Tired Of Waiting.

You leave so carelessly only come right back around on the weekend.

It’s the late night texts and slurred words in calls, asking what I’m doing?
But I’m the one who should be asking you that same thing.

I see you type and I wonder what you’re going to say.
Then I’m overcome with silence, because you say nothing like you know I push pause in my life when it comes to you.
But I’m so tired of waiting.

Am I just some hookup on a list of names you’ll soon forget or am I the one you actually think about??

Am I the one you tell your friends about, and if they know why don’t I?

Care is a relative term.
Especially when actions contradict.
I wonder what you want from me.

Why do we run in these circles and play these games?

Cause you know you could have me if you wanted, but all you ever do is let me down.

Am I some mistake you wake up to asking yourself why did you go there again?
Or am I the one you see yourself creating some life with? And if that’s the case, what is holding you back?

You talk about your family like you want me to know them, but I wonder if they know my name.

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She’s Afraid…

She comes across as confident but in reality, she’s scared.

She’s afraid to say the wrong thing.
So she stays quiet.

She’s afraid to do the wrong thing.
So she freezes in certain moments.

She’s afraid to say too much or come on too strong.
So she keeps things to herself.

She’s afraid to be too vulnerable.
And afraid to show she cares.
So she pretends not to.

She’s afraid to make any first move.
So she doesn’t make any.

She’s afraid of goodbyes without the word.
So sometimes she beats them too it.

She’s afraid other people’s mind could change.
But hers never seems to.
And she’s left wondering what she did wrong.

She’s afraid that someone will get to know her.
And she’ll be met with rejection.

She’s afraid of staring at her phone and not hearing anything.
Another unexplainable silence where she questions herself. Rereading words and wondering what they mean.

She’s afraid someone will see her not for who she is.
But what she can offer them.
Compromising self-respect hoping that will make them stay.

She’s afraid to lose herself like she’s done in the past.
To people who weren’t worth her time and energy.
And everything about it left her drained.

She’s afraid of the flaws she sees every time she looks in the mirror.
Because she likes the perception people have of her, the ones who don’t know her.
Like there isn’t something wrong with her.
When people don’t know you that well, they see the best parts.

She’s afraid to let anyone in.
Because she doesn’t handle goodbyes with grace.

She’s afraid someone will tell her she’s too much.

So she tries to play it cool.
Like she doesn’t care.
But girls like her always will.

She hides a heart she wears on her sleeve, so cleverly hidden under baggy long shirts.
Afraid to play her best cards because she’s watched herself lose in the past.

She’s afraid to care out of fear the other person won’t.
She’s afraid to put her trust in anyone else but herself.

She’s afraid to give too much.
Out of fear, it’ll leave her empty.

She’s afraid she’ll never know what it’s like to get it right.
Because all she seems to know is wrong.

She’s afraid to watch people leave.
The ones that don’t come back.
And she’s left alone with thoughts that plague her.

And she analyzes her reflection.
And she’s tried to change.
She’s tried too hard to be so right.
But everything feels wrong.

Having a good heart in an ugly world will leave you feeling that.

She’s scared to let anyone in.
Because no one has ever made her feel that confident.
And she’s struggled to find that within herself.

Because when everyone is trying to change you.
And nothing ever works out.
And caring isn’t enough to make people want to stay.
She isolates herself.

She appears confident but if you really got to know her to the core of who she is with a simple touch, you’ll see her shake. With the right compliment, she’ll blush. When she’s treated right you’ll see the fear in her eyes. And with a simple kiss, she’ll pull away. With fingers locked, she won’t hold too tightly. And when you ask her what she’s thinking, she’ll never tell the full truth.

Because she’s afraid to.

Hiding behind walls.
Protecting her heart.
Thinking more with her head.
Not believing anything people say.
Hoping for the best.
But anticipating the worst.

Knowing the only person she can trust is herself.
Knowing she’s not crazy for caring.
But it’s the wrong people who made her feel that way.

She doesn’t want to get let down or led on.

She wants to believe in people, relationships, and that there are good ones out there. That not everyone has intentions of using her, hurting her, and taking her for granted.

She wants someone who makes her believe in things again. But she’ll never ask that of anyone.

So she’ll stay silent, guarded, and fearful.

