The Best Thing We Can Do


Good morning, friends. Forgive me if this gets long or rambly. I only have time for that kind of post this morning. I woke up thinking about two recent comments from either the blog or email:

“I just wonder if I will ever be able to forgive myself for hurting my closest friend. I have been a fool….drinking and talking…talking out of deep pain and having no idea what I was even saying….I am in recovery….but struggle with hating myself for hurting her.

Oh, how I wish I could change the past & take my daughter’s pain away. Alcoholism is such a cruel disease for the alcoholic & the one that have to endure the wrath it brings. All I could do was listen to her pain & let her express her anger towards me without becoming defensive. It hurt but I would do anything to help her to heal & being heard is important. What it’s done to me is bring up tremendous guilt & shame.

Dealing with broken relationships, guilt, and shame is by far one of the hardest things folks in recovery—from addiction, alcoholism, or just plain being human and selfish—have to deal with. Most of us arrive here sooner or later, though. Stricken with remorse, willing to change our ways, but stuck in an endless loop of regret.

Our recovery literature promises us that if we get sober and make amends eventually “we won’t regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” But most of us find it hard to not want to slam that door and escape the truth of how deeply we hurt others.

Of course, the irony is that if we do continue to wallow in guilt and regret, we’re actually more likely to climb back into the same horrible behaviors that hurt people we love and made us so sorry in the first place. Why is that?

Because shame never set any one free. And because the meaning of forgiveness is to forgo taking vengeance. And if we are the person we need to forgive and we refuse to do that, we’ll find a way—consciously or not—to take vengeance on ourselves through self-sabotage. We’ll be so tortured by our inability to let go of the past that we’ll end up hating ourselves beyond what our soul can bear and eventually we’ll be so desperate to escape our pain we’ll decide we might as well drink or drug anyway, since we need relief and we clearly don’t deserve sobriety. The condemnation of others and our own selves seems to prove this.

Here’s another reason it’s so hard to forgive ourselves. We’ve bought into the lie that to feel guilty is somehow noble, a virtue, or proof of our repentance. It’s one of the most subtle but powerful lies in the universe: My own remorse and self-punishment can somehow pay the price for my mistakes and failures and the way I’ve wounded others.

But none of us can ever suffer enough to make up for how we hurt people. It’s impossible. Only God can bridge that gap by his grace—and if we refuse to accept that grace, we take the path of Judas and self-destruction. We spread more pain. I think that’s the path my father took—he couldn’t get over the mess he’d made of his life and all the wasted years and how he’d abandoned his own kids. I’m convinced it was part of what finally drove him to suicide.

All this to say, my heart breaks for the women who wrote those notes. They long not just to be forgiven, but to know how to forgive themselves. They long not just to make things right, but to have a key relationship restored. Unfortunately, some relationships don’t survive the ravages of how we fail each other in this life. Not because some of us are less worthy of forgiveness, but because some of us can’t see beyond the wounds we’ve suffered.

I wish I had amazing advice for these readers, but mostly I want to just beg them to forgive themselves by faith. Piling on apologies doesn’t usually help. Continuing to try to prove your new intentions by groveling doesn’t help either. Instead, it just keeps the focus on our own guilty feelings and make us it all about us all over again.

Our friend or mother or child or whoever we hurt is not moved by our self-pity. The best thing we can do is set about to live in a way that proclaims the power of compassion and healing, that proves we’ve been set free from the past not because we’re worthy but because the horrors of our mistakes forced us to discover in God a source of hope and mercy that is finally greater than our stubborn hearts can resist.

We can live in  a way that bears witness to the understanding that every single one of us, believe it or not, has been doing the best we possibly can–given our own wounds, our past, what we know or don’t, and the DNA we’ve been blessed/cursed with. Few people are evil, I’m convinced. Most of us are just unhealed.

Yesterday I sat with an alcoholic in my office who had relapsed yet again and who was overcome with self-loathing. Determined to make it through the night sober, she wanted me to give her something to do when she got home. I told her I want her to ponder all the recent wreckage and havoc and insanity she’s caused—and then write a letter to herself forgiving herself.

She broke into sobs. “I can do that,” she said. “I want to do that.”

