Paul Gascoigne has revealed that he receives text messages asking if he is dead yet due to his well-publicised battle with alcoholism.
Gascoigne, 48, has endured problems with drink and drugs over the years and was recently pictured battered and bruised after suffering a relapse.
The ex-England footballer told Good Morning Britain that seeing the front-page images were a stark reminder of "how bad" he is when he suffers "a blip" in his battle with the bottle.
"Seeing pictures of me like that [referring to photos published in The Sun] is good - it reminds me sometimes of how bad I am."
Gascoigne spoke of the difficulty of battling his demons while being "followed all the time" by the press.
"Most people with this addiction are allowed to get on with it - I am not."
He was fined last October for harassing his ex-girlfriend and assaulting a photographer.
Asked by Piers Morgan if he felt it was right for people to compare him to George Best, Gascoigne said "He's dead ... it's not true.
"I'm not like George Best ... I do want to stop."
Gascoigne insists he is now "back on track" and is desperate to beat his addiction.
Gascoigne, who has played for clubs including Newcastle United, Spurs and Lazio, revealed he tries to do "three good deeds" a day to help people who do not receive the help he does.
"Everyday I try to do three good deeds: giving someone a fiver, a pack of cigarettes or even a little sandwich.
"There are lots of people with this problem who don't get the help I've had."