How has
Peak Oil
affected you?
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Not 'Surviving,' Thriving

Common Reactions

Types of Emotional Responses

Disbelief/Fascination

"When I first heard about Peak Oil, I said to myself, 'No way. The Government won't let that happen.' But I couldn't forget about it so I kept reading. After a while, I couldn't believe the Government wasn't already doing something about it..."

"I sat at my computer for weeks. First I read the Peak Oil sites, then I started reading all the skeptics' websites. It was like some kind of drug. I was totally fixated on trying to figure out whether this was real or not."

Anxiety

"I was nervous all the time, but I kept telling myself it was really stupid to be so upset. Nothing was different. I still had electricity. I still had heat. But none of that really took away the nervousness. I started biting my nails again. I found myself hugging the kids at night, hard, and telling them, 'I love you,' over and over. I kept trying to convince myself everything would be okay, but deep down I didn't believe it."

Panic

"I stopped being able to sleep through the night. Everything I touched, I said to myself 'I won't have that after the Armageddon.' I made a joke about it to other people, but the truth was, I was completely overwhelmed. I wanted to protect my family. I wanted to make sure I had enough that would last me until things got 'normal' again. But then I'd realize that they would never be 'normal' again, and I'd go back to being panicked. It went on like that for weeks."


"It brought back the time I was raped. All the feelings of being overwhelmed and violated. I started to have panic attacks again, something I haven't had in 10 years. I stopped going out whenever I could avoid it. I even stopped talking to people over the phone. I just wanted to be left alone."

Fear/Paranoia

"I was frozen with fear. All I could think about was, 'What about Kelly & Ned? (my kids) What about their futures?' I kept thinking of all the things I could be doing differently, but it was like I was frozen in fear. I was scared and at the same time too shocked to believe it could really happen."


"I started to read the various conspiracy websites and got very paranoid. I didn't want to tell anyone about Peak Oil because I thought that way, it would leave more stuff for me to get when I could afford it. I thought the people talking about building community were idiots. People just don't help each other in a crisis, they steal and shoot each other. I was really into this Mad Max thing, big time."

Rage

"I started getting really mad. Furious. It was like, 'I just got through school and now I have to listen to this? Why did I waste my time? What am I suppose to do now, crawl up and die?'"

"First I was really pissed at the people talking about it, like they just made it up to scare people. Then I got pissed at the people who refused to believe it. Like my parents. I couldn't bring it up without screaming at them. Then I got rip-*hit at the government for doing nothing. It was like the whole culture was letting me down."

Depression

"I started to get seriously depressed again. It was hard to recognize it initially, because I kept telling myself 'What's the sense? It's all going to collapse anyway. Why even get out of bed?' See, I thought that if I had a good reason for it, it wasn't really depression. It was just logical, or something. But it took about a week before I realized that if I didn't get help in managing my depression, I wasn't going to be able to even help myself survive what was coming, never mind help anyone else."

Payback

"I thought about all the 'sheep' that went along buying their little houses and their big SUV's and living this zombie life, and I thought, 'Good for you. Now you're going to have to deal with real life. Now you won't be able to be so brain dead. You'll have something other than the PTA meetings and your grass dying to worry about.' It was like I was glad it was happening and wanted to say 'bring it on!' I wanted to wake people up and I thought, 'Finally, this might do it.'"

Compulsivity

"I started making lists right away of what I needed to do and researched every item. For example, I made a detailed inventory of every electrical item in my house and whether I could justify keeping it or not. If I needed it, I wrote down how much energy it took to run it and how much it would cost to buy spare parts. .. I even counted buttons and silverware. I was obsessed with knowing how many square feet of land it would take to grow the crops and what was the maximum and minimum amount each plant would produce in a given year... The more precise I wanted all the measurements, the more it seemed to elude me. I was expecting nature to be like mathematics, and it isn't."

Interactions with Others

"My husband got it right away, but my Mother kept saying 'I'm really worried about you. You talk like it's the end of the world,' and I'd say 'Well, it just might be,' and they'd say 'Well, since you don't know for sure, why worry about it.' I'd stop talking after that. They didn't get it... They refused to even listen..."


"My oldest daughter and her husband refused to speak to me about it. If I'd bring up Peak Oil, they'd just change the subject. I think it was too big of a threat for them to even consider, with the baby on the way."


"I don't know if I can stay married. I'm storing food and he's buying a new VCR. I'm trying to save money, and he's talking about going on vacation. We just don't see the world in the same way anymore."

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