Tuesday, March 14, 2017


“I’m considering getting a divorce,” 52 year old Evelyn says, starting the session.
Although her marriage has been rocky for some time, this pronouncement surprises me given that her husband recently had a heart attack and by-pass surgery. She seemed genuinely concerned about him and committed to helping him through the rehabilitation process. I remain silent.
“I was listening to this program on NPR, On Point, and there was this doctor on who wrote a book about solving medical mysteries. I don’t remember his name, but it was interesting.”
I heard a small part of that program too, but I wait to hear what led Evelyn from that program to her considering divorce.
“There was a man who had a heart attack who’d had a bad heart so his heart attack was no surprise, kind of like Jack. But then the doctor went on to say that like the very next day or something like that, his wife had a heart attack too. And she had been perfectly healthy. And the doctor said it was the stress, almost like being too close to her husband and having to have a heart attack just like him. Well, I don’t want that to be me. I know this might sound awful, but Jack’s not worth my health. He hasn’t been a good enough husband for me to lay down my life for him.”
Feeling unsure what to say, I continue to remain silent.
“Do you think I’m awful?” Evelyn asks.
“No, of course not, but I am a little confused. I heard a small part of that program too…”
“Do you remember the doctor’s name? I thought I could get his book.”
“No, I didn’t hear much of the program, but what I remember is that he was talking about a couple that was extremely loving and close and that it was that closeness that led to the wife’s distress and her perhaps unconscious need – those are my words, not his – to identify with her husband and go through the same experience he had.”
“Well I guess if that was true, I wouldn’t have to worry about that.”
“Evelyn, am I mistaken or do you feel particularly angry today?”
She shrugs. “I guess.”
“Can you say what’s going on?”
“I’ve been busting my butt taking care of Jack and do you think I even get so much as a thank you?!” All he does is bitch and complain – I’m in so much pain, I’m scared, what if this happens again, why does my right arm still hurt. Complain, complain, complain. I’m sick of it.”
Jack has definitely been a less than ideal husband - inattentive, otherwise preoccupied and, most likely, unfaithful. Still, Evelyn has stayed with him, continually hoping that she could make him different, just as she longed to do with her absent and eventually abandoning father. Still, right after a major scare and trauma seems an unusual time to be considering divorce. Then a thought comes to me.
“Evelyn, do you think this time you especially thought it would be different? Jack was scared and vulnerable. Maybe he’d need you in a different way? Maybe he’d let you in as he hadn’t before?”  
Evelyn hangs her head. “Stupid of me, wasn’t it,” she says, her anger now turned on herself.
“No, definitely not stupid. It was you hoping again, hoping you – or something – could make Jack different, just as you hoped with your father.”
“But it is stupid! How many times do I have to go through the same thing to know it’s not going to work? It’s like continually hitting my head against the same brick wall.”
“It’s hard to give up hope. It’s hard to mourn what never was and never will be.”
“I can’t stand when you talk about mourning. Who wants to mourn, who wants to be sad all the time?”
“So you’d rather be angry.”
“Damn straight.”
“Well, it’s reasonable to be angry, but if you’re only angry you can’t ever finish the process of letting go.”
Evelyn’s eyes pierce me with fury.
“And,” I continue, “to end up being angry at everyone – yourself, me, your children, your friends - that doesn’t lead to a very fulfilling life.”
“So should I stay with Jack?”
“That’s a decision only you can make, Evelyn. But I do know regardless of what decision you make, you will have to mourn the impossible.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Failure to Thrive

