In a recent poll on my website, I asked, “What kind of support do you have as you prep?” 23/52 voters said, “I’m the only one in the family that preps.” Going solo is a sure fire way to get down in the dumps and overwhelmed quickly. I can speak from experience.
I had a chance to sit with a good friend during an all day meeting recently. We haven’t really talked for an extended period of time, about two years, but she realized that something was wrong. Some people are truly gifted with the power of observation. In those few short hours we were together, she noticed something was bothering me and wouldn’t let up until I divulged.
Of course, in the last two years my world has turned upside down with prepping and all that the topic opens up for you. Like Neo taking the red pill, your eyes are open to how frail we really have become.
After approaching the topic carefully, (I have learned not to freak people out) she cracked a long smile and shared that her family, her dad, husband, etc… have been preparing for a long time. Her family is very well prepared. On the outside, I never would have guessed it.
It is always good to talk with someone who shares the same view of preparedness. Because, preparedness can be a lonely road, one in which people who are on the same road are the only people that truly understand.
I’ve noticed a few things about myself here recently, in regards to this. I’m mentally and emotionally drained. But at the same time, my fear about realizing the worse in people (in the long run), might not be totally accurate.
I don’t know how else to describe it, but sometimes I just feel tired. During these times, I don’t seem to get recharged. This is partly due to the crazy schedule that I keep: family, work, church, officiating weddings on the side, all the while prepping.
I literally can’t walk into a store anymore without thinking about preps that I could/should buy. I can’t seem to watch a show without thinking about how prepping might apply. I have a hard time giving importance to trivial things (in my opinion, but not to others) because there are so many more important things to think about.
I know what advice people would give me. I would give that same advice to others. But I can also see why some people just choose to put their head in the sand and pretend like nothing in this world is wrong. It would be easier. But with what I know now, I can’t pretend like everything is fine. It’s crazy out there…and everything points to it getting crazier, which leads me to my other point.
I’ve always felt like this, and my friend reemphasized it in out talk. The human spirit will survive. It is that thing inside of us that says survive and go beyond just survival. It is what people have drawn from in the past and will continue to draw from. Most people are good inside and want to do good to others.
Now, I believe that it is going to get crazy first. There are bad people out there and they will do bad things. But eventually, good will prevail. It has to. If it doesn’t, there is no hope.
In the meantime, one of the most important things we can do is to link up with other like-minded preppers. It’s not good to “go it alone.” That gets old and depressing. But knowing that there are others out there, who share your same concerns and interests is helpful in continuing on without losing your mind. I hear so many people talk about and get worried about OPSEC. Some people isolate themselves in fear. I don’t believe that is any way to live. Of course, you should use wisdom in what you say and do, but don’t forget to build those important relationships. Build community!
Building a community or friendships doesn’t have to be a show me yours and I’ll show you mine process. Here are a couple of things that you can do:
Attend a Meetup group on preparedness/survival/prepping. Go to www.meetup.com and search your area. If there isn’t one, create one yourself. If you live in a decent size city, there are people out there looking to link up. You can meetup at a coffee shop or restaurant if you like. The great thing is that you can show up and lay low if you feel it isn’t for you.
Get on Twitter! There is a big community of preppers using Twitter with the hashtag #preppertalk. They are always welcoming and willing to answer any questions. It is a good place to bounce around ideas and find out info.
Facebook has some pages that you can “like” and link up with others too.
Forums – There are many forums out there that are specific to prepping. You can get questions answered and still stay anonymous. Check out The American Prepper Network
All these are good alternatives. But I think the best is to build relationships with people one on one. Find someone with like interests…maybe at church or in another group and start dropping those hints and statements that won’t give you away like:
What do you think about the economy?
What did you do to prepare for the last hurricane/tornado/ice storm that came through?
Do you know anything about gardening?
That is what happened with my friend in the story above. Now we can talk freely about prepping without worrying that the other thinks the other is a nut job! But I have repeated that same conversation with multiple people. Now there are a few trusted friends that I can talk to about preparedness. And that helps to get through without going crazy!
Todd is the editor of the The Prepper Website – www.prepperwebsite.com