Category: Commentary


_MG_0102aFirst things first when you are out in the woods during the winter…that is the ability to stay warm. When we (VaCreepinOutdoors and I) went out I knew it would get cold and I did my best to think ahead.
Hypothermia during cold weather is probably more common than we realize… and CLOTHING is your first line of defense along with a little knowledge of how heat loss occurs.

I should know, went out hunting one early firearms season weekend, it was still about 40ish degrees and I am a warm person to begin with. Typically I get hot. It was overcast, chance of rain only about 20% and I dressed according to the weather forecast…just 3 layers, didn’t take anything for rain, no jacket, no coat, no hat, no gloves (blaze orange vest required!)…figured I would be good to go.

Yeah, sure…about ½ hour after settling in for the duration it started to drizzle, then rain…and don’t you know the temperature dropped too? Let me tell you something, I am a pitbull and won’t give up, but after getting pretty damp (not soaking) and handling the cold steel of the shotgun I use for hunting, with water dripping off the end of my nose…I started to feel the creepin’ cold setting in. About hour and a half of that (still raining off and on) I was down right cold and shivering. Still I sat there. DH was further down and finally called it a day (he was warm and dry btw having been ready for it if it came)…thank goodness…I didn’t realize until I stood up and started moving just how far down the road of hypothermia I had traveled, shaking like a leaf, a bit disoriented (in my own backyard!!!) and freezing cold to the bone. And did I mention my toes were numb? My clothing was only damp mind you, but my hands were frozen and fingers hard to move too, hair was wet and well…lesson learned. I actually went out the following day and bought a blaze orange water resistant, blaze orange hoodie…definitely warm and it is now my go to when I go out in the woods.
Soo…with that said…

#1 is clothing…dress for the weather and overkill is not a bad idea…you can always take things off but you can’t add enough if you get cold. Layers, water resistant, nylon, wool…and take extra with you just in case, especially socks. I also have a couple of different gloves I take with me, one pair is rather thin and another set is thicker. In this category I will include having the right socks and shoes. As VaCreepinOutdoors has pounded into my head lately, your feet is where most heat loss occurs. The thing about the head is a myth. Frankly I only wear a headband that goes over my ears and am just fine with that. And the ground is a heat sucker especially when damp or wet and its cold outside. Guess what touches the ground? Yep, your feet. I will say that cotton socks are a no go, wool socks, nylon are best. Cotton for the most part in the winter is a no go as it retains sweat which means heat loss.

Also, be mindful of your shoes. Unfortunately during this camping trip I chose to use my light weight hunting boots instead of my heavier ones, which turned out to be not so smart by the middle of the evening…toes were frozen after kneeling on the ground trying to get a fire going. Knees got damp and that was okay, I had some thermals on. But my right foot was resting on the ground (sole side up) so that the thinnest area on the boot was flat on the ground. Bingo…heat loss. And it was funny, but after those toes got cold the rest of my body started getting cold too. I wound up throwing on my heavy hunting coat on top of my hoodie, long sleeve shirt and jogging shirt that I like to wear when out and about (nothing like a bra to make life miserable!). And I will tell you something else…cold feet in cold boots next to a fire doesn’t work!!! I had thought to bring along some of those air activated hand warmers and wound up using those in toes of my boots, but those things took FOREVER to warm up, think it was about an hour or so before my toes unfroze. But more on those things later…

Got a bit of relief after taking my boots of for a short bit (long enough to stick the hand warmers into the toes of my boots) but put those babies back on…may have been better off leaving the boots off and putting my feet up close to the fire until the warmers were up and working.

I had my gloves with me but wound up still having to stick hands over the fire to warm the fingers up when I had to take them off to hook up sleeping bags…cold fingers and toes do not make for an easy evening of trying to get things done…walking is hard and dexterity goes out the door…

I wasn’t miserable camping in the cold but the experience taught me a few things about footwear and clothing…I had the socks right, but not the boots and definitely learned about heat loss due to the ground. Even slightly damp socks will suck the heat right out of you. Won’t be repeating those two mistakes again for sure. Waterproof, snow/winter boots, more than one pair of extra socks and making sure that I have a set of toe warmers open and ready to go if I even THINK that my feet are going to get cold. Also, I need to figure out some way of putting a barrier between me and the ground that easy and light weight to kneel on…VaCreepinOutdoors keeps some sort of oilskin cloth on him for that and think I have solved that problem.