“I’ve decided to write a book,” Karen announces at the beginning of her of session. Dressed in casual jeans, no make-up with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, Karen looks younger than her 48 years.
Although her declaration leads me to think, ‘Oh no, not another idea that goes nowhere,’ I take a more supportive approach. “In art history?” I ask, Karen’s area of specialty.
“I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet. I have to do something. I can’t go on just being Dr. Thomas Hartfield’s wife. It’s too boring. I don’t want to have to get all dressed up and hang out at the club playing bridge, gossiping with the women.”
“Weren’t you recently talking about wanting to open an art gallery?”
“Yes. I still think that’s a good idea, but I don’t know, there’d have to be so many people involved, people I’d have to manage. It seems overwhelming. Writing is something I can do on my own, at my own time, in my own space.
“Of course, I haven’t written anything since I was in college. I was pretty good back then. I think I considered majoring in English. But then again I thought about majoring in lots of things. I’m not even sure how I ended up with a major in art history. I guess because I hung around college for so long and had so many credits, they told me it was time for me to graduate and art history was it.”
“So it seems, Karen, we’re back to talking about how difficult it is for you to make a decision and to carry a plan through to fruition.”
She sighs. “You don’t think I’d write that book do you?”
“Well, I don’t have a crystal ball, but when you say that you don’t  know what you want to write about, it seems you could get stuck right there. I’d be concerned you could think endlessly about what you did or didn’t want to write and never be able to move beyond that point.”
“How did you know what you wanted to write?” Karen asks me.
I don’t introduce my book into my therapy sessions, but many patients Google me and find it online. Now I wonder if there’s some relationship between my book and Karen’s sudden interest in writing. “Before I answer that question, Karen, can I ask you how you feel about my having written a book?”
“Envious. You were able to follow through and do it. But maybe also inspired, like if you can write a book maybe I can too.” She hesitates.
“What just happened there?”
“Nothing. I guess I got anxious. There are so many choices. I don’t know how anyone ever decides on one path over another. I don’t know how you pick. I don’t know how you pick one and give up the others. So how did you decide what to write about?”
I wonder about Karen’s anxiety. Does she worry I’d feel angry or vindictive if she wrote a book? Does making one choice over others bring up fear of loss? Keeping these questions in mind, I answer Karen. “I felt compelled to write about my relationship with my late husband. I think there’s often an emotional press in writing; you have something you have to say. It’s like being in therapy. It’s sharing a vital part of yourself that you want to be known.”    
“Do you think I don’t want to be known?”
“That’s a very interesting question. What do you think?”
“Well declaring myself, taking path A rather than path B would be a way of being more known.”
I’m silent, intrigued by Karen’s train of thought.
“But why wouldn’t I want to be known?”
“I was just asking myself the same thing.”
“Weird. The words, ‘You’re a moving target’ just went through my head.” Pause. “Who did I think would shoot me?”
I wonder if it’s me, but I remain silent.
“My oldest sister for sure. She was horribly jealous of me. I was the pretty one, although I made myself as unattractive as possible until she left for college. She’d cut up my clothes, steal all my panties. One time she even cut off part of my hair in the middle of the night.”
“That’s called abuse, Karen,” I say, surprised by this revelation I had not previously heard.
“You think?”
“Definitely. What did your parents do?”
“I don’t know. I don’t remember telling them. Maybe I did. Maybe they said we had to work it out. That part of my childhood is a bit fuzzy.” Pause. “Do you think this is relevant?”
“I definitely think this is relevant, Karen. We have to stop now, but we definitely need to spend more time understanding how your sister affected your life.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The March

