Sharing our experience, strength and hope

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gsingjane
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Sharing our experience, strength and hope

As a recovery community, we are somewhat unique here. Why do I say that? Because most recovery fellowships maintain a sharp distinction between addicts and "anons" (the loved ones affected by the addiction). Spouses of alcoholics don't go to AA meetings; drug users don't go to Nar-Anon meetings. They wouldn't necessarily be kicked out if they did, but both "sides" recognize that it is best for people to be among "their own kind," where they can talk and vent and share without the judgments or emotions that might ensue from crossover.

Here, we do maintain something of a "chinese wall" between users and anons, in that we maintain "members-only" boards for people who belong to these groups. However, people don't always post in these areas, and frequently posts appear in forums that are available to all our users. Because many people use the "recent posts" function, it isn't even immediately apparent what kind of forum they're posting in.

As our board traffic has increased greatly as of late, I have also noticed a sharp increase in the number of folks "crossing over" to advise people on the "other side." Now, some of us are, actually, here in that dual capacity. However, most of us aren't. This leads to lots of posts saying things like, "I don't have kids but if I did..." or "I'm not an addict but if I were..." This isn't sharing ESH, it's giving advice about a situation that is purely hypothetical (to the poster, anyway). And, thus, it is of fairly limited utility to both the recipient and the others on this board.

I think it can be extremely useful for people to get the chance to see how "the other side lives." In particular, I have heard many times from addicts that the posts from anons, discussing the pain of living with addiction, were extremely eye-opening for them. The possibility of useful crossover is one reason we don't split these boards entirely.

However... before you post on a crossover basis, ask yourself, am I sharing my own ESH? If not, what am I doing?

Thanks!

Jane in CT

J. DOe
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Edited by Liz W on January

Edited by Liz W on January 17, 2013

This post is a discussion about cross posting between Olga (gamers) and Olg-anon (family, loved ones, concerned others) members.

This is discussed in our Frequently Asked Question Post: http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/19647

Quote:

Once you have been granted membership, if you only want to hear from your members (OLGA or Olg-Anon) please post in your designated member boards, rather than in the public "I Need Help" boards.

If you do post in the non-member message boards, anyone can respond to your posts - gamers and family members/loved ones. This can be helpful. Please be supportive, sensitive and courteous when you respond to posts!

To get access to the member message board, you can request it by posting on the public message boards or private message any moderator or administrator or go in the chatroom and ask there.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

Steele
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I am a relatively new

I am a relatively new member, and I recently also posted in the 'wrong' forum. I realized that afterwards. I think the reaction to it was positive, but I needed to be more aware of what forum I was posting in. Thanks for the reminder.

Home :: Family -- OLG-Anon

Home :: Gamers -- OLGA

Ok. Got that.

"I want to see people and I want to see life."

Kate1song
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A bit confused and needing

A bit confused and needing clarity.. I thought that anon's have their own board that only they have access to.. and if they posted something in the general forum they were open to all comments...

Some of the responses on the "addict" side, are from just visitors.. Not always the greatest of insight.. but it is basically an open forum..

Please help me understand.. coz one feels bad to read something like this, and feel like they unknowingly stepped over some transparent line....

There are nightly open chat meetings (9 p.m. EST) in the Olga chatroom.

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This is only my

This is only my understanding of the issues. I believe that the open forums/boards (note that both the OLGA and OLG-Anon parts each have open and closed forums) are meant to be available to all. Neither Jane nor I intended to imply otherwise. However, we both ask (as well as the rest of the staff here) that you generally try to be extra sensitive regarding what you write there should you choose to reply. I hope that this clarifies the situation somewhat.

Edited by Liz W. January 17. 2013 Updated this discussion.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

Kate1song
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Yes, I understood that from

Yes, I understood that from the initial post... that was made clear... I just was wondering why one would have the open format, and yet ask members to respect hidden lines...

This isn't really an issue thats going to go away.. most likely it will get worse as you said with more site traffic.

If you have strong feelings about it, enough to write about it, it would be best posted in a way that everyone can be more aware on a daily basis.. I do not think that a blurb in the initial pm sent to a new member is gonna do it...

Does that make sense? I am not wanting to hijack this post, or make a mountain out of a mole hill.. but it seems to be something thats really bothering you...

There are nightly open chat meetings (9 p.m. EST) in the Olga chatroom.

dark (not verified)
Fair enough Jane and John, I

Fair enough Jane and John,

I have cross posted at times and have kept this to dull roar, I hope.

