white knight
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    17 January 2017 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Paul

    "Naked in society"

    "Limited mental hotsepower"

    Great phrases.

    Cheers

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Resillence
    Resillence avatar
    11 posts
    24 January 2017 in reply to white knight

    Hello White Night,

    You and Geoff kindly welcomed me last night in the 'introduction forum" thank you. I'd like to contribute to all forums, but your post grabbed me first. Hope it's okay that I write here. If not for my children I'd definately be on a continual roadtrip. Showing my age here, but Simon and Garfunkal " I am a rock", describe my sentiments the best. I am definately a recluse, rarely leave the house. I make sure there's no neighbours around before I check my letterbox or water the garden. I only feel 'safe' when my kids are with me. It's almost like I use them as an excuse to be part of society. With all due respect to those who do actually 'live on the fringe' I totally understand the desire to withdraw in order to survive.

    3 people found this helpful
  5. white knight
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    24 January 2017 in reply to Resillence

    Hi R,

    Yes, post, comment any thread you like. Being safe and anonymous it might suit you here.

    I totally understand yet it seems im not as reclusive as you.

    My barrier has been born from hurt from others. So my fear is l will say something inappropriate.

    I cant see anything wrong in your avoidance of people or your need to enter public places with your children as a "tool" to help you mix. As i said, we have to find our "safe zone" where we can survive there rather than subjecting ourselves to the pain of normal modern living.

    Can i ask R, do you have hobbies. How do you fill in your time?

    Tony WK

  6. Resillence
    Resillence avatar
    11 posts
    28 January 2017 in reply to white knight

    Hi white night,

    Sorry for not replying to you sooner. I have posted in 2 other threads meantime so have met wonderful Kaz.

    Thank you for understanding my need/desire to be a hermit.

    My barrier is that everyone eventually disappoints, betrays you, or just leaves your life for their own reasons. I've given so much, I just don't have faith anymore that anyone ever sticks around. Hence no trust or willingness to try, yet again.

    Please understand that my kids don't feel burdened, who can do an Aldi shop for five on their own? But I suspect they see the look in my eyes when they go to their friends places instead of inviting them here.

    My 'safe zone" is being amongst their teenage friends. I only feel comfortable chatting with our youth. I have nothing in common with other mums, well except for my fellow cancer parents, who I've lost contact with.

    As for hobbies, none whatsoever. Nothing interests me, major lack of desire to even try. I imagine the next question might be, what did I used to like to do, and my only reply would be looking after my kids well. Need to rediscover/ reinvent myself.

    Exactly why I took the brave step of joining this forum. Thank you.

    4 people found this helpful
  7. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    28 January 2017 in reply to Resillence

    What comes to mind is to get involved in activities with teens. Basketball, volleyball, badminton, theatre,?

    Perhaps as an assistant organiser?

    Good luck with that

    Tony WK

  8. Vorbis
    Vorbis avatar
    11 posts
    3 February 2017 in reply to white knight
    I remember reading once about Buddhist monks, who would sometimes decide to enter true hermitage and contemplation.

    They would work together in pairs, the two of them finding stones and slowly building a single roomed house. The monk who had decided to enter contemplation would build the final wall from the inside, blocking off his exit completely, leaving no way to ever leave and only a narrow slit for his partner to slide in one bowl of rice once a day. For water he would be forced to lick condensation off the walls and from the moss that would eventually grow there.

    And I remember thinking, Yes. There is some part of me that hears that story and finally unwinds, until I feel a deep sense of peace and relaxation. It feels *right*.

    I doubt I'll ever do it. Certainly not until I am very old and my children don't need me. But I hold it in my mind as a different way life could be lived, and it keeps me calm and steady when everything around me is screaming about the need for possessions and success. I find capitalism very hard to keep up with.

    3 people found this helpful
  9. Guest_9809
    Guest_9809 avatar
    1676 posts
    3 February 2017 in reply to white knight
    Yes please ......... I want to become a hermit again. Life would then be so easy, so uncomplicated. The real world is just too hard and too distressing, to navigate on a day to day basis.
    5 people found this helpful
  10. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    3 February 2017 in reply to Vorbis

    Hi vorbis, welcome

    Thankyou for your story. I found it hits the spot of the depth one can go emotionally.