“I finally went to dinner at my parent’s,” 19 year old Bethany says dejectedly. “It was pretty bad. They just won’t let up. ‘I can’t believe you lied to us, going to the Women’s March on Washington without even telling us. If we hadn’t called and talked to your roommate we would never have known. What if something had happened to you? We didn’t even know you were gone.’ Blah, blah, blah. As if that was the issue. I bet if I went to the Trump Inaugural they would have been thrilled – even if I hadn’t told them. It’s such bullshit. They did do a bit of, ‘How could you be our child and believe those people have a right to marry.’ Or, ‘Didn’t we teach you that every life is sacred, especially the unborn, those most vulnerable?’ I thought I’d puke. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.” Pause. “I suppose you’re thinking, ‘I told you you should have told them.’”
“I don’t remember telling you you should have told them,” I say, surprised.
“You asked me why I didn’t tell them, didn’t you?”
“Yes, but that was a question meant to help you look at why you do or don’t do whatever.”
“Well, the answer’s pretty obvious. If I tell them I get all this shit. Just like I did.”
“And what did you say when you got all this shit?”
“Yeah. What am I going to say? You can’t argue with them. I just sit there, trying to tune them out, hoping they’ll stop sooner than later.”
“And why do you feel you can’t argue with them?”
She raises her eyebrows and snorts. “I don’t mean to be nasty, but how long has it been since you were 19?”
I smile inwardly. Although it’s been quite a while since I was 19, I do clearly remember the arguments I had with my parents, most especially my father. Not about politics. There are values were pretty similar, but often about psychology and science. My father was angry, dogmatic and unrelenting. For years, I argued and argued with him about dreams, about the cause of mental illness, about the unconscious, until I finally gave up. Then I was like Bethany, sitting at the table saying nothing, hoping he’d stop sooner than later. On the other hand, I never, ever stopped battling my father’s vicious temper, trying to put a clear limit how he could treat me. I bring myself back to my patient. “I get that it can be difficult to argue with your parents when you’re 19, but I’d like to understand specifically why YOU can’t argue with your parents, even at 19.”
She sighs. “First, they have the money. If they get mad enough, there goes college, plus whatever else.”
“Would they do that? They sound pretty determined for you to get an education, pretty invested in it.”
“They are.” Pause. “Especially my Dad. But sometimes I think my Mom believes I’m being corrupted by college, too liberal you know. And, I don’t know. This may sound weird, but I’m not sure that my Mom really wants me to succeed, like maybe she’s jealous or something. Like she never went to college, so why should I.”
“So are you saying you’re afraid your mother might undermine you?”
“I never thought of it that way, but I guess so. If I gave her any ammunition. Like the Women’s March.”
She pauses.
“I need to ask you something. What did you think about the Women’s March?”
“I’ll answer that in a minute, Bethany, but first I want to ask you something. Why did you ask that question right at this moment?”
She shrugs. “I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about it and just felt I had to ask.”
“Well, I have a thought as to why you had to ask right then. You were talking about your mother feeling threatening, dangerous and I wonder if you suddenly felt I might be dangerous too and had to check that out.”
“Are you?” she says quietly.

“No, Bethany, I’m not dangerous.” I could tell Bethany I was at the Women’s March too, but decide that might too greatly diminish the tension around the issue of whether difference between two people, perhaps especially two women, is inherently dangerous. “I suspect that our politics might be pretty similar, but even if it wasn’t, I’d still be on your side, still wanting you to have your own voice and make your own way in the world.”

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How Grown Up Am I?

“My house feels like a morgue,” 20 year old Chelsea says looking down at her hands. “I guess that’s a poor choice of words, since it sort of is, but not exactly. I mean, I’m not happy I had to have an abortion, but I also don’t think it will be the greatest tragedy of my life. And truthfully, I don’t think it’s the abortion that my parents are so upset about. They don’t like the idea that their ‘little girl’ was having sex. It’s not like I’m 14. And Brad and I have been going together for two years. He was pretty upset too. I think he feels guilty that he didn’t use a condom 100% of the time.”
I have been seeing Chelsea for several years now, watching her struggle between wanting to remain the child who is forever taken care of by her parents and striving towards adulthood with her own dreams and desires. We have a close bond although, not surprisingly, her internal struggle is often replayed with me in the consulting room.
“What are you going to use for birth control in the future?” I ask.
“We’re not. We’re not going to have sex.”
I knit my brows, puzzled and skeptical. “You mean you’re not going to have sex until you give yourself some time after the abortion?”
“No. We’re not going to have sex. Or at least not intercourse. Maybe we’ll fool around a little, maybe not.”
“Why?” I ask.
“Why, what?”
“Why did you decide not to have sex? Do you feel more guilty about the abortion than you’re saying? Is it a way to punish yourself?”
“No! For heaven’s sake, I don’t know why you’re making such a big deal about it. You sound like my parents!”
“In what way?”
“In making such a big deal about sex.”
“Wait. I’m getting confused. I thought your parents were making a big deal about your having sex. I’m questioning your saying that you’re not going to have sex.”
“You mean you don’t believe me? You don’t think I can give up sex?” Chelsea says angrily.
“I’m trying to understand why you’d want to give up sex.”
“Because I don’t want to risk getting pregnant again. That seems pretty simple.”
“I hear you’re angry with me but I’m not clear why.”
“Everyone thinks I’m doing something wrong and you’re just like everyone else,” Chelsea says, her voice cracking. “If I say I’m not going to have sex, I’m not going to have sex! End of discussion.”
“And how does Brad feel about that?”
Chelsea crosses her arms in front of her chest and glares at me. “Why should I care how Brad feels?”
Aware I’m feeling more and more confused, I suspect my feelings mirror Chelsea’s own confusion. “Chelsea, tell me what’s going on. What’s going on inside of you? What has you so distressed?”
“Brad wanted me to have the baby. He said we should get married, that we were old enough, that we could both work and go to school and take care of the baby.” She pauses. Tears fall silently from her eyes. “I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. I’m not ready. I don’t want to be responsible for another person. I don’t want to leave my parent’s house and go off on my own. It’s way too scary. Brad’s really mad at me. I’m not even sure we’ll stay together.”
“I’m sorry, Chelsea. It’s like your parents are mad at you for being too adult and Brad’s mad at you for not being adult enough and each side represents your own conflict about how grown up you feel or want to be.”
“Yeah, that’s right. That’s exactly right.”
“And does my asking you about birth control feel like I’m pushing you towards the adult side?”
“I guess. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I suppose it does.” She pauses. “So what about my deciding not to have sex? Is that my going towards the child side?”
“What do you think?” I ask, aware that my not answering her question could also be construed as my pushing her to be more adult.
“Yeah, I suppose it is,” she sighs. “But is that so bad? Can’t I take a little break here?”
“You can, but none of us can stop time. We keep growing older whether we like it or not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have conflicting feelings about growing up and it also doesn’t mean you have to push yourself to act or be more grown up than you feel.”

