Thursday, December 29, 2011

Performance Living

Going through the motions. That’s what I’m doing these days. The motions…of simply living, that is.

I wake. I perform my morning routine.
I arrive at work. I perform my workday routine.
I return home. I perform my evening routine.

Sometimes, I just sit…performing my “nothingness routine”.

As I pondered this last night, I began to think that, for me, going through the motions really means “performance living”.

I’ve entered a new unfamiliar stage of this grief journey. Nearly 8 months into this, I find lots of discomfort in this new territory. I’ve experienced small fragments of time like this previously since my husband’s death, but nothing this consistent. I just don’t have the energy for true, purposeful living right now. Yes, I’m living day by day, obviously. But, I’ve discovered I’m really doing more “performing”. I’m like an actress, performing the role of Leah, the widow. There are certain tasks that must be performed everyday. I do them, but that’s it. That’s the extent of it.

I don’t like this role, at all. I want to be cast in a new role…one with more pizzazz, more excitement, more joy! I have so much I want to much I want to give back…so much life to live! But, I have no energy right now, so my desires translate into very little.

I’m a fixer, a doer, a Type A perfectionist (yes, I admit it). But, right now, I feel lazy, unproductive, and somewhat “fake”. I feel like I see the shell of a woman I don’t recognize anymore. And, that translates into many areas of my life. I spent the first 5 months of 2011 losing weight in a healthy manner. After Chris died, I lost even more (just due to grieving). But, by August…food became my comfort again. Not good. At all. I don't recognize me anymore and am sickened by what I see in the mirror every single day.

So, I’m struggling right now…with grief, with purpose, with self-esteem, and with trying to regain focus. I simply can’t stand this.

Jesus came for more than this. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NASB

Lord, I beg you. Show me how to live that abundant life. Give me renewed strength and energy. I want more than this performance living. I want all that You gave up for me on that cross over 2000 years ago. Help me, Lord!


  1. Oh Leah! How I can relate to what you are going thought. It has also been 8 months since I lost my husband. I know exactly how you feel. The other day I had a pity party (or should I say a temper tantrum?). I was so sad, angry, and I was just crying and yelling and thinking what a hypocrite I have become. I act (or try) and say "I'm fine" when inside I am not fine! In my talk with God, I shared with Him that I will probably be up for an academy award for my performance of just 'going thru the motions' and acting as though I'm fine. There is no way I could travel this journey without God. I can't even imagine someone not trusting God in such a journey as grief.

    I, too, have been eating and shopping! It is just 'something' to do! I am trying to exercise more, but that just isn't working out ;)

    I hope knowing you are not alone in this journey will help. Hang in there and I'm praying for you. May 2012 be a better year for both of us.

  2. I say i am fine because I don't want to be a whiner, even though my friends tell me it is ok, I don't want to always bring everybody down with my grief. So I pretend to be ok but I am sure that everyone knows that I am not ok. Somedays I really feel like I may die from a broken heart, it is just so hard! Praying for healing in 2012 for all of us!

  3. Leah, my dear new friend, and Kathy:

    As I have just passed the 1st anniversary of my husbands passing I can relate to each of you. I will tell you, that for me, the 8th, 9th and 10th months were worse than 1-7. I don't understand why. It is possible that the numbness began to wear off or the 'sympathy' of others became old, or just that with the passage of time we grow weary of the grieving process and become exhausted.

    For me months 11 and 12 (the holiday months) were so jammed with pretending to be ok and trying to make others happy, all the while attempting to face my first holiday season alone, that I almost forgot about the 1st anniversary (almost)!!

    You are not alone! What you are experiencing seems 'normal' (whatever that is) and as you continue to journey, this season will pass into the next.

    I have come to realize and accept that there is NO right or wrong way to grieve, only you and God can walk your path. There also is no right or wrong amount of time yet I am finding that as I encounter more and more widows, it seems that the first year is the most difficult.

    My new blog post may express where I am toady

    Leah, you know you are never far from my thoughts and prayers and Kathy I will begin to pray for you.

    Oh, and I ate myself right under the table but the weight is beginning to come off again. And as for the shopping........

    Love to you Leah! Blessings to you Kathy!

    In Him, Cindy

  4. As I read your post, I'm reminded routine can be healing. No drama, no further drain on my emotions, and if I'm honest, a sad realization that life goes on; not perhaps in the way I'd hoped, but life none the less. I've also found those around me needed routine. They needed to see I could function. It allowed them to relax a bit and worry about me a little less so they could return to their routine.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. Healing takes a while. A wise counseler once told me I should focus on taking a step forward every day, even if it meant slowly distancing myself from the event. I haven't always wanted to do that, because I thought it would minimize how important she'd been. I no longer believe that; rather I see it as a choice, allowing God to use me in other ways. The bigger picture is often hard to see, so I try to "clean the lenses" regularly. Keep smiling. You are amazing!

    Forever His,
    Brenda Mires

  5. Praying for you. I went through the same thing. It's so strange that grief is different for each person, each situation, and yet follows just about the same route. "This too shall pass" and you'll be able to live purposely again. At month 10 after losing my mom, my dad asked me how I was doing and I just broke down and was honest with him. It was harder than it had ever been for some reason and all of a sudden I couldn't handle being in their house. Then it eased up. I really thought the holidays were going to be tough, but it really wasn't. The memories helped with the healing.

  6. I empathize with you on the not knowing who you are and turning to food for comfort. I had a loss too (though not my husband, so I can't truly know how much you grieve in that respect)...but I "lost" my familiarity of home, being near the kids and grandkids, and security. This move took alot out of me...took alot away from me.

    I am claiming 2012 a much better year, one of renewal, prosperity, and peace and joy! I know God's got some really neat gifts and things in store for you, Leah! Give it some time...He understands!

    Happy New Year...I love you and am praying for you! ((hugs))

  7. Have you heard the song "I have been there" by Mark Schultz? I know it doesn't change anything but it makes me feel closer to Him when the grief gets really difficult. Praying for you.

  8. Leah, My heart goes out to you, as I am catching up on your recent holiday posts. This was my third Christmas season without my sweetheart and I'm thankful to be able to say that it was easier this year.

    Facing grief is hard work and is totally exhausting. Be kind to yourself and just do the necessities, rest when you need to and just "be" with Him.

    My prayer for you is that the Lord will provide strength, comfort and all you need, for each day as they come. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. It helps others to know they aren't alone in their struggles. Hang in there, Leah. The Lord will see you through this painful season. He loves you so much!
    Hugs, Renee'

  9. Thanks for the insight into your heart. Don't ever just hold it all in. You'll be able to use this journey for somebody else when the time it right. God is with you and holding you every second. The winter will pass. It won't last forever.