    I often talk about a man who inspires me like that. Please google these

    Maharaji sunset

    Maharaji the perfect instrument

    taurus it seems you have been a hermit before.​ what I'm suggesting here is that being a hermit is not ideal. It places too many pressures on us like...shelter, warmth, health, food, all those basic things that cause more problems than the reverse.

    I'm saying there is a "sweet spot" for people to work at for them, as everyone is different. Aim for midrange like for me it ended up a town of 200 people, large enough for a shop, small enough not to be hounded by many. 13 minutes from a larger town with all services, train to the city, medical, supermarket...

    Of course you'd need a car/motorbike/scooter. Income for rent/mortgage/board. (You need income whete ever you go really).So registering for benefits etc places one in obligation for seeking work etc. Suddenly this concept is far away from being a hermit.

    However l suggest regardless of these basic obligations (which can be complex and problematic compared to hermitation) it could be a preferred choice for some that flip flop from one extreme to the other...21st century stress to total rejection living under a tarp in the bush.

    What do you think?

    Tony WK

  11. Guest_9809
    Guest_9809 avatar
    1676 posts
    4 February 2017 in reply to white knight

    Yes Tony, I have lived a part of my life being somewhat of a hermit. I retreated to there after my trauma some years ago, so maybe you could call it a bit of a sabattical? But I long to be there again.

    To me it is almost the ideal situation. No pressure, no unrealistic expectations, no conflict, no people ... perfect! Admittedly I have the benefit of having free access to a very remote family owned wooden hut in the middle of never never. I was actually born and raised there. But now its somewhere nobody ever goes, with no road access, no electricity for many miles, no telephone, no mobile reception, no hot water, cooking over an open fire and in camp ovens. Surviving on trapped rabbits, yabbies from the dams, fruit from the orchid, and a cupboard full of tinned food when other food was not available. I didnt need any govt benefits. To me this is bliss, just me and my dog - a team.

    Taurus x

    6 people found this helpful
  12. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9212 posts
    4 February 2017 in reply to Guest_9809

    Hi Taurus

    I do understand.

    My two attempts in the 1970's to reject society didnt work out. But l tried. I realised for me, l went too extreme.

    This thread like others I've written has a mental illness wellbeing intent. For yourself you have "been there done that", you know how to survive such an existence. And it sounds good.

    There are others however, that in deep desperate emotional state try to escape. For them a half way point might be more ideal. I think.

    Tony WK

  13. margaro
    margaro avatar
    5 posts
    13 March 2017
    my 32 yr old son lives with his grandmother has depression & PTSD. He is struggling with holding a job. He has anger issues.... he is on his "best behaviour" at first when he starts a new job but after a while you see the real thing a frustrated intolerant agitated person. He falls out with his work mates and always blames someone else. He comes home and hides in his room. He shuts down and won't talk to anyone. If you try to talk to him he starts yelling and storms out of the house and drives off in his car. This has been going on for months. He refuses to get help. Every day is torture !! The family is at their wits end. We sense he's at risk of losing his job even though this is his "dream job". He won't communicate with us or anyone .
  14. white knight
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    13 March 2017 in reply to margaro

    Hi margaro,

    Thankyou, for replying.

    You are indeed limited as to what you can do fir people that wont get help.

    As frustrating as it is, you and those around him must remain calm, supportive and loving.

    getting a diagnosis, treatment like meds and ongoing professional medical care is a long haul that needs his commitment which might come down the track when his issues peak.

    You can google these that might help even if you just read the first post of each

    Topic: can you force people?- beyondblue

    Topic: does stubborness have a place?- beyondblue

    Topic: is there room for stubborness?- beyondblue

    Topic: talking to men, some tips- beyondblue

    I hope you are ok. It isnt easy. He is in no state to be able to feel your pain.

    We are hete for you and him is he cares to read and post.

