My head is telling me lies

2:07am is NOT the time to be thinking. It is not a thinking time at all. But sadly, it’s the time I get ‘home’ from doing a job I absolutely love, presenting The Late Night Alternative weeknights on talkRADIO. It’s my dream job – a late night phone in show that tries to build bridges rather than walls. Some nights it works better than others. I’ve actually had a bloody good run recently. The last 3 or 4 weeks have been pretty good, even if I do say so myself. Dark, frothy, surreal, educational, moving, silly. Everything I would want to listen to. Tonight’s show wasn’t as good and its hit me hard. Some bits were dull. I allowed myself to get distracted by a bully online. I wasn’t focused.

My head is telling me I’m shit at my job. That the lucky run is over, if indeed it ever really existed. That someone better is going to get my job. That my figures will suffer. That the tiny bit of affection I may have garnered in the jungle has turned sour. That I am worthless. That my body is fat and ugly. That I’m not funny. That I should stop whinging like a fucking baby and sort myself out. That I should jump off a cliff. My head is noisy and it is telling me lies.

I know that most of the above is untrue. I KNOW IT. And yet I still believe everything in that previous paragraph. I know they’re not true, but I believe them. Some of you will understand how that apparent dichotomy works. Some of you will think its nuts. Well, it is nuts, and this is the struggle I seem to have to endure every single day. And it is so fucking exhausting. I’m tired. Really tired.

I don’t want to be a poster boy for mental health. And I’m not the main one. That role seems to have landed on Matt Haig, author of the brilliant ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ as well as some superb novels. To be honest, I don’t know how he handles it. Everyone wants to share their story with him. And those that don’t seem to want to tell him to man up, to stop being a baby, to kill himself – all the fun stuff. I’m not as brave as him. I’m a tease. I drop a handkerchief then run away when people pick it up and try to return it.

I bore people on Twitter talking about how I feel.

I bore MYSELF with this shit.

My mental health is wobbly. I’m going through a lot at the moment. The Jungle was a trip I don’t think I’ve recovered from. I’m getting divorced. I’ve been living in a shitty little room for a LONG TIME. I’m buying a house. These are stressful things and pour that on top of a head and soul that don’t seem to be working very well and my low self esteem, my self hatred, my distortion of reality (or is it a distortion?), my need to be both loved AND hated at the same time – all of these things tear at my body and mind. I can feel them pulling in an infinite number of directions and I have very little I can do to control them. In fact control is impossible. I am powerless. Just a little respite would be great.

I’m cutting down my meds. I was on Mirtazapine. A powerful anti anxiety drug that really calmed me down man. It made me sleep for 11 hours a time. But gave me really awful and thrilling anxiety dreams and made me put on a lot of weight. With the aid of my psychiatrist, I’ve come off them. I lost a stone in 2 weeks. Sadly, I put it back on.

I’m on Venlaflaxine. I want to come off that and I’ll see my doc again in July to start cutting back. Why do I want to come off it if I still feel shit? Because I need to see what it feels like without the drugs. Is the pain worse? The same? Better? One of the many side effects of anti depressants are the fact that cumming is REALLY DIFFICULT! I saw the comedian Dave Foley share this observation and I realised that yeah, its true! As a caller to my show said, its like running a really good marathon but they keep moving the finishing line.

I hate myself. I punish myself. I don’t deserve to be happy.

I don’t write this things to further my career, or to get more follows on Twitter. In fact I’ve lost about 5,000 followers recently. A combination of bots being cleared and people bored of my mental health ramblings. That’s not imagined. I’ve had people tell me they’re bored or that I should just kill myself. I hope I don’t. But that is a real possibility. Who knows. I won’t do it today, but I have no idea where I’ll be tomorrow. Anyway, I share and write this stuff not in some altruistic way to help everyone. I know it DOES help some. But that’s not why I am doing it. I’m writing to try and get my head around this, to work out what I am, what my problem is, how I get better. If I can. Maybe this is as good as it gets. OK, if that’s it then can I live with THIS? I don’t know.

I’m lonely and I am so fucking tired.

Peace and Love.


