No real recovery

After everything ended, after guns went silent and after roads opened again city started to live “normal” again.

But it was “normal” only for the people who have not lived through what happened. For the folks who gone trough all of that and survived nothing was and will be like before.

Whenever you watch TV or read newspapers about people or places or whole countries that have gone trough some shocking events, periods like war, earthquakes, famines or something similar, media folks gonna try to hook you with numbers of dead, cost of recovery in millions, amount of food that world is sending to the area, or number of troops that were needed to force opposite side to sign a peace treaty.

Most of the time it is gonna be news about facts, numbers, without too many pictures. I mean real pictures. Nobody wants to see the really bad / ugly real pictures.

Rarely some of the reporters gonna try to describe you stench of gangrene, or to show you kid who is eating macaroni with worms who is happy because it is a real treat compared to what the kid is eating most of the time.

Or even some small and simple things like “how bad it is to be completely wet in very cold weather, shiver and try to stay low for 3 hours because you need to hide”.

Anyway point of this is: there is no recovery after some things, I mean man can feel lucky because he is alive and went through that period and came out with all hands and legs still on his body. But real recovery is not how many aid packages are delivered to country or area, or if the local government building has flowers in front of it.

If you plan for survival scenario, don’t forget that massive change is part of this.

I see in many survival forums and communities that people talk about freeze dried blueberry muffins for breakfast, their big generators and what they do to keep life normal in survival scenarios.

I think this is just half of preparing and some people miss out on other half.

Get comfortable with change and to live worse.

When I was recording interview for my course, I was joking with Jay that we should add a hell week to course. A training week in which people stay in room, with just few drinks, a bucket as toilet, few grains or very basic food to eat and old piece of meat that is rotting for the smell.

This is of course too extreme but you get the idea. Instead just try to make trips to the outdoors. Get comfortable doing your toilet things out there if you have the chance and do this responsibly with digging hole and covering it up. Learn simple living like humans had to for many thousands of years.

If you do not plan or prepare your mind for change all those time you spend learning about survival and preparedness might help you survive physically but you will lose yourself mentally.

What happened to many people I know who went through the hard time during war?

Some of them are heavy drinkers, some of them are drug addicts, some are social “weirdos” unable to have friend, unable to have normal relationship. Some are normal on the outside but also have a very dark or dead side.

Some of them continue to live like they lived during SHTF, with violence, so violence became their job. It was like somebody draw a line in time and said ” OK before this moment lot of things were acceptable because SHTF, but from this moment we all need to behave like nice folks, no more killing, stealing…”

Some guys did not want to accept that, some could not, some killed themselves, some continued to kill others.

Once you have hit another human in face it is much more easier to do that again. You broke down a mental wall that is not easy built up again. This is also true for more serious violence.

Plan for a way back to normality. Plan how to explain your children why human do bad things.

I have friend who is working in institution for orphans who have lost both parents in war, or kids who have been left by the mothers who were rape victims.

That friend went through a lot of terrible things during the war, and he found some kind of vent or relief in helping others. In his case helping adolescents, war orphans or teenagers now.

He gave up his own life to live for these people. He does not have his own family, he does not have too much friends or some private life.
He is completely going with these kids through all of their own disasters and successes, when some of the kids are receiving some award at school he is drunk from celebrating, when some of them get into drugs he is sick for days, devastated.

Other from that job he is not existing. If he looses that job I am almost 100 % sure that he will kill himself. I help him sometimes, something like volunteering because of my medical background. Most of the kids actually now almost men and women, 17-18 years old.

Program is meant to work them through the “problematic” period of their life, teenagers years, after they spent childhood in homes for abandoned kids.

Anyway I’ve been called few nights ago into one of the those houses, call was “one girl is passed out, having seizures, hysterical attack or something like that”.

After we came to the place, checking the girl and talking with lady who is their psychologist – leader, and after we ruled out any possible real emergency we realized that girl- 17 years old had something like a panic attack. Girl was daughter of rape victim, her mother left her moment after she gave birth, hating her like she hated the rapist.

Through half hour conversation and lot of crying and wiping tears away she told us that she broke up with her boyfriend that night, she was devastated because of that.

