Saul was oh so proud of his group, and oh so devoted. He had a habit of scaring people, but it wasn't his intention. He truly wanted to help. He didn't go to meetings often, only if he needed to be the eighth person. See, he didn't need to go. Sure, it was his group, but he didn't need the help that the people provided. He was a devoted leader, not an addict. The glow of his phone screen kept him awake every night, and therefore kept other people awake when he contacted them. But it was good! It might keep them and himself awake temporarily, but it would eventually lead to a beautiful recovery for all. Well, all but Saul, because Saul had nothing to recover from. Sometimes the rest of the group, namely Paula, believed he did in fact have an addiction. They were all wrong.
Saul didn't even exist on the internet, not actually. He only used the internet to seek out those who needed help. He'd make a throwaway social media account, contact someone, and then delete the account. He didn't really know many of these people in person unless he popped in to a meeting, but that was okay. He was helping them from afar. He was no monster, but there was a Monster, a Monster that needed to be defeated. Saul couldn't defeat it himself, hell, he had his own struggles. His...friends could defeat the monster for him. Was he feeding the monster by creating this group? Feeding the monster tiny sweet pieces of candy, playing like a little God figure? Maybe so. But he wasn't bad, not at all.
Saul saw himself in all of the members of the group, although he didn't technically struggle with any of their personal addictions. Some said that the group itself was Saul's addiction, but Saul of course knew that was wrong. So what if he didn't sleep well or take care of himself? So what if he was preoccupied by suffering souls? So what if it was impossible for him to just let something go? Then he'd have to let everything go. He'd have to let his life's work go. Where did he go? Saul was around long before tech as most of his friends knew it. And tech was fun, Saul knew that, so he wasn't about to make anyone give it up forever - he wasn't about to make anyone do anything. He knew that he scared some people away, but he thought of himself as nothing more than a person who was very dedicated to his job.
Okay. So Saul was willing to admit that he didn't have much of a life outside of his group. Not counting the therapy attendees, he was solo in most of his ambitions. He ran the group by himself, unless Paula wanted to act as a leader. But people had no right to fear him, it was called Friends of Saul for a reason. That being said, there were many things in this world to fear, things that even the forest or the field couldn't calm. Fear yourself, fear the cause, fear the trolls and the monsters lurking behind your screens and within you. But...how many people ever feared them enough to stop using? Hardly any.
This was Saul's life work. Maybe he did have a bit of a complex, maybe he was a bit too possessive, but he wanted what was best for everyone. He wanted to help. Forget helping himself. He didn't need it. Even when he attended the meetings, he never voiced his own problems, never drank the tea during the tower tea ceremony. He didn't need to. Sometimes the rest of the group would encourage him to talk, but that was only because they were curious about him and his mysteries. He didn't need help. And if he did, it wasn't like he was about to let anyone know. Paula in particular would try to push Saul into trying to help himself, but he'd kneel down to no one and take no one's orders. He didn't need to refresh or restart himself. He was content with being in a constant fugue state.
Most of the group members had a job outside of the group, but the group was Saul's job, so how could he give it up? He never missed a meeting, even when he did. If there were eight members and his physical attendance wasn't needed, he'd still be there in spirit, or at least he'd listen to Paula's reports afterwards. Saul spent a lot of his time in the church, not out of religious devotion but out of career devotion. He'd wait in one of the main rooms while the meetings went on in the basement. He was hiding in plain sight almost every week, and everyone still treated him as a mystery. Good. Everything would be ruined if anyone knew too much about him. Why else would he disappear from the internet after he found the people that he needed? Why else would he not share anything about himself on the occasions when he did attend meetings?
He was getting even better at his job. This week, everyone had spoken openly about their addictions - that wasn't something that could be said about most meetings. The newcomer wanted to come back. Friendships were forming and help was blooming. How could someone so happy about friendship and recovery be a terrible being? How could someone so happy about those things be an addict? It was impossible. Keep it at eight members, Saul didn't need to attend and be pressured into talking about himself, he was much better as a recruiter. It was almost a shame that there could only ever be eight people, for Saul knew of so many other people who would benefit from the group. He didn't want any of the current eight to leave, but if they did...
Questions? Contact Saul.