Dear Abby: I need your advice before I end up killing my husband.
I have always had a bad temper - and a weight problem. I have an excellent job and make three times as much as my husband, which has enabled us to live well. Unfortunately, my job is stressful at times, and I react by eating. The weight gain has made me short-tempered, which in turn causes more stress. I'm embarrassed to tell you my weight, but let's just say that over the years, I've turned into an extremely large woman, and I look like a blimp.At work, I find myself getting angry over trivial things. I can't act out, so I swallow my anger and simmer inside. Sometimes I have to leave work early to avoid losing my temper on the job. When I get home, I feel like a volcano ready to explode, and my poor husband is usually on the receiving end of my wrath. This is dangerous because I'm bigger and stronger than my husband and can easily overpower him.
I'm ashamed to admit that in order to spare him from my terrible rages, I've had to move him into the garage, which is really unfair to him. There must be another way. No name or city, please.
- Looks Like a Blimp
Dear Looks: It's not what you're eating, it's what's eating you that's causing the problem - so I urge you to get professional help in order to learn to control your temper and your bingeing. When you look better, you will like yourself better - and you'll be kinder to your husband.
It won't be easy; nothing worthwhile is easy to achieve. But you've already achieved the first step by admitting you have a problem and asking for help.
For many years, I have referred readers to Overeaters Anonymous to help them get a grip on their out-of-control eating. O.A. is a worldwide fellowship of approximately 120,000 individuals in 9,200 groups in 49 countries. Through shared experiences, strength and hope, they are recovering from compulsive overeating. There are no requirements for membership other than the desire to stop eating compulsively. There are no dues or fees, and no membership lists are kept.
Overeaters Anonymous is guided by the 12 steps and 12 traditions, patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. The primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive overeating and to carry a message of recovery to those who still suffer.
For local meeting information, consult your phone directory (white pages) under Overeaters Anonymous. If there is no listing, or for worldwide information, contact the World Service office: P.O. Box 44020, Rio Rancho, NM 87174-4020, or call (505) 891-2664. I have attended several meetings over the years and can vouch for their compassion, sincerity and non-judg-mental tone.
Dear Abby: I have an excellent answer for people who ask, "How old are you?" I happen to be 78, but I don't look my age. My standard reply: "I'm old enough to know better than to ask that question."
- Young at Heart
Dear Abby: Another response to the question, "How old are you?":
"It's coincidental that you should ask me a personal question now. I was just wondering how much money you make."
- Jeanne Kuwalsky,
Laguna Beach, Calif.
To order "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It," send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)