I made mistake and laugh at that with statement that everything gonna be fine, and that she will have boyfriend again and that is not end of the world and it was only mild panic.

She yelled at me at that moment : “You do not know what real love is, real love can kill you, I can die because of this.”

At that moment something struck me. I’ve seen lot of bad things and lots of blood, and I guess after some time some things became normal for me.

But girl, 17 years old, born from hate, and left to be raised by strangers made me realize what I had lost.

Later that night I was trying to remember how it was when I was 16 or 17, when I had first girlfriend, first kiss or first breakup with girl. I could not remember too much, that kind of memories were pushed away by bad ones I guess.

I and people who went trough the things like I described are unable to see some things, things like real love and happiness. Things like that have been killed with all those kind of atrocities.

Some of the folks realized that years ago, and killed themselves, some with weapon, other with alcohol or drugs. Other ones are still alive, living, walking and working like some kind of zombies, only pretending to be normal, but in some strange way we have all been killed in that period.

I like everyone who survived that period had my portion of problems. I even tried to solve them with alcohol during one period, but luckily for me I realized there is no sense in that.

Somehow because of my job in medical field I learned that human is a very fragile thing, so human can be killed or die in many different ways. Everyones existence can be terminated in every moment, so I guess in some weird way I adopted some kind of philosophy that you can do whatever you want, but when your time has come , you are gone. This helped me. I take change now without getting stressed more or less at all.

That does not mean that you do not need to prepare yourself for every possible scenario, it actually means that when S. hit the fan you are not gonna be in control of many things, people will die so you have to be comfortable with this kind of massive change.

You can only take care, as good as possible, about small circle of problems around you, and your family, everything outside that circle depends on other things, bigger things. But inside that small circle you need to do everything that you can to be prepared. Taking care of things in that small circle helps me to cope with things that I went trough in my past. It became my life.

I still consider myself one of the more lucky ones, one of the rare ones, because I am channeling all of my experience and energy both positive and negative into preparing and talking about preparing.

I write to share what I know and this also makes the bad time I have been through feel valuable. It helps me and I hope you too.

I am preparing, doing everything to be prepared and ready when bad times come again, but for some emotional things I am just like dead.

None of us who survived that period completely recovered. Some scars never go away so prepare to not keep on living life like always only. Also prepare to get hurt, get comfortable with change and experiencing pain.

39 responses to “No real recovery”

  1. Marita Peak says:

    Please take a look at Peter Levine’s somatic experiencing therapy, it’s helped thousands of people who suffer from traumatic stress. Trauma is a physiological unregulated state of your nervous system that can be healed. If you have this kind of PTSD, seek out an SE practitioner and find your way back to the land of the living.
    Love, Marita

  2. sherry says:

    this article was moving to me because you have experienced immense changes and survived, keep up the good writing about it, some people just might understand what you are sharing, thanks

  3. Manny S says:

    Excellent article on a little address issue in prepping. Dealing with the changes mentally to you from the SHTF. It made me think not just in regards to me, but also how it may effect my wife and daughter. Thank you again for posting on your experiences, and the course in general. I am learning a lot.

    • Selco says:

      @Manny S
      Correct, people do not talk too much about this side of SHTF. It is very important to try to understand how much man can take, mentally, how hard can be. And act properly.
      It is important just like it is important how much ammo you can carry.

  4. chester says:

    Very thoughtful and spoken from experience (best teacher). I tell friends much of your ‘preps’ should include mental/emotional readiness for scenarios you can envision for yourself in SHTF (and your family) and its sometimes hellish conditions. Been through a few and military was an eye opener too. I like your hell week idea.

    Thanks Selco for sharing. Plant a seed here and there. Keep up great work.

  5. Julio Cheda says:

    Nice article Selco,

    I work on an clinic specialized on Post Traumatic experiences as a psychologist. I can assure you that if little events (car crash, house fire…) can unbalance the mental Health of somebody, war can destroy it.

    I always get surprised and happy to see how good you are dealing with all those memories, you are a true warrior. We just have to sit and learn from your words.

    See ya.