Clothing wasn’t a real issue having been there done that one before, but I did try out a ‘new’ type of thermal leggings and I will tell you what, I think they would be good for spring or summer, but will be going with Columbia’s Omni-Heat or the old fashion type in the future. My legs weren’t cold, but they weren’t warm either.

At this point I will go over signs of hypothermia just so you can be aware…its not fun nor pleasant as I can attest to personally.

Signs of Hypothermia:

Hypothermia is most often caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in a cold body of water. Primary treatments for hypothermia are methods to warm the body back to a normal temperature.
Shivering is your body’s automatic defense against cold temperature — an attempt to warm itself. Constant shivering is a key sign of hypothermia. Signs and symptoms of moderate to severe hypothermia include:
• Shivering
• Clumsiness or lack of coordination
• Slurred speech or mumbling
• Stumbling
• Confusion or difficulty thinking
• Poor decision making, such as trying to remove warm clothes
• Drowsiness or very low energy
• Apathy or lack of concern about one’s condition
• Progressive loss of consciousness
• Weak pulse
• Slow, shallow breathing

More on hypothermia here.

So, essentially clothing and the right TYPE of clothing for the weather is your best friend when going out in the woods. I did bring extra clothing just in case (that’s the nice thing about planned camping) but no true rain gear such as Frog Togs…an oversight on my part that luckily didn’t cause me any problems. So, lessons learned, mistakes not to be repeated (hopefully). Hope you get something useful out of this!

wintercar2Yes, I am being a little industrious today…but when the mood hits, you ride with it…

Have to travel during a ‘wintry’ event in your car. So now what?
I have put together a quick list of what to have in your car to survive the unexpected. No one likes to think about being stuck in traffic grid lock, or having to shelter in place or forbid, having an accident in which help may not arrive any time soon. (Been there done that one, too bad I didn’t hit the deer!) But by having a few things available to you, you can be somewhat comfortable and warm…just in case your car becomes your home away from home for awhile during the winter:
PS…I would recommend keeping it somewhat in reach within the confines of the car, so you don’t have to get out to get it.

Winter survival kit for the car:
In the bag (not optional):
Extra gloves and a beanie hat
2 extra pairs of socks
At least one warm blanket
Emergency Mylar blankets (several)
External way of recharging cell phone
Water (at least 1 quart, metal bottle preferred, plastic can break)
Hand and foot warmers
Protein Bars or Other type of no need to cook food (jerky, dried fruit)
Flashlight (handcrank type)
Flares (you can buy the type that uses batteries)
Decent first aid kit (not the little one)
Good knife
Duct tape
Folding shovel
Waterproof Matches
Ice Scraper

Optional Items but Great to Have:

Snow Boots
Extra Clothing
Kitty Litter/Rock Salt
Small Wood Camping Stove (yes, a bit overboard but you never know) great way to melt snow for water.
Small handcrank radio
PMates (look them up)
A couple empty plastic water jugs

Additionally, you should always have your cell phone with you and keep in touch with family, and while I get GPS is a tracking device (which I don’t like) I would make sure its turned on just in case…they can track you via your gps coordinates of your cell phone.
Sprint has a great service called Family Locator and is cheap and easy to use…just requires that the cell phone be on.

Keep in mind that if you are traveling with children you will need MORE of the above items and it would be a great idea to pack in the car bag a few things for them to do to stay busy if you have to be in the car for an extended period of time.
EMT’s are trained to look on cell phones for ICE numbers. In Case of Emergency…get at least one listed on yours.

While I understand that many people have to wear work appropriate clothing, if you know a winter event is coming or could potentially happen, do yourself a favor and change clothes before leaving work to head home.

Make sure you have a full tank of gas before heading out or coming home.

Remember, you can run your car for 10 minutes at a time to warm up (once an hour) if you are stuck. The kicker here is that you really NEED to MAKE SURE YOUR TAIL PIPE IS NOT BLOCKED by snow or ice. If it is covered up or iced over guess what? Carbon Monoxide WILL get into the car and that is a potential life threatening situation.

IF you have to get out of your car, be extremely mindful of what is going on around you. Cars or trucks whizzing by can hit you, sliding of cars…you get the idea. Be AWARE.