    Tony WK

  15. blondguy
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    13 March 2017 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK

    Your thread reminded me of the 1980's when I tried to get work in regional Vic without success after my initial diagnosis of chronic anxiety. (to escape the anxiety inducing hustle & bustle)

    I did try to look around to relocate into the bush but it just never panned out and now the anxiety attacks have gone way its no longer a priority

    I still have a look around regional areas out of interest and found a house (beaten up weatherboard on 1 acre) in Stawell Tasmania for $29,950 asking. Unbelievable :-)

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Nomies
    Nomies avatar
    22 posts
    27 April 2017 in reply to white knight

    Hi White Knight

    OMG! This is exactly how I have been feeling for so long, I am desperate to drop out of society but keep telling myelf how selfish that would be. I have a good job that I do enjoy but I constantly feel depressed because of the pressure to just get myself there regularly let alone trying to meet the demands put on me while I'm there. People just don't understand it, all they see is a physically capable person that is "lucky" to have such a good job, I cannot imagine spending the rest of my life feeling so miserable. I'm hoping to take 12 months off unpaid just to see if I can survive, my sister thinks I would no longer have any "purpose" if I'm not working but if having a job was enough purpose I don't think I would be feeling so constantly depressed.

    Naomi

    1 person found this helpful
  17. white knight
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    28 April 2017 in reply to Nomies

    Hi Naomi,

    Thankyou for replying.

    People with our issues would have various levels of rejection of society to find their own comfort zone. There is another thread relating to this

    Topic: fortress of survival- beyondblue (use google)

    The very important thing is to not over react to put emotion aside when calculating/investigating where your comfort zone is.

    What I'm eluding to with that post is that an urge to reject society is an act of desperation that can end up not only a place of more difficulty than remaining in society but also having new challenges like hygiene, loneliness, more severe depression due to hunger, sleeping locations etc etc.

    Invariably that can lead to a need to return to the life one had prior to escaping.

    Having tried similar moves with that return senario I found it more sensible to remain in society with adjustments to find that comfort zone and that once tweaked can result in a happy productive life without hurting our loved ones.

    With minimal contact with the types that can hurt us fragile souls.

    Does that make sense.?

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Nomies
    Nomies avatar
    22 posts
    28 April 2017 in reply to white knight

    Makes total sense. I haven't been able to find my balance yet because I've spent my whole life worrying about what other people need and what they will say if I follow my heart. I'm in that spot right now, needing time off from work to get my depression under control but I'm constantly told that if I don't go to work I'll have no purpose and I won't be able to survive financially. Right now my sould is crying out for some relief from the world.

    1 person found this helpful
  19. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    28 April 2017 in reply to Nomies

    Ok nomies, google the thread above and this one

    Topic: worry worry worry- beyondblue

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Debzmite
    Debzmite avatar
    12 posts
    28 April 2017

    Love this post! So often I dream of winning lotto and becoming a hermit.

    Although as much as I withdraw from society I still want to go to football matches, movies, musicals and group therapy.

    I wish I could get a job but I struggle with such feelings of worthlessness that I've been unemployed for so long I don't know how to get work and it scares me.

    I seem to want to do short courses and take trips etc but struggle to do something productive. I'm on a DSP.

    Thank you for making me realise that although I don't work it's ok because just getting through each day is hard enough.

    2 people found this helpful
  21. Nomies
    Nomies avatar
    22 posts
    28 April 2017 in reply to white knight
    Thank you White Knight, the worry worry worry thread was a good read, I will try and reduce "worrying" about what everyone else thinks I should be doing, they aren't in my shoes to truly know how dpression affects me pyshically. I WILL do what I need to do.
  22. white knight
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    9 May 2017 in reply to Nomies

    Great Nomies,

    Remember...you are in tis world for happiness, not fulfilling others expectations.

    Debzmite

    I hear you

    I'm on DSP also and some days I truly believe I can work. Two days later I know I Cant.

    If you can find a work at home job whereby its at your own pace ok. Otherwise simply care for yourself and cherish the things in life for free. Google Youtube maharaji sunset

    Tony WK

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Nomies
    Nomies avatar
    22 posts
    15 May 2017 in reply to white knight

    White Knight you seem to know exactly how to say what others can't express.