PS this is NOT a suicide note. I am not going to kill myself, so please don’t read it like that. I’m playing mini golf on Saturday with my kids and I’m really looking forward to it.

37 thoughts on “My head is telling me lies

  1. jimbo says:

    Ah man,I hope you feel better.
    I hope its ok to say this, its weird but I read it and while every part of the compassionate me sympathises.. part of me feels jealous. I don’t feel like I ever feel anything ,apart from sort of numb. I suppose I feel lonely at times ,but its easier not to let people in.Oh I don’t know..

    much love

  2. David says:

    I live in a limbo of up & down with the ultimate outcome of being generally not bothered about anything (Mrs, kids, life in general), you seem to have the opposite to me but with the same outcome.

    You’re never going to change you, the best you can do is have some type of understanding that the only other option is unacceptable.

    You’ll never be “truly happy” as you’ll find a way to fuck it up, you have to learn to settle bud, it’s a horrible feeling, no more ultimate highs but the truth is the ultimate high always leads to the ultimate fall for people like us.

    You will never win this battle, I doubt anyone ever does. Just carry on doing the do, in “10 years” those memories will be better than the “10 years” previous, and although you’re unable to enjoy them now you’ll be able to enjoy the memory of them in time to come.

    I hope that makes sense and maybe resonates a little. All the best

  3. Guardian Hawk says:

    We love you Boss. Your words inspire us to be better people. Well some of us. They also inspire us to be a little bit different. A little bit quirky. A little bit mental and not actually care what anyone else thinks about it. To accept that our heads are wired a little bit backwards, forwards, sideways and in some cases not wired at all. But above all else. You inspire us to be us! Love and Light Boss! ❤

    P.S Can I do my performance piece now? 😛

  4. Stuart says:

    This is all ok. Some of us feel this way and while it can feel isolating a lot of the time it is an illness. I often get overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of negatively but as you know thoughts are not facts. Great piece. Keep writing as it helps many people who have no voice or support or are just tired and confused by the whole thing. Thanks man.

  5. Dale Thrower says:

    Without even knowing it I have been suffering from depression for over a year.
    I worry a lot of people don’t understand as I am in such a lucky position with my family, my friends, my home and my job. The reason why I worry that people won’t understand the depression is that because I don’t understand it. Why do I find myself feeling so low with such dark thoughts?.
    I understand why you have shared your thoughts so openly and I admire you for doing so. Just for the record I believe you are an intullectual, funny and talented broadcaster and I wish you all the best on your journey.

  6. Josh says:

    Since you touched on this; I’d love you to try and not read Twitter during a show, see what happens. I think for many reasons, it’s not the best idea. Just my opinion, but it’s your show, obvs, and it’s still the best one out there.

  7. Rebecca says:

    You are brave for sharing where you are. I care that you are okay and others to do. I don’t have any advice other than please keep fighting and looking for the positive even when there doesn’t seem like any. Your life matters and your contribution matters, even if again life doesn’t show you that outright. It’s hard to stay positive when things are falling apart, especially when your head is telling you lies. Thinking of you and sending you good wishes. Take good care of yourself.

    Ps as well as Matt Ha it’s book, a book that really helped me was ‘unstuck’ by James s Gordon. Don’t be put off by all the science, some of the examples he uses are interesting and uplifting and I have found the shake and then dance idea he suggests I the book useful for getting emotions out. The untethered soul is also good but that’s more a book that depends on personal preference and what you believe. If you don’t believe in God, ignore the last few chapters. I had this on audio book whilst driving (as that’s when I felt most alone and sad) and it helped me.