Stay or leave the car? This is situational and you may have to make that choice if you are unable to move the car for whatever reason. On that note, years ago I swerved to miss a deer in the middle of the night on a very icy and snow packed road out in the middle of nowhere. I went to the right and guess what? A nice big drainage gully was there. I managed to get the car pointed down so I didn’t roll, but had to leave the car knowing that A) no one knew exactly where I was (cell phones at that time really stunk) and wouldn’t miss me until probably about 8 hours had passed. B) The car was so far down this gully that no one would see it C) it was 2 am in the morning on a Sunday so chances were no one would be driving anytime soon.
And would you believe that I was in area with homes scattered here and there and after knocking on a few doors (pounding actually) and no answer, I gave up and started walking back towards civilization. It was freezing cold and although I had appropriate cold weather gear on (including warm boots) as I walked towards a telephone I got colder and colder. There were a few other things that I found interesting too…a) although I was walking on a major roadway, not one person who passed me stopped to see if I was okay b) walking in the cold becomes a really hard job after about an hour (it took me 3 ½ hours to make it to a working telephone).
So that is my story on that…but the decision to stay or leave can become a life saving or life endangering one and is something to think about before hand.

If you DO happen to make the decision to leave your car…leave a note with your name, number, emergency contact and your hopeful destination…leave your car unlocked too. No sense in making anyone’s job harder and if you have to turn around back to the car for some reason and your hands are really cold, it will make it easier to get back into.

Just my thoughts on being prepared for a winters ride.

wintercar

_MG_0086aNothing like experience gets you ready, tests you and your theories, equipment and yourself and your own skills, attitude, body…and there are always surprises, even for the pros (eh hmm…vacreepinoutdoors I am talking to you lol!) Be it in the home or out in the woods camping overnight, there are always lessons to be learned, new ways of doing things and refinement that takes place while you are ‘practicing’ and putting your skills, knowledge and gear to the test.

Vacreepinoutdoors and I went out this weekend camping…mostly because he likes to camp and pit himself against the elements and hone his own woodlands skills (and test out some new gear) but me, the newbie babe in the woods…for me this was a test to see if even during the good times I could function out there in the woods…Obviously I survived, but I also learned a lot of which I will be sharing with you this week in different blogs addressing different issues.

I knew enough not to be arrogant about the situation and quite honestly was a bit scared (gulp) simply because I have never camped in the winter with minimal gear as we did this weekend. But I trust dear heart so off I went into the wild….so my friends, if you haven’t done something before, besure to go with someone you can trust your life with who know knows more than you…and being out in conditions that you aren’t used to, you better trust your partner.

They say practice makes perfect, but I would beg to differ as nothing is ever perfect when it comes to being prepared. Technology fails, or the old school way just won’t fly right for you. Just when you think you know what you are doing in practice or theory, something akin to Murphy’s Law will come knocking on the door. And believe me, it will. Testing your gear and knowledge before you really need it is great and can be a lot of fun. But it will also show you where your strengths and weaknesses are on a lot of levels. Unfortunately, practicing a particular situation doesn’t necessarily give you a replication of what it would be like if the chips were down and it really counted. It is PRACTICE. Its NOT the real game. And even in a somewhat controlled situation as this weekend was (ie we could go home), things happen and they did…things went right and new ideas worked out.

More to come! Stay tuned! Be sure to checkout Vacreepinoutdoors new youtube videos too…he’s who I hang with and learn from and so can you.

Editor’s Note: The warning signs are everywhere. History has shown us exactly what happens to the citizenry of nations who are disarmed by their governments. The comparisons between Nazi-controlled Austria and a socialist-controlled America are frightening. But this time it’s different right? It could never happen in the Land of the Free…

hitler-gun-control-a

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

When Katie Worthman was a little girl in Austria, she witnessed firsthand Adolph Hitler’s rise to power and the Soviet communist occupation that followed. She also witnessed, for decades, the distortions of the media when it came to the reporting of the events.

From her eyewitness perspective, Worthman said that the whole thing didn’t happen overnight, in a brutal attack, like the media portrays it, but rather, it evolved into a dictatorship gradually, over a period of a few years. Hitler didn’t come across as someone evil, to be feared, initially. ”In the beginning, Hitler didn’t look like, or talk like a monster at all. He talked like an American politician.”

Here are some things that occurred in Austria, according to Worthman, that just might look familiar to Americans:

Hitler was elected with 98% of the vote.
Hitler destroyed the existing medical system when he brought a national healthcare plan into being.
First, people were forced to register their guns to cut down on crime.
Then they were forced to turn them in or risk capital punishment for keeping them.

