Teenage Stress

Teenage Stress

By: Trevor Dumbleton

It has often been said that the teenage years are the “best years of your life”. However, anyone who says that does not remember what it is like being a teenager. Between school, life, parents, friends, and the fact that all of them want all of your time, there is no way to get away from the petty concerns and strains that can lead to serious stress. However, nobody seems willing to give up any of the time they demand from you, so you find yourself torn in a thousand different directions with nowhere to turn to for help. Fortunately, you do not need to deal with stress all on your own. Rather, you can find plenty of help, just as long as you look for it. Unfortunately, teenagers rarely look for help and many of the assets available to them are simply ignored. Thus, your teen stress keeps getting worse.

The first place to look for relief from teen stress is at school. There is a certain class of people who desperately want to help teens get through their problems and find solutions, but they usually sit in their offices waiting in vain for someone to talk to them. These people are guidance counselors and they are there to help you. However, it is very rare for someone to avail themselves of this prime opportunity for assistance, so actually sitting down with somebody is a treat for them and they will do all they can to help. True, most people think that guidance counselors are really just lost souls who can’t seem to get out of school, but that is not the case. Guidance counselors decided on their career because they want to help others. Which means that they want to help you.

As well, you can get help for teen stress through your teachers. True, most of the help you get will probably be for your work in the classroom but, strange as it may seem, teachers are actually human beings. They want to connect with their students so that, when you go to see them, they will be happy to help you. If you go to them in order to get help with your schoolwork, they will happily give you assistance. They can help you through any issues or difficulties that you may be having and you will can learn more from them after class than you will during class. Such one-on-one sessions can help them narrow down issues in a way that they cannot while they are lecturing to a room full of students.

Additionally, once you sit down with your teachers, you may actually discover that you enjoy talking to them. After all, to repeat a point, they are people. And because they spend so much time in the company of teenagers, they understand teen stress. However, they also understand it from a philosophical perspective that can breathe some fresh air into the problems that you are confronting. Though you may not always enjoy the answers they can provide, they will be worth thinking about and, in the fullness of time, you will probably discover that they provided a very good insight into your problems.

Another excellent source for teen stress is with your parents. This is because of a simple fact that you may not want to accept. This is the simple fact that parents tend to have children who are very similar to them. No, it’s really not pleasant to think about, since that means that you may turn out to be like your parents. But, let us put that aside for now.

Your parents were once your age (strange as that may seem) and teens often have to go through very similar problems. Thus, your parents have felt teen stress and they know what it is like. Sure, they may not want to admit that it was anything special, but they will, hopefully, remember that it was not easy at the time. So if you really need to get some sort of advice or help, sit down and talk to your parents. Not only will you get some sort of help, but you will also make their day. After all, how many parents get the chance to really connect with their teenage children?

Teen stress is one of the hardest things to get through, but you can rest assured that it has been done. Billions of people in the world have all had to go through the travails of the teenage years and they have through to the other side. So prepare yourself, get help when you need it, and look for help when you can. By relying on people who have “been there, done that” you can see your way clear to the other side. Then, you can safely look back on your teen stress and say stupid things like, “the teenage years are the best years of your life!”

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LowerYourStress.com: for everything to do with stress. Get a free ebook to help with your stress levels: http://www.loweryourstress.com/stress-book.html

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The Main Cause of Insomnia?

The Main Cause of Insomnia?

By: Wendy Owen

Well in my opinion the main thing that keeps us tossing and turning at night is worrying about not going to sleep.

Sure there might be other reasons for sleeplessness; chronic pain, restless legs syndrome, partner disturbance, too much coffee…

But at the end of the day you’re lying there worrying about how you’re going to get through the next day if you don’t get to sleep *right now!*

Worry and the stress it causes, are by far the main causes of sleeplessness, and the sad part is, the more we worry, the more wide awake we feel. But what can we do about it?

We have to empty our conscious minds of worrying and stressful thoughts (yeah right! Easier said than done!)

Stress and worry can affect your sleep quite dramatically. It can be an isolated stressful incident which keeps you awake for a few nights, or the stress and worry may be chronic. Once they becomes a habit, certain situations will then always cause you to become stressed.