  8. Dawn says:

    You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who going through this. I say going through because it is a journey, a bad one at that but it’s like going through a tunnel. There is another side. I know doctors prescribe anti depressants to dampen down the worst of the feelings, to subdue them, but the honest truth is, cognitive behavioural therapy is the best solution as it helps you see the ‘glass half empty/ glass half full, view on life. There isn’t a pill in any box that’s going to ‘cure’ you. There’s no magic cure that works for everyone. One thing to remember is you ARE normal. We all go through this, some more than others but it does pass as long as you train your self to rewire your thoughts. Keep going, we are all rooting for you. Dawn x. ( @happydawn1 )

  9. Naz says:

    Hi Iain.
    I used to leave myself little notes around my room with messages like ‘This will pass’ and ‘you won’t always feel like this’. It sounds almost pointless, but you can find yourself so deep down a rabbit hole of self deprecating thoughts you forget some of the real world around you. These notes sometimes pulled me back.
    Take care mate

  10. Louise White says:

    Iain, your honesty about mental health is so helpful to me. My anxiety started when I had kids, the images and dreams I would conjure up about them were terrifying and completely illogical. Then I lost my beloved Nan, then my husband’s Nan, then my Dad and my Grandad. All within three years. Loss is a big factor for me, I guess that’s why I fear for my kids.
    Sometimes our anxiety and depression makes absolutely no sense, I have palpitations sometimes. There is no rhyme or reason to them coming on, they just do. They are exhausting and frightening, but part of the anxiety.
    I’m on Citalopram. I hate being dependant, but am just not ready to be without them.

    I hope you’ll be fine, find happiness and one day realise you aren’t any of the things you call yourself. We can’t be liked by all, but being admired and loved should empower and brighten our days.

    Much love, keep on keeping on!

    Louise xxx

  11. Jerome Wilson says:

    Don’t make your fears your reality! Seems like some of them are coming true, but you have the power to influence what happens next. Make the correct choices and acknowledge the better things in life that are great, even though it may seem like a tough task to do.

  12. Noreen fitzpatrick says:

    Hi iain so sorry you’re feeling so low, please keep talking to friends and family. I hope you’ll feel better soon.

  13. Noreen fitzpatrick says:

    Hi iain, sorry you’re feeling so low, please keep talking to friends and family. usually can help. Take care and one day at a time

  14. Rachel says:

    Sorry to read that life is so difficult right now…this dichotomy is faced by so many and I know that when you’re in that place the kind and true words of others bounce off the surface… it’s so hard as well working in the creative arts, as we can rely too much on the audience approval mechanisms and find our worth through what we do, which leads to a rollercoaster of highs and lows… anyway I just want to say, thank you for your honesty and that I hope you can get the support you need, medically and or emotionally to ride out this season one day at a time. In the meantime I also hope that you find the will to shout at those lies to get the fuck outta your head! In someways writing it out and naming it like this is probably doing just that ( albeit very vulnerable ) so good on you… sending best wishes as a stranger who is cheering you on from the sidelines and hoping that you’ll keep on keeping on and that some day very soon, this season will pass…

  15. northernsnowflake says:

    I’m a listener to the radio show. And you help me and thousands like me. Not because we suffer from mental health issues. Because we don’t. But you help us to understand – and hopefully bit by bit, you improve our clumsy understanding of these issues. This then means we can try to understand and be a bit more supportive of those around us who do suffer.

    I thought it was worth letting you know this.

    Also, your show is so amazingly entertaining and genuinely different. You may also be tired because you put so much into it. You never ‘phone it in’. You always try to deliver. So much so, that even the things that don’t quite work are worth listening to.

    You are a unique talent. And Kath is your perfect partner in crime. Keep on keeping on. Please.

  16. Ross Merryweather says:

    Hi Iain, post what you like where you like if people are bored by it they don’t have to read it, hope you find some stability with a new house and good luck with it. I’m just a fan of your radio show, but genuinely I hope as one man speaking to another that you can find a good place and happiness.

  17. John says:

    I have experience many of these feelings so understand, not at all bored by your comments, keep writing and talking them, at least you are expressing it, better to get them out in my opinion. I had a younger friend who hung himself last year, we discussed such negative feelings, they must have got the better of him, he was v well qualified in that area, oh the irony.