  6. Robin Warren says:

    I spent Jan to June 1995 in Mogadishu Somalia. When we left that put me between assignments so I took 30 days of leave and went to Texas.
    I really did not know how much I had changed until one day I heard my mother talking to a very good friend of mine. “Todd, it’s not good to come over while he is home. He is not the same person we know.”
    No PTSD or such just dead inside to lot.
    After 28 years in this work I had seen a lot of things but never believed how badly humans could treat other humans. I now believe anything is possible.

    Selco/Jay – “Hell Week” would actually work. I would like to add to that “NO ELECTRONICS!” not even an alarm clock. Ask your doctor if you can do without some of your medications for a week.

    Make sure you tell your friends and the police what you are doing. Not going to help if someone breaks down your door.
    There again would add to the realism.


    • Selco says:

      @Robin Warren
      Yes, some things and situations can be simulated pretty good with right and correct information. On the other side one important thing would be hard to simulate.Fear for your life, real fear and horror.

    • Gypsy says:

      Robin, my husband was also in Somalia/Mogadishu. And in Bosnia. And came home in between assignments as well.. I wonder perhaps if you may have known each other…

      He is a wonderful person, perfectly normal, full of love, humor, hard work, etc, but then, on some occassions, you can see the switch flip..flat eyes, no emotion, doing what must be done. His 13 y/o daughter who has recently come to live with us was acting out, and was becoming somewhat violent and hysterical the other night, and was getting to the point where she thought she was going to take a swing at me, her step mother, for denying her an i-pod, and the switch flipped in my husband..She couldn’t see it, but i could, and i thought, how easily he could snap her neck, and not have the slightest bad dream over it. Needless to say, the situation worked out ok, but I have seen what war can do to the inside of a person, and whether a person is defending themselves, or killing at the request of the government, it lingers, sometimes for years..

      • Robin Warren says:

        Selco, how right you are! Fear and experience will save your life.

        Gypsy, I was with the Marine Corp CI guys but was a Duck. Weird how that worked out.

        All others,

        I really tried to get across how changes happen to YOU and you do not realize that fact. The day to day interaction with others like you, with others totally unlike you and the folks that just want to kill you give you a slight bent on everything. Like coming from one country where they drive on the right and winding up the next day in a country where they drive on the left. Simple stuff will get you hurt or killed. So you change. You change to stay alive and in one piece.

        Then there are the very simple things that now just crack me up.

        Like smells. When you hunker down for your “Hell Week” do like Selco said. Put some rotten meat in where you are staying. Make sure you are not by yourself, for safety and to compare notes when you exit.

        Here is the real hoot, approach someone you know dearly right after you come out from “Hell Week.” Get them later to describe how you looked and how you smelled! Since you are all together you all get used to the smells. When you come out most folks will run to the other side of the street to keep from shaking your hand!

        Before you start Hell Week do a little reading: The Death of Grass or watch a movie: The Day After Armageddon

        Like my Marine Corp buddies used to say: Inspirational and Motivating.

        …..running off at the mouth.


        • Wayne says:

          I kinda already live like that…small room, no company but my dog mostly, dried foods and my BOB is always packed and ready, I plotted out at least 5 alternate routs away from my house(above and below ground), I know I can go 4 days without water and a week without food and hardly notice the discomfort, I can hunt, fish and construct a shelter with only my camping knife. I can make simple meds out of things I find in the woods and fields, do small bone sets and my own stitches. At the first site of solders on our streets I vanish…getting out of the city I’m in without having to harm anyone is my only concern at first but I will if I have to with no hesitation, hesitation can be death…I will be under the assumption that my life is at risk every time I run into someone that isn’t a friend. I have lain dressed like grass by the bike path for hours and never been noticed and I’m very quiet in the woods so stealth is my option I’m hoping I’m allowed by circumstance. I came here to learn what I need to watch for in an urban setting in case I can’t I can get out.

  7. McMedic says:

    Excellent, as usual.

    My only suggestion is instead of “Hell Week,” call it “Reality Week” for that will be reality after the stash of freeze dried food, bottled water and toilet paper run out.

  8. Ryan says:

    Selco, to me, this was the most valuable thing you have shared so far.