She’ll hide a heart that’s worthy of the best type of love hoping maybe things will change.

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When Depression Hurts.

It never fails to surprise me how badly depression hurts.

It is an indescribable pain growing somewhere inside your torso. You can’t even understand where it lives, but you feel it pushing down on your stomach, reaching up inside your rib cage, and tightening around your windpipe. Your stomach feels sick, your throat feels like its closing, and the heavy pain inside you pulls you down to the ground.

It hurts too much to breathe. It hurts too much to be alive.

And the knowledge that it is winning and you are failing yourself and everyone around you is almost enough to end you.

Almost.

But you don’t let it kill you. Not this time anyway. You take one more breath, and then another. And you try to find a way back up.

I am not new to this depression hurts drill. I have been struggling with major depressive disorder, chronic PTSD, and anxiety my whole life thus far. Medication and a good psychiatrist keep me relatively balanced, but I am always living with how depression hurts and anxiety. And there are days and weeks when the depression hurts and overpowers me and I end up hiding under the covers, hating myself.

But eventually, I must get out of bed.

Yes, I do sometimes give myself a mental health holiday and self-medicate with a Netflix binge for a day or two. But as badly as I may think I want to quit life and become a professional Netflix addict, I know that the only way to get better is to get off the couch.

This last week my depression had been gaining strength until it finally wrestled me into submission a few days ago. That is the brutal twist of depression that is triggered by self-hatred and “I am not good enough” syndrome. The more depressed you get, the more you hate yourself, and so on and so on, until you are lost in its vortex.

So, what do I do when depression hurts–throws me down and counts me out?

I do something—anything, really. The key is to get moving and get back to healthy activities.

Today, I went to the gym, spent time with my dog, I made a phone call to a friend, and I wrote this post.

If you are battling depression and anxiety, please don’t give up. There are so many of us out there fighting along with you.

You are not alone. You are not the only one who feels like a failure. And you will not feel like this forever. (Yes, your depression may never be cured, but good days will come again, even if the bad days come back too.)

If you are suicidal, please call a suicide crisis hotline or go to your local emergency room. If you can’t get to the hospital, call 911. Please.

If you do not have a good doctor who understands you and mental illness, don’t give up looking for one. Ask your friends or your family doctor for a referral. Many of us need medication to survive and there is NO shame in getting the help your body needs.

If you are in a safe place and not in immediate danger and you need help to get yourself moving again, here are some things that I do when I feel like I can’t do anything.

Here are 10 things you can do When Depression Hurts:

1. Go for a walk or to the gym

The gym is my go-to medicine every day of my life, especially if I am struggling.

And fortunately, I have a dog that forces me to go outside with him multiple times a day, and the fresh air and exercise always make things at least a bit better.

2. Listen to music

Music can save a life.

Whether you are just having a rough day or your depression is at its peak, try turning on some music.

You may need something mellow and soothing, or maybe you need a fun, upbeat playlist that will get you in the mood to move. I am so grateful for all the artists in the world who have given us soundtracks for our lives.

3. Phone a friend

Picking up the phone and calling a trusted friend can be really difficult for some people (like myself) when they are depressed or anxious, but having a good support system is so important.

If you don’t have people you can reach out to who understand depression, anxiety, or addiction, please consider finding a support group or a 12 step program.

4. Do your art

What makes you feel good? What are you good at that gives you that shot of dopamine to your brain?

Are you an artist, a writer, a photographer—does creating your art bring you out of your pain? Or maybe you are an athlete and getting your endorphins running is what can help you heal.

Practice your gifts, flex your muscles, use your talents. Even though getting “back to work” is often the hardest thing for me to make myself do when I am depressed, it is always the best way to get my brain balanced again.

5. Clean something

Okay, you might think I am crazy with this one. But tackling even the smallest cleaning challenge can make you feel more powerful and in control of your life.

The order that comes from even a tiny tidied space, can feel like opening a window and breathing in gusts of fresh air.

6. Write a gratitude list

I always say, “You can only see what you are looking at.” It may be trite, but it is true.

If I am only looking at negative things, I am missing out on the good.

When it comes to clinical depression, we have a whole lot of nasty chemicals skewing our thinking. So it is not easy to see the good. It can be almost impossible. So, get out a pen and paper and force yourself to write down some good. Then, read and reread that list until you start to see some good again.