  18. Matt says:

    So many of us feel exactly the same way out here, in fact you will be surprised how much I can resonate with that but I unlike you am a total failure and have jack shit to my name. I have no chance of ever buying a house, can’t pull for shit, constantly get told I am a fukin failure by parents and others who hint it at me, constantly don’t want to wake up in the morning, hate all them fukin shit minimum wage jobs I have to drag my arse out of bed for which are hard enough to find anyway, am sick of my stocky body which it’s hard to keep fit, I don’t get on with my old man but have to live in his house orelse I would be on the streets given the current economic situation, I am a coloured man so have less chances compared or if I was white, have dyslexia, am as thick as anything, have massive low self esteem and confidence issues and much more. I turn to religion but still find that hard all the time, I never have and never will belong anywhere and don’t deserve anything. I have to reassure myself that things will get better and remind myself of people in far worse positions out there. You are loved by a lot of people Iain but you do argue with people a lot, I just hope it all works out for you and you always stay happy and smiling. You have a lot more to live for then I ever will and I will never ever kill myself for religious reasons but I know everyone is different. All the best and a really heart touching article man.

  19. Jane says:

    Have you ever had a thyroid function test ? Hormone inbalances can mess you up big time,
    coming from someone who has suffere from PMS for over 10 years, In Victorian times they would send
    woman like me to the Local Asylum.
    Take it easy Mr Iain

  20. Xena says:

    I understand and relate to all you have to say. What helped me the most was joining a forum with like minded people, and sharing with them rather than tweeting to the harsh world of twitter. I’m bipolar and found a great online community… There must be something out there for depressed people, and I hope you find a safe place to express yourself. Love and hugs, Xena

  21. Tess says:

    On the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory you come 2nd and 20th on the scale. That’s not counting the other stresses in your life. You haven’t been able to take a minute lately to take stock as you are too frantic earning a living. Coming off meds can be a nightmare and can mess with your judgement. You don’t like other people being judgmental yet you are only too keen to judge yourself. Your addiction to Twitter is not good for you as it undermines your confidence. Self doubt eats away with every negative comment you read. Is it sensible to reinforce that self doubt by reading them? You know for a fact you have talent and I have loved your shows for years. I’m hoping once you move house there will be more peace for you. Your need for perfection is palpable and the cost to you can be too much. I wish you well in all your endeavours but listen to your body and ease up on the self-criticism, there are too many cruel people who will do that job for you. Have faith that this feeling you have feels like an eternity but will not last. Best wishes and thank you so much for entertaining me for so many years.

  22. Ian Francis says:

    I too have the very same if not identical symptoms Iain. I saw a TV program about mental health and you said the one thing , the one side effect no one mentions ” You Can’t Come” The fact here is a Celeb who is actually going through a real mental health issues just by stating this fact , and reading this article ( Sorry Iain you are much more than a ” Celeb”) . Mental Health issues have become trendy or that’s how my twisted logic sees it ? I thank you for speaking & please never stop it helps others me included because you talk it as you walk it. I hope you will continue to have doable days. Enjoy the Golf Cheers Ian..

  23. Stephanie says:

    Honestly you do help talking about this stuff, those who are bored of it most likely have no empathy or experience of dealing with this. I’d personally not want to deal with those sorts, they are the people who bring people down as you’ve seen with the man you were arguing with last night on Twitter, I won’t give him the credit of his name. I think its honestly best you ignore him, he uses very manipulative language in my option and that can’t be psychologically good reading it.

    I really think that opening up, helps people say their own opinions, not to sound like George but I honestly believe that if we say our feelings enough those without courage will be able to say theirs, then we can talk and discuss how to make people happy, we could change the world for the better. Life doesn’t have to be misery and stress, like I’m worried I’ll die working genuinely and this thought dominates my life along with my self hate, my inadequacies. I talk like you do about this stuff, to the point of pissing off people who care though they don’t get it, I keep talking talking talking…. I wish they’d get it maybe they’ll see a crack of light in this darkness that I can’t. I hope you find someone to do this for you, it could be anyone.

  24. Warren Stone says:

    Keep on keeping on, Iain. I know it’s difficult to see things from the outside, but last night’s show was nowhere near as bad as you might think. If you hadn’t said anything, I wouldn’t have even considered it to be ‘bad’ or any worse than usual. Just hearing you and Kath talking about whatever, and taking calls, either from interesting people or annoying idiots, is why I listen. I always enjoy it even when you think it hasn’t gone well. It’s company, and like hanging out with friends, sometimes the conversation isn’t as lively or interesting as others, but it’s still enjoyable and it still makes you feel like you’re part of something. Hope you feel better soon.