  9. Markus says:

    Can you imagine what life will be like when the Military comes home from all these wars no jobs…a police state…a dead or dying economy…..and their family house in foreclosure to the fat bankers. Not a happy thought!

  10. dkclaymore says:

    Good post mate; this is a subject nobody ever mentions,especially in our countries because people think they will be considered weak if they speak out about these things.
    From the sentences themselves I see you are giving a much bigger part of yourself to us than many can imagine in your wish to prepare those who want to listen and maybe save at least some.
    A brave act indeed, well done.
    A “Reality week” should be entered as a subject at schools in i.e. 8th grade (like we had civil defense in elementary before the fights in 90s)
    Hvala susjed,samo nastavi!!!!

  11. Sandy Taylor says:

    I just wanted to say that I too was very moved by Selco’s post. Selco, you have a way with words where your honesty and true point comes across. Too often people fluffy what they say under so much heavy prose that the end point is missed entirely. When I read your posts, I get a true understand that I’ve only really FELT in a few other places, like in Zlato’s Diary. It’s entirely changed the way I prep. I think I too had a phase (mercifully short) where I thought, in some ways, life would be better after SHTF. Not to an extreme, like the folks who just revel in the thoughts of sitting in their castle watching the world go to hell and doling out charity to the waiting masses. That’s foolish. But in the way of thinking that at least life would be more REAL.

    And then you wake up, and feel an immense sense of gratitude for the stability we have now, in comparison to when SHTF.

    Thanks Selco, and keep up the realism. It reminds me of where I really need to focus, and how very very important prepping is.

    ~ Sandy Taylor

  12. Aussie Mick says:

    Great article Selco…I have a few observations which are specific to me…but might help others. I am on a pension for PTSD as a result of my service in SVN. I no longer take any medications of any type..there are no ‘good’ drugs. I used to drink a lot..but I am now drinking very little…drinking starts out as a social thing…but can become did for me. The only thing over which you have complete control is your thoughts. No…not 100% complete control…but you can choose to get the wrong thoughts out of your head if you make a conscious effort. Like..for example…if you read and watch are programming yourself to maybe get into situations that can get you in the shit…if you drink too much…same deal…drugs…same deal. You put yourself in a situation to NOT be in control of what happens to you. Big football game here in OZ last night…whole country obsessed with the game..eating…drinking too much…half way through the game…phone rings…a friend’s nephew committed suicide. That was nearly me once. Say you want to stop drinking….no need to do it…change WHAT you drink…and maybe with whom you drink…drink coffee…or tea…I hate to spend $40 on a carton of beer..I need the money for SHTF…and over 1/2 of the money ends up in the pockets of ‘big biz’ or ‘big govt’…so it is a big win for me…I save $$$ and stay in control of me. I make a determined effort NOT to spend money with criminal corporations like those that are destroying the world as fast as they can…Monsanto..Microsoft..big Banks…why feed the parasites??? Make it your business to be the boss of you ..and your money….and your thoughts. Surround yourself with like minded people. My own family think I should ‘forget’ prepping…live only for the present..get on the the idiot box…drink aspartamane and fluoride…do what normal sheeple do…bend over and cop it. Once you decide to take control of your own situation…YOU are the boss. So what if someone else is richer…fitter…stronger…younger…better looking…if you are in control of YOU..your thoughts…you are better off. Hard to be in control if you are on drugs/alcohol..or hanging around with others who are. Bet Selco survived because of mental toughness. I am still making a conscious effort every day to stay on top. Go to bed every night thinking about what you can achieve will fall asleep happy and wake up with a purpose…it is now 6am…today I will dig more soil out of my root cellar…until my hands seize up..then drink coffee with an old neighbour (6 years older than me)…plant some paw paw seeds I got for free…and spend no money with the globalist criminals!! Aussie Mick.

    • Wills says:

      well said Mick, i believe that experience is the best teacher and nothing gives you better experience than making mistakes.
      God Bless and keep fighting the good fight

  13. Gordon says:

    What most people in the USA don’t understand is the people Selco described are among us now.

    Army and Marines who have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, some multiple times, have a hard time adjusting back to “normal”. US normal is not “normal” over there.

    When you have to live under those conditions for months at a time it is difficult to step back into American society and deal with people who have no clue and most of them are not even interested.