Worry in particular can become a habit and like any habit, is very difficult to break (just ask us smokers, um… ex smokers out there!) But it can be done. You have to train your mind to either let go of a thought, or replace one thought with another.

If you suffer from insomnia, whether you’re having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, stress could be the cause. Your sleeping problems can then cause more stress which in turn makes it even harder to sleep. How can you stop worrying and stop this vicious cycle?

The most important thing is to try and work out what you are telling yourself when you are worrying about something. We talk to ourselves all the time whether we are aware of it or not. What thoughts are going through your mind that are causing your bad feelin!
gs?

For example, you may be sitting in a traffic jam thinking, “I’m going to be late for work if this stupid traffic doesn’t start moving soon. Then I’ll be rushing around all day trying to get everything done! Which means I probably won’t have time to buy a proper lunch and I’ll have to grab something quick and greasy! Well there goes the diet …”

Enough! Why torture yourself with this rubbish? Make it a habit to stop these thoughts as soon as they start. How? Just substitute them with better thoughts! Have a list of thoughts that make you feel good and think about them instead! This will reduce stress significantly and with practice, it will get easier and easier.

If you’re having trouble doing this, try doing in in two steps. When you catch yourself worrying, say “STOP!” Picture a big red stop sign right in front of you. Concentrate on this until it breaks you train of worrying thoughts.

Then you can start thinking your pleasant thoughts, a movie you enjoyed, a present from your children, whatever makes you happy!

Your mind is extremely powerful – put it to work for you and not against you!

Author Bio
Want to know how to have better sleep? Find out how! Sign up for our monthly ezine and score our free book “How to Cure Insomnia and Achieve Healthy Sleep” at: www.insomnia-connection.com your resource for detailed information on better sleep and curing stress. The author, Wendy Owen, has had a lifetime interest in general and alternative health.

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Dealing With Parental Stress

Dealing With Parental Stress

By: Trevor Dumbleton

One of the biggest problems with having children is the remarkable fact that they tend to be the source of parental stress. This is, obviously, the unique stress that comes from being a parent and having to worry about the fact that your kids are growing up, learning new things, living their lives their own way, and — all too often — figuring out things the hard way. In addition, you have to worry about your kids making the right decisions, staying out of trouble, and just generally turning into human beings just like you. Needless to say, this tends to create a lot of parental stress.

Being a parent isn’t easy. After all, you are responsible for raising, instructing, and helping children as they work their way from an infant into adulthood. And even when they go off on their own, you still worry about them as they make their way through the world. Despite the fact that they move on into adulthood, you never stop being a parent and you want to make sure that they are doing okay. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done and it is not easy to let them go. Thus, you find yourself both trying to give them freedom and trying to hang on to them as they go out into the world.

The problem becomes one of both trying to keep a hold of your children and trying to let them be their own people. Thus, in order to allow you children to move on, you need to learn to let them go. That’s right, in order to ease parental stress, you need to learn how to be less of a parent. In fact, you need to learn how to let them make their own mistakes. This is very difficult, since you will have to watch them as they go through the process of growing up, largely without your help. This can be very difficult, since you will want to protect them from the world. But the world will show up sometime and you will need to let them learn to deal with it. Needless to say, this will only make parental stress worse for a while, since you will be essentially standing on the sidelines as they make errors that you could have warned them against. Just remember that it will do them good in the long run and they will be better for it.

However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t keep an eye on your children. Let’s face it, you are still a parent and you need to watch over your children. Trying to cope with parental stress will not be improved by being completely ignorant of your children. Instead, let them be themselves as you try to keep an eye on them. They will find their own way, even if you do not always enjoy the path that they have to go down to get there. Just allow them to be imperfect and they will learn what they need to know in the process.

But when the stress of child-raising gets to be too much, don’t be afraid to get help. There are plenty of support groups, books, and websites out there that want to help you through your parental stress. Don’t be afraid to give them a try, if for no other reason than to stay informed. Nobody said it was going to be easy, so try to keep your stress under control. Then, by keeping it under control, you can survive a lot of difficult situations and a lot of difficult years and prevent yourself from going crazy with worry.

