Tag Archives: surviving

An Interview with IAND

2 Apr

Hello to everyone out there in the land of the Undefined,

I thought it would be a nice change of things to do an interview with a fellow blogger! The author of Thoughtful Thoughts approached me with the idea, and I thought it would be a lot of fun. I used the pseudonym Molly, so the interview she did with a woman named Molly is IAND. I really enjoyed being interviewed and I hope you find it interesting!

The first ever Interview with I Am Not Defined!

Until next time folks!

I Am Not Defined

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Unsure~Advice

26 Mar

Dear I Am Not Defined,
I recently reconnected with a childhood friend after a decade. He turned out to be a really nice guy, counting on the fact that he had always been rowdy and unruly when we were kids. What amazes me more is that he’s a musician. (I’ve always been weak at the knees for musicians.) He’s really sweet and all (I mean, he seems to be the guy I’ve been waiting for) but there’s a catch–he’s involved in a Christian youth group at his university. I mean, I love God too, but not to the extent that he does. In the midst of all my academic requirements, I don’t think I can commit to all the activities/meetings/etc. that he keeps on inviting me to. When we hang out (he’d walk me to the bus station since I pass by their school and he’s a dormer), we don’t talk about all the religious stuff as much as we talk about ourselves and each other. Still, I’m confused as to whether he just hangs out with me to convince me to join their organization or to actually get to know me better after all those years that we haven’t seen each other.
Sincerely,
-Unsure

Dear Unsure,

It sounds like this guy is actually into you. If he only talked about his youth group when you were around, I would believe that he just wanted you to join the group. It sounds like he is actually interested in who you are as a person, not just interested in getting you involved in something he is into.

You have to remember that he is not defined by his youth group affiliation, and just because he is involved in it, doesn’t mean it is all he thinks about. It seems like he is going above and beyond the call of a friend to get to know you better, and it sounds like you would enjoy getting to know him better as well.

You can always test the water a bit; invite him to do something off campus that does not involve his youth group. It doesn’t have to be a date, just a chance to hang out. If all he talks about is the group, then maybe he doesn’t have room in his life for much more right now. If he talks about his life or continues making an effort to learn about yours, I would take it as a clear sign that he sees you as more than a recruit.

If you are interested in more than friendship from this guy, maybe you need to discuss it with him. Plenty of couples I know consist of two people who feel a different level of religious conviction. If he likes you for who you are, then he won’t feel the need to push his group on you. You will have to feel it out, and see if a conversation about a relationship or more than a friendship is something you’re ready for. It might suit you perfectly to get to know him better for a while and just let life happen!

-I Am Not Defined

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Desperate~Advice

21 Mar

Dear I Am Not Defined,
The thing is, I really like a boy since about two years ago. I don’t want to like him, I tried to talk to him (but everybody says I didn’t. Maybe I just don’t know the way to talk to him because I think he’s too special to talk with a girl like me. I guess he doesn’t like me a bit, in fact, I do believe he hates me. Two years have passed, and I can’t go out with anyone else because I just can’t stop loving him. I’m afraid it won’t be over. Right now, I just want to let him go, but I don’t know how, I can’t stop thinking about him and because of that, I consider myself pretty weird. I don’t like being weird.
- Desperate

 

Dear Desperate,

I just want you to know that no guy is any more special then you are. You need to stop looking at him like he is someone better than you. It simply isn’t true. You as yourself are great, and you are just as valuable as any other person.

I can understand that you’re having problems with your crush on this guy. It sounds like it may be your first big crush, and that is always the hardest to get over. If you do not want to approach this guy, and try to make a go of it, then it is time to let him go. There is no special answer I can give you that will make you stop caring. You will have to make an attempt every day to see him as a regular person, who holds no power over you.

If all you can do is think about him, it’s time to re-train your brain to think about other things. Maybe you need to throw yourself into school work, or pick up a hobby. You will be even better off if you find something new to keep you busy that involves other people. Maybe you will meet someone else who you consider special enough for your attention.

