Should I ever get too bogged down in self-criticism, I only have to think about my friends to help get a better perspective. First of all I have lots of friends, so many that in my frequent bouts of craving solitude, I will sometimes declare (quietly, and just between you and me) that I have too many friends. Of course that is nonsense because when the quality of one's friends is as high as mine there is no such thing as too many. But I do keep moving cities/islands/countries, a habit that allows the best of friends to rise to the surface by virtue of their willingness to stay in touch long distance. And fresh starts mean I make room in my daily life for a whole new batch of friends.
So, I can't be a total loser if I have lots of friends, most of whom have loyally remained in my intimate circle despite years or decades of little or no face to face contact. And, I hasten to add, my friends are not losers. They tend to be intelligent, capable, funny, unconventional, thoughtful, sensitive, generous, dynamic and picky about who they stay friends with. And they picked me (or allowed me to pick them)!
Most of my friends don't share my vices, so they can be trusted to pull me out of a hole rather than lead me into it. We talk about work, children, parents, partners, singleness, hopes, fears, food, troubles and successes. Some of my most treasured friends are those I trust to recommend music, movies and best of all, books. I've been indulging in 1+ hour phone calls these past couple of weekends, touching base with old friends and new. If my bladder was bigger (or the phone was cordless) we could probably talk for longer.