    Please take time to talk with and where possible help US veterans who are trying to fit back in.

    Semper Fi


  14. sunflower says:

    This topic was awesome. The part about what the teen girl said was so powerful.

    Here is another personal anedote/story about smells.

    A couple years ago my dog disappeared. After almost a week, I located a local farmer and inquired about my dog. He said, “oh don’t you know? you dog is dead.” He preceded to describe to me where he saw my dead dog last.

    My husband took me in car to look. Apparently, some one took dog down road and put off side (that was more humane than to leave near busy road). Sounded like a stranger hit my dog, and when I thought about it, I remembered seeing a utility truck (oil/logging maybe) out near the spot about the time my dog had gone missing.

    Anyways, we locate dog by smell. My husband was wise this way. I start crawling in round steep area, and he says no. She (the dog) will smell, only go down covert if you smell something bad. When I find her it is due to smell. She was in bad location and all swollen. My husband could not reach her with skid steer. I tried to carry her out hill. The smell was so bad, I buckelled down to vomit. I became so nausiated and tear and shaking started. I think it was more than being upset. The stinch was so strong.

    I was not strong enough to pull dog up. I kept falling. Finally, I leave dog alone. My husband came back with dirt a few times, and tired to cover up dog (and smell). The dirt helped.

    Before this, I have been near dead animals. I have been around sticky pigs, and cattle feed lot. This smell from hot dead dog was hard to tolerate. In a SHTF situation, I could imagine being locked in room with dead dog for week. I have a bad back and past stroke – so arms not working same as others. My current dog weights more than my husband. The point is, I can lift my dog. My husband is paralyzed so he would not be able to help either.

    So, SHTF, would not have to happen in full force to be in situation of having dead dog in house. Sometimes our weather closes roads for weeks.

    Keep writing. Always good stuff. And yes, this is all helpful to me personally. Thankyou Selco and helpers.

  15. Tony says:

    Excellent truth. One of the most real life aspects of shtf. I’ve not suffered the ravages of war. I have suffered the death of my young wife and mother of our child at my feet. The blood, the smell of the blood, the shock, the knowing you’ve lost her forever, people around you in shock, the crying, the chaos. You are never the same. Time may heal the wounds on the surface but inside you are never the same. You adapt or die emotionally. Even though that was long ago, I am still feeling emotional as I remember as I type this. These things can’t be practiced, only experienced. Its a tough lesson. Okay, enough, I got tears running down my cheeks after 19 years! LOL!
    Learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations is probably the best advice I’ve ever “clicked” with personally in your articles and posts. I would advise people to follow Selco’s advice on this one as much as possible. I lived it. Some by choice and some not by choice. That advice is rock solid and will begin a useful, stronger shtf mindset that will help you in life in general as well as a shtf scenario. My two cents. Awesome post Selco. Much respect. Tony

  16. David says:

    Years ago we talked about this and SHTF events and a very wise person said that the most important preparation was ” attitude”. I think Selco’s post supports this. It is your attitude to survival events which will get you through, as much as any physical preparation.

    He used the example of walking across a stony desert in bare feet. It is something you have to do and suffer if you want to get to the other side.

    I guess you must have faith that there is something better on the other side???

  17. Dan Reed says:

    I appreciate the knowledge you share, but unfortunately I anticipate having to deal with martial law on top of the things you had to deal with.If this happens it will be too bad we have to fear our own government, some of which are friends or brothers in law enfoprcement and our military.

  18. CJ says:

    Thank you Selco for another post. I get so sad when I read your stories, but I am so grateful to have found your site. I visit other preparedness sites, but your stories by far have helped me the most. All real life stories cut through all the arm chair preppers fantasies of how our world as we know it will end. Dealing with the aftermath of a horror (if you’re lucky enough to survive) can sometimes be the true test of your faith and willingness to live. Please keep posting. It truly helps those of us who pray we’ll never have to go through what you went through, but if so, will have the strength and courage to do so.

  19. Sean says:


    I know you do not like to talk about God, so I guess I will ask this question rhetorically (i.e., I do not expect an answer):

    Seeing what you have seen may have caused you to doubt the existence or goodness of God.

