In solitary

IMG_1129I know I look victimized and forlorn here in the picture but don’t believe it. I put myself here. Isolation is something we choose. I remove myself from interaction because I prefer to be alone. I actually like it in here. I have a cot to sleep on and they bring me my food. Not the best in the world, but I don’t have to buy it or prepare it. The best part is, I don’t have to interact with anyone. I don’t have to pay attention; I don’t have to be responsible for anything; I don’t have to care about anyone. I don’t have to figure out how I fit into a wider plan. I’ve already got the plan; it’s to stay right here indefinitely. I don’t have to find my place in the world; I’ve already found it. It’s here in isolation. I’m not a part of anyone or anything.


If I continue this way, I will eventually die in here, shut up entirely inside myself. That would be tragic in light of what I could have done and who I could have been — for my family, for the community, for the church, for the world. Instead, I’m just a number.

You have to decide if you want this. Do you want to leave nothing but a number in a cell, or do you want to leave a mark? Do you want to change some lives? Do you want to bring some hope to people? Do you want to be the cause of someone’s happiness? Then you need to get up and walk out right now, Fischer. You put yourself in there, you can get yourself out. There are no locks on those bars. Oh, we try and tell ourselves there are so we can have an excuse for staying in isolation, but in fact, we can walk out any time we want. This is a free and open prison, carefully designed to look like you’re here for life.

FullSizeRender 2And look at this, John: there’s your wife. She’s trying to talk you out of isolation. She’s been there the whole time, man. Are you going to keep on ignoring her?

Come on, you jerk, walk out, grab her and hold her tight. Look what you’ve got! She’s your ticket out, man. Quit being so selfish and so stupid. There are all kinds of people out there and you can be a part of their lives. Some may even love you. But start with your wife, there. She’s the one you know loves you in spite of what a fool you are. You’re just lucky she’s still there; but she’s getting tired of visiting you in solitary. She’s getting tired of not getting anything back. I wouldn’t let this go one more day.

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15 Responses to In solitary

  1. I can relate to this. Except I have no excuses. You all are going thru something intense right now. I just do it for reasons I cannot put my finger on. It’s Friday. I hope you’ll take the time to step out together. Take a walk. Grab some coffee. Take a ride. Go by a church and go in and pray if it’s open. Just hang out together for a little while, no strings attached.

  2. Jeff Cropley says:

    John, Have you been spying on me? My wife and I have been talking about this (my) behavior over the last couple of days. I just walked out of my cell this morning. Praying/hoping I don’t return.
    Keep up the good fight Brother!

  3. Mary Strawsma says:

    John, I find during these times that the computer and internet make me think and feel I am connected when it is actually another small room I am inside. I love my garden for the reason I can reflect there. Today, I am going out to do public environmental project with a former first grader. Projects like that energize me and make me feel the community

  4. Mark Seguin says:

    I you John Fisher and your gorgeous wife, Marti too… 🙂

  5. Grace says:

    John
    Whoa this is amazing stuff! Convicting because I’ve been behind those bars too. Bars of a different kind. Bars full of alcohol to hide from the pain of loss in my life. I run from the feeling of being alone. I retreat from everyone when I drink. Living behind bars of a different kind but all together the same.

  6. A winter’s day, in a deep and dark December,
    I am alone,
    Gazing from my window to the streets below
    On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
    I am a rock, I am an island.
    I’ve built walls, A fortress deep and mighty,
    That none may penetrate.
    I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain.
    It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
    I am a rock, I am an island.
    Don’t talk of love, well I’ve heard the words before,
    It’s sleeping in my memory.
    I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
    If I never loved I never would have cried.
    I am a rock, I am an island.
    I have my books, and my poetry to protect me,
    I am shielded in my armor, Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
    I touch no one and no one touches me.
    I am a rock, I am an island.
    And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.
    ~ Simon and Garfunkel

  7. kevinm1957 says:

    I do this all too often. Thanks John for being so open about it.

  8. Carole in Midland says:

    Point well taken, John. I can let physical pain be my prison, or push past it. My choice. Right now, I’m the frog who has decided to jump, but is still on the log – deciding to do something and DOING it are two different things… I’m putting my toes in the water with this post. Even tho I have been a rather silent partner in the Catch recently, you know you have my heart and my prayers.

  9. Marc says:

    John, your message hit me hard. That song “I am a rock” says it all. My brother died all alone after pushing everybody away, and nobody knew he was gone for weeks. And it’s very lonely here as well. I’ve been trying to get out of my own prison and reach out to people. You have my prayers and please pray for me as well.

  10. Linda from Texas says:

    Hello John – Thank you for writing about this. Why do so many of us go through these really dark times? I guess Satan really enjoys this. These times are less for me now – used to be so bad when I was a teenager and in my 20’s and 30’s. The number of dark times has lessened through the years but they occasionally still come upon me. Now, however, I remind myself that I have the Holy Spirit inside. And I really desire to make God happy and He’s happy when I let His light shine and when I hold out the word of life to others. And, John, you’re such a bright light to us all. I guess I’ve been selfish all this time thinking I’m the only one who goes into this dark place. And, yes, family is so precious cause they love us through this. We love you. I’ll be praying and thank you so much, again, for sharing.

  11. K. Thornton says:

    Wow! Oh, how I’ve done this. I painted a fancy word over it called depression, but I made the choice to live in it. I didn’t cooperate with God, my loved ones or others trying to help. Til one day… I chose to to take steps to move me out of it. It started with changingy Pinterest pages to reflect positive images. Next I taped scripture on the truth on who I am in Christ through out my house. Then did my work I therapy and gave thanks to those who loved me for sticking beside me. And that made all the difference.

  12. Linda from Texas says:

    Hello K. Thornton – That’s a great idea taping scripture around about all that we have in Christ. First Peter 1:3-5 has a lot in there for me to hold on to. Thanks

  13. Colleen Thake says:

    This is sooo me! I entered this prison in 1997 and I have still been locked away, drinking again since I once quit, because of the Christians I met, I didn’t quite fit.
    A legalistic Christian who told me I wasn’t in God’s will, I was reading the wrong bible ya know, my spirit would be still. Another Christian was newer and I needed to let things go, but that way was to free, but I didn’t know. I gave my heart to Jesus in 1982, but they never heard a word I said, so it must have been true. The Lord reformed me this uneducated drunk, he wiped me clean and stood me up, until I again had sunk. People do not realize of the words they speak, Yeah it can give life, or kill you when your weak! I love the verse of the plank in one eyes when they judge you when you comfort someone before they die, I didn’t know I did it wrong. I worked in a hospital and the man had a plea, I was told I lost my chance to tell him salvation would set him free. I didn’t know denominations would set God’s people apart, I thought if we were believers, Jesus lived in all our hearts. No one stopped to hear me that I believed in Him too, all they heard was I was Catholic and Hell was waiting for me, I needed to wear a dress, and live for Him to set me free. They didn’t care that He had changed me and I was running the race, because once I learned of Him was looking to see His face. They dumped off at churches like an orphan who was lost, they didn’t care of my experiences, because they wanted the glory at all cost.
    I sit here in my prison, which is unfair to the new blessings God has brought, even though I am now an introvert, I teach my son the lessons the harsh ones I was taught. How do I explain to my child that I lost to many things, that I find it hard to focus and pray for another dream, See he doesn’t know what I’ve been through, the abuse from home or from churches , who wouldn’t think I would have to explain that it seems. Yet I still sit hear in my prison, behind the bars almost afraid and it’s so, when in life will I forget the lies and let all go!

    (I know this is an old post, but hope you got a chance to read it) Love Colleen

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