Worthman’s eyewitness account is eerily reminiscent of what we can see going on in the United States today.

“In 1938, the media reported that Hitler rode into Austria with tanks and guns and took us over. Not true at all,” she says. “The Austrian people elected Hitler by 98% of the vote by means of the ballot box. Now you might ask how could a Christian nation… elect a monster like Hitler. The truth is at the beginning Hitler didn’t look like or talk like a monster at all. He talked like an American politician.<

“We also had gun registration. All the Austrian people… had guns. But the government said, ‘the guns are very dangerous. Children are playing with guns. Hunting accidents happen and we really have to have total controlled safety. And we had criminals again. And the only way that we can trace the criminal was by the serial number of the gun.’

“So we dutifully went to the police station and we registered our guns. Not long after they said, ‘No, it didn’t help. The only way that we won’t have accidents and crimes [is] you bring the guns to the police station and then we don’t have any crimes anymore and any accidents. And if you don’t do that: capital punishment.’

“So that’s what we did. So dictatorship didn’t happen overnight. It took five years. Gradually, little by little to escalate up to a dictatorship.

“When the people fear the government, that’s tyranny. But when the government fears the people… that’s liberty. Keep your guns. Keep your guns and buy more guns.”

Now 84, Katie Worthman is warning America, her adopted country, in the hopes that history does not repeat itself. Watch her powerful presentation below. If you don’t want to go buy more ammo after that, then you aren’t paying attention.

Kimberly Paxton, a staff writer for the Daily Sheeple, is based out of upstate New York.

This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to http://www.TheDailySheeple.com.

swatLife just tends to bump along at its own little pace…we get into our own habits, routines and ways of being and then THUNK! WHACK! BOOM! Our habits, routines and ways of being and/or thinking about and in the world get rocked to the core…something totally out of the ordinary and unexpected happens and you are left with zero ways of coping with the situation…such is the case when you or someone you once loved/do love has done something so ‘bad’ (and I use that term relatively and loosely) that the ‘government’ makes the decision to go full shock and awe and break bad on you, the innocent person who has just been bumping along.

This coming January, 2014 will mark a month that changed my life and way of looking at the world. I always believed that cooperating and doing the right thing would keep me and mine out of harms way. I believed until that point that we were still free to say and do things without becoming subject to police action, that the First Amendment was REAL. With that said, I do understand that you can’t run around making specific threats, or yelling fire in a movie theater or bomb on airplane. I get the fact that you can’t make death threats either…okay, I get the idea and purpose behind that…but merely stating one’s opinions and feelings? Geez? Really? Two years ago I believed that my opinion could be mine and I could, within reason, express my thoughts, opinions and feelings openly. But that all changed in January of 2012.

 

One cold morning in January of 2012 I was visited by an investigator with the State Police…I fully cooperated with them, after all, I had done nothing wrong…why not cooperate? If you got nothing to hide then you got nothing to fear right? They weren’t after me (per se) but my ex whom I have spoken of previously…they wanted to talk to him and they wouldn’t say why…well, okay, no biggie, as a bailbonds man (my ex) I could see how they might want to speak with him and while I knew there were issues going on between my ex and a magistrate about the way he did business (and to be honest, I never knew him to do anything illegal at least business wise) I didn’t really think anything about that ‘visit’. I told them what they wanted to know (ie his cell phone number and where he was staying) and even got my ex on the phone so they could talk. End of subject right?

Dead wrong….a few mornings later I was up and getting my children ready to go to school, doing my usual routine, not yet dressed, cup of coffee in hand going to the side door of my home to smoke my morning cigarette before getting dressed.