Just a suggestion - most who do probably do so unwittingly. Being a fan of good GUI (Graphical User Interface) it might be useful to make the name of the forum a little more obvious since I, like many, use the 'most recent' button 98% of the time. At the moment the location of the post source is discrete to point of being un-noticeable. Not that I am trying to tell the webmaster his job, but it might be worth reviewing.

- dark

Scott
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Thanks Jane for bringing

Thanks Jane for bringing this up!

I think the anons have been very respectful of the gamers forums, not posting any advice or judgments. (Although, it did happen at least once in the daily chat meeting when it was held in General Chat.)

Mostly it seems like the gamers sharing in the anons forums has been respectful, until recently. Mostly the posts were about giving the anon an inside view of the addict brain, or saying something brief, general and supportive like "I'm sorry you're going through this."

I winced at the recent back-and-forth between gamers and anons. I hope this doesn't happen again. A new anon member asking for help needs to hear from others in similar situations, same as new gamers asking for help need to hear from other recovering gamers.

Scott

What you feed grows, and what you starve withers away.

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Also, I want to pass on what

Also, I want to pass on what my sponsor used to say. "Notice that we share our EXPERIENCE, strength and hope, not our OPINIONS, strength and hope."

This is important to remember regardless of what forum we are posting in.

thanks

Scott

What you feed grows, and what you starve withers away.

Kate1song
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if that is case, then prolly

if that is case, then prolly the site should be separated, anon's already have their own board...

How on earth would one, with no prior experience with addiction, have any idea their actions were being viewed as disrespectful?

I, like Dark only visit to "recent posts". The rest of the site is a bit confusing to navigate... so even if i read something about cross posting at one time in my early membership, I do not visit those pages anymore.. to be reminded, if there are any guidelines to be followed....

There are nightly open chat meetings (9 p.m. EST) in the Olga chatroom.

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Please note that the "open"

Please note that the "open" formats here are not really fully open. This site is quite heavily moderated, to try to make it as comfortable and safe as reasonably possible for everybody who comes here. As such, Kate1song, there are "hidden lines" for all users in all of the forums. However, for gamers posting in the anon forums, and vice versa, we are just saying that these hidden lines are somewhat more restrictive than for when members are posting in the forums specifically meant for them.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

Kate1song
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anyway.. it's a good

anyway.. it's a good reminder... but wish it were more obvious in other areas of the site...

There are nightly open chat meetings (9 p.m. EST) in the Olga chatroom.

gsingjane
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Thanks for the feedback,

Thanks for the feedback, everybody.

In the future, when we have a new webmaster, we might be able to do more in terms of active notification or separation or what have you. In the meantime, however, we have to rely more on general warnings or PM's to users in order to convey our community policies. It isn't unusual or untoward, BTW, for a community to have both written and unwritten rules. All communities do.

Nothing - nothing - is meant as criticism or harshness toward any particular poster or post. We do understand that, by and large, people post out of the desire to be of service, full stop. And we certainly don't intend to engage in a "gotcha" maneuver, where someone crosses a heretofore "invisible" line and then we get to shake our digital finger at them.

However, if we can't post up from time to time and let folks know "what's up," then we're relegated to sending PM's to the individual users involved. Then people DO feel singled out and criticized. Then people DO "go away mad." My hope in posting a more general admonition was to reinforce the "experience, strength and hope" point to all of us, not just specific users.

Hopefully this will help a bit to clear the air.

Jane

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I dont know how modifyable

I dont know how modifyable this forum is, maybe I have an idea from the GUI point of view. Is it possible to use color schemes? I mean, this forum is in light blue. If the other forums are in different colors you would recognize that more quickly. Dark blue, light blue, hello kitty color, whatever. It will not eliminate non-awareness of users completely, but it would definately help. (I am not really a fan of hello-kitty colors by the way.)

"I want to see people and I want to see life."

Kate1song
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Thanks for your clarity

Thanks for your clarity Jane. I sure appreciate all that you guys do to make this forum a good place for all of us... Hugs

and Steel: Hello Kitty colors... lol..

There are nightly open chat meetings (9 p.m. EST) in the Olga chatroom.

hayley
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This is a good post for all

This is a good post for all gamers and family memebers. I myself go to the family forum but I also post in the new replies and Im not sure if that is to both forums and if it is ok? When I first came to this site I did not understand gaming addiction, after reading the posts in the family forums I could see how successful it was for family members to have the gamers insite to why, how, they feel, felt when gaming and not gaming. I remember too when I first came here giving someone advice and then a gamer told me of the three c's. Thats what it is about, understanding each persons feelings thoughts, listening to the information that is passed on and this site does that well. I also use the chat room but not to attened meetings as this is for gamers only, I ended up in a meeting once and realised I should not be there. I do have to ask, why is there no meetings for family members?

