acceptance phase feels similar to denial phase : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

When I first learned about y2k, I read somewhere about the different phases you go through(similar to the death of a loved one). After the initial denial phase, there was fear and panic, anger and deep depression, and then, finally acceptance. Well, I had been through all of them-the depression phase being the longest for me. During my fear and panic phase, I lost weight(not an unwanted side-effect!) and sleep, and tried to convince the world.(I could say unsuccesfully, but you knew that already.) During my depression phase, I was, er, depressed-you know-didn't really feel like anything mattered anymore.(gained the weight back). I would walk down the street and think, "Will she die?", "Do they know?". But I think that I'm finally in the "acceptance" phase. I'm preparing, but I'm still LIVING. And not on the Internet everyday. And not worrying all the time. And not feeling the desire to tell everyone. Going to classes, trying new things, getting back into life, so that I have a desire to survive in the first place. But it almost feels like denial. I can forsee things not being SO bad, perhaps it is not out of the realm of possibilities that the world as we know it won't revert back to 1865. I'm beginning to question all the negative stuff I'm reading- I mean after all, if the doomsayers are right in saying that we are all capable of being brainwashed by the government, then that can mean that we all are capable of being brainwashed by the doomsayers as well, right? I'm not saying at all that the problem doesn't exist, but I've gone from making a total fool of myself to try to get people to listen, to wondering if maybey I myself need to take a better look at things. So, this could be the acceptance phase, in that I'm still preparing, but I'm beginning to see the need for preparing myself if it DOESN'T HAPPEN!!! I don't know if it is even possible to ever go back to total denial anyway. I know that regardless of the severity of the outcome, these ol' brainwaves of mine will never be the same again.

-- madeline (, October 19, 1998


Nobody knows, for sure, what is going to happen. But if indeed it DOES NOT turn out to be all that bad, then relatively speaking, you surely have not lost that much. The converse, however, is not true. And quite frankly, speaking for myself anyway, to NOT prepare and then have it turn out to be as bad as I personally think that it will be, would be 10 times worse, as I would have to deal with the fact that I knew early on about it, yet did not act. "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst." (And you are certainly not alone with the mixed emotions....)

-- Jack (, October 19, 1998.

thanks Jack!

-- madeline (, October 19, 1998.

Madeline, I think you are perfectly normal. On another thread I talked about EYS (emotional yo-yo syndrome.) I made it up, but that is often the way I feel. Another "phase" I have gone through that I don't hear mentioned very often, is the "rebellion" phase. It's not denial, because once you know about the problem you will never be the same. It is more of a "so what?", "I don't care anymore" feeling. The truth is, you really DO care, but it's a built in self-preservation tool for when things get a little overwhelming. It helps you to back off a little bit, and I think we all need that from time to time.

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 19, 1998.

Gayla...I like the answer that you gave Madeline! And I just wanted to say that I am finding it easier to tell others about y2k. I care about them and want them to know badly enough that when they look at me wierd or tell me that I am scaring them, I just try to re-assure them that it is always better to be prepared, ahead of time, for any type of disaster. I remind them of how our town has only one or two stores, and how chaotic it is just before a storm or blizzard hits. Lately, it seems that shortly after I do tell someone about y2k, they hear a little bit about it from t.v., a friend, neighbor or relative. And they often thank me for telling them about it. Madeline, I feel that if a person stays in denial and doesn't do anything to prepare, and nothing even happens come '00, during this next year, y2k is still going to effect their life anyway. Their banking and grocery shopping might never be the same again...among other changes. Being prepared, always, always, always outweighs not being prepared! Hang in there :-) Blondie

-- Blondie Marie (, October 20, 1998.