At 8:15 in the morning with coffee in hand I see out of my kitchen window in the corner that looks out in the back yard a couple of guys with assault rifles in hand, red dots coming through the window, dressed all in black with face masks on rounding the corner of the house to the back deck area. I register this slightly as I keep going to the door and then get the shock of my life…several red dots on my chest and shouted commands…door busts open and there I stand with my mouth open being drug out of my house roughly, to see a slew of law enforcement of all types all over my yard, driveway, etc…right down to the fricken’ dog catcher. No joke…my hands are zip tied behind my back and all I can do is freak out…what the hell had I done? Then the worst…as I am trying to gain my bearings while freaking out I see a bunch of armed SWAT go in my house fully armed…my kids, then ages 1, 6 and 8 are at the table eating breakfast. It goes on and on, but suffice to say that it was a very unpleasant experience and no one gives ANY information and if you think getting robbed by someone is violating…try having the FBI, State Police, local law enforcement and ATF in your house at 8:30 in the morning with your pajamas on knowing full well you have done nothing wrong and being asked a billion questions and being told nothing. Have all your personal items gone through, frisked in front of your kids, a bomb sniffing dog that wants to eat your dogs in your house. Have 2 3 month old puppies yanked out from under the bed and put into the back of the doggie catchers truck. Have people you KNOW drive by your house and wonder what is going on…try standing there talking straight to some guy who claims authority with no bra on and everything on your cell phone, computers, laptops, tablets and ipod down loaded for review. You need to ask me why I developed PTSD? Have strangers ask you about your sex life, your tattoos, your reading material, why you have camping propane and where the timers are…REALLY? YEP! And this is the short story…and by the way, you are also in charge of making sure your kids are safe and sound at the sametime cause honestly, at this point they don’t care.

Just writing that still makes me mad, angry and scared that maybe, just maybe this will get me in hot water again. But the truth is the truth…It got resolved, but not before the damage was done. I also forgot to mention that they didn’t bother to give the search warrants (which were EXTREMELY VAGUE) until right before they left, as an after thought I think.

Did I do something wrong? Nope…I just happend to be ‘collateral’ damage in their quest to get my ex out of the bailbonds business where we lived. He didn’t even live there, but because he had previously I was suspect. Come to find out he had posted rants and raves on Facebook and some really demeaning things about women. That was it. Things were blown out of proportion because ‘they’ take everything seriously. Welcome to the New Age of Homeland Security. In all fairness, after the initial rush and invasion, when they felt safe, it wasn’t too bad, a lot of questions, a lot of watching my things gone through by strangers…not like I had anything of question in my house or on my computers. And I will say that I got good and pissed after I figured out WHY they were there and what was going on (though no one ever said it outright). And I wasn’t just pissed at my ex, but at them too for the complete overkill…but that is what they do…act first and assess later.

A couple of months later they pulled the same crap at another guy’s house, for the same reasons, but that guy was smart and prepared…everything was caught on video tape. Good for him. But I see more and more of this happening around the country, even to 11 year olds who are making statements on Facebook…really? Big Brother is watching and ready to pounce like a big cat.

Long and short, I do believe we will see more and more of my experience happen as more laws and executive orders are put into place in the name of ‘public safety’ and in the interest of ‘national security’. While I understand the need for safety and security I do question the reasoning, laws and tactics that this ever growing ‘need’ for ‘safety and security’ are beginning to dictate. I question the militarization of our police force through various means. I question what it is that ‘they’ are so afraid of that they feel the need to send in 40 people to a house where there is no threat and children present when contact was already made and cooperation was given. That single event changed my LIFE forever and not necessarily in good ways and it set in motion a string of other life changing events that have left scars that will never be healed. But after this passage of two years since this occurred I have found a strength of will that I did not know fully know I had. I survived and am ready for what may come in the future since I will not be quiet nor compliant in the future if attacked unjustly in the future. Hell, I even joke that ‘next time they better come in the middle of the night with helicopters’ because their last invasion has made me aware and wiser. And there is some truth to that statement. Not that I go around doing things to provoke the beast, I live a law abiding life (okay, I don’t always wear my seatbelt and do speed on the highway) and try not to make provocative statements. But I am aware that my political views and my lifestyle have probably got me on the ‘potential terrorist’ list. Sigh…and? I can’t go around being afraid of living and living authentically and according to my beliefs just because someone in authority might have an issue with my opinions and lifestyle (which at this point in time is not illegal).

 

So my point here to you and your take away?

 

  1. Law Enforcement when set in motion is a machine that will not stop and does not care. It is like a pitbull in a fight…it will use any and all means to subdue you. Be ready for that in the coming years. Know that they can and will do whatever it takes to make themselves ‘safe’. YOU are nothing and in fact, simply by breathing a potential threat and/or enemy.

 

And before anyone gets their dander up about that statement, understand that I UNDERSTAND what law enforcement is facing today in this world. I know law enforcement officers, hell, I have a background in criminal justice! There are a lot of good men and women in law enforcement who are there for the right reasons…but they have a job to do and they WILL DO IT regardless.