Let’s all do that today the best we can. And if you happen to be reading this and you’re one of those folks whose been wounded too times to count by a very sick person like my friend or myself and you can’t figure out how to forgive, I suggest the same exercise. Start by forgiving yourself.

Hope this helps someone today. I love you guys.

P.S. Here’s a link to a related post about how to fall out of hate with yourself. And an addendum:

Because I love this poem so much and I saw it on this other post, I’m going to add it to this one right here, too:

It’s by the poet Hafiz:

Once a young woman said to me, “Hafiz, what

is the sign of someone who knows God?”

I became very quiet, and looked deep into her

eyes, then replied,

“My dear, they have dropped the knife. Someone

who knows God has dropped the cruel knife

that most so often use upon their tender self

and others.”



Days and Slips and Chips

sprayerimageHi Friends,

Even though it’s long, I wanted to post this email and my answer today. If you’re not in recovery, it probably won’t apply to you. If you are, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Hi Heather, 

I hope you are well. I want to ask you about a situation, if that is ok. 

 I recently had a “slip”. I drank late one night after 120+days, resumed my sobriety the next day. 

My feeling is that, though not continuous, the transformation I have made in my life has been miraculous. I abused myself for years with booze, and though I feel disappointed that I drank, I feel like it is time to stop with the self-castigation. I screwed up…I am trying to learn to be kind to myself.

I don’t want credit for what I have not achieved. At the same time, I don’t want to be discredited for the changes I have made.

I have not found a lot of resources or support for this scenario in the recovery world. It has pretty much all been “you are back at day 1”. Is it only about the “days”?

 Do you have any thoughts on the subject you would be willing to share?

Congratulations on your sobriety and your honesty. This is such a difficult issue and I’ve been tempted to post about it, but haven’t yet. I’ll see if I can try to be helpful.

As your note points out, counting continuous, unbroken days of sobriety and picking up milestone chips is an honored tradition in recovery groups. I think the purpose is threefold: to encourage people to stay sober, to celebrate hard work, and maybe more important, to show newcomers that long-term sobriety really is possible.

That said, this ritual rubs some people the wrong way, and I understand why. Whenever you introduce what looks like a system of reward, by default it can seem to punish, as well. For example, in some groups the chairperson asks at the opening of the meeting if there is anyone here with less than 30 days of continuous sobriety. The idea is to get to know newcomers and hand out “desire” chips. But it can also be used as a device to let the group know if someone has had a relapse. When a person with long-time sobriety raises their hand at this juncture, it can feel like they’re being publicly outed. When I relapsed after 6 months, my sponsor (I didn’t even get one til after the relapse) told me I should raise my hand at every meeting when this question got asked until I had more than 30 days. Regardless of the good intention, it felt humiliating, and almost like punishment. But because humility and rigorous honesty had been so stressed to me, it felt wrong to do any less. In the best of circumstances, this kind of public accountability can be helpful, I suppose. Some people say that the fear of having to tell everyone about a relapse keeps them from relapse. But I question whether that’s sufficient—or even a good—motivation to stay sober. Fear of humiliation only takes us so far.

A couple months after my 6-month relapse, I got in a huge fight with my husband while family was here and wine was out on the counter. On impulse, I grabbed an open bottle, planning to chug—but after one gulp, stopped. Halted by the horrible specter of yet another relapse, I corked the bottle with a sigh of relief. At the time, I was naïve enough—or blatantly in denial enough—to call it a close call, not a relapse. I didn’t tell my brand new sponsor and I forgot about the incident until many years later—actually, I came across the memory while writing my book. When I let my sponsor at the time read it, she felt hurt and deceived. She accused me of harboring a dark secret and insisted I change my sobriety anniversary date by two months (from Sept 2007 to Nov 2007) and tell my home group what happened.

I didn’t have any problem with her suggestion—and did so promptly. But I did object to her thinking the worst of me. Ironically, in retrospect, I’m so glad it wasn’t clear to me then that a gulp of wine is a relapse in the eyes of my program! Had I thought of it as such, especially given my recent relapse in September, I am absolutely positive I would have drank that entire bottle, been furious at myself, and would have decided that since I was back at Day 1 anyway, I might as well get good and drunk. And who knows how long that relapse might have lasted. Instead, my naiveté (or intentional denial—who knows?) sort of saved me.