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having a meeting for family

having a meeting for family members sounds good. It can really help connecting to other parents and loved ones effected by gaming.

Mario

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When I read the anons, my

When I read the anons, my heart breaks for their pain.

It helps keep me on the right path of being game free.

The question is....will you be able/courageous/adult enough to sacrifice that which merely pleases you...for that which will truly fulfill you? That is the question of personal growth.
~~~Dem518
~~~wow-free since 8/22/09

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No anon has stepped up to

No anon has stepped up to host an anon meeting, so... no anon meeting.

Maybe this will change this year, as the Board of Directors have re-focused their attention to bringing more to the table for anons. We shall see. In the meantime, if you are an Anon and wish a meetiing in the chat room, please PM me with your thoughts.

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

Mario
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I have been in a chat room

I have been in a chat room where we separated ourselves in two chat rooms for video game addicts and another for anons. This worked well to decongest the meetings and allow for certain topics to be shared. Suggest this at the next crowded chat room meeting: separate and maybe come back.

Mario

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Yes, good idea for the chat

Yes, good idea for the chat room, I think.

I'm wondering if our daily meeting for recovering gamers should be held in the Scheduled OLGA Meeting chat room, instead of the Open room. The topics have all been related to gamers' issues. I wouldn't not want to exclude Anons who want to come and listen, but simply state that the meeting is for those with a desire to stop gaming.

I have some experience seeing AA and Al-Anon folks mix at meetings before. It seems fine with experienced people who know how to respect each other's programs. But when newcomers get in the mix, it can quickly become a big mess. Really, I think an OLGA meeting would mix better with an Overeaters Anonymous or AA meeting, than it would with an Anon meeting.

Scott

What you feed grows, and what you starve withers away.

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Dear all, With all due

Dear all,

With all due respect, I feel very strongly about this.

In my experiences here, I honestly would not have gained the heart, understanding, insight, and increased love for both OLG's and Anon's if I had merely segregated myself to solely the Anon areas. I also covet each one's respective wisdom. It has helped me immensely with my own situation and also in my various counseling situations in RL.

Perhaps more importantly, I have communicated with Anon's who have ONLY remained in the Family/Loved Ones forums and have NOT benefitted as I mentioned above. Sometimes hearing only "one side" is definitely detrimental and does NOT help the Anon or the OLG in their awareness and potential recovery/healing. Nor in their compassion for the "other side". A few individuals I'm thinking of badly NEEDED to gain compassion and understanding, as they were only getting angrier and more depressed at the "same old same old" sad stories that mirrored their predicaments. I asked in one case if she had looked at so and so's forums or any of the OLG's responses. I was shocked and saddened that she hadn't, and then the light dawn upon where part of her problem lay. She NEEDED to be involved those forums, at least reading, if not posting.

And I strongly believe that likewise, so do each of us need the other--and can be of huge blessing and benefit as we share our experiences, strength and hope with one another. That has been my experience.

I am of the opinion that a major part of our serving one another here is to impart encouragement, which is a form of hope. Why would we want to segregate that? That is one way that compassion and caring grows, as we look for the good in "the other side" and can praise it, as well as encourage and edify those of "like mind".

Most sincerely,

IHS

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Based upon my experiences in

Based upon my experiences in AA & Al-Anon, while I certainly respect that IHS you are an example of someone who can carry the full part of how one can benefit from the combination of addicts/anons learning from one another--I also know that most 12 fellowships for addicts and the kindred program for anons do not write their traditions jointly. Al-Anon recognizes the imperative to cooperate with AA but that is as far as they go. In closed AA meetings, Anons who have not self-identified as an alcoholic may not attend. The traditions for both fellowships point to the need to realize that it's not possible to be all things to all people, because the greatest threat to stability of any 12 step program is actually the members themselves. This includes those who would try to be all things to all people, and effectively helping none. This is part of why the singleness of purpose is so important.

While we addicts can and do suggest to anons things based on our experience, and while anons can and do offer encouragement to addicts, it's an incredibly delicate balance. I think Jane's admonition to think carefully before posting, and consider our motives--are we sharing experience, strength and hope or giving advice. The difference is that one can help, and the other often brings confusion.