Some quotes about preparedness which make sense to me:

There is simply no way to know with any certainty how it will unfold. The possible bad outcomes are so great, however, that it is rational to prepare for at least some of them. -Scott Olmsted, software engineer, founder of

Its impossible for me to imagine an outcome without a lot of disruptions in the U.S. My precautions may be overkill, but I dont think what we do will be to no avail. I buy term life insurance each year. When I have to renew, I dont sit there regretting the fact that I havent died so I could collect on the policy. -Jay Golter, founder, Northern Virginia Y2K Community Action Group

There are going to be some interruptions. I know what Im going to do: get enough cash aside to run me two or three weeks, get food for a month. Im going to do some short-term hedging - anyone who doesnt is crazy. -Tom Soeder, chairman and CEO of RMM Inc., which produces software tools for making computer programs Y2K compliant

The Y2K technology problem involves several dimensions and touches upon nearly every aspect of day-to-day business in the world. The efforts of emergency management and fire service organizations cannot be viewed as a substitute for personal responsibility and personal preparedness. Every organization and every individual, in public and private life, has an obligation to learn more about this problem and their vulnerability, so that they may take appropriate action to prevent a problem before it occurs. -Lacy Suiter, Executive Associate Director for Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

One ought never to turn ones back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. -Winston Churchill

A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. -Proverbs 23:3

Hang in there, Madeline. Prepare. You won't regret it.

-- Steve Hartsman (, October 20, 1998.

Just in case someone looks up that last is found in Proverbs 22:3 instead of 23:3

-- Blondie Marie (, October 20, 1998.

I had several waves of denial, panic, depression, rationalization and more reading than I ever thought was possible (and I've always been an avid reader).

In the end, I believe that it will be our preparation for and reaction to events as they unfold (or don't) that make the difference. I don't believe Y2K MUST be TEOTWAWKI, only that it has the potential to BECOME TEOTWAWKI if we do nothing and wait for 'those computer folks and those management folks to solve it'. But the time for a total technical fix of all 'mission critical' systems is long gone. So what are we going to do?

Consider these two scenarios: A total electrical blackout hits California tomorrow morning and last 2 weeks. No one expected it and no one was prepared. Now imagine that same blackout occuring where all people in the state were told about it 14 months ahead of time and told to be ready (by responsible leadership). I think you can see that the difference would be dramatic. Surviving for 2 weeks without electricity is a virtual 'walk in the park' if I've had 14 months to prepare. Food? No problem, got some. Water? No problem, got some. Shelter? No problem, got some. Money? No problem, got some. Fuel for my vehicles and heaters? No problem, got some. Telephones? OK, ya got me there but frankly, the death of telemarketing for 2 weeks would not especially break my heart. But do I need to panic if I've got food, water, shelter, money, heat and fuel and I don't have to go to work for two weeks? Sound more like a vacation than a disaster.

Will the power go out? If it does go ou,t will it be 'just 2 weeks'? I simply don't know. If some systems work and some don't and a few can be repaired quick and some can't and a few things can be done manually and some companies are out of business because they didn't prepare and if we are by and large prepared to weather a storm and give folks a chance to respond in a civilized manner, then even if many failures occur, then maybe, just maybe it does not need to result in a disaster. Depression? Recession? Heck, I eat those for breakfast.

I try not to focus on the worst possible scenario but I'm certain some disruptions will occur. I can't prepare for total meltdown (not even sure I'd want to 'survive' a total meltdown, I'm way too happy with my life today.) but I can certainly survive a period of hardship and shortages and a slow rebuilding...if I and others prepare.

I have no illusions about becoming totally self sufficient. I'm a middle aged wimp who wouldn't know a bow saw from a band saw, or a pheasant from a grouse. I've raised a garden or two but I'm no farmer. Fact is, I like having stereos and televisions and computers and hot showers and lights and heat and paychecks and emergency medical technicians and hospitals and supermarkets with Hagen Daaz and especially applewood smoked bacon from a little place called Newski's in Wisconsin... These things I'd like to see again in my lifetime.

It is possible, I believe, but I also believe that it will take a lot of work on everyone's part to make that possibility a reality. If we do make it, I think maybe 7-11 should begin selling 'Milne Toast' to honor Paul for the wake up call that he and others gave the rest of us. It may have been the very thing that saved us.