  25. Simon says:

    Hello Iain. I love your show – I’ve only recently ‘got into’ you, even though you’ve been around for quite a while. It’s the current you that I’m a fan of (I’ve been aware of you on various shows for years). There’s a hint of Andy Kaufman to you – the incident with the well, and the subsequent neckbrace, brightened my day.

    Please carry on doing what you’re doing – I’m a bitter cynic, and if I enjoy your work then many other people do as well. Be assured that there’s a lot of love for you. Keep being you, because you’re all good.

  26. Richard says:

    Iain I’ve been a big fan of yours for a while, I loved what you did with the crazy Lost Initiative. I loved that show and loved Lost itself! Now you are on LBC and a Monkees fan (like me). Anyway I was like you 4 years ago. My head wouldn’t shut up, I was trying to solve problems that didn’t exist, thoughts were going round like a washing machine. I felt terrible.. I went on Mirtazipine and Venlafaxine, I couldn’t come either! I was 40 a normal guy and have 2 kids. Now I am 44 , off the meds and can really say the ONLY thing that helped me do this was Mindfulness.

    After months of practice the thoughts barely matter anymore. It does really work but you have got to immerse yourself in it. You end up just accepting it all and it just fades away. I know it sounds crazy and a bit new age and that it will never work for someone like you but that’s just the mind again… Tricky thing that it is. Now I teach it to people at work! Life is mad.

    I am telling you this because I hope one day you can find some peace.

  27. Rachel says:

    Dear Iain
    I’m so sorry that you are feeling low. Not surprising given things that are happening around you. For me you bring so much joy and speak so much sense when others are skirting around the truth. My wish for you is that, whilst things are difficult, you stay with what’s real and kind so that the people around you who know and are solid and only want the best for you, help you to tune out the noise from anyone or anything that doesn’t have positive intention for you.
    A clever person once told me that people give you feedback for 4 reasons:
    1. They care about you
    2. They care about the job you’re doing
    3. They have to because they’re your boss!
    4. They have a weird agenda!
    Whatever the intention say “thank you” because they’re giving you something then…
    1,2 and 3 you might do something about if you choose to and are ready but if there’s even a faint whiff that it might be 4. Say “thank you”, leave it with the giver and never look at it again. Weird agenda is all about them and has no use to you.
    Stay at choice Iain, choose love and life and golf with your children x

  28. jon white says:

    No I’m going to have to disagree with you Mr. Iain Lee i think you do a fantastic job on the radio, you & Kath seemed to always try to entertain the masses every night with great success, from what I hear & sometimes see on Youtube & the others you use , is the effort it must take to pull it all together , no doubt some nights you must think to fuck this shit & the Wankers who tend to bother you the most ,,lol ,, or maybe you don’t who knows ,, but what you don’t realize so much maybe because of other things on your mind is that your job most people would fail withen the first hour & the people who think i could do that job because they may have a bit more personality than the people around them ,but stick them in front of a Mic & watch them crumble ,, personally i think the show is great & very enjoyable , talk to James Whale i would & i’m sure he knows a trick or two for blanking out self doubt & getting on with the show , or if Kath says iain your shit at your job mate, perhaps it’s time you moved on , you should listen , but i’m sure she’s happy with the show & knows if your turning crap , untill that happens please carry on doing what your doing , Because your not bad at it , LoL ,, Peace out

  29. Lisa says:

    Iain, I’m sorry life is difficult for you just now. Remember, the people who love you a million times outweigh the petty, sad, lonely people who troll you through technology. Keep your chin up, this will pass xx