So what am I saying or suggesting? I’m not sure, but here are some things to consider. The whole thing about chips and counting days can be helpful–or it can be harmful, depending on the person and their experience with reward systems, guilt, and the like. For me, coming from a conservative Christian background, it hinted at the kind of legalism I was trying to escape. It reminded me of how quickly churches or Christians erect all kinds of unwritten rules that have nothing to do with Scripture and everything to do with culture. Or human nature. I think it’s our egos that prompt us to set up systems that help to measure who’s doing it right or wrong, who’s losing and who’s winning, who is the “strong Christian,” or who is working a “strong program.” So we turn suggestions into commandments and value a practice we’ve come up with more than the principle that inspired it.

There’s nothing in the core literature of the most popular 12 Step program that suggests handing out chips and such. Or for that matter, that even talks about sponsors, much less sets them up to be the boss of another person’s sobriety. The role of a sponsor is to help take you through the 12 Steps and acquaint you with the program. Sponsors share their experience, strength, and hope. But given our human natures–both to want to be told what to do and to want to tell others what to do– you’re somehow a better recovery soldier if you have a hard-ass sponsor.

I’m sure you’ve noticed tons of other unwritten “rules” in recovery having to do with a myriad things. Some of these are helpful. And sponsorship, if you ask me, is extremely helpful, too. But we do ourselves and the program a disservice when we become strident about any of these things and let them take precedence over love and grace and yes, live and let live. We encourage folks to take what works and leave the rest—but we forget to warn them we might freak out if they do.

More and more, I find myself shying away from those who want to turn their recovery into a religion. Those who want to believe there’s only one right way to do anything. Given our diversity, we need more grace than that.

So what’s my answer to you about slips and chips and “days?” I know of many folks who simply stopped caring about or taking chips because they don’t want to participate in that aspect. I have a sponsee who hasn’t taken a chip in years because she feels an aversion to it—and since she’s doing marvelously, why would I try to force that on her?

That said, I do take chips. I enjoy celebrating my friends’ and my milestones. But those who love me know that I personally celebrate April 4 as my Miracle Sobriety Birthday—not Nov 24, my official sobriety date that commemorates that dumb gulp in the kitchen. The April date is the day my life changed, the day I walked into a treatment center, shaking in my bones, terrified but made brave by desperation. That’s the day that changed the course of my life and it’s also the time of year I experience all my anniversary feelings.

But out of respect for a program God used to help save my life, I take my birthday chip on Nov 24. And so maybe that’s the key thing here. Pray and ask yourself what action feels right for you today—and how you can honor your choice and the program you attend at the same time. Of course, if you have a sponsor, consider their suggestion. Hopefully it will be a suggestion or wisdom and not a direct command.

Personally, my wisdom is this: If you think publicly announcing a relapse and starting at day 1 will derail your sobriety, then just don’t. Just keep going. Just keep going and don’t take chips and then someday if you decide to change your date, fine. Your date is no one’s business but your own. And the objections of others who might get upset if they knew—those objections are likely based on a certain kind of competitive spirit–No fair!

Love yourself and your recovery enough to be faithful to it first. Check your heart and your conscience. And of course, while it’s fine that you keep your own and your sponsor’s counsel, I don’t recommend you lie. And maybe the most important thing I need to say is that it could be a big mistake not to publicly admit the slip, too—and if you keep relapsing, then it will be clear what you need to do.

In the meantime, if it’s just silly pride about having relapsed, then bite the bullet, bro.

As you know, we all only have one day at a time. I don’t have 61/2 years. I have today.

One last caution: It’s almost always true that every time you relapse it becomes harder to get sober again. I’ve seen it over and over. People get casual about a relapse or think they’ll just have a quick slip and get right back on the wagon–except they can’t. Some seed about the possibility of relapse gets planted and pretty soon they turn into chronic relapsers. And I don’t know of any group of people on the planet more miserable. To enjoy few or none of the benefits of recovery while also not being able to enjoy drinking is to live in a nightmare. Don’t go there, friend. Whatever you do. It might be life or death for you.

I hope some of this helps. Your sister in recovery, Heather

A related post in case you’re interested is here.


Ditch the Gas Cans

Image from Shutterstock

When I first ran across this cartoon, it totally cracked me up. It’s hilarious the lengths some of us are willing to go in our battle against destructive compulsions.