    My dad was in Vietnam, and for him it had the exact opposite effect.

    He saw the evil that could only be inspired by the devil.

    He saw that life in this world was only a trial to determine where we would spend eternity (i.e., the real world).

    After he returned, he converted to the Catholic Church, and said it changed his worldview (i.e., He learned to look at all occurrences from a supernatural perspective), and this gave him comfort, because, though it did not erase the bad memories, it did give him an outlet and use for those memories that caused him so much suffering: He offered these painful memories up as penence for his sins and the sins of others, in the hopes that his sufferings could save the souls of those for whom he offered these sufferings).

    Well anyway, I enjoy your writings.

    Thank you.

    • Selco says:

      No problem.
      Thing is as soon as we start to discuss about God we gonna have arguing here what is what.
      Personally i also had my long road from believing to not believing, and all the way back again and again.
      I also belive that evil can take human face sometimes, or sometimes you just can smell evil.

  20. Rick says:

    Your stories are a real reality check! No one can imagine what you have gone thru. Unless you have lived or been in a similar conflict which all are different. These stories do open your eyes on what to expect or not!

  21. Wills says:

    The only thing we can control is ourselves and then only if we are aware of who and what ourselves is.
    It sounds like you have plenty of self-awareness Selco. General Sun Tzu said the same over 2000 years ago;
    “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”
    For myself I have sort of a Karate Kid mindset, bad people doing bad stuff= Wax On.
    No bad people doing bad stuff= Wax Off. Sort of like a light switch, you just mentally turn the switch on during bad
    times, do the best you can and then when the switch is off, live with the new normal.
    That girl with the anxiety attack has nothing worse than losing a boyfriend to compare to so she just might die as a result, not physiologically but through her own dysfunctional actions.
    Your idea about a hell week for the course is actually very good. People must be inoculated for stress similar to what they may face. Thats why all specops units have a hell week as part of their early training, mainly to weed-out the weak and bolster the survivors.

  22. Jason says:

    Excellent article my friend. This has been helpful for me to better understand my stepfather. He was a child during World War 2, in NAZI Germany. He and his mother survived the firebombing of Hamburg, countless other bombings and a week long train ride which was attacked by ally planes almost every day. He saw things no child or adult should ever have to see. He was never friendly to me or anyone in our family when we were growing up. But after learning what he went through I am beginning to understand and feel pity for him. Even to this day when he hears the civil service alarm go off for testing every week, it gives him flashbacks of running to the bomb shelter with his mother.

  23. Daniel says:

    God bless you Selco. This is another story I want to preserve for the future, because I know it will be needed someday.

    Thank you for having the strength and courage to post this. Mark my words, people will live thanks to you. Mark those words well. I pray that your stories like this will also help those who live also retain a little more “good” in them and recover a little faster too.

    – Daniel

  24. Eric says:

    Damn, dude. Intense. Thank you for sharing your life experiences with the rest of us. It matters.

  25. alc says:

    Hm, I sh!t in a bucket, bathe (few, ok, couple, times a week) by boiling water on the stove. and assassinate animals all the time. I guess I’m partway there. I dig around in the garden and cut down trees for fun. (Well OK not for fun, because some trees are being mean to other ones I like more.)

    But really, what are we ready for? I am a *very* good shot, am OK with killing (animals at least) which puts me in the minority of Americans, have lived very poor and crude, but how would I handle being in the environment Selco was? I consider my ability to kill animals a gift, since so many around here won’t, and it results in problems because no one’s willing to step up and be the “bad guy”. My next-door neighbor matter-of-factly will take a big knife and kill a sheep Halal style, not because he’s Muslim, he’s a Jehovah’s Witness, but he sells lambs to a lot of people who do Halal slaughter, and has picked up the skill, better than some of his customers! But he’s a very mild-mannered guy who might freak out when canned beer is no longer available.

    There are all these mental barriers and they are much bigger than physical ones. I saw in Army Basic people who were marginal physically but they were all-go mentally and they made it. Not with flying colors but they made it. And others with excellent bodies who were mentally not with the program, and they failed.

