There are three distinct moments in writing Before the Cult that shaped what the book would be and what the book would be doing. Moments of inspiration perhaps? I don’t know but I can trace a lot of what Before the Cult has become from those moments. This post is about the second of those moments of influence/origins of Before the Cult.
Note : If you haven’t read the book (Before the Cult) this post might ruin the intended experience for you but it won’t necessarily spoil it, in fact I think it might make reading it a little more fulfilling perhaps. Bottom line is, it is your choice, there aren’t major consequences.
Word was the world was ending on December 21st ,or something, according to the Mayan calendar, at least that is what those documentary “experts” claimed. I didn’t care if it did ended, in fact I wished it would end in a blink of an eye. I wanted it so bad, although a part of me knew how unlikely and stupid the whole thing sounded I wanted it the whole world over. The year was 2012 and my depression was becoming more and more sever, exacerbating my other mental illnesses in turn. Without getting into the gory details (says the guy who wrote Before the Cult), I was suicidal, I self-harmed and self-medicated to oblivion. I was a mess, although I was a year and over six months into therapy, I was still a mess. The drugs weren’t working (reference to The Verve), and my psychiatrist had changed them two times now and I was getting tired.
Overwhelmed by thoughts of suicide above anything else, I didn’t understand why everyone didn’t want me to kill myself. They all made a big