An example: there are anons who have come to the site posting that their spouse is having an ingame affair. The anon may go so far as to state they have an "open" arrangement in the marriage that to an extent allows for such behavior, and yet that spouse is here seeking some sort of clarity or support, I suppose because something doesn't feel quite right. While everything in me wants to scream, "Of course it's not right, your so-called wife is cyber-boinking in game while you support her financially and do all the housework! Bloody right you feel a bit off about it! Kick her out! Make her support herself, " the reality is that I'm not actually going to help the anon who needs time to come to their own clarity about the situation, no matter how preposterous I may think it is.

Lest you think I'm bashing anons for the pain and confusion that surround the highly strained and unhealthy situations they live with as prisoners attached to addict gamers--let's turn this around. I came here because I drove my husband away, nearly lost my job, and would have then lost both my housing and custody of my child. Anons must look at me in horror and confusion realizing that I was totally willing to stake everything in my world, things most rational women would never jeopardize--and I was willing to risk it all for a pathetic video game. If an anon were to screech at me, "What in God's name is wrong with you?! What kind of woman are you? That you would risk your life with your child for a stupid game?" it would not accomplish anything different than any other person who has ever looked askance at the wreckage that was my gaming addict lifestyle.

There is a place where we won't be able to understand the other--this is why the recovered addict gamer can be far more effective with a new addict, and why the recovered olga-non can be far more effective with newly arrived anons. Each has the weight of personal experience and journey out of hell that only someone who has lived the experience and truly understands can bring to the situation. That's why this method of offering and receiving assistance can be so powerful--we aren't speaking from moral platitudes or lofty philosophical ideals. We're speaking from painfully lived real experiences.

Cheers, Desire to Stop
ALL quoted text (unless otherwise stated) comes from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (with wording sometimes changed only to make it more relevant for gaming addiction). I will include page numbers.

Hoping & praying for a measure of recovery for all of us today.

Mario
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Wow, that was a great share

Wow, that was a great share there "Desire to stop". I'm not sure what I am thinking after that one. I might say that it is more simple for me than the complex plane that you explained so expertly. It isn't about addict or non-addict here. I can help the addict or the anon. It doesn't matter. We are all here to learn and to teach. Anon can teach us how it feels to watch someone you love die because they committed suicide due to gaming stresses. We can teach anons what is like to put our whole lives into the gaming. What it is like to lose our souls. Anons can learn from us about how to approach a heavily addicted gamer safely and with wisdom. Addicts can learn that we aren't the "only ones" who knows what it is like to go through painful gaming addiction... that our wives, sons, daughters, and boyfriends can all tell us a thing or two about our behavior for the outside. So, you see, we can all teach and learn something in OLGA. Let us look at our similarities and not our differences. We ALL here have one thing in common: A desire to stop video game use in all of its forms. Let us work together for that goal and not be strange to another member Anon or member in form... we all wish to wave some life (either or own or someone we love).... let us join hands and say together: what we cannot do alone we can do together. Addicts with loved ones of addicts... all having the same desire to stop video game use.

Mario

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Hello, From what I have

Hello, From what I have experienced since this organization began, in 2002, is that generally the OLGA and OLG-Anon's get a long just fine, BUT there have been instances where bashing has been done to each group, and because of it, our members did not feel safe here and have left. At this time, only the public OLGA and OLG-Anon sections can be seen and responded to by either group.

Through our experience, this is what has evolved, so everyone can feel safe, below is from our Frequently Asked Question section, under the community tab. Here is the link to that section: http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/19647

After reading this section, if you choose to continue to post in the public forums, be aware that all can read and respond to your posts.

Quote:

MEMBER MESSAGE BOARDS

What are these for? Who uses these? How does one gain access?

GAMERS (OLGA member):

Under the Gamer tab there is a section for Members Only.

FAMILY MEMBERS (OLG-Anon):

Under the Family tab there is a section for Members Only.

The general public does not have access to the member message boards. Many people prefer to share their story in private, that is why theses message boards have been created. They also provide a separation of the excessive gamer (OLGA) members from the family member/loved-one/concerned other (OLG-Anon) members. OLGA and OLG-Anon members do NOT have access to each others member message boards.

OLGA (gamers) member message boards are accessible to those who have been granted OLGA member status. OLGA board moderators have access to OLGA message boards.

OLG-Anon (family members, loved ones, concerned others) member message board are accessible to those who have been granted OLG-Anon member status. OLG-Anon board moderators have access to OLG-Anon message boards

Administrators have access to all message boards.

Once you have been granted membership, if you only want to hear from your members (OLGA or Olg-Anon) please post in your designated member boards, rather than in the public "I Need Help" boards. If you do post in the non-member message boards, anyone can respond to your posts - gamers and family members/loved ones. This can be helpful. Please be supportive, sensitive and courteous when you respond to posts!