 

  1. Be careful of what you say online…even jokingly…because ‘they’ take nothing as a joke. Texting, emails, all of it…if you have learned nothing just look at Eric Snowden and other examples over the past couple of years about the extent of big brother watching you. This isn’t to say that you can’t express yourself, just do so with full knowledge that anything you can and do say will be held against you in the future. Running your mouth publicly WILL get you in trouble…save the emotional crap for private.
  2. Know those around you, and know them well, especially be watchful of your partners and children. If you see a problem or even THINK there is a problem, please, take care of it before something happens or things get out of hand and ‘officials’ become involved. You are responsible for your own life and while you can’t stop people from doing things you can take measures to protect you and yours and others.

 

Now that may sound a bit like the ‘see something, say something’ campaign DHS       has got going, but its not meant to be that way. I am specifically speaking to you being willing to seek help for your family members if you are seeing things that could point to a problem. I know, easier said than done…but you gotta at least try. And if you can’t then YOU take measures for your own safety.

 

  1. Be polite, be cooperative as much as possible, but be firm and don’t allow yourself to be twisted into a pretzel. This takes a mind set and strength of character to stick to the facts. But that’s what you want to do. Don’t be a jerk if you ever find yourself face to face with tyranny. Resist but do so in a polite way okay? No sense in making matters worse.
  2. Know your rights and make sure they are being observed and if need be, don’t be afraid to speak up. Don’t be rude, just speak up.
  3. Be aware that our law enforcement is being trained and funded with money and ‘help’ from DHS and thus has become a defacto extension of  them. It is what it is people, just sayin’. And again, don’t get your panties in a twist if you are one of the good guys okay? I am just making a statement of fact, no matter how nasty it may seem.
  4. Be aware that there is a whole generation of law enforcement that has combat and/or military experience. That does not mean that they (law enforcement or the military) is bad, it just means that the days of the ‘officer friendly’ is on its way out. The mindset being brought to you via law enforcement is everyone not on your side, ie my buddy, is a potential threat/enemy and is thus treated so.
  5. Run through some potential senarios in which you may find yourself on the wrong end of the stick, be it a traffic stop or home invasion as in my case. It won’t be ‘real’ but it could help you get through it with minimum problems (just like a fire drill).
  6. Be cooperative, but don’t roll over. That is important!!! The more you roll over and bend over backwards to be ‘nice’ in the hopes that they will just leave you alone the more liberties will be taken with your civil and lawful rights.
  7. Know the laws in your area/state and at the federal level so that you don’t unknowingly trip some wire unintentionally. Also, pay attention to other little things. I have a concealed carry permit. In my state, that concealed carry is tied to my drivers record (meaning if an officer runs my tags he sees that I have a CC license). If I am stopped for some reason, the officer will be on guard. Best to head off a potential ‘problem’ and let them know up front if you do or don’t have a firearm on you, even though by law you don’t have to. It just makes life easier and them less likely to see you as a threat.

 

Lastly and probably most importantly, develop a solid relationship with yourself and your higher power. Because in the end, that is really all you got between yourself and them and they can’t take that away from you. It will give you a sense of peace if and when you find yourself with that red dot on your chest and maybe, just maybe, if your open to it, you just might be given the knowledge of how to handle your particular situation in the moment.

These are just my thoughts on my experience. There are books, videos and other material out there that deal with what to or not do in given situations that go in depth and maybe helpful to you too so if you are interested in going there, go there on how to protect yourself further….

 

Stay safe and good luck…

mental health

Over the past 2 years I have dealt with a lot of personal life changing events. From dealing with a loved one who was bipolar and off meds which set off a set of events culminating in his suicide, to having to make life and death decisions within days of traumatic events (SWAT team at my home), to suddenly finding myself a single mom of 4 children and dealing with PTSD to a million of other little things including PCS (post concussion syndrome) to in this moment trying to cope with someone in the end stages of cancer. I am now ready to calmly and openly talk about my own experiences in the hopes that it will help you to mentally prepare for what you may have to deal with.

In this article I will address the issue of bipolar disorder and the consequences of someone with bipolar being off meds. While bipolar disorder is my own personal experience, please keep in mind that thousands of men, women and children in this country deal with mental illness of some sort from panic disorder, to depression to major ones such as bipolar and schizophrenia with medications. Not having medications WILL happen when SHFT happens and is most likely happening to thousands of people who have lost their healthcare due to ObamaCare (and keep in mind that the ‘affordable’ healthcare that was promised is NOT affordable and there are huge deductibles that have to be paid BEFORE the healthcare kicks in so if you think you are safe there, think again and think ahead, but this is another topic).

