I've sort of always felt that tough times would hit during my lifetime since I was still a kid, and it was and still is a terrifying thought. However, the closer we get to it it's actually gotten more difficult to wrap my head around, because, I think, each time I hear something that dawns it coming, some sort of scenario I hadn't thought of before enters my head. I've definately come to grips with the fact that it's inevitable, and instead have taken to looking at the bright side, no matter how grim.
Dealing with the mass die-offs is bitterly painful, but it hardly phases me, because ever since I was little I'd been hearing about and seeing TV footage of other nations in these predicaments. When I say it hardly phases me don't think it doesn't make me sad, it's just something I've had no choice but to accept, since I can't really do anything myself about it outside of the typical 'feel good' protests or prayer or whathaveyou. Now, when these things come to my community, I'm not sure how I'll take it, or if I'll be any less helpless.
The thing that's been hardest for me to consider is the fact that the people I care about most, half of them won't go with me to seek refuge out and away from civ. I just hope it all happens after my parents have passed away peacefully, they're already elderly and wouldn't fare well in a collapse scenario. Actually, that's probably the one thing that stresses me out about this above all.
The only way I've managed to deal with any of this at all has been to realize that we in Western Civilization have been brought up to expect happy endings all the time. Starvation, death, disease etc isn't supposed to exist here. We are conditioned to view the ones who deal with this every day as "others" who somehow are more deserving of it than we are. Life in the way that it's been lived throughout recorded history, has been full of strife. Most people in the US, for example, view the Depression as as bad as it gets over here. Nevermind what the German Depression, or Russian Depression (which saw cannibalism), was like. And who they gave ascendance to.
So, when misery does happen, people don't deal with it very well. It's a shock. But really, it's the shocking truth of the reality taking off its mask and showing itself for what it really is. I myself have been spared having to deal with even a natural death of someone really close to me, much less a violent death, and I'm not so confident I'd do well in that case myself, but keeping cold hard truth in mind might be my only healing savior.