7. Practice a few Cognitive Behavior Therapy tips

Just like writing a gratitude list helps you to get out of your head and focus on the good in your life, Cognitive Behavior Therapy helps you to conquer your negative thinking and replace those destructive thoughts with positive truths.

I am not an expert in CBT by any shake of the stick, but I find huge benefits when I do CBT.

8. Read a book or magazine

I don’t get too many chances to sit down and read a book or magazine. And I do miss the quiet days of curling up with a book or magazine.

But reading a good novel, or a self-help book, magazine, or even a funny book by a blogger who has also been lost in depression, might be just what you need today.

9. Be your own best friend, not your worst enemy

It is shocking how we treat ourselves.

We would never dream of talking to a friend the way we talk to ourselves. We wouldn’t tell our best friend that they were useless and everyone else is better than they are. We would not withhold doctor’s treatment or medication from them or tell them that they are weak if they sought help for an illness.

Try to treat yourself like you would treat another person. Talk out loud if you have to. Try to stop your self-abuse and call on friends to help you if you can’t overpower the voices in your own head.

10. Look after yourself

Call your doctor, take your meds, get the help you need.

Yes, there is a lot we can do to help ourselves when we are dealing with depression and anxiety. And we need to be ready and active in our own treatment. But that doesn’t mean we don’t also need outside help. Don’t allow shame, fear, or procrastination keep you from reaching out for support and medical treatment.

I hope these tips help you to fight back when your depression hurts or anxiety is trying to take you down.

I wish there were a magic cure for mental illness. But until that day, all we can do is keep trying to take care of ourselves and remember that our darkest hours do end. Hold on tight and don’t give up.

And when you are able, get up and get moving—you can do it!

*Please Note: I am not a trained professional and this post is not medical advice. This post is based on my personal opinions and experiences. If you are suicidal, please call a suicide crisis line or go to your local emergency room. If you can’t get to a hospital, please call 911.*

We Were Always Meant For Goodbye.

You were the memories I knew I was going to miss as I was living them.

The conversations I’d have to get used to not having so often when that day came.
There was a time where we’d pick up right where we left off.
Now, these days I struggle to even say hello or know how to.

I want to ask how you’re doing.
But I don’t want to know the truth.
Because what if you say you’re better off without me.

I think back to us and how we used to be.
Certain moments engulfed by one another.
Where I love you hung for a while because it was true.
Where smiles were genuine.
And we never ran out of things to say.

Towards the end, I felt it.
Everything seemed forced and uncomfortable.
Off.
I was sitting there staring at someone who looked and sounded the same.
But I realized we were the ones to change in all of this.
Forever sounds like a silly word now.

If we weren’t meant to be.
And goodbye was written in our fate.
I would learn to cherish what was left.
It almost felt like we were the sand within an hourglass.
Just watching time run out.
Wishing I could flip it over and start again.

We were always meant for goodbye.
But I never regretted saying hello.

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Afraid To Care Too Much.

I’m afraid I’ll always be the one who loves harder and gets hurt for it.

I’m afraid every relationship I’ll never be the one who ends it.

I’m afraid to be too vulnerable, so sometimes I pretend not to care.

I let people close, but not close enough to hurt me.

I engage in unhealthy relationships because I’m afraid of the right one.

I let relationships linger that probably should have ended.
The words “just friends” never means just that.

I wear my heart on my sleeve.
But I try so hard to hide it.

I laugh like I’m okay with being alone.
But I hate waking up in a bed too big for one.
Or waking up next to someone and feeling alone.

I’m afraid I’ll meet someone I’ll start to care for.
So I run and ruin things before they begin.

I’m afraid to admit how I feel half the time, so I deny it.
I’m afraid of certain emotions, so I repress them.
Tucking them far into dark places making it hard to find.

I’m afraid that if I show someone who I really am, I’ll be met with either rejection.
Or maybe they will care too.
Maybe I’m afraid to gain something or someone.
Out of fear of losing them.

I’m afraid to pour my heart out.
And people take what they want from it and go.

I’m afraid to get my heart-broken.
Not just with rejection.
But when something goes too right in my life.
Suddenly I fear it.
I doubt it.
I question myself.
Wondering if I deserve it.