I think it will also help if you figure out why this guy has a special hold on you. What is it that makes him seem so irresistible to you? Maybe you need to focus on what you don’t like about him, or focus on why you don’t want to be with him. If you truly don’t want him, you will get over it. It just takes time. There is no way to speed up the process of getting over someone, trust me, if there were, girls everywhere would be spared.

-I Am Not Defined

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Depressed

19 Mar

Things started getting very difficult for me when I started questioning my mind. I wondered if everyone else felt as depressed and unhappy in life as I did. I seriously doubted all of my happy-go-lucky friends could feel like I did, and still smile and goof around all day.

Life started to wear me down, and I started dealing with long spells of deep depression, and I had no idea how to handle it. My family situation was still rough, and I felt like my friends were mostly superficial and fake. I had had a very hard time with a boy who I yo-yo dated in middle school and high school. I had never dealt with a guy who tried so hard to make me jealous, and my emotions were easily pulled down.  The guy I had seen off and on insisted on dating my close friends when we were not together, and loved making moves on them behind my back when we were together. I took it to heart, and felt like there must have been something wrong with me if he felt the need to act like that.

I was always blaming myself for everything, and I felt like people always treated me the way they did because of something I had done. I held everything in because I didn’t feel like I had anyone to share with, or knew anyone who could relate to my problems. I started feeling like I couldn’t handle things anymore, and that’s when I started to cut.

I don’t know why I thought that cutting was the answer, but at the time, I felt like it was a necessary release. I could beat myself up emotionally, but if I cut myself, I could really feel the pain. I think I was so fazed and numbed by life at that point, and it felt like the only way I could connect to something. It didn’t really make sense then, and I think back to it now, I wonder what I was thinking.

Cutting myself didn’t solve any of my problems. In retrospect, I think it made things harder for me. It was just one more hurdle to get over. Cutting didn’t fix the problems I had, or help my emotional pain go away, it didn’t solve anything. If anything, it made me feel worse about myself. It was a bad idea then, and I recommend it to no one, your body is important, you only get one, so you better take care of it. You can’t let people get to you; you can’t let life get to you.

So many people turn to self-abuse like it is a cure, but in reality it only makes the disease worse. You don’t feel any better about yourself, and it eventually makes you feel more depressed.

One of the boys I grew up with was teased like crazy for being different. He once told me he started cutting himself because it made him feel something other than rejection. It wasn’t a good way for him to deal with things, and I didn’t know it then, but his adventures in self-mutilation eventually lead to his suicide. When I learned about his death, I started to really reconsider the way I was harming myself. I didn’t want to die. Sure I had dealt with some very depressing times, but I still had hope that better things were in my future. I immediately stopped cutting myself, and never picked up a blade again.

I wish I could say that was the end of me causing damage to myself, but my adventures in substances were just starting, and I had many miles on the road of addiction. I wish I could have told myself that taking it out on my body was a bad idea, but I had to learn that the hard way.

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Trust Issues~Advice

15 Mar

Dear I Am Not Defined,

There is a huge, complicated back story to my problem. All complications with an ex-boyfriend of mine, who I broke up with six months ago, and his new girlfriend (who used to be one of my best friends) and my (now ex) best friend.
My problem is that I have issues with these people but I can’t talk to them; they don’t want closure. I’m still hung up on the disloyalty of my (now ex) best friend because she lied about me, and spoke about me behind my back. I’ve always told every one of my friends to tell me if they have a problem with me, but instead she went to my ex-boyfriend and ranted to him about how I’ve changed, and how I’m a bad person; how I’ve apparently been talking about him in a bad light. Even though I despise him, I’m not that dishonest.
His new girlfriend got involved with an argument I had with him and now I’m no longer friends with her. I don’t feel like I can trust any of my friends anymore; I fear they’re all fake. What do you propose I should do about it, if anything?
-Trust Issues

 

Dear Trust Issues,

Closure is something I don’t really believe in. Is there really anything that your ex-boyfriend or friend can really say or do to make it better?  I think that you’re chasing down something that doesn’t exist. As hard as it is to know that your friends did this to you, be thankful they showed their true colors. At least you found out this guy was no good, and that your supposed best friend has a blabbering problem.