I'm neither a Pollyanna nor a doomsayer. But I'm not willing to 'let nature take its course' either.

No, I don't think I'll ever be the same even if nothing happens (which IMHO, will definitely NOT be the case). But as our preparations continue I'm finding that I'm gaining a self-assurance by not depending on all of our 'systems' to work perfectly 99% of the time. It was a trait our ancestors had which we have lost. Getting it back again seems a worthwhile venture, even if it's never needed.

Time to quit being so darned philosophical and get some very practical shuteye. G'night all.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 20, 1998.

Madeline, good post. Those 5 stages are indeed the "grief" period when one mourns a loss of any kind. Aside from the obvious loss of a loved one, there's divorce, loss of a limb, learning one has a terminal disease etc. The intensity differs with the type of loss. Here, we're griving in advance to what we stand to lose in the future. And without any doubts, if one mourns over the worse case scenario, one feels much more intense emotions than if one mourned over the best scenario (minor disruptions).

I've gone through the stages, but at this time I'm not sure if I have reached acceptance yet or if I'm still in the end stage of depression over it..maybe some of both. I certainly feel calmer. I don't care as much about wether the people around me learn of it. But I'm certainly not back to the denial stage, if anything, i'm more convinced each day. And I find myself apreciating much more every little convenience of day to day living, things I've taken for granted suddenly are marvelous. I plan to enjoy to the fullest what I can now. We've planned for a vacation in January to sunny beaches, my husband and I last week. We had talked about it before we heard of y2k, but we made the actual reservations now. Who knows, might be our last one for quite a while to come. Hopefully things will still be stable enough in January for us to go on vacation.

-- Chris (, October 20, 1998.

Madeline, Thanks so much for your post. Yours, along with all the responses, has helped me to realize that I am not going out of my mind. I feel like I am planning for the mother of all vacations and I have all my lists made, so I thought and then I see one more tidbit, and on it goes. The greatest concern is that I am planning for my own family and extended family. Yes, they are helping, but I feel the weight of it all rests on me. I keep stockpiling supplies for now. My greatest concerns are when to start with storing food and water and how to safely store it all. All the storage info. makes my head swim. I went through all the stages you described and was so relieved to hear about others doing the same. I think I will sleep better tonight. Mary

-- Mary Howe (, October 20, 1998.

This is such a great thread. Thanks, madeline for beginning it. Thanks to all for such openess in response. I would only add that the "phases of grief" in grief work are not static, there is no getting through one, going to the next and never returning to previous state It would be nice but it is not so for humans. From what I have read while going through "meta" cycle" one can also cycle in smaller increments. I can go from denial to anger to depression to bargaining and finally to acceptance in one day in a "micro cycle". This does not mean that my psychological process is not carrying on, in denial for a day does not mean that I am going "back" to a place where I am blissfully ( not so of course) unaware. I cannot unknow what I know, cannot unring a bell, as the saying goes. Our defense mechanisms do what they do for very good reasons, and only become a problem when for various reasons we get "stuck" unhealthily at one place.

Seems to me that much of the "early awakers'" frustration is because we indeed live in an emotionally arrested social system that encourages people to live in denial. It is also pretty "normal" for people NOT in denial to be in a hurry to awaken others, to visit over and over desire to push someone beyond their capacity to move through the phases. The yo-yo, the roller coaster,...Yep, we be here.

(Passing out helmets to friends and acquaintances) Hang in there Dear Hearts!

-- Donna Barthuley (, October 20, 1998.

Ebb and flow, friends - ebb and flow. Madeline, if there were more public awareness of the issue, none of us would stip mid-stride in our feverish preparations and say, "Hey - wait - am I doing all this for nothing? No one else seems to be concerned - what if I'm wrong?" If this turns out to be a bump in the road, we can all take a vacation from grocery shopiing OR we can all sleep better knowing that we are not as dependent on technology and others as we were before.