I’m afraid to admit I care.
Because if I admit I care, then someone has something over me.

I’m afraid to give pieces of my heart.
So I stay guarded.

I’m afraid to let someone in.
So I push them away.
But most of all, I’m afraid of the person who will see right through it.
The person who will stay.
Because it’s that person that’s going to hurt me the most.
The one who makes me feel things again.
The one who can pull out these emotions within me.
The ones I’m so afraid to show.

I’m afraid to care because every time I have in the past, it never ended well.
So I promised myself to be a little more guarded.
I promised myself to be a little more careful.
I promised myself to keep people at arm’s length.
Because then they can’t hurt you.

But what happens when the same thing you are afraid of is what can heal you?
I’m afraid. So I cling to other things.

The pain I’ve worn a little too comfortably.
Like that oversized sweatshirt with rips, I refuse to throw out.

I’m afraid to care because if I admit I care, then I have something to lose.
And if I have someone to lose, I’m afraid I’ll lose myself in an attempt to try to keep them.    If ever they should go.

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Someone With Anxiety Aren’t Hard To Love.

Confident is never a word someone will use when they have anxiety. Especially when it comes to relationships. In relationships, people with anxiety are almost too careful. Afraid to ever fully be themselves because they believe this single word that has influenced so much of their life even dictated it, won’t be accepted or understood by a partner. Simply because they haven’t accepted it within themselves.

How can you accept something that seems to rear its ugly head into your life, turning everything that could potentially be good into something horrible? Anxiety replays every moment, every conversation, every memory, every smile, every look and runs it over with a fine tooth comb. This way you can analyze the situation from a different point of view. Creating problems in your life that aren’t actually problems, but you are making them be. Overthinking. Overtrying. Overcaring. All of this is generated by the fear of reading a situation wrong, fear of getting hurt, fear of not having control.

So you replay everything seeing it from every different point of view just so you aren’t surprised or caught off guard. Just so you can prepare for how you’ll react if the worst case scenario were to become a reality.

When it comes to relationships, without even intending to, you expect the worst. You expect someone leaving. You expect some abrupt ending you don’t understand. And the relationship might only be in the beginning stages, but those beginning stages are the hardest for someone with anxiety. Because you are inclined to think negativity.

Maybe it’s the fear of an ending that manifests it. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. But anyone with anxiety will always point to themselves than analyze what they could have done differently, holding it over their own head and beating themselves up more.

Carefully wording every text. Wanting to confirm plans. Anticipating someone canceling last-minute. It’s wanting to be excited about something, but managing your expectations. It’s not trusting anyone. Because you’re afraid to let someone too close and you’re afraid to get hurt. It’s constantly doubting yourself, because people with anxiety take responsibility for every part of their life and every part of the relationship.

But in the beginning, someone with anxiety will hide all of this.

You might seem calm, cool, and collective, but as someone gets to know you, they will understand silence means something so much more. And when someone asks what you are thinking, you are afraid to say it.

Because if they suddenly told you everything like “I’m scared. I didn’t sleep all night because I couldn’t stop replaying what happened, and what I might have said or done wrong and how you might have interrupted it. I’ve been thinking about a single text all day. I’m looking forward to seeing you, but I understand if you want to cancel.” All of these thoughts plague your mind.

You won’t say anything like that though. On the surface, you will play it cool like there isn’t anything that wrong with you.

But in time the partner will begin to notice, picking, shaking, tapping, biting nails, humming, snapping, pacing around, rushing, deep breaths, lack of sleep, getting up early, oversleeping, routines, schedules, to do lists, silence, leaving and breaking down.

Struggling to articulate what it is that’s wrong, when it’s problem you’ve created in your head and you know you are overreacting, you know you are over thinking, you know it sounds nuts. But you are who they are and even though you don’t like it, you can’t help it either.

As a partner gets to know you better what they thought was high achieving and admirable traits was really a facade of pretending. They will begin to see how hard you are on yourself, how mean you are to yourself in moments, how hard it is to deal with sometimes, this part of yourself you hate. When you aren’t succeeding or achieving something or being the best at it, you beat yourself up. As they get to know you, what they thought was someone initially so confident, is really someone who doubts every decision they make and analyzes every flaw.