You don’t need people like this in your life. Create your own closure and write them and this situation off as a lost cause. They can’t really make this better, and you don’t need people like them in your life. It sucks to lose a friend, especially over a guy, but she made the decision to act the way she did, and does not deserve a friend who treats her better.

As for this guy, he shouldn’t have come between the two of you in the first place. It shows poor judgment on his part to get between friends, and to allow his girlfriend into an argument between you and him. He should not involve her in the personal issues the two of you have, and she wasn’t a very good friend for getting involved. It just creates a messy dramatic situation, where the cards feel stacked against you. You are so much better than this, and immature drama like this is beneath you.

It sounds like you make a conscious effort to avoid dramatic backstabbing situations with your friends, and if she had a problem with you, she should have talked to you about it. It was very low of her to take her issues to an ex of yours. He should have come to you as well, if he had an issue, instead of sending his girlfriend. I would just let them go, they can have each other. Stop talking to them, and avoid their drama. You are better off without their antics in your life!

-I Am Not Defined

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Sidetracked

7 Mar

I felt a lot better in high school than I had before, but things were not perfect. It seems like I always had a boyfriend, but my taste in guys was terrible. It seemed like I loved a rebel, and asshole guys were my specialty. I dated a lot of guys who made me feel like I should be doing more with them than kissing, and it made me uncomfortable. It reinforced my feelings that guys only wanted sex.

I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t find a guy who liked me as I was, and didn’t want to pressure me to be differently, or think differently. I had my friend set me up with a guy once, he was a friend of her boyfriend, and played football for another school in town. He seemed very nice, and I thought he really liked me. We talked for ages and started dating. We got to go out on a double date for Valentine’s Day, and it was the first time I got to go out on a date. It was also the first time I had a solid Valentine.

To say I was excited would be an understatement. I couldn’t find anything good to wear, so I made my dress. I did my hair and make-up as well, a rarity for me. We got to get dinner and go to a movie, but my parents were pretty strict, I had to go home after the movie. When the movie ended, everyone wanted to go over to my friend’s house, but I couldn’t go. The guy just didn’t understand why I wouldn’t go back to my friend’s house with him, and thought that I didn’t want to be with him. I tried my best to explain that my parents said I had to go home after the movie, and left.

The next night we were all supposed to go to a school dance together, and I was really excited about this as well. I talked to my boyfriend that day, and he said he would go to the dance with my friend’s boyfriend, and meet me out front. I got dolled up again, and headed to the dance. When I got there I couldn’t find my friend or our boyfriends. I called my boyfriend, and he told me that his parents wouldn’t let him go. I believed him and called my friend to find out where she was. She told me that they were not coming to the dance; they were going to go bowling instead. I told her what my boyfriend had said about his parents not allowing him to go to the dance, and she told me he had lied. I guess he thought he was getting even with me, and I didn’t hear from him again after that night.

I started rebelling because I felt like one bad thing after another kept happening. I was so tired of dealing with all the negative crap. I was having a hard time handling family issues, and trying to balance social pressure, and my own awkwardness. One day I picked up one of my brothers cigarettes, and thought “people don’t get addicted to these, how stupid”.  I wanted to do something rebellious I guess, so I lit it up. I was instantly in love with the buzz it gave me. I had never felt like that before, and it seemed really nice.

After that first cigarette, I started sneaking out of class with some of my friends who also smoked. We would sneak down to the pool hall by our school, and smoke cigarettes out back. Some of my friends started noticing that I smelled like cigarettes, and I admitted that I smoked. I loved the buzz they gave me, and how cool they made me feel. It felt like empowerment in a stick. Several of my friends got very upset with me about smoking, and lectured me. I didn’t want to hear it, and pretty much blew them off. I lost a lot of friends over the situation, but I didn’t care as much as I should have. I even had one friend tell me she hated me to the depths of her soul, dramatic, but it still didn’t seem to get to me. It was the first time I chose something stupid over my friends. I didn’t want to quit smoking, and loose that buzz, so I let my friends go.