Just remember that your children will, eventually, become rebellious and they will probably try to act in a way that may shock you. It is well-known that parental stress can be fairly severe during the teenage years, since teenagers are always eager to go their own way. And if that doesn’t increase parental stress, nothing will. You will often find yourself on the sideline, trying to figure out what is going on in their heads, but try to remember that you were their age once. Teenagers aren’t perfect. Neither are adults. Keep both of those items in mind and you may be able to keep your parental stress to a minimum.

No, parental stress is not easy. No, it is not simple to solve. No, there is no point where you can just let your children go completely. However, by managing your own parental stress, allowing your children to grow up, and understanding that your children need to make their own mistakes sometimes, you can keep your emotions under control and allow your children to be themselves. So, rather than allowing parental stress to take over your life, let parental stress take a backseat to keeping an eye on your children, making sure that they are doing fine, and enjoying the years when they are growing from youth to adulthood and beyond.

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Stress & Self Esteem, 4: Reaching out for Help

Stress & Self Esteem, 4: Reaching out for Help

By: Tanja Gardner

THE FINAL STEP

The final step in the model of building self-esteem can be the hardest. Why? Because everything up till now has involved things we could do alone. Reaching out for help, however, means involving other people – which brings with it a whole host of new challenges. Reaching out to someone requires someone you trust to reach out to – not always easy when your self-esteem is low. Not only this, but for those with over-active Inner Critics, it’s easy to tell ourselves it’s selfish to bother other people with our problems – that we should be able to deal with it on our own – that reaching out for help shows weakness (or is only for those far worse off than we are).

So why reach out? Well, as John Donne so wisely observed back in the 16th Century, ‘no man is an island’. However independent we like to see ourselves, none of us are born with all the skills we will ever need. Additionally, other people can provide feedback – offering perspective and helping us to see which thoughts are realistic, and which are totally unfounded. And if that’s not enough, support networks can sometimes prevent problems. The seeds that create low self-esteem find their most fertile ground in people who feel isolated and unable to connect.

OVERCOMING INNER OBJECTIONS

Often, the first step in reaching out is dealing with our own objections. If your immediate reaction is ‘I couldn’t do that’, or ‘That’s all very well, but…’, give yourself a moment to just listen. Start a conversation with the part of you that’s objecting, and ask it why. Treat it just as you would your Inner Critic. Your initial aim is not to argue – it’s just to learn. Once you understand what your internal objections are, th!
en you can evaluate and argue with them.

We’d suggest that before you start evaluating, you re-read the previous parts of this article series (see links above). In particular, we suggest you remind your inner objector that:

  • You can’t give to other people what you don’t already have yourself
  • True friends prefer we talk to them, rather than pretending that everything’s fine
  • Recognising the resources you need that you don’t currently have, then asking for them, is a sign of good planning, not weakness
  • If your objector believes your problem is ‘not yet bad enough to involve someone else’, how bad do things have to get before it *is* OK to get help? And won’t you need even more help when things get to that stage than you do now?

Let’s assume that you’ve spoken with your inner objector, and come to the conclusion that asking for help really does make more sense than trying to go it alone. Where can you go from here?

WHO TO REACH OUT TO

The first, most obvious port of call is among the people you already know. Look at your friends and family. Is there someone you can trust to listen without judging you? Someone you feel comfortable asking for ideas? In an ideal situation, this would be someone who has fairly high self-esteem themselves – someone you can learn from. Although your initial response might be that there’s no-one you can think of, we’d encourage you to look hard before assuming you don’t know anyone – sometimes support can come from the most unlikely places.

If there’s genuinely nobody you feel comfortable trusting in real-life, however, a great alternative is to look for support online. Discussion groups like Yahoo groups, and online journalling communities like Live Journal both have a wide range of communities that exist specifically to share support, encouragement and feedback between members. Most of these allow you to ‘lurk’ for a while before you need to post – something that can help you build up your trust over time. Additionally, many of the self-help sites that offer self-help res
ources (e.g. selfesteem4women.org, uncommon knowledge), also provide discussion forums that allow you to connect with other people with similar problems.