To get access to the member message board, you can request it by posting on the public message boards or private message any moderator or administrator or go in the chatroom and ask there.

I hope this helps.

Liz

Updated by Liz W. January 17, 2013

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Thanks for the reminder,

Thanks for the reminder, Liz. And DTS, Yes, I totally agree that there is a place for each group to have their own place and space! As in "closed meetings", forums, and so on. :-)

But there is definitely the place and advantage in integrated/crossover posting and learning. I just hope that OLGA never goes to a totally segregated site where the OLG's and Anon's never the twain would meet. That, to me, would be tragic, depriving each of more than I can express or imagine. I guess that I am just so very grateful for ALL ALL ALL I have learned and deepened in my life because of knowing and communicating with every single individual on both sides.

From my relatively brief time formally with OLGA, I have seen little "bashing" or out of control folks. And when that has occurred, I have observed mostly self-controlled, caring, and yet honest responses, and extreme amounts at that! :-) There again, we have the opportunity to NOT overreact, and instead, enter into another's shoes/experience, hopefully gaining empathy in the process, rather than using the reasoning of "not feeling safe", and running away from the "offense" or hurt. You know... being willing to ask self the hard ques: "NOW WHY did I react so very defensively, strongly, etc to that!? Is there something in me that needs to be taken care of and this hit a real nerve...?" Is that not part of the bare-faced honesty that the 12 Steps are based upon?

Again, thank you and OLGA for being here. I am indebted, as are so many. But i have to say, please do not be overly afraid of "offending" someone with the loving truth. Myself included. We need it. All of us, and we need it badly. And we need to have our hearts made even more tender, along with our skins toughened just a bit more.

My 2c, once more, in all affection and respect,

IHS

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When I first joined OLGA

When I first joined OLGA there were very few women on the site. One in particular, Amy (aka. Snow White) was the wife of an addicted gamer and she and I spent a lot of time e-mailing back and forth, etc. Her advice for and patience with me was absolutely top notch.

I guess I never got offended by her words because I knew what she was saying was all very true. Also - since I had spent os much of my life on message boards and video games "communicating" via text, I realize that MANY things can be misinterpreted without the "RL" touches of body language! I did not expect getting over my gaming addiction(s) to be easy and it was (and still is) such a blessing to have the wise advice from both Gamers and Family/Friends of Gamers.

Since I've never belonged to another group to fight an addiction or bad habit I just went with it. The lovely phrase that's been echoed here many times "take what you like and leave the rest" is really smart.

-6 Years Free of Online Gaming-

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Actually, i have to agree

Actually, i have to agree with Solei, some of the best support i had here when i first joined Olga was from Hamal... I am glad she posted and chatted with me, pm'd me and was very knowlegable, IHS has been also very supportive. So have you Jane... and you are all anons... and I am very glad you visit the gamers recovery world...

There are nightly open chat meetings (9 p.m. EST) in the Olga chatroom.

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  When I first came to OLGA

When I first came to OLGA I think I beenefited as much or more from reading the Anon posts than the gamer posts. They began to open my eyes and give me insight into what my now Ex-wife had been going through for so many years.

But there is the "rub" The recent post method of reading posts which is so convenient as to be popular leaves you very open to not being aware of what forum you are posting in. Particularly for the new comers, it is very easy to get carried away with the cross posting.

How do we get by ? The admins from time to time will post "gentle" reminders to users to try to be a little more aware of what forum they are posting to. Until a better way comes available to us I guess we will muddle on through.

" ... don't question it just go" "... where the body goes the mind will follow"
.
Borrowed from "Desire to Stop"

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I also benefited from Anon

I also benefited from Anon posts, in understanding what I looked like and what I was doing to others. It helped me a lot to go from 'me me me' and 'poor me' to seeing what I had really become. It was devistating to hear it from the other side, and that had a great impact on me in moving forward. I did some cross posting when I first got here, which might have been hurtful to an anon, but after I realized how OLGA worked i've tried very very careful not to hurt others who are already hurting here (at least i hope i've been successful at that).

Ariadne~
Letting go again - Change is never easy, I fight to hold on, and I fight to let go.

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Hello everyone! I just

Hello everyone!

I just discovered this thread.

I learned a lot about the OLGA site that I wasn't aware of.

Thank you!

Serena

"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself." Albert Einstein

"You don't get to choose how you are going to die. Or when.
You can only decide how you are going to live. Now." Joan Baez

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