It wasn’t the right decision. I should have cared more about my friends, and that they only cared about my health. This was the beginning of a terrible habit of choosing things that were bad for me, over people who loved me and cared about my well-being. It’s part of the mind of an addict. We don’t care what we do to get there, we just want to make sure we get whatever it is that we are addicted to in the end.  The mind of an addict is a dangerous place, and choosing substances over friends isn’t personal, we are just so wrapped up in our addictions we can’t see properly. I didn’t see it then, I thought it was just cigarettes, and I didn’t really care, but over the years I chose a lot of bad things over some truly great people. I wish I could have told myself then that it wasn’t going to do me any favors, but hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it?

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Depressed~Advice

5 Mar

Dear I Am Not Defined,

Okay, ever since I started on WordPress, I’ve tried to find people and stories to encourage me to keep going in life. For the past few months, I’ve felt absolutely lost. What does that mean? Ever since I found that my will to continue has diminished significantly, it’s been a struggle every day to just do what I need to do. I know I have depression, and I’ve been getting treatment for it for a while…but after 7 years of being diagnosed with it, it has taken a large toll on my mindset. My family has gone through so much emotional hardships since then. We’ve done family therapy, we opened up, and we’ve become closer than ever.

As I get older, I started noticing that my family appears to think that I have this under control. They think I am getting better, that the problems aren’t that major. How am I supposed to tell them that I’ve been relapsing over the past 3 months? I tried talking about things with my friends, but I found only one of them understands completely, and I know she can’t handle everything I tell her because we’re in the same boat.

How can I keep myself from falling back into reclusive habits? I feel like if I tried to tell my family what was wrong, I would get blamed, in some way, for still feeling like this. I’m lost on how to approach this. Could the answer really be right in front of me, and I’m just scared to face it?

-Depressed

Dear Depressed,

You said that you and your family tried therapy, and that it worked really well for you then, so I wonder, have you tried it on your own? Have you talked to a therapist or counselor recently about your relapses? If you haven’t maybe it is time to. It sounds like you’re having hard time handling things on your own, so maybe you need some help right now. If you’re afraid of how your family will handle everything, talk to someone about it. Maybe they can help you find a good way to reach out.

If you really just want to talk to your family members about your situation, then maybe do it in baby steps. Maybe take them aside one at a time, and test the waters. Hint at possibly having some problems, and see how they react. They might surprise you, and be completely understanding. It sounds like your family really cares about you, having gone through such great lengths to get you help. I think you are probably thinking they will react badly, when they will most likely be understanding and try to help.

If it doesn’t go well trying to talk to your family, or they don’t react well when you test the water, maybe seek some support groups. There are a lot of people out there who suffer from depression, and I have no doubt that any search engine can give you numerous links.

If you’re afraid of withdrawing from the people around you, keep yourself from doing so. When you notice that you haven’t been out in a while, don’t be afraid to call up a friend or family member and make plans. The people around you may not understand what you’re going through, but they do still enjoy your company and want to be around you, so use it to your benefit. A good laugh with friends is severely underestimated when it comes to feeling down.

 I truly hope you find someone you can talk to, and don’t sink further into your depression. Remember that there is a light at the end of every tunnel, and no feelings will last forever. You can and will get through this. You have done so for seven years; it’s understandable that you are having a hard time. Everyone needs a break from trying so hard all the time. Just remember what you have in your life to be thankful for, and surround yourself with positive people who make you feel like yourself. I hope things get better!

-I Am Not Defined

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At Peace

26 Feb

High school was something I really had to fight for,  for the first time in my life. I didn’t want to go to the same school as all the people I grew up with, so with a teachers nudging, I tried to get into a local “special” school. I had been in advance classes all my life, and I was lucky enough to have a very caring teacher in middle school, to help me find direction.

I had the same teacher two years in a row for English and Science, she was a very involved teacher, and her classes were always fun. She saw me for the intelligent, but anti-social child that I was, and helped me grow out of my shell. She was very good at finding assignment’s that worked well for each student, and I always picked things up quickly in her classes. In my seventh grade year, she announced that she would be leaving our school, and taking a teaching position at a local high school for advance students. I was very sad to see her go, and unhappy that I wouldn’t get to have her as a teacher anymore. She told me that I was smart enough to go to the school she would be teaching at, and told me to apply when I graduated, and offered to write a recommendation letter for me.

