“Everyone’s doing a great job,” my magnificent friend Jen used to say when we were in grad school. It didn’t matter how little we were doing, or how disastrously. She would announce it assuredly to the group whether we sat around a big writing-workshop table in class, or if we were drunkenly falling out of chairs at a bar. But if what you’re trying to do is get drunk, she was right: Getting drunk enough to unmaster sitting down is a job extremely well done.
I think I’m doing something wrong nearly 100 percent of the time. It’s an old script, one therapists say all people whose environments weren’t safe when they were kids develop, the idea that they are the ones fucking everything up. It’s got to be them. It’s got to be their behavior, a thing they did or didn’t do or did poorly; a trick they missed or a thought they had or a face they made, something, anything that made everything happening around them their fault so that everything could be fine, if they just did better.