    I am very suspect of my fellow Americans born after 1980. That’s when video games, computers, etc came in, cell phones. It’s about the time high fructose corn syrup came in (invented by a Japanese guy, thank Japan for that and blue LEDs) and that caused a revolution in food – bakery products that didn’t spoil, CHEAP soda, etc. These young gremlins never experienced hunger! And they tend to be sugar addicts, a truism in making food for Americans is, Make it sweet. What are these young people going to do if things get rough? They’ve never even seen their own ribs.

    • N says:

      Dont worry alc, we arent all like that. Remember only the morons make the national msm news. There r outdoorsmen n women of every generation, who work for a living n prefer personal liberty. And individual responsibility. Btw u should tell ur neighbor to learn how to make his own beer, its actually pretty easy. Or learn urself and use it as a bartering skill if shtf. Theyll b lots of ppl wanting booze if the trucks stop running, and they might have something u want or need.

      Thanks again Selco, always useful.

      • alc says:

        Booze is on my priority list. It’s a useful thing, for drinking and doing all kinds of useful stuff with.

        Regarding macaroni and worms, well, macaroni was a hard-won thing in my childhood and I dunno about the “worms” that happen in it, probably moth larvae, but I can say that flour weevils are delicious. They taste like sunflower seeds, only more so.

  26. Nehweh Gahnin says:

    Selco —

    I’m a bit late to this comment thread. I just found you. I am impressed. I blew through the first 3 entries in your blog, and now I had to comment. It is extremely rare to hear the common sense that this piece carries. I count myself blessed, here in the U.S., to have had a number of experiences and lessons that have carried me places most folks don’t go. I was digging catholes and sleeping on the ground last weekend. (For fun.)

    I was a U.S. Marine. I have killed many animals, but have been fortunate not to have ever fired on another human being. Recently, as in the past ten years, my life transformed radically. Ultimately, in that span of time, I lost a wife (and gained one), lost a job, lost a house, lost my children. (I lost my car last week.) I fought in the beginning 18 months, but then arrived at the conclusion that things were as they were, and I could either accept them and move forward, or stay locked in a fight that did nothing but drain me. I chose to accept these things, and over time, each has gifted me in some major way or another. Every one, without exception.

    Now, at the end 18 months of that ten year span, things have become interesting. I see what is going on, and I have finally reached a large group of other people who also see. I searched so many years. Many, however, want to hold on to this life as long as possible, and even for them, it is hard to accept the changes before us. But what distinguishes them from the people I left behind in the old life is this: They will do what they need to do.

    Your experiences and lessons are important, fundamental. Your work is excellent. Thank you. I will be sticking around.

    Nehweh Gahnin

  27. teabag says:

    thank you so much for this and all of your posts! reading your words feels like a breath of fresh air to me. you see, i grew up in a torture chamber created by my parents, who were unbelievably abusive. but of course, everyone thought we were the perfect family on the surface, so i don’t know whether the abuse itself was worse or the deception. i do know how much guts it takes to face one’s own wounds and admit that one is not the same and never will be–who would i be if i had grown up in a kind and supportive environment? i will never know.

    but it’s also true that those of us who have experienced the unthinkable and not been destroyed by it may have an advantage when the shtf–we already know that

    1. “it” can happen here, and
    2. “it” can happen to me.
    on 9/11/01, many americans were in a shocked and disbelieving mental state at first, once they realized the u.s. was under attack. i wasn’t. maybe that will be helpful when the shtf.

    either way, thank you for your eloquent honesty.

  28. NWDUB says:

    I have ex girlfriend who is Armenian. She lived in Azerbaijan in the late 80s and early 90s. They had to flee to America because of genocide in Azerbaijan against Armenians. Her father was russian and mother armenian so it was hard to get the whole family out of the country because russians were not targets. They convinced the people to let them through and escaped to Florida. It’s crazy because she was just little kid at the time, but the stories she remembers are incredible.

    You could see in the way they lived there was still leftovers from the war. They still lived and stocked supplies more than the average house because they knew just how easy it is for things to go wrong. I didn’t fully understand it then, it was just at the beginning of my prepping, but I understand now. I wish I could have picked her very stoic father’s brain and learned when I had the chance but I did not know better…

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