It’s the apologies that aren’t needed. The situations, assumptions, and jumping to conclusions meanwhile; your partner might not even have thought twice about their dialect of how they said something or how it might have come across in a text. It’s the silence they didn’t think about meanwhile, you assume they are mad. It’s getting to a point where you fearfully let this person in, sitting there explaining to someone this is everything going on in my head and your partner will realize how careful they have to be, because people with anxiety have a different level of sensitivity than the rest of the world.

The root of someone with anxiety is someone who cares and someone who is so afraid of doing something wrong or ruining something good or hurting someone.

And as a potential partner, the best thing they can do is try to understand and be accepting of it.

People with anxiety didn’t ask to be this analytical but they are, and it’s exhausting, and the best thing for someone like that, is a partner who isn’t going to be afraid to be the confident one sometimes. Be the one who just sits and listens. Be the arms when they break down. Be the one lying next to them when it’s late and you know they are awake and just hold them. Be the reassurance that you’re still about it and them, that you’re still here because they are sitting waiting for your mind to suddenly change. Be the person that answers texts quickly. The person who over explains things. The person who overshares. The person who sticks to a plan because people with anxiety need that structure. Be able to read them because even if they aren’t articulating what it is they are thinking and feeling, their face will say it all. Be one step ahead of them before they can jump to conclusions. Be able to communicate what is okay and what isn’t, because if you leave them guessing, you’ll get some letter that’s a long apology of things that weren’t even a problem, but they made one in their mind.

Anxiety leaves them doubtful and questioning everyone and everything. It’s ruining relationships before they begin. It’s struggling to take things slowly and struggling to trust someone new. It’s wanting the best and giving the best, but worrying when you’ve gone overboard.

But if you do have a relationship with someone who has anxiety, what you’ll get out of that is someone who will always be brutally honest. Someone who will always have your best interest at heart. Someone who will care too much sometimes. Someone who is sensitive and understanding. A person who won’t judge you for breaking down, because it could very well be them tomorrow. Someone who will give you strength, because they know the hardest obstacle to overcome are battles you have with yourself.

If you can overcome the hurdles together of them vs. themselves and you help them to be more confident, you will get their loyalty and love in its purest form.

Because people with anxiety might be bad at starting relationships, they might worry about them ending, but they are good in relationships.

And you’ll catch them in little moments, where they just whisper “thank you” under their breath and you won’t think much of it.

But really what they are saying is thank you.

Thank you for accepting me.
Thank you for not judging.
Thank you for reassuring my fears.
And always saying the right thing.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for making me better.
Thank you for standing by me.
Thank you for trying to understand.

But most of all, thank you for teaching me I’m not that hard to love.

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Why Do We Have Emotions?

Why do we have emotions? This is an excellent question! Did you think: “Emotions make us human” or “They help us feel?” These are partly correct. Emotions do define us as humans and we do ‘feel’ when we have emotions. But more precisely, emotions are subjective internal experiences that involve both a ‘mental state’, as well as a ‘physiological state’. By ‘mental state’ we mean the internal cognitive label we use. For example love, excitement, anxiety and anger. By ‘physiological state’ we mean the associated physical sensations or feelings in our body. For example, a racing heart and butterflies in the stomach when we feel anxious or the feeling of heat and pressure building up inside us when we are angry. For an emotion to be experienced, both these ‘states’ need to be present. Thus, we experience anxiety if we have a fear of heights only if there is an accompanying ‘physiological state’, such as a racing heart and shortness of breath. However, if we are exercising and have a racing heart and shortness of breath, we will not label this as anxiety because our ‘mental state’ does not perceive any danger, but rather knows these physiological changes are a direct result of the exercise

Most people tend to describe emotions as being good or bad.

Given that it is common for us to judge our emotions, many people develop false beliefs or ‘myths’ about emotions. Here are the most common ones, as well as why they are false. It may become even clearer why they are all myths.

Myth #1: There is a right way to feel in every situation.
False. Feelings are not right or wrong. They provide information about how we see a specific situation. Different people will feel different emotions depending on the situation because we all have different beliefs about ourselves, others and how the world operates. Even if two people feel the same emotion, it is possible that the intensity will vary. For example, during a funeral most people will feel sad, but the intensity of sadness will vary depending on how close each person was to the deceased person.