“Thanks. You gave me a lot to think about.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Risk

“It’s been a while,” says Delores. “I appreciate your seeing me so quickly.”
“My pleasure,” I respond, truthfully. I always liked Delores, a spunky, vibrant woman who was in her late 60s when I last saw her.
“This time it’s actually not an emergency. Not like last time. I was such a mess. Losing Marvin so unexpectedly was devastating. I just wasn’t prepared. And having him be the third husband I lost, well, that was all way too much.” She sighs. “But I guess that is part of why I’m here. I’m trying to figure out if I dare do it again. After Marvin I said never again, no more men. And now, now I just don’t know.”
I certainly remember Delores’ trauma at losing Marvin. I myself was a relatively recent widow, Delores’ pain clearly reverberating with my own. And the fact that she had lived through two other such losses felt truly overwhelming. I can certainly understand her reluctance to take the risk again.
“Is there a specific man?” I ask.  
“Oh yes, Harry. A friend of mine kept asking me to go out with him. She said he was a widower, a friend of the man she dates, a good bridge player and an all-around nice guy. I said ‘no’ for quite a while. Then one day I felt lonely and they were going to a movie I wanted to see, so I said, why not, it’s just one date. That was three months ago. And now, well, it’s going to go one way or the other. I either have to stop seeing him or take the plunge.”
I certainly understand Delores’ conflict. Harry perhaps offers a more fulfilling, richer life, but certainly raises the specter of another devastating loss. I’ve lived my life believing that it’s “better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all,” but perhaps there’s a limit to the number of excruciating losses any person can sustain. Fortunately I don’t have to make Delores’ decision for her.
“So, what are your thoughts?” I ask.
“Well, I’ve thought of all the obvious things – he’s older than me, although only by a couple of years; he has prostate cancer but they’ve been watching it for years and it’s never gotten worse; he’s also had a lot of skin cancer, but that seems under control as well; no heart disease, but Marvin supposedly didn’t have heart disease either, until he keeled over dead. I go round and around in my head about all that. But what’s really odd, is that I keep thinking about my father, dreaming about him too.”
I remain silent, giving Delores time to reflect.
“My father’s been dead for almost 50 years. It was very traumatic for me when he died. I felt like an orphan, even though I was in my 20s. My mother had been dead since I was 10, so it had been just me and my Dad for a while.” Pause. “But I don’t know why I’m particularly thinking of my Dad now. He didn’t come up for me when Marvin died, or any of my other husbands either if I remember correctly. No, that’s not true. John, my first, died not that long after my Dad. I wasn’t 30 yet and I remember then thinking of my Dad a lot. There were so many losses. I could cry just thinking about it.”
“I’m sure that’s true.”
“So do I want another one? I mean, I know no one ever knows, that I could drop dead tomorrow, especially since I don’t exactly have longevity in my family, but I guess my experience is always that the men go first.”
“Except not for your mother. She died first.”
“That’s true,” Delores says pensively. “I wonder what that meant for me. This is a crazy thought, but I wonder if I expected my Dad to live forever. I mean I knew he couldn’t, but still …”
“Was that a wish, Delores? As in you wanted your Dad to live forever because you couldn’t face another loss.”
“I’ve certainly faced lots of them.” She chuckles. “I wonder if I keep looking for the one who’ll live forever. Just kidding.”
“Maybe you’re not kidding. Maybe you keep looking for the man who won’t abandon you, who will live to be there for you, unlike either of your parents.”
“That’s deep. My unconscious would have to be real smart to think that one up.”
“Perhaps it’s that the child part of you is still yearning for the safety and security that was so absent in your childhood.”
“Perhaps. But I don’t know if that helps me figure out what to do about Harry. I’ll have to think about it during the week and see what my unconscious comes up with.”