In this blog I will only speak to my own personal experience with dealing with bipolar disorder in my own home…It made ME feel crazy, anxious and out of control. The other person (in this case it was my youngest daughters father) had grandiose plays, was always scheming, would deliberately sabotage things that I did and then sit there and basically say ‘not me’ and then turn it around on me. I dealt with OCD habits of constantly cleaning, bullying (myself and others), hypersexuality (which wasn’t with me but many other women), drug use/abuse (which at the time I didn’t know about for sure but suspected as money disappeared in large/small amounts). This person would stay up all night and then sleep a few hours (of course it was done just when everyone else in the house was getting up and moving around and then I had to deal with anger because ‘he couldn’t sleep with all the noise). A lot of quazi and veiled threats were made, and some of them on such places as Facebook. Letters were mailed in the same manner to various people in high places because of paranoia and the grandiose manifestation of ego. He would put himself into high risk situations where the probability of death or serious injury was more than likely…I absolutely refused to ride in a car with him after a certain point because of reckless behavior. His bipolar also turned into doing things such as parking places he wasn’t supposed to and then getting angry when the parking ticket showed up. Another time I got a letter from another state when he ran the toll booth without paying. He would disappear for hours, sometimes days with no explanation or flat out lies. All this was when he was manic which is more often than not. Then we had the ‘down’ side to bipolar. He would stay in bed for DAYS at a time not moving, passing up work (with whatever plausible excuse he could come up with), not eating, not taking a shower. Talk was dark and this is when the paranoia really kicked in about how everyone was out to get him, take his stuff or outright trying to hurt him physically or financially.
When it got really out of control, veiled death threats were made to certain public officials in his line of work, physical fights almost occurred whenever he had interaction with other people. He would stand pumping his fist up and down trying to intimidate me or anyone else he felt he needed to control. And when threats and intimidation didn’t work, it could quickly escalate into what I referred to ‘meltdowns’…hysterical crying, passing out, and pulling the ‘I am having a heart attack’ to get out consequences of his behavior. It was pretty bad. Complete lack of responsibility one minute to absolute need to control and drama/chaos at every waking moment. He was unmedicated. In the end, his behavior caused me to ask him to leave which sent off another round of bipolar behavior that included stalking, threats of violence to myself, my dogs and hurting himself. His behavior included melt downs, coming and going as he pleased because he knew what the law was regarding residency in the state we lived in. His behavior became even more bizarre including stalking state officials, going off on rants online (Facebook) and lying beyond all belief in the face of facts. Eventually government officials decided enough was enough and I wound up with the State police at my home one cold day asking questions and trying to get him (on the phone since he would answer it for me and not them) to talk to them. When he led them on a merry dance they (the State police) proceeded to get court orders for his arrest and to search MY HOME even though he hadn’t lived at my home for several weeks. The SWAT team showed up at 8 am and then all hell broke loose. His sister who was also bipolar blamed me. I found out about a lot of things that he had been doing unbeknownst to me, protective orders were issued, computers seized, cell phones taken, tablets taken, bomb sniffing dogs brought in my home…the end of the world as I knew it happened…then the fun part…it is still amazing to me how someone so out of control can turn the tables to their advantage and STILL in the face of big problems, manage to manipulate and continue with grandiose behavior…and the sad part was, that under current mental health laws (as seen recently in the state of Virginia where a state Senator’s son almost killed his father and did in fact kill himself…link) UNLESS someone is an immediate threat to themselves or others, they cannot be detained, NOR under law can someone be forced to take medication unless under court order, which rarely happens unless they display absolute disregard for life of law enforcement. There is virtually no mental health services in this country unless you have insurance and even then, the person in question has to seek it out themselves and WAIT for weeks just to see someone who will then determine if they need meds and well, you know the system…takes forever and meanwhile bad things happen which have a ripple effect.

While in jail he was able to convince the shrink there he was ‘normal’ even though to even one else it was obvious he wasn’t. The courts did nothing, gave him time served and let him go.
I won’t bother with the details from there, but he then swung into the depressive side of bipolar disorder…he realized somewhere that everything had changed and he truly believed that he could never bounce back, make changes and continue to move on. Within four months of the onset of this otherside of bipolar disorder, he committed suicide. He could NOT handle the ‘new reality’ of his life. And this past May his sister also committed suicide (she was another one who refused to get help/meds).

