Stephen's Blog

Broken Man and the Boro Foundation Fix

I’ve started here because I’m trying to convey why I even decided to attend the Foundation in the first place. 
If I’m brutally honest it was because of abject unadulterated loneliness! My loneliness was so bad that it was destroying my life and eating me away. I’d reached
a crossroads in my life where I had to do something about it!
The best comparison I can make is with Elton John!  Strange comparison some may think but if anybody has seen the film “Rocketman” or is aware that Elton has been plagued by Mental illness , Loneliness (even with hundreds of so called friends and family members) Emptiness, Feelings of Worthlessness and Addictions for most of his life, you’ll be aware he did something to deal with and overcome his troubles! 
So why compare to Elton John, I’m not a Rock Star or famous? There’s one scene in the film which sets the tone for the rest of the film. Elton has had enough and he knows he has to do something, so he jumps in a taxi and ends up at some facility akin to “Alcoholics Anonymous.” I’m not an expert on all the fineries of Elton’s life but this happened in the 1970’s and is supposedly true. Whether he knew of the existence of this facility in advance (had he seen a Poster, somewhere?) or he asked the Taxi Driver to take him somewhere for help, I’m not sure. Regardless he did it and he did it because in his own words he was a “Broken Man.”
Now, that is very strange because even before I knew he said that I was going to write, I first attended the MFC Foundation because I was a “Broken Man.” So me and Elton were both broken, for some similar but also very different reasons. If I was to write why I’m broken and still am, I am certain not one person would scoff or give me the “Pull yourself together,” cliche or ever think I was being dramatic. I don’t mind saying why I’m “Broken” and telling my story at a later time.
Elton sat down on a chair, gave a false name and proceeded to talk for hours! In the film nobody interrupted him as he proceeded to tell his woes and life story, surrounded by a dozen or so fellow clients/addicts who just sat and listened.  Now, Elton had an ego, a massive one! He had fame and  money and had been indulged for many years, his tantrums were and still are notorious. He probably felt it was his right to sit there and monopolise everything whilst being the centre of attention. Surprisingly he didn’t say, “Don’t you know who I am?!?” Regardless, Elton at least sought for help because he realised he needed help, he made that step and that’s exactly what I did! He had sought out what he could relate to… people like him, in a setting he felt comfortable with. 

Now that’s where most of the similarities end. Although I had to find something I could relate to also, in order to make that first step and that was M.F.C! I saw a poster for M.F.C. Foundation which I’m sure said “Are You Lonely?” somewhere in its wording, or something similar. I thought, ‘Oh Look Middlesbrough Football Club and the word “Lonely” written together.’
Now, there are only 3 things that when I’m at the lowest of the low in my life, have even made me get up in the morning… My dogs, My Music and My M.F.C.! Since 1967 and that famous 4-1 3rd Division match against Oxford (my very first match as a 7 year old) it’s been “MY M.F.C!” The very existence of them is in my psyche, my very soul and gives me a purpose that will not go away!!!! 
I phoned the number on the poster, spoke to somebody and attended at the Riverside Building in Skinningrove the next week. I’d done an Elton John and made that first leap towards something I knew and felt comfortable and at ease with… something that had been part of me for 54 years! At that time maybe nothing else would EVER have prompted me!


Now stating “Making that first leap” and the Elton John comparison may make some think…. ” How dramatic,” but believe you me, even making the call to attend was a massive and difficult  thing for me to do!  Loneliness destroys you as a person! It takes away your confidence and over a prolonged period makes every single action you do feel like climbing a mountain!
Three Months before I attended the Foundation I had a form of mental breakdown which had been coming for some time, I even knew it was coming! One thing eventually pushed me over the edge, I won’t say what it was but it caused a lot of problems and trouble for the Organisation which caused it!
For the first time in 15 years I was seeking out Psychiatric Professional help, again. Luckily, my Doctor listened and I was referred to a Psychiatric crash team. I was suffering from major anxiety, paranoia and delusions. Nothing was rational in my mind any more. Eventually I saw a psychiatrist who let me do exactly what Elton did…. talk uninterrupted!
I didn’t get the several hours Elton got but 45 minutes! I just unloaded my mind and the words flowed. When I eventually stopped after shouting, crying and just about every emotion you can think of came out, the Psychiatrist said “If somebody made you a cup of tea or asked you if you were OK every now and again, I’m certain you wouldn’t be here.” Bingo, Hallelujah, Nail on the head…
I was lonely and wasn’t even getting the tiny things those with family and friends take for granted!  As a consequence I had snapped! If one person made me a cup of tea, asked me how I was feeling or was just about to talk to once a Month, I’d be the luckiest man alive! Past events coupled with prolonged loneliness had broken me… Again! As the Rolling Stones sang… ” Here it comes, here it comes… It’s Just My 19th Nervous Breakdown!” I may have had about 11 or 12  of those in my life and if I don’t or can’t do something about Loneliness I’m worried I’ll surpass 19!  
Although many other past events and even my personality make me susceptible to mental illness, particularly anxiety and constantly feeling “Broken,” I can deal with that, suppress it and accept it but accepting and putting up with constant loneliness on top is destroying me!

So Loneliness …the silent Killer, prompted me to do something to alleviate it… Attend M.F.C Foundation. Attend but be careful and don’t do an Elton John when I get there and think everything is just about me. I have a tiny ego, so I went on my first visit, prepared to listen rather than talk.

When I first walked through the door sometime in early October 2019 I was pointed in the direction of somebody wearing a M.F.C tracksuit. I don’t recall his name but he asked “Would you like a Cup of Tea or Coffee?”


Stephen M

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