  30. Richard says:

    Just my perspective
    -The following thoughts will not change anyone (wrong context). They are not intended to devalue anybody’s personal experiences. They are intended to help. “You” relates to anyone reading this. They are not a “cure” for depression-that is multifactorial but rather a perspective on addressing negative belief systems/negative internal commentary connected to depression. It is a very complex subject and the impact on the sufferer dramatic.
    – Head will tell you “lies” (or, rather, identify disproportionately with negative beliefs/words) to validate/confirm the “truth” of underlying negative belief systems about oneself (hence why positive input has no value and why e.g. problem focused articles/books resonates with many sufferers). We all seek to confirm our reality. Subconsciously, I am doing it now by writing this. To associate with positive words and beliefs whilst possessing negative belief systems would create cognitive dissonance or worse
    – You are already the expert in your problem (there is no more to learn/understand and even if there is, does not mean improvement. Hardluck but what a relief………. To get better, you do not need to understand the problem perfectly).
    – Right form of therapy, brief strategic therapy/REM/hypnotherapy (!!) (probably others) to distort/”con”/interrupt and deflect those belief systems which, paradoxically, represent the (sometimes childhood) brain trying to protect itself (whilst slowly destroying itself).
    – Avoid resisting negative beliefs as resistance of the problem leads to maintenance of the problem (no one sees a psychiatrist for being too happy because no one resists those positive messages fleeting through their brain). We only try to stop the negative ones. In fact, consciously make them worse to the point of absurdity. The last stage of meditation by Buddhist monks in the world’s problems, apparently, is laughter.
    – Avoidance only raises anxiety in the long run. “Think less, learn by doing”.
    – Skimmed MH Reasons to Stay Alive book. IMO anecdotal/problem focused. It did not resonate-it created resistance in me because of where my belief systems are presently at (although they could, of course, change if life throws you a curve ball). Yes, we get the problem and the experience but what is the solution/techniques to address negative beliefs. Only solution/improvement focused comment (apart from taking exercise) which resonated is, perhaps coincidentally, the only one highlighted (803 times by readers on my Kindle who clearly felt that part was speaking to them) talking about accepting one’s thoughts even the bad ones ……… I.e. point just made about being the anthropologist of one’s own behaviour rather than connecting with it.
    – When reassurance by others is given and results in improvement the first time, great. Subsequent unsuccessful reassurances by third parties simply confirms the problem. Talking or writing about it will risk confirming the problem (may provide temporary relief and may have other purposes).
    – Any poster boys should be directed at pre-empting one of the causes of depression (helplessness/hopelessness caused by these negative belief systems) through learning and promoting coping mechanisms around negative belief systems in order to retrain the brain, particularly in schools where coping mechanisms need to be taught. Mental health professionals are beginning to become school-based but probably at the clinical diagnostic level. Many therapists will be put out of business if that education happened early enough. Retraining your brain through therapeutic intervention to minimise/stop believing these negative beliefs is possible (they are “learned” after all) and will be the most difficult/courageous thing you ever do. If you wait until you feel better before these changes you will have a long wait. They constitute a life’s work to relearn in a more positive way.
    – Susan Jeffers Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway on point.
    – PS-some negative beliefs are unavoidable: we all feel negative after a bad night’s sleep, divorce, house move, body cycle reprogramming or not. “How else would you be expected to feel” – so take the pressure off. Negative belief systems have no more value than positive belief systems. One technique is to consciously make them worse and flush the system.
    Any “poster boy” would need to be highly intelligent, emotionally insightful, be able to “act as if” as part of the reprogramming and would understand the power of inputting at the subconscious thought level ..………. it’s on the tip of my tongue…. No it’s gone.
    If none of this makes sense then remember depression is a myth in any event; it is in fact a pharmaceutical conspiracy and the most useful GP prescription is one that states “get over yourself and don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out”!! (and I say that for much needed inadequate comic effect after reading the above)

  31. S. says:

    You’re helping ME with writing down how you feel/felt.. Wow. I… I just relate to everything (except the cumming part since I’m female, lol). I feel so alone but reading that someone else has these thoughts too is SUCH.. a relief? Anyway, hope you’ve been doing much better since your last post. Our brain’s a bitch sometimes, all these thoughts and feelings. Whatever you think/feel; choose life. One day survived is another victory.

    Much love, all the way from The Netherlands x

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