Finally, if neither of these seem like possibilities (or if you’ve tried both and they’re not enough), you may want to consider reaching out to someone who’s trained to help – generally a coach or counsellor. Unlike the above two options this will usually involve some kind of payment, although if you’re still at school / university, or lucky enough to work in a company with an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme), you may have free counselling available. Your local library or Citizen’s Advice Bureau should have suggestions for counsellors / coaches, or you could try online coaching.

It’s important to remember that different professionals will have different approaches to helping you work on your self-esteem, and not every approach works for everyone. It’s OK if the first person you speak to doesn’t feel quite right for you – just keep looking until you find someone you feel comfortable with. Bear in mind that if you’re paying someone your hard-earned money, you have a right to feel happy with whatever you’re getting in return.

THE FINAL WORD

Whatever you do, the most important thing for you to take from this article is that you don’t need to do it alone! And remember too that, although we’ve explored the three steps to building self-esteem (i.e. Rebutting your inner critic, Nurturing yourself, and Reaching out for help) in order, there’s no reason that you can’t work on them in a different order (or all at the same time!)

This brings us to the end of our four-part article series on Stress and Self-esteem. If you have any feedback, suggestions, questions or comments about the advice or resources (or you’d like to suggest any websites, groups or products), please contact us on optimumlife@xtra.co.nz. We’ll have a new article topic in the next issue – until then, may every day bring you closer to your Optimum Life.

Author Bio

2005 Tanja Gardner, Optimum Life Ltd. You can reprint this article in its entirety, as long as you include this resource box. Optimum Life Ltd (optimumlife.co.nz) is dedicated to providing balanced fitness and stress management services that help clients all over the world achieve their optimum lives. For more information on how we can help you move closer to living your optimum life, please check out our website. For a copy of our free Stress Audit Questionnaire, please send an e-mail to optimumlife@xtra.co.nz with ‘Stress Audit Questionnaire’ in the subject header.

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Causes of Stress

Causes of Stress

By: Trevor Dumbleton

In order to eliminate or at least control stress, it is vital to know and understand the causes of stress. Of course, there are many causes of stress and they are as varied as the people who suffer from stress, but there are a few places to look first. And by learning about these causes of stress, you can figure out where stress is entering your life.

One of the most common, and most complained about, causes of stress is work. However, it is not only the day-to-day tasks and routine pressures of work that can lead to stress. In fact, the mere concern about keeping a job can be a source of stress. Unfortunately, the combined stress of both work itself and the possibility of losing it creates a sort of double-stress in which people feel they have to work even harder in order to keep their jobs, making the stress that much worse.

As well, for those who have not entered the working world yet, school can be a great source of stress. The constant pressure of schoolwork, friends, teachers, tests, quizzes, papers, and everything else can be enough to make anyone feel like they are in trapped in a vice. In addition, the deadlines are all immoveable, so students are constantly under time pressure. And, to make matters worse, there are often several deadlines overlapping each other, intensifying the demands on time. Then, once final exams arrive, there is a lot to re-learn and students need to spend so much time studying that they can barely sleep. Needless to say, losing sleep does not help people who are under stress. Thus, students need to manage stress just as much as people who work.

Another cause of stress is simple family life. Unfortunately, though we hope that our home lives can be sources of relief from daily stress, they can often be sources of stress all their own. For childen as well as parents and spouses, the home can often be its own source of pressure.

For parents, stress can often come from simply worrying about their children. After all, seeing a child grow up, make mistakes, go through school, go to college, play sports, and often learn things to hard way is enough to make a parent tear their hair out. Thus, despite the joy that children can bring, they can also be causes of stress and worry.

Unfortunately, parents can be causes of stress also. Though they often have their childrens’ best interests in mind, they can also put a lot of pressure onto their children, causing them to worry not only about school or life, but also how their parents will react when they hear about some new event, success, or error. It is as though there is no place to turn when things go wrong, creating extra stress. No, it is not easy being a parent, but it isn’t always easy being a child or a teenager either, since parents can often be causes of stress as much as sources of comfort from it.