    I feel so overwhelmed when I think about trying to go back to work, people just don't understand it when I say that because they tell me I am so good at my job. I might be good at my job but they have no comprehension of the mental/physical toll it takes on me, I just don't think its worth it.

    Nomies

  24. white knight
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    15 May 2017 in reply to Nomies

    Hi Nomies, glad I can help

    A small but still significant part of us surviving in this life is a positive mind. I'm so lucky my switch from a negative thinker tp positive occured in 1982. Google

    Topic: 30 minutes can change your life- beyondblue

    It helps a lot because it allows you to rebound better from problems. But being a positive person doesnt save you from mental illness, it wont overcome it. It didnt stop my suicidal plan in 1996, nor numerous lows.

    What is does do is spur you on internally. It helps to see positivrs in everything

    Topic: DEPRESSION, is there any positive?- beyondblue

    Who would think there is a benefit in having depression?

    When it comes to employment, one has to have a goal or goals to feel like you are working for a reason. If you are merely surviving then work will be arduous.

    With other peoples perception of you not working, they have no idea of what they are saying.

    Google

    Topic: they just wont understand, why?- beyondblue

    Perhaps we are "wired" to think everything will go well in life?

    Topic: do we expect a smooth road in life?- beyondblue

    Are we scared about anything? Survival maybe, other humans? Challenges? What about dealing with Centrelink? These things can be cruel to us. We have to not only overcome them we are better iff accepting these challenges than fighting them

    Topic: the positives of fear- beyondblue

    If I was in the infancy of my illness I would read a minimum of three bb threads a night. Thete is a mountain of wisfom in that resource.

    Thanks for listening.

    Tony WK

    2 people found this helpful
  25. Misanthropical
    Misanthropical avatar
    2 posts
    26 May 2018
    Great read everyone, it seems that this is where I have started today and signed up shortly thereafter... whilst I consider that being a hermit would be impossible to some point, it is exactly how I feel right now.

    In a never ending spiral of disappointment and misery, I am sick of this world that we inhabit, the rising cost of living, the uneasy sensation of there being no point in being sociable or even liked by anyone.

    I go to work and return wanting to be left alone with myself, locking the door and closing the blinds to be left alone. Even putting out the washing is something that seems to be a task of little or no value, I end up getting annoyed because the neighbour has a pot belly heater in his back shed and my yard and even inside, smells of smoke. I want to tell him and his wife but I do not want to makes things difficult, I know his flue needs to be taller but would this even fix it.

    Strangely, not discussing this and having my say is not like me and normally I do not really care about what I say to others and only try to moderate how I say it. My disappointment grows to anger and I do not suffer fools. I have no interest in maintaining a relationship and prefer to be alone until my thoughts take over. Sometimes I think it is the fault of others that makes me this way but I look around and see that it must be all my doing.

    Living here for near on a year, everyone waves or nods but their lives, just like mine appear to be just way to busy to not be the frantic mouse on the wheel, on a rising tide beside the water.

    I do have an interesting hobby but struggle with finding time, effort, money or at the very least the motivation to go and enjoy it.

    Work consumes me and then paying the bills takes up all most of my cash, the mobile phone use and social media appears to make matters worse and I see myself spending time just staring at a screen, reading what others do, perhaps wondering if their lives are actually that much different to mine or not.

    In all reality, I use Social Media it to keep in touch with people that I have known and liked in the past but like face to face relationships, life gets in the way and people just seem to be too involved in their own lives to notice anyone else.

    To use a well known phrase... who actually listens to the reply when they ask "R u ok?"

    I want out, not to hurt myself but I do want this roundabout to stop spinning and to let me off. I have turned off my mobile in preparation.
    3 people found this helpful
  26. Misanthropical
    Misanthropical avatar
    2 posts
    2 June 2018 in reply to Misanthropical
    A week and no reply, well ok.

    Suppose I didn't really ask any questions as such but I thought someone may offer an opinion, insight or reflection.
    2 people found this helpful
  27. Birdy77
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    2299 posts
    2 June 2018 in reply to Misanthropical

    Hello Misanthropical,

    I have just read your post from a week ago, and could relate to a lot of what you wrote.