“Sounds good.”  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You're Back

“I’m really glad you’re back,” Christine says, her eyes filling with tears. “I know you were only gone a week, but it’s been a hard week. I thought I was more prepared, more ready to deal with my parents this time, but I don’t know, I guess it was the holidays. It was awful. I felt sorry for my girls. They were so looking forward to Nana and Poppy coming for Christmas and it was such a disaster. My parents never stopped fighting, my mother never stopped telling me what I was doing wrong, most particularly as a mother and, of course, as someone who couldn’t keep my husband from straying and my father just got more and more depressed.”
“I’m sorry, Christine. It does sound awful and so disappointing.”
“Yes, that’s exactly right, terribly disappointing. I guess I thought since we’d been working so much on my parents these days, I’d be able to handle them differently or be less affected by them or something.”
“So it sounds as though you’re saying that you’re disappointed in me too, in our work together.”
“No. I don’t think so. I was disappointed that you weren’t here to bounce things off of, to maybe give me some ideas of how to handle things differently.”
Although Christine’s denial doesn’t convince me, I let it go for the moment. “For example,” I say. “Can you give me an idea of what you thought you could have handled differently?”
“There are so many things. How I could have gotten them to stop fighting. How I could have stopped my mother from being so critical of me. How I could have stopped her from being critical of my girls.”
“All right, let’s look at those three things which don’t all strike me as the same. Could you have gotten them to stop fighting? If I’m not mistaken you’ve been trying unsuccessfully your whole life to get them to stop fighting.”
Christine looks startled. “Oh, right. One of the things I need to give up on. I forgot. I can’t keep hoping for what will never be. I need to accept my powerlessness. I knew you should have been here. But why did I forget? I feel ashamed of myself. Why couldn’t I hold onto that?”
“Seems like you said a lot there, Christine. First, I think you are angry with me for not being here. Then I think you got uncomfortable with your anger and felt ashamed instead. And, I agree we should look at why it’s easier for you to hold onto your feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness when I’m here.”
“I do feel ashamed of myself. We’ve talked and talked about my needing to give up hope with my parents and I just can’t seem to do it.”
“Well, it’s very painful. It means you can never have the parents you want or wanted either now or in the past. It involves mourning for what never was and never can be.”
“I know. I guess that’s why it’s harder to do when you’re not here. If you’re not here and I don’t have my parents – and I sure don’t have my ex any more – I feel all alone. Except for the girls of course, but that’s different.”
“That’s a great insight, Christine.”
“Thanks. But what about the other two things I mentioned, why did you feel they were different?”
“The second one might not be all that different, getting your mother not to be critical of you, but I guess I wondered what it is that you felt when your mother’s so critical.”
“I do feel angry, but I try to pretend it doesn’t bother me and just ignore her.”
“Confronting her only makes it worse.”
“And when she attacks your girls?”
“I guess I do about the same thing.”
I am annoyed by Christine’s passivity. I feel she is leaving her daughters unprotected, just as I felt unprotected by my mother in relation to my explosive father. I tread lightly. “I wonder what message you give your girls when you don’t stick up for them.”
“But I thought I’m supposed to give up hope of ever changing her,” she says plaintively.
“This could just be me, Christine, but I think there’s a difference between accepting there’s no way you’re ever going to change your mother and still giving your girls the message that it’s not okay with you for her to attack them, or you for that matter.”
“That’s confusing.”
“It’s like saying, you know you’re not going to change her behavior but you’re still going to let her – and your girls – know her behavior isn’t acceptable.”
“It scares me.”
“What scares you?”
“I guess her anger.”
“I get that. And perhaps your anger as well.”
“I don’t like all this talk about my anger.”