But if you think about it long enough, it’s sad, too. The desperation depicted by our guy with the gas cans is all too real for millions of people who can’t find a way to beat their addictions.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories of addicts who, in a reckless bid to disrupt their disease, consciously or unconsciously put themselves and others at risk of death.

Still other addicts take drastic measures that can only be called ill-advised. A few weeks back, I got a frantic email from a mom whose heroine-addicted son had just left her house to go commit a crime in hopes it would land him in jail and “give him a break from his demons.”

She didn’t know what to hope for. I didn’t know what to tell her.

But I understood that son’s twisted thinking. When I finally entered treatment, I too—or at least some small part of me—welcomed the idea of losing access to alcohol. For me, though, it was about revenge. After so many years of failing to conquer  my Inner Drunk, I couldn’t wait to watch her finally lose.

As it turned out, what helped me most had little to do with not drinking. What mattered more, what made all the difference, were the bonds I formed with fellow sufferers.

A line from our recovery literature says, “Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness.” Tortured is the right word, by the way. Especially since our favorite solution to loneliness is to further isolate ourselves.

Which makes me wonder: What if Gas Guy’s biggest problem isn’t that he can’t quit smoking, but the fact that he’s trying to quit on his own?

It’s no coincidence that every successful recovery program I’ve ever heard of places a premium on community. Treatment modalities differ, but they all understand and harness the same mysterious power of one addict talking honestly to another.

Today, you might feel a lot like our guy with the gas can. You’ve tried everything you can think of to control or outwit your addiction, or punish yourself for having it. So far nothing’s worked. You’re beginning to think it’s time to play high stakes poker. What if I stacked the deck so high that if I drank, everything I cared about would go up in flames? Would I pick up then?

You probably would.

Here’s a radical idea to try instead. What if you went to one of those meetings specifically designed to help people just like you with your exact problem.

I swear to God, we don’t bite. Very few of us smell bad. Sure, sometimes we cry. But mostly, we share our stories and laugh a lot.

For the rest of you, a question: What ridiculous lengths have you gone to in order to indulge or not to indulge your addiction? Are you willing to go to the same lengths to stay sober?

P.S. I love this cartoon, but I like this one even better.




Secretly Hoping for Edmund’s Demise

edmundborderWhen I was newly sober, I had a list of possible tragedies which, should they come to pass, I thought would warrant a relapse. Surely, if my husband died or I got terminal cancer, no one would begrudge me a drink, right?

But since part of me hoped for such an excuse, I amended the list to include the more bearable scenario of my dog Edmund’s sudden and tragic passing. 🙂

Which might explain why twice during my early recovery Edmund was almost killed due to negligence on my part. Once a car hit him because I had him off leash. Fortunately, he’s so small he bounced off the front spoiler and rolled away to safety. Another time, while lowering my passenger seat for a nap, I inadvertently pushed Edmund out the rear window and onto the freeway in Denver. Fortunately, traffic was stalled and we noticed he was no longer in the car before we drove off.

If you’re an alcoholic, you understand why I used to think, When’s this little prick gonna die so I can drink?

Today, the idea that I might drink seems unlikely—a fact which, ironically, makes me more vulnerable to relapse. Especially when you consider I never saw it coming when, at six months sober, I drank at Dave in the Minneapolis airport.

So, in the spirit of vigilance, here’s an unscientific list of conditions that may increase our risk of relapse.

