I find the human response to stress quite interesting. We are all individuals, and we all respond differently to different types of stress.
When I was going through the breakup of my first marriage, I lost about 20 pounds in half an hour. I had no appetite whatsoever, and went through each day in a giddy state of hunger denied.
Now, with my mother's health and life in a state of flux and hubby's job gone, I do not deny my hunger. In fact I cherish it, nurture it, feed it lots and lots. I have gained 7 pounds in about two weeks. Hubby has lost about 10-14 pounds over the last two months. Neither one of us can afford to gain or lose much. Six pounds is what separates our weights now. He looks more and more like a resident of Belsen as my waistline and hips bloom over the tops and out the sides of my jeans.
I am trying to fix this weight disparity, but it is difficult. I need to feed hubby more and me less. When he eats, he eats heartily. And when he drinks, which is an everyday occurrence now, he drinks excessively. I want to bake and baste and fry and fricasee for him, but my scales tell me that I shouldn't for my own sake. So what to do?
Exercise is an option. I went to the gym yesterday for the first time since the beginning of March. I ran and walked 5K on the treadmill, not exactly thrilled with my performance, but not too disappointed either. I only have a week and a half till the Race for Life. This is my third time running in this 5K race, and I'm in my worst shape yet. Still, I managed 3.5K before slowing my pace to a quick walk, then ran some more after .5K.
With all that unaccustomed exercise, I expected to sleep like a baby. And at 10:15 last night, it was lights out. But at 4 this morning I was up with the birds, worrying, worrying. Worrying about my mother. Will she be made homeless by her stepdaughters? Worrying about hubby's jobless state, which is creating many problems at home. He and daughter clash daily when he and I aren't. He has upset our domestic routine greatly, then gets angry at us when we tell him this. We are supposed to bend to his needs and wishes without any bending on his part to us. Worrying about arrangements for the kids this weekend while we are at a wedding and what am I going to wear to this event since nothing fits. Worrying about the excess baggage I am carrying all of a sudden.
I speak to my mother daily now. I listen for what isn't said. I try to discourage her paranoia about the stepdaughters and encourage her to have a social life again. Her tone is lighter. Her biggest need is to know that someone cares about her, which I am trying to show. My sister has too many soap operas going on in her life to do this. And she and my mother have too much baggage from the past. So do I but I try to overcome it. I am practical. I try to come up with plans of action.
And when I cannot, I eat. And sleep fitfully.