[Azrael is again in the office of his counselor Wayne, sitting having another session]
Wayne: So why do you think you are feeling this way? What has changed that has caused these feelings to increase?
Azrael: I don’t know. Expectations that haven’t come to fruition. Expectations that I have failed to live up to adn meet. The farther away from the incident we get the more I think it should have been fixed, that the new normal comes, and is close to what old normal was.
Wayne: What I have I told you about expectations?
Azrael: That they lead to disappointments, and only disappointments.
Wayne: So why do you keep creating them, rather than just living here in this moment?
Azrael: I don’t know any other way. I have been creating expectations for my life since I was young. It was the thing that kept me going. The expectation that I would eventually get to a point where I am wanted by people. That I would be important enough for someone. That they would validate the things I know about myself.
Wayne: What do you know about yourself?
Azrael: I know I am worthy. I know that I have worth. I know that I am good person. I have a lot of great qualities. Loyalty, intelligence, kindness, and generosity. I know these things. I just don’t know why I need others to validate these things. I just do.
Wayne: That’s because you don’t validate them yourself. You don’t tell yourself this stuff. Yes, you know it, and when asked about it, you can realize that these are true. Since you haven’t told yourself these things, you don’t truly believe them. You know them to be true, and you use others to confirm and reinforce these thoughts.
Azrael: So I have to sit and stare in a mirror and tell myself these things out loud?
Wayne: Yup. That’s the only way to tell yourself these things and to reinforce them. You need to be able to get the validation from yourself. Otherwise you may end up here again.
Azrael: That is a little silly.
Wayne: Yes it is, but it works.
Wayne: So what else is going on?
Azrael: I’m feeling less and less motivated to do anything. To make an effort, whether that’s in the ring or in life. I am losing focus on the reason to get up each day. To do the things I need to to be successful.
Wayne: Why do you think that is?
Azrael: I don’t know. It seems like its if I make the effort, it fails. If I don’t make the effort. It fails.
Wayne: Are you sure you have been making the effort, or have you just been saying that you are, but in reality you holding back, because you are afraid to fail. You aren’t giving it your all. Fear holds you back. Fear of failing, fear that you will return to where you were a few months ago. Fear that you are not strong enough to make it through this. All of this prevents you from achieving your potential. Achieving what you know you can. Your thoughts are holding you back.
Azrael: So how do I change the thoughts?
Wayne: You know. We have discussed it before. Identify the thoughts, identify they are bad, and challenge them.
Azrael: Yeah, I know. That’s hard
Wayne: Of course it is. You also say them out loud in the mirror.
Azrael: While I’m telling myself I am worthy and I am good person.
Azrael: I don’t know that’s going to happen.
Wayne: I know. But it will. I know you. You want to get better. You want to be there for the kids. You know you need to be there, that they want you there and you will be. I know you don’t want to do the work, and I know you will. You have been one of the most determined people to make this better. To improve yourself. You say you do it for the kids, to be a better dad. But you know that’s not why you need to do it. You need to do it for you. Because you deserve the best you. You deserve to live and you are worthy of living. The rest, is just bonus. The rest will feed off you, will be and should just be the icing on your life. You need to be the cake. The foundation needs to be strong. You need to be strong.
Azrael: I know.
Wayne: I know you do. And I know you will do what you need to, to get better. For you and your kids. It's easy to see how much you care about them, and how much pride you have. It's clear that not being with them hurts you. Remember to work on you first, and they will come.
Azrael: Thank you
[Azrael gets up, and shakes Wayne’s hand and handing him his co-pay.]
Wayne: Thank you. You are going to get through this.
Azrael: I know. I appreciate your words of encouragement
[Azrael leaves, and finds a nearby bench, overlooking a small man made pond in the office park. He sits and contemplates the words that Wayne has given him, and how he is going to be able to implement the suggestions, so he can get better]
[Azrael is again in his fireside chat room, fire crackling, filling the room with a warm light. His amber beverage is on the table, and Azrael is contemplating his words.]
Azrael: The consequences of my actions at Golden Intentions have not yet appeared. This match can not be a consequence, like some would think. I am used to being in the opening match and facing the newbies. I have, time and time again become a person’s first victory in CWF. I am the one who pushes them to achieve their best self. I am the one who test who has what it takes to be successful. So, Mr. Pete Whealdon, do you have what it takes to get pushed to the level we expect for CWF?
I honestly, don’t believe you do. Looking at you bio, looking at you past, there is nothing there that would say you do. You said it yourself, you have always been on the fringe of fulfilling your potential. So when does potential become just who you are? I think we have reached that point for you. You are just you. A what could have been. A bust. Even before the drugs and alcohol destroyed your life, you were never going to reach your potential. You didn’t have what it was going to take to get to that point. Now with your past and your limitations, you can’t expect more than you have already shown. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Your past has shown someone who has given glimpses of a special talent, but that is all it has been is glimpses. Flashes here and there. Even to keep getting you chances, but nothing that leads to success. You find a new way to sabotage yourself, either influences of drugs or lack of drive. What is going to make your time in CWF different than your past? What have you changed that will make this experience any different? Nothing. You are still a lost soul, who needs to accept that this is all you are, and all you will ever be. A wanderer. You travel along, hoping to find success, hoping to find something that you haven’t tarnished yet, something pure. Hoping that this time, you won’t screw it up. You won’t take opportunity, the chance, the beautiful thing before you and turn it into shit, like everything else. That isn’t going to happen, unless you change yourself. What are you doing to change yourself? What is going to make this any different. If I know anything, it’s this. You haven’t done anything. You come here looking for the easy way, but that’s not the way it works. You will see, you will screw this opportunity up like everywhere else. For you, this is just another long step off a short pier.