When I graduated from middle school, I applied for the special school, and was denied. My grades were not up to their standards, so they would not be allowing me to attend. I was pissed to say the least; I found my classes boring, and easy. I slacked off because I already knew what my teachers had to say, and my grades reflected it. I talked to my school counselor about it. She and I had become fairly friendly over the years, having been in her office multiple times, for not getting along with other students. She understood my problem, and offered to help me re-apply with her recommendation, and I contacted my old teacher for another recommendation. The school decided that I was at least worth interviewing, and allowed me to come and discuss why I belonged in their school. I must have done well because they accepted me on the spot.

My freshman year in high school was a completely different experience than any other year in school. I was finally in a school with like-minded freaks and geeks, who were all closet nerds. I wasn’t as much of an outcast among them; the school was made entirely of outcast kids from all the local schools. It consisted of kids who were passionate about knowledge in some form or another, and had made the choice to go there. It was a very empowering feeling, not having to dumb down your language, or act a certain way so people wouldn’t judge you.

The school was all about personal accountability, there were no bells; you went to class because you knew it was time, and if you were late it was your fault. There were no hall passes; the students were trusted to do what was required of them. Students didn’t have to lug around backpacks full of books, they all had copies at home and in class, making lockers unnecessary. Sports were not even offered, saving me from the horrors of P.E. Instead students had to spend an amount of hours every semester at the gym, or participating in their chosen athletic activity.

I was very happy there. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all sugar and daisies. Every school has bullies, and every school has a popular crowd. The social ladder just wasn’t as high there, and it was much easier for everyone to be themselves. I was able to get away from the nicknames and rumors I had grown up with, and have a bit of a fresh start. I made new friends, and had a decent social circle of fun, silly, lovable people.

So what if some of the less desirable people I grew up happened to go there to right? Remember those “You Could Be So Pretty” girls? How about the guy from “Used”? I had a bit of a hard time because they all went to this school. I felt like I had this huge crowd of popular kids I had to avoid because of some stupid incident that had happened a long time ago. It shouldn’t have held me back, but it did. I was incredibly shy around all of them, and was constantly afraid that I was being judged. Why that mattered, I have no idea, but back then, it seemed like a pretty big deal to me. You shouldn’t let people affect you like that. Who cares if other people judge you, you should be free to be yourself, regardless of other people’s personal opinions. It really makes sense in hindsight, but I guess that’s why we all have these crazy life lessons where you figure out the bigger picture.

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Complicated~Advice

23 Feb

Authors Note: I appreciate everyone who takes the time to seek advice here. Without you, I couldn’t keep this going, and I am so grateful! It has been so amazing to see everyone put their two cents in, and I feel like we have really started something interesting here! Thank you everyone for your supportive and thoughtful comments and advice for all the participants! If you’d like to get some advice of your own, don’t forget to head to the Advice Section! Thanks!

Dear I Am Not Defined,

My ex-boyfriend and i were together for four years when we broke up last year in January, when he suddenly decided we weren’t meant for each other. We go to the same church, so basically getting over a break up was hard, I would always see him. In December we met again, and he told me he found out he had a son and he had that son when we were dating (basically, he was cheating on me). He told me he loved and wanted us to get back together. We talked for a while, but now he isn’t calling anymore. Should I move on, should I just assume this is it? Did he just want to use me and play with my emotions? How do I move on from him when I see him every Sunday? There is also another girl in the church, and I feel like they are going out but he denies it even though the girl acts as if they are. Should I just back off?

-Complicated

Dear Complicated,

Getting over a break up is always difficult, especially when the relationship lasted four years. Having to go to church with the guy seems very difficult! I know it must be so hard seeing him, but maybe it is time for you to let it go. He obviously didn’t respect you enough when you were together, if he was out having a child with someone else. He had to cheat on you to get that baby, and that is not fair to you. If he didn’t treat you right in the first place, I don’t think he will treat you right now. It also sounds like he may be leading on another girl, or even dating her. Either way she obviously thinks something is going on between them, I doubt she made up some connection out of the air.