“I believe you.”

Thursday, December 15, 2016

We’re Pregnant

“I feel like such an idiot being here,” Harvey says. “Elise, my wife, has been in therapy forever and I’ve always made fun of her, never believed in it, thought you should be able to solve your own problems. But I throw in the towel. I can’t handle it. My wife is pregnant or, as she insists, we’re pregnant. That weirds me out in itself. I’m not pregnant. I get what she means, but it’s bad enough watching her body change. I sure wouldn’t want those kinds of changes happening to my body.”
Well, I think to myself, that’s an interesting beginning. Body issues for sure, but sounds like there’s a lot more going on.
“Elise’s therapist recommended you. Said you were the best. So I guess you know each other. Does that mean you’d talk to each other about us?”
“No, Harvey, what you say here is confidential. I wouldn’t share it with Elise’s therapist or anyone else.” With some paranoia thrown in, I suspect this man has pretty deep seeded problems.
“We wanted to get pregnant. We’ve been trying for a while. But now that it’s here, I have lots of second thoughts. But it’s not something you can change your mind about.”
“What’s freaking you out about the pregnancy?”
“Well, I worry whether I’ll be a good father, how much a baby will change our lives. We have a pretty good life. I make good money. I’m a financial planner. We travel a lot. We like to play. We…we have great sex. Or we used to.”
“You used to?”
“Yeah. I haven’t touched my wife for a while. Like pretty much as soon as we knew she was pregnant and she’s going on six months. First I was afraid I’d hurt the baby, although my wife and the doctor said that wasn’t possible. And now, now I don’t know… I feel bad saying this, but I guess I find her rather grotesque. You’re sure you won’t say anything to anyone, right?”
“Sounds like it’s hard for you to trust, Harvey.”
“Now that’s true. Hasn’t seemed to me there’s ever a reason to trust people. In my business people lie all the time. Out for the buck. Ready to say anything, stab anyone in the back.”
“And before you were in the business?”
“Yeah, I know, you want to know about my childhood. I could never understand how that’s relevant, but no question my childhood was awful. My mother was schizophrenic, in and out of hospitals. She died in one of those hospitals. My father, he was a sadistic bastard. I was the middle of three boys. It was called equal opportunity abuse. Probably worse for me and my younger brother. We were bed wetters. My father would beat us senseless. And then he devised this great humiliation technique. He’d make us sit on the stoop of our house, take out our penis and sit with a ribbon tied around it. Didn’t help the bedwetting.”
“That’s horrible, Harvey. What tremendous shame to inflict on a child.”
“Can’t argue with you there. By 17 I was gone. Never looked back. Didn’t do badly for myself. Until now.”
“How much younger than you is your younger brother?”
“Five, six years. We haven’t stayed in touch either. Probably don’t want to remind each other of what it was like.”
“Do you remember your mother’s pregnancy?”
“No. I don’t remember much of my mother. Probably wanted to put that away too.”
“Do you remember what any of her breaks were like?”
“I remember she’d be out of control, scared, screaming. She’d tear at her face, like she wanted it to be gone. Maybe like she wanted to be gone, but I just thought of that now. So can you help me, doc?”
“I think so. But I don’t think this is going to be an easy road for you. I’d say you have long standing issues about your body and lots of fears of bringing a child into a world you see as scary and unforgiving. And you might be scared of the child as well.”
“Of the child?”
“Not wanting to bring another person like either of your parents into the world.”
“I worried about that schizophrenic thing. But my wife said it was worth the risk.”
“So maybe it feels to you that your wife will bring another being like one of your parents into the world and maybe that makes your wife scary and untrustworthy as well.”
“That’s too deep for me.”
“That’s okay. We have lots of time.”
“No, we don’t. The baby’s not waiting for anyone.”

“That’s true. But you can’t put too much pressure on yourself. You can only do what you can do.”