  1. We have a history of slipping. The more we relapse, the more relapse starts to feel like an option we can come back from—until we can’t.
  2. We were active in our addiction for many years. It makes sense that the longer we used or drank, the more deeply engrained those patterns of behavior can be, and the harder to break.
  3. We have been in recovery a long time. It’s true. The longer we stay sober, the harder it is to remember our powerlessness, and the easier it is to think we’ve changed enough that we could handle a drink.
  4. We have a lot of YETs. We haven’t yet got a DUI. We haven’t yet lost our job, our kids, or our marriage due to our stupid habit. Yets are good news until they make us wonder if we’re really alcoholics or addicts like the rest of those people we meet in meetings.
  5. We aren’t part of a recovery community. Most of us just can’t do this thing alone. We need the support and accountability that comes from being vulnerable with—and deeply connected to—others on the same journey.
  6. We take prescription meds that can be addictive. For many alcoholics and addicts, this is a slippery slope that takes us right back to our drug of choice.
  7. We keep our recovery secret from friends and family. If the most important people in our lives wouldn’t know or care if we relapsed, we probably don’t have enough at stake in our sobriety.
  8. We live or work in an environment rife with “triggers.” Repeated exposure to situations that weaken our resolve—for example, excessive stress, anxiety and conflict—set us up to seek relief in our bad old ways.
  9. We think we’re beyond danger. There’s a big difference between healthy confidence and the kind of cockiness that results in complacency. The latter is likely to lead us to a drink.
  10. We are unwilling to seek outside help. Many of us get sober only to discover we need to address other mental health issues, which if neglected, can threaten our sobriety.
  11. We fail to take the actions our program suggests. We rely on God to keep us sober, but God relies on us to do our part. Unless we take the steps historically proven to help, our sobriety is likely to be precarious.
  12. We don’t help other alcoholics. We often remind each other in meetings that we keep what we have by giving it away. Assisting newcomers reminds us of the nightmare we’ve been saved from, and helping others gets our attention off of ourselves.

You know what? Reading through this list right now, I realize that at least three of these apply to me today. This doesn’t mean I’m doing anything wrong, it just means that like everyone else in recovery, I need to stay vigilant if I want to stay free.

By the way, don’t worry about Edmund. Let’s face it, he has good reason to believe he’ll live forever.

In the meantime, I no longer secretly hope for his demise.  And if he dies, I promise not to drink at his funeral.

I’d love to hear from you today. What do you think I should add to this list? What else puts us at risk of relapse?

In case you’re interested in this topic, I wrote another post about relapse called No One Will Know if I Eat This Cake: The 12 Lies of Relapse.  



The Key in Our Hand

Art by Amber Mintert, click image to visit her on Etsy
Art by Amber Mintert, click image to visit her on Etsy

Some days, blogging about addiction and recovery gives me so much joy. Other times, it feels impossible. How can I write helpfully about such a baffling subject?

I’m reminded of a line in a Rumi poem:

“One of the marvels of the world
is the sight of a soul sitting in prison
with the key in its hand.”

Isn’t that so true? It’s one of the most crazy-making aspects of addiction—how it seems to us (and others, too), like freedom is clearly within our grasp. Just use the key, quit the addiction, and walk out of jail.

If only it were that simple. Instead, we scream bloody murder for rescue, and then run at the first sign of help.

It’s hard to explain, except to say that addiction seems proof of our split nature. In the grip of compulsions, we become a soul divided—part of us wants to surrender and part of us fights to hold on.

The demoralizing tug-of-war that results is surely one of the main reasons addicts tend to hate themselves so thoroughly. Add to this an endless series of self-inflicted wounds, humiliations, and losses—and you can imagine how shame fuels the engine of addiction.

Unfortunately, prevailing wisdom says the addict must experience ever more painful consequences, tragedies, and heartbreak—until they finally hit rock bottom and become willing to change.

I agree that desperation is necessary for surrender. But sometimes I wonder if we’ve arrived at an incomplete conclusion. If “hitting bottom” alone is the magic bullet, how come so many addicts suffer one devastating blow after another—and still don’t recover?

What happens when all you have left to lose is your life?

After seven years of hearing addicts’ stories, I have a theory of my own. I think most of the time a low point doesn’t become a turning point unless an addict hits bottom and hope at the same time.

Hope looks different for each of us, of course. For me, hope looked like meeting Susan, who happened to be in recovery. Her obvious zest for life gave me reason to believe that sobriety didn’t have to be equal parts deprivation and misery.

For a bunch of women in Amarillo, Texas, hope looks like a place called the Downtown Women’s Center, where I’m speaking today. As I’ve mentioned, they provide long-term help to homeless and addicted women so they can rebuild lives worth staying sober for.

Given my thoughts about bottoms and hope, you can imagine how much I want to see this amazing organization raise a bunch of money.

If you think of it, pray for me today. Part of what I’ll be trying to say is how hitting bottom without hope mostly leads to despair and too often, death. But hitting bottom with hope can lead to surrender.

And that’s when we notice the prison key in our hand.