Myth #2: When I let others know I am feeling bad it shows I am weak or flawed. False again. Feelings are not a weakness. Everyone experiences negative emotions and we cannot all be weak or flawed. So expressing a negative emotion simply means that something is bothering us.

Myth #3: All negative emotions will keep on increasing in intensity if I do not act now. This is untrue. Emotions do not increase forever in intensity. They reach a peak and then they will subside.

Myth #4: Negative emotions are bad and destructive.
This is another false myth. It is not the emotion that is bad or destructive, but the behavior that results. For example, alcohol abuse, compulsive shopping, risk-taking behaviors and self-mutilation.

Myth #5: All emotions happen spontaneously for no reason.
False. All emotions happen for a reason and are the result of our perception of an event.

Myth #6: I cannot tolerate any painful emotion.
This is not true. People can learn to tolerate unpleasant emotions with practice. If we do not learn to tolerate emotions, impulsive behaviors such as drugs, regrettable sexual encounters and self-harm will lead to further problems and additional painful emotions.

Myth #7: Some emotions are completely stupid and useless.
Untrue. All emotions provide information to us so they are very useful. They help identify what we like or do not like (for example, what sports we like, how we want to be treated), they help us communicate with others (for example, facial expressions to convey anger or interest) and they help prepare us for action (for example, feeling anxious about a test motivates us to study until we feel prepared and the anxiety decreases).

Myth #8: If others do not agree with how I feel, then I must be wrong. Another false myth. There is no right or wrong emotion so emotions cannot be judged. If you feel a certain way, then it is what you are feeling regardless of what others say. Also remember that each person can experience a different emotion after the same event.

Myth # 9: Other people are the best at knowing how I am feeling. Not true. People can only see behaviors or what you do, but not what you are feeling. Thus, each person is the best judge of how they feel.

Myth #10: All painful emotions should be ignored because they are unimportant. False. Painful emotions are especially important because they leave significant emotional scars that need to be healed. Ignoring them will not make them go away.

Myth #11: Feeling negative or painful emotions means I am bad. A final false myth. Feelings are not like a personality trait or a behavior, so negative emotions do not describe us as people. In addition, everyone feels negative emotions, like anxiety or depression on occasion, and everyone cannot be ‘bad’.

WHY DO WE HAVE EMOTIONS?

This is an excellent question! We must have emotions for a reason, otherwise they would not exist. There are three major reasons why we experience emotions.

Emotions help to motivate us for action: Emotions help to organize our behaviour and set us in motion to accomplish a goal. For example, if you are crossing the street and you see a car run a red light in your direction, you will likely perceive danger, get anxious, and run to get out-of-the-way. If you see a member of the opposite as a potential romantic partner, it may motivate you to go talk to the person.

Emotions help us communicate with people: Emotions help us communicate with other people using our verbal and non-verbal behaviour. If you are mad at someone, you will likely raise your voice in a firm tone, stand up straight and look directly in the other person’s eye. In turn, emotions also help us recognize what others are feeling. For example, if the other person is looking at you, smiling and nodding their head during a conversation, you will likely perceive that they are listening to you and interested in what you are saying.

Emotions communicate to us what we like and do not like: These include a variety of information such hobbies, people, work, interests, food, how we prefer to be treated, our values, sports, etc.

THE MEANING BEHIND EMOTIONS

Now that you know why we have emotions, the next step is to understand what information each emotion is communicating to us. We are quite good at knowing why we have pleasant emotions, so this last section will focus on what unpleasant emotions mean. If someone were to ask you why we experience anxiety, what would you answer? Did you reply, “It means I feel scared” or “It means being afraid?” Scared and afraid are words that describe the intensity of anxiety. For example, tense or nervous are synonyms for a low-level of anxiety, whereas panic and terrified would describe an extremely intense level of anxiety. Anxiety means that we perceive a threat or a danger. For example, I become terrified if I see a bear because I am afraid of getting mauled (i.e. danger) or I feel nervous about public speaking because I am afraid of getting judged (i.e. an emotional threat). So each emotion has a series of words that describe the intensity of the emotion, it communicates specific information to us which are thoughts, perceptions or beliefs about an event.

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