On top of that, spouses can also be causes on stress. Let’s face it, husbands and wives often have expectations of their significant others and it is not always easy to live up to those expectations. As well, spouses often spend a lot of time avoiding certain arguments simply because they are trying to avoid stress. However, leaving tension in the air while not resolving it can be a cause of stress.

Money is also a major cause of stress, simply for the fact that there never seems to be enough of it. Thus, as the money keeps going out but it never seems to come in enough, stress just keeps mounting. Unfortunately, spouses, children and sometimes parents can often remind us of our shortfalls and they will often increase the stress. Of course, that is to say nothing of the continual reminders from the mortgage or rent, car payments, credit cards and other bills. And, furthermore, it is rather difficult to be philosophical about money stress since attempting to put things into perspective only recalls thoughts about the money that always seems to be missing. Thus, money stress just keeps piling up higher and higher and there never seems to be a way out.

Though this is only a partial list of all the possible causes of stress, these are some of the most common sources. However, no matter where the problem is arising, stress will not make them better. Rather, stress will only make it harder for people to think about their problems and try to solve them. Thus, in order to solve the problems that lead to stress, the best place to start is by managing the stress, then working to solve the problems with a clear and uncluttered mind.

Author Bio
LowerYourStress.com: for everything to do with stress. Get a free ebook to help with your stress levels: www.loweryourstress.com/stress-book.html

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Anxiety Treatment With Drugs

Anxiety Treatment With Drugs

By: Jamie Snodgrass

Anxiety
Do you often find yourself stressed out because of certain misfortunes of the past or uncertainty of future? How frequently do you feel a pang of an unpleasant emotion in anticipation of some ill- defined calamity? If very often it is time for you to realize that you are suffering from some anxiety disorder that causes innumerable psychological and physical tribulations.

How to get help?
Once diagnosed, anxiety can be treated fairly fast. There are many ways of treating anxiety.

  • Since anxiety a psychologically originated disease, at the primary stage it can be treated through counseling provided by, psychologists, social workers, and counselors. However these counselors should have specialized in behavior therapy or cognitive development or in any such related area.
  • Anxiety can be cured by cured by prescribed medications. Psychiatrists or physicians usually prescribe anti depressants or anti anxiety drugs that help during the advanced stages of anxiety.
  • Other ways of treatment are group therapies or combination of all the above. This would mean psychologists and counselors work closely with the physicians and psychiatrists and help the patients.

Anxiety drugs:
While focusing on the second method of treatment, namely intake of prescribed drugs, we must realize certain important facts about drugs prescription.

  • The physician begins by giving low dose of the drug at first however gradually increases it.
  • These drugs have side effects; however the body gets accustomed to them over the passage of time.
  • The dosage is tapered slowly once the doctor feels that the patient is nearing normal state.

Some anxiety drugs:
Some of the anxiety drugs are given below.

  • Doxepin : is a common drug with regular side effect incase of over dosage. Common side effects like nausea and vomiting
  • Clomipramine: over dosage can toxicity to the individual.
  • Amoxipine: it comes along with the general instructions of how to use the drugs and the common side effects.
  • Ziprasidone: is another kind to monitor anxious behavior.
  • Moclobemide: this is taken to regulate the mental functioning.

Anxiety Pills
Severe anxiety is unfortunately one item among the unwanted stuff. The more one tries to forget an experience that caused fear or severe discomfort, the stronger the memory of it becomes. When people suffer from recurring panic attacks or from a specific phobia such as that of height, bridges or highways, they usually don’t think of a specific memory or thought as the real culprit behind their predicament, but there often is one

Anxiety and pills:
Anxiety is more of a mental and psychological condition which many people feel cannot be cured (like physical ailments) using medicines. But the reality is the fact that anxiety can be controlled using drugs called “tranquilizers” whose basic aim is to relive stress and make the patient feel better and more positive about life. Also known as “chill pills” some drugs can really help the patients a lot. Anticonvulsants like Neurontin and Gabitril for anxiety. Seroquel, which works on schizophrenia and manic depression, also seems to control anxiety and stabilize sleep patterns in low doses. There was a study in which one group of dental-phobic patients was given Geodon, an anti-psychotic, and another group was given Valium before a dental visit. Geodon was just as effective as Valium, but without the sedative effect.