P.S. By amazing coincidence, today is also the day Sober Mercies releases in paperback. Since an important message of my book is hope, rather than apologize for shameless self-promotion, I encourage you to buy a copy for someone who loves an addict, struggles with a compulsion, or simply adores memoir.

If you want to make a donation to the Downtown Women’s Center, click here.







When Mercy Trumps Judgment

Art by Angelina Rusin, click image to visit her on Etsy
Art by Angelina Rusin, click image to visit her on Etsy

In early May, I’m speaking at an annual fundraiser for a large women’s center in Texas. Their mission is to provide housing and services to homeless and addicted women who are trying to rebuild their lives.

As I plan what to say, I realize I’ll be speaking to a rare kind of audience: People glad to show up where they know they’ll be asked to give money to help addicts and alcoholics.

Typically, you see, we’re not a group that easily evokes sympathy. Our cause doesn’t tug at the heart—or purse—strings the same way child hunger or breast cancer does.

And I get why. To the casual observer, addiction looks more like selfishness at full throttle than a progressive disease. We addicts tend to be stubborn, manipulative, and in many cases, criminal. Some of us are known for squandering what help we do receive.

No wonder we evoke disdain or distancing more quickly than generosity. Why would anyone want to throw good money after the likes of us?

Actually, I can think of several good reasons. More than two-thirds of American families are touched by addiction. It plays an enormous role in poverty, unemployment, crime, child abuse, and accidental death. The collateral damage is just huge.

On the positive side, many of us do recover. An estimated 20 million people today are enjoying long-term recovery.

Yet, despite these numbers, we don’t seem to have the collective will as a society to galvanize around this issue. It’s as if the stigma attached to addiction extends even to our willingness to invest in recovery. And I don’t see that changing until our compassion for the addict outweighs our aversion.

One of the biggest obstacles to such a shift is the erroneous belief that addiction is mainly a moral issue. Even though addiction is classified as a disease, many good people can’t get past the idea that addicts choose their sickness.

I get this. And it’s true that addiction usually begins with bad choices and risky behaviors. But trust me, no one sets out to become addicted. We set out to escape pain or feel better, unable—until it’s too late—to conceive of a force so great it could hijack our brain and steamroll our will power.

And who among us hasn’t felt desperate to change the way we feel? Who of us can be certain we wouldn’t have become addicts ourselves had we been born in another place or time?

My plea for empathy raises another important point. Like a lot of folks, I used to assume that addicts were perfectly happy getting high or wasted or what have you. I had no idea they actually suffered.

When I spiraled into my own alcoholism, I learned the awful truth. Few people are more miserable than an addict who desperately wants to quit, but can’t find a way to stop. Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to imagine what this kind of powerlessness feels like.

It feels like being stuck in a nightmare where you open your mouth to scream, but nothing comes out.

It feels like watching in disbelief as you begin to betray your conscience and your values, even as you pray to do the right thing.

It feels like knowing you’re hurting the people you love the most—and knowing you’ll do it again tomorrow.

It feels like losing your job, your driver’s license, your home, your family and marriage—and still not being able to quit.

It feels like coming to believe you must have been born for nothing, since that is what you are accomplishing with your life.

Imagine feeling all of that, and I bet you’ll agree that addiction isn’t something any sane person wants. And maybe it’s time to let mercy trump judgment.


P.S. Another post that helps bring balance to this issue is this one. That’s No Excuse.

P.S.S. Several of you are asking where I’m speaking. I’m at the Downtown Women’s Center in Amarillo, TX May 6. Here’s a link. (Tickets can be bought online in a couple days).





“But I Don’t Want To Be an Alcoholic!”

shutterstock_22702285In the past week, three different people have made the same remark to me: “But I don’t want to be an alcoholic!”

It’s an honest plea. A desperate declaration of resistance. But it’s also kind of funny. One, because they’re saying to me—I don’t want to be like you! Please tell me I don’t have to! And two, because absolutely no one wants to be an alcoholic.

I sure didn’t. During my active drinking, it was like a constant mantra in my head: But I don’t WANT to be an alcoholic! I will NOT be an alcoholic! I REFUSE to be an alcoholic! Glug, glug. Don’t say that yucky word! Eeeew! Get it off me!

[The Huffington Post accepted this blog today, too—so I’m sending folks HERE to finish reading. More people may see it that way. Thank you!]