There are many people out there, living and working and leading ‘normal’ lives who have bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. And there are those who are not medicated with pharmaceuticals who self medicate one way or another who may be functional but have problems or are drug addicts, alcoholics, etc. Or just live in their own private hell bouncing along dysfunctionally but getting by somehow.
While I made the painful decisions that I had to make in order keep myself and my family safe in a vacuum of not knowing (at the time), even after his death, I still deal with the fallout of knowing someone who was unmedicated IN NORMAL TIMES. But I move forward.

I guess I am telling my tale so that you, the reader, may get an idea of what it is like to deal with someone with bipolar disorder. There is no getting around it. It is in our society and medications keep the lid on it so that you may not even know that your neighbor, co-worker or the stranger on the street is mentally ill. You may live with someone now who is on medications for mania or depression and you have never seen them off of them.

Reality is this, you, dear reader, need to know the facts. We have seen the headlines in the news with mass shooting where bipolar was a factor in what happened. We who have lived with the unmedicated right here and now WITHOUT a SHTF situation at large know the ugly truth about this disorder. I know for sure that 10’s of thousands of people who are on psychotropic medications live amongst us and as long as the fabric of society holds together, or they still have the money or a way to get their meds (which by the way is only doled out every 30 days and no refills allowed until the last few days) we and they are safe. But as more people loose their health insurance, as more people find out about ObamaCare and when the economic conditions become even worse in time, I truly believe that in our individual lives, we will have to face someone we know, live with or pass by who is no longer medicated. It is a reality shock. Without their medication thousands will behave strangely, destructively, violently, desperately. Then add in a massive change in how we live or survive, it makes my blood cold to think about this. We will go back to the ‘old days’, the jails, as long as they operate, will fill up. Or family’s will go back to keeping family members locked up in their homes. We will face and see a greater up tick in suicides, murders, assaults and even greater emotional stress which will on compound your ability to survive.

I believe we are experiencing this now and have since the economy crashed several years ago. It is not talked about and politicians use the behavior to further their agendas instead of addressing the real issue of mental health in this country. I believe that there are many out there right now who go unnoticed that are dealing with the fallout of mental health issues because they can’t get help, even when its wanted, even when the behavior is harmful to themselves or others. And this is NORMAL society, a society that is still ‘together’ for the moment.

I ask this question now, facing the thought that I know certain mental illnesses are genetic, what if? I have young children who have bipolar disorder on their father’s side of the family. What will I do if I face this issue again within my own children. What will I do if I see it in my next door neighbor? What am I going to do when it really begins to fall apart and more and more people go off meds, or can’t get them, can’t afford them? For we WILL see them in society, in our homes, living next to us. What then?

I ask this question now because many people over look this factor and have NO PLAN AT ALL. Having a plan to deal with friends, family members, co-workers or plain strangers who have mental illness is just as much a part of being prepared as is having beans, bullets and band aids. For many this skeleton doesn’t even cross their mind because ‘they don’t know anyone’ or ‘live with someone’ who has a mental illness. Or they do know or live with someone who is on mood altering medications and overlook it.

Just as having a plan to survive without power, we all need to have a plan on how to deal with those who will be forced off meds or perhaps pushed beyond their coping limits. It will not be a pretty plan, but it needs some thought and thinking about it ahead of time, planning for the possibility of what may or may not need doing to keep you and yours safe (including them) is something to think about NOW…not when you are in the middle of it.

Or perhaps you are in the middle of it right now, just coping as best as you can while it is ‘normal’. Think about what you will do when it gets WORSE after something happens that upsets the status quo of right now.

Mental illness is a serious safety and survival issue….and a tipping point will come when you will somehow be touched by mental illness in this world. What will you do when faced in dealing with it without the benefit of outside help?

Give some thought based on your own situation and circumstances. This is no different than planning for dealing with medical issues or medical emergencies. You just won’t ‘see’ it or know about it like heart conditions, diabetes or a gun shot wound.

With the world changing quickly and not getting better we all need to think about this safety issue and that is what it truly is, a matter of safety for all concerned. You might not like the answers you come up with but it is better to have unhappy answers than none at all. Trust me, been there, done that.

Stay safe and be prepared.