-- Melissa (, October 20, 1998.

thanks to everyone for responding, it has been a great help!d

-- madeline (, October 20, 1998.


Thank you for this thread and thank everyone for their posts. I've been suffering through Gayla's Emotional Yo-Yo Syndrome for a while now. I believe it is because I am the only person within my family who is truly concerned about the future events that are unfolding.

I suffered loss early on in my life when, at the age of 13, my father died. He was a very strong man and he suffered with dignity as cancer ate through his body. I've never known or met anyone else with his strength. In times like these I draw on that strength and it helps me through.

In one of our last conversations before he passed he asked me to sit next to him and he held me. He told me to be strong and to be there for my mom and my twin brother and our family. At 13, I had no real concept of what this conversation really meant. But, over the years his words have been both a burden and a joy. He has given me strength and courage and I feel his hand on my shoulder every day.

I have a two and a half year old son named Mitchell. He came to my wife and I after ten years of marraige and the difficulties of high risk pregnancy. He is a constant joy and a wonderfully sweet child. When ever I hold Mitch and see him smile I don't know if I feel like I want to collapse in tears or laugh with joy.

By losing my father early on I know that nothing is forever and things can change no matter how hard you try to hold on to them. Everything we take for granted about our daily lives is fragile. Tomorrow isn't a given. Nothing is as important as a life and priorities must be kept in check.

I have high hopes for a bright future for Mitch and I will continue to have those hopes. I know we can get through this no matter how difficult. I try to draw on the strength of my father and faith.

Please, prepare. The economic impacts of Y2k can last far longer than the disruptions. If a large corporation like Ford or GM were to close or just slow down production that one single event would have ramifications that would ripple through every sector of the economy. The lights could stay on but if you lose your job, then Y2k is at least a 5 already. Wow... here I go doing my "pleading to family" thing... sorry.

Thanks again for the thread and a chance to clear my head. My best wishes to you all. I have no doubt we can get through this.


-- Michael Taylor (, October 20, 1998.

On top of the uncertainty of Y2K, my dad just died, my great aunt just broke her hip, and my husband is out of work. Hey - that's three bad things; I'm due to win the Lotto! Seriously, I've had to work real hard to deal with psychological aspects of the whole preparation issue; up here in the Pacific Northwest, we're due for the 'big one' in terms of earthquakes [8 or 9 on the Richter scale], and we just had another one yesterday or the day before near Mount St. preparedness is constantly on my mind. Also, if you've never been to Seattle, well, the town shuts down when there's only a little bit of snow (the kind that MidWesterners and Easterners just laugh scornfully at)...

I got off of one Y2K-related mailing list because of the constant barrage of paranoid half-truths and conspiracy theories, and you know, my whole outlook improved immediately. I'm still stocking up, and concerned, but the concern doesn't dip into worrying incessantly about worst-case scenarios anymore. I find a lot of balanced, thoughtful input from the folks who post here, and the best word I can use to describe it is teamwork. Mutual encouragement, sharing information, all that good stuff.

-- Karen Cook (, October 21, 1998.

Karen, I am SO sorry about your dad! My sympathies, too, about your husband's job. :''( Hang in there!

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 21, 1998.


My deepest sympathies about your father. No less of a shake up is your husbands loss of a job, and your poor aunt's hip. You do seem to have a pretty good outlook though:)

Please try to keep your chin up!


-- Rick (, October 22, 1998.

Just a thought - do you suppose we are all aware of how much support is given here. Thank you - thank you. Karen, I'm so sorry - I lost my dad too, and it is not easy. Mike, what a great post and the important thing to remember, talking about little Mitch, is that Mitch doesn't care about your hopes for a future if they include a "ggod" job and a "nice" family and all of that. All he cares about is if Mom and Dad are with him and happy. If they are, then all will be right with him in his world.

-- Melissa (, October 22, 1998.

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