There’s an old saying in prison that goes: When you’re in the hole (solitary confinement), there’s only three things that can alleviate loneliness and boredom: jacking off, taking a shit and pacing back and forth.
Having been in the hole for long stretches of time, several different times, I can personally attest to that statement being true. I know, it may seem strange. But when you find yourself locked inside a 7×10 concrete cell for months on end, all alone, with nothing but a piss-scented mattress, the filthy clothes on your back, and a noisy toilet that leaks brown shit water all over the floor, what do you expect? Weird stuff starts to happen. Not only do you masturbate a lot, and shit a lot, and pace a lot but, at some point in the depths of your delusional loneliness, you may find yourself doing any combination of the three, or all three at once, just to remind yourself that you are, truly, still anchored in reality.
Luckily for you guys on the outside, being sequestered inside your homes for this pandemic isn’t anything like being stuck inside a dank, dark cell. You have more options than masturbating, shitting and pacing. But since you’re novices at this isolation business, I’m here to help.
1.) You need structure. Structure is the number one combatant to boredom. Build an itinerary for your daily activities and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be an impressive to-do list, so give yourself a break. For instance, here’s a quick rundown of my normal prison day: Wake up. Train my “Paws With a Cause” service dog. Go outside. Workout. Shower. Eat lunch. Write. Eat dinner. More dog training. Study. Read/Watch TV. Edit my writing. Stretch. Pray. Meditate. Go to bed. Sounds boring because it is. But every day there’s usually other activities to do that mix it up, to add some variety, like painting abstract art, or writing letters and emails, or making expensive ass phone calls. I also volunteer as a Prisoner Observation Aid, which means I am on call to do suicide watches when needed.
So you see, even here in prison my days are full, which makes the time fly by. I’m seldom bored, and with the right structure you won’t be bored either.
2.) Stay in touch with the people you care about and love. That human connection is important, whether you believe it or not. Over the years I have learned that when I am feeling a little blue, a quick, if expensive ($3.50 per fifteen minutes) phone call to someone I love really lifts my spirits. Call your mom. Your girlfriend. Your boyfriend. Your uncle Gomer who lives in the hills of Kentucky… whomever. But call someone and tell them you love them. Trust me, you’ll feel better for it.
3.) Do something that gives your life purpose. It’s not easy to find purpose in your life, especially if you’re not looking. For me this means writing, painting, training service dogs, and volunteering my time to a good cause. For you, it might mean planting a garden. Getting in touch with old friends and family members. Digging out those hobby craft supplies from storage. Donating a little time to helping those in need. Maybe mowing the lawn of your next door neighbor, old man Johnson, who is 94 and fought in WWII. Whatever you chose, make sure it is something that gives purpose to your life. Hell, maybe you’d like to take the time to send an encouraging email to a convict like me who’s trying to better himself.
Whatever you chose, my friend, good luck at it. And remember, this too shall pass…
My name is Jerry Metcalf and I wish to make the world a better place. Also, a message from me to you: The Universe Loves You and I Do Too.
You can contact Jerry directly at:
Jerry Metcalf 251141
3225 John Conley Dr.
Lapeer, MI 48446
email @ jpay.com or firstname.lastname@example.org