The most popular of these tranquilizers is Valium, which doctors have long prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety. The drug is also used to lessen the anxiety, agitation and tremors that occur during alcohol withdrawal.

The results of one study conducted in 1993 showed that valerian and hops are calming to the central nervous system and reduce depression and anxiety. In fact, the herbs were reported to work faster than the prescription drugs. Hops and valerian worked in only two weeks, as opposed to a longer period required for conventional drugs. The herbs also caused far fewer side effects.

Anxiety pills and their future:
The chemical cousin to Neurontin, Pregabalin, is an anticonvulsant that’s in trials. It’s also being looked at for social-phobia anxiety disorders. There’s another type of drug in development that works on regulating the pathway of the stress hormone cortisol directly. But that’s down the line.

Anxiety and non-prescribed remedies:
Too many people self-medicate their anxiety with alcohol or marijuana. While those options might bring acute relief, later on they can lead to a worsening of anxiety symptoms. So, unfortunately, they represent a bad pharmacological choice.

Why take drugs?
Drugs help a great deal to overcome that problems arising out of anxiety. Following are some of the reasons why drugs are advisable.

  • They help to reduce extreme sadness.
  • They reduce lack of interest in life.
  • They help to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • They also cure the pain arising out of problems like approaching menopause etc

Thus, prescription drugs are advisable; however one must be aware of its side effects, the most vital of which is addiction.

Author Bio
Author is marketer for sites such as :
Anxiety Help
http://www.healtharticledirectory.info/Category/Anxiety/62

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Grief is a Journey, Not a Destination

Grief is a Journey, Not a Destination

There are days you sit in a chair and stare out the window because living seems to take too much energy. Even to think about what to make for dinner is an all-consuming task. It can be daunting, feeling as if there is nothing in this world that will ever hold your interest again. The mail order catalog with the Valentine’s Day gifts is a reminder there won’t be any lover’s keepsakes. No hiding in the cabinet those chocolate and peanut butter eggs my husband, gone two years, used to enjoy. How small and silly a thought, but how big a rip in my heart.

I had always been versatile and open to new ideas, but following my husband’s death, life became a narrow focus of work and children. The joy had flown from most of my days and I worried if this consuming disinterest in the world would be permanent.

Time could move excruciatingly slow, and yet other days I couldn’t account for the hours I’d lived through. On the dark days, I lamented that no one cared anymore about my worries, dreams or desires.

I hated being an empty vessel, and as I began dating, I expected that special someone to come along, fill me up, and make me happy. At that point, I mistakenly thought, things would return to normal. I’d be my old self. Little did I know at the beginning of my grief journey, my old self was forever gone. However, I wanted verification that I mattered to someone in some way. I wanted affection and caring, craving what I no longer had. My heart remained ever hopeful that I would find a happy ending, but due to some poor choices, I kept throwing myself on the rocks of dating disappointment.

With the loss of someone integral to mine and my children’s lives, my sense of normalcy had changed. Sometimes I wallowed in uncertainty about my life, and the tears would leak out of my eyes to run down my cheeks. I kept those emotions hidden most of the time. I couldn’t bear to have others see me so weak; it seemed too private to share. On rare occasions, I allowed myself to express my pain and anxiety. I wish now that I shared my grief more often.

One day I awoke and realized my life had never been a shipwreck and now was not the time to start. I was ever mindful that I was an example to my children, so I gathered my strength and took control of my destiny. Knowing the future was all in my hands was frightening and yet liberating. Becoming myself once more wasn’t an easy process, but a slow, methodical movement forward.

I am no longer the woman I was, but then having gone through this journey, how could I expect, or want, to return to who I had been? Indeed, as the years folded one into another, I had no need to rehash the past. It was behind me as it should be, neither forgotten nor dwelled upon.

I now avidly pursue the future as I welcome life’s unexpected joys and experiences. A new life and outlook has emerged, and it is interwoven with bits and pieces of my former life. I am thankful to have found myself again. Elaine Williams ©2008

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Author Bio
Elaine Williams is a widow and author of A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss will be available June 2008, http://www.ajourneywelltaken.com

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