Jessica was still fairly new to this whole "Friends Of Saul" thing, and she wasn't so keen on attending the meetings yet. Sure, it helped her, but she also felt singled out in a way. She was the only...famous person there, so to speak. She'd been doing good up until recently, but over the weekend she had indulged in social media again. She had been scared off of it for awhile, after a video of her went viral, but it was so so easy to fall back into old habits. She knew deep within herself that she was an addict, but she hated thinking of herself in that way.
Still, she tried to put on a confident face as she walked into the meeting. It was mostly fear that brought her there this week. She didn't want Saul to find out that she wasn't there. She took her place in an empty seat. There were a couple of people there already, but she didn't even check to see who they were. She looked down at her hands, fidgeting for a few seconds, then she picked up her program and started to read. She knew the hymns by heart now, but it was better than sitting and doing nothing or making small talk.
Jessica was not a shy person, but she'd developed some vague type of social phobia since the incident she'd gone through. People laughed at her in public, watching her, as if waiting for her to lose her mind again like she did in the video. It was especially annoying because Jessica hardly ever even acted out like that. It happened one time. And now she'd be judged forever.
She barely even noticed the rest of the support group filing in. There was still one empty seat, so she assumed that there was someone who was either late or not attending. She recognized all of the people around her, so they were probably missing a new person. Jessica gained a bit of her confidence back as she sang along to the hymn, but she still feared having to actually discuss her problem. She saw a new person join the circle out of the corner of her eye - so she was right, there was a new and late attendee. The new person looked younger than the rest of people there. Jessica gave New Woman a quick smile, which New Woman returned. Jessica remembered her first meeting - it wasn't that long ago, come to think of it. Yet it simultaneously felt like last week and last year. In truth, it was somewhere in between those two time periods.
As always, Paula asked who wanted to speak, and Jessica volunteered herself to go first. She was Jessica, that Jessica, the white woman who went crazy. No one in the support group ever made fun of her. It was a safe space.
Jessica felt herself start to go crazy again, just a little bit, as she talked to the group about her thoughts and her fears. She discussed how she felt when she saw the video, how she felt in the days that followed, how she felt now. She discussed all of her issues and the relapse she had suffered over the weekend. She tried to clear her head but she couldn't. Not forever. No one knew her. Everyone knew her. Who had the right to judge her so much? She needed to be doxxed and shamed and destroyed and cancelled. She couldn't handle any of this, and she was practically having a breakdown in front of these seven people-
And her rambles were over as soon as they started. The group thanked her and she sat down, not even realizing she had stood up at any point in her speech. She took a deep breath and tried to listen to Henry talk about his addictions to Candy Crush and Cookie Clicker.
Much to her shock, Jessica felt better after talking. It was the same thing every week - fear talking, go overboard with the talking, regret talking, be glad you talked.
No longer shaking, Jessica leaned back in her chair, ready to help the rest of the group in the same ways that they helped her.