    Sometimes on the forums, posts can go a little under the radar if they are placed in old threads ... the caring people here will always be on the lookout for a new member and reply as soon as possible but as you've put your first posts in an older thread, and the creator of this thread is not currently active on the forums, so your "newness" has gone unnoticed.

    I'm really sorry this happened.

    Would you be interested in starting your own thread and talking there about your feelings and experiences?

    If not, that's ok.

    I have hermitised myself to a certain extent as well. I don't use social media at all, and have really pruned my friendships down to a few.

    I will not say too much more nkw, and will actually post this now as i am wanting you to know that your post has been read and replied to, and to encourage you to stay with us.

    If you come back, I would be happy to talk more with you, and I will also keep an eye out to see if you start a new thread.

    Welcome here Misanthropical 😊

  28. jigglypuff99
    jigglypuff99 avatar
    3 posts
    16 March 2019
    I was really glad i found this thread today... everything said resonated with me the lifestyle appeals to me. i currently have a small cheap dwelling in the outer suburbs, have no social life or support network.. i really have struggled with anxiety and depression recently. i can live with my deficiencies but my biggest problem now is i cant deal with is not being able to pay the bills.. even if you live in a caravan you need some income... i have no income. i've had something like 20 jobs over the last 3 years and always end up leaving because i cant handle the social component of the job. my partner earns too much for me to collect centerlink.. i dont want to end up collecting cans but it looks like the direction i am heading in... i guess i could live with a job 1 day a week.. doing something quiet but not many jobs fit this description.. any advice would be great.. help
    1 person found this helpful
  29. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9212 posts
    16 March 2019 in reply to jigglypuff99

    Hi JP, welcome

    The way I see it is you have a few problems.

    If you have a partner amd his/her income is too high for you to receive Centrelink, imo, his income is your income also. I cant see why it wouldnt be as living together is to assist each other in times of unemployment and difficulty.

    Can your partners employment allow you both to move?

    When I was unemployed in 1992, I lived in a country town of 1000 people. I walked every house to ask if they wanted their lawns mowed. I returned home. Wife asked how I went. "Not one person wanted their lawns mowed"...."well, she said, thats the end of that idea"

    "Nope, I'll drop flyers in letterboxes next week". I did and got 12 enquiries. Within 6 months I could buy a new ride on mower.

    Never give up.

    Google

    Beyondblue Topic 30 minutes can change your life

    Repost anytime.

    Regards TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  30. BeyondDepression
    BeyondDepression avatar
    4 posts
    10 August 2020

    It's been a long time since I was here, but funnily enough I was looking this same subject up and up popped beyond blue.

    The reason why I haven't been here is simply that I haven't had an episode of any depression in four years (what I say below may make you think otherwise though lol)

    I am in the same boat as many of you. When I had depression I wanted to escape and would also look for long walks or rides to "escape reality" (as I saw it).

    For the past four years though I have been really good, life has always been good to me apart from depression and anxiety. But one thing that remains. My need to escape. But now I believe it is not as much to "escape reality" as it is to find myself.

    I feel lost. I feel like I do not belong - even now.

    I would love to be a hermit, but know that this would be a real deprivation for me. I don't think we are built anymore to be as "hardy" as we were as little as a hundred years ago. Anyway I digress :)

    So I am doing it. Not perhaps full hermit, but I am trusting my fate to my intuition. Even in the time of COVID. I think I am being driven to find out one way or another.I am typically one of those people that need to find out for myself rather than hear it from the mouths of others.

    I've almost sold up everything I own. My sister will pack away a few things that I will need on my return - as I will return. I am heading off for a year cycle touring to either other states (if things work out) or within our own great state (SA). What do I plan on doing? Look inside. I spent much of my whole life avoiding looking into the chasm of my mind. I now feel I need to know myself better, catch up on all those years. Learn to become a little more philisophical. Perhaps find myself lucky to find the meaning of MY life?

    I might fail, I might succeed. Who knows, but I will try! I will try and keep on trying. It's not for everyone, but I FEEL it is for me. So I need to do it. Worst time for doing it .. yes, but there is no time like the present (well three months from now! :))

    3 people found this helpful

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