I would be wary of any man who cheated before. In my experience, if he doesn’t treat you right the first time around, it’s never going to get better. I have gone back to the same person time and time again, hoping things would get better, and I only got hurt worse in the end. Give yourself the foot up, and steer clear of this toxic guy. ]

If you have to go to the same church, stay away from him. If it means you have to sit in the back because he is up front, do it. If you’re not around him, he can’t reach you with his drama. If your church offers more than one service, consider attending a different one. If it is just too hard on you to see him, try going to church with a friend who goes to a different one, until you feel like you’re up to seeing him.

If you still talk to him, you should stop. It sounds like he is pretty good at getting to you emotionally, and he will probably try to pull on your heart-strings when he realizes that he no longer holds some power over you. Be there for yourself and steer clear of him. You don’t need someone in your life that hurts you, and leaves you feeling clueless and confused!

You don’t have to go hunt down another guy to help you get over this one, just enjoy being yourself, independent and happy, and in time you will meet someone who gives you the respect and attention you deserve, and doesn’t toy with your emotions or cheat. You’re an amazing woman and no one deserves to be cheated on or screwed with!

-I Am Not Defined

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Preferential Husband~Advice

20 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

How do I tell my husband that I’m on the verge of asking for a divorce because of the way he treats the kids? He’s not violent but his attitude is atrocious. He lectures the eldest while the youngest gets away with everything. Nothing my older son does is good enough, and it’s causing him to be depressed to the point he’s said he’s wished he were dead.

 -Preferential Husband

Dear Preferential Husband,

It must be so difficult to deal with your husband when he makes your kids feel like this. Have you tried talking to him about the negative impact it has on your children? I grew up with parents that treat my youngest sibling like he can do no wrong, and it really affected how I looked at the world as a child and even now as an adult.

Do you have any idea why he is so hard on your oldest child? Is he trying to get him to strive for more, and just approaching it the wrong way? Or does he really feel like your kid just doesn’t do anything right or well? Is he easier on your youngest for being the baby of the family? Or is he truly just preferential? I would try talking to him about his reasoning behind how he treats the children. If you feel like you can’t get through to him, or just need help, look into counseling. Maybe you need someone on the outside to help you both asses where you are at, and how you feel about things. No matter what, I would seek help for your oldest. Suicide is not a joke and should be taken seriously.

If he doesn’t have any good answers, or you have already tried talking to him or simply feel like you can’t, maybe you should get the divorce. Just be sure that this is really what you want, and that this is really what is best for you and your family. Before you suggest a divorce I would make sure that you have things in order. Divorces can get ugly and I would hate for you and your children to fall on hard times because you’re trying to get away from a bad situation. Do you have family or friends that you can lean on? Look to your support system for help, and maybe even talk to the people you trust the most before you decide to go through with this, and if you do, talk to them about what you should do next.

There is no happy way to go about a divorce. It is the end of something that was promised for life, but if it truly is a bad situation, you need to get out of it. If you feel that you can discuss a divorce safely with your husband, you should. Approach the situation calmly and rationally. Don’t be insulting, be honest, and don’t hash out things that don’t matter. It’s not a good time to accuse each other of wrong doing, it is simply a time to admit that you can’t do it anymore, and to find the best way to get out of it amicably.

I hope that you can find a good way to deal with your situation, whether it comes down to some deep conversation or divorce. I also hope that you will find someone for your oldest child to talk to. It can be so hard growing up, and feeling like you can do no right in your parents eyes. Get them some help before this situation gets worse. You should also take the time to let your oldest know what an amazing person you think that they are. Make sure to be encouraging and to remind them how much you love them, and commend them when they do well, so they don’t feel like their accomplishment’s go unnoticed. In the end you know what is right for you and your family, and I hope that good things will grow from this situation.

-I Am Not Defined

Authors Note:

Suicide is never the answer. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and will not solve anything. If you or someone you know has had, or are having suicidal thoughts, I encourage you to find someone to talk to. Seek help. You are loved and unique, and the world needs you here. If you don’t think anyone cares, I do. I think the world is made of beautiful, unique, amazing people, and it would be a tragedy to lose anyone to such an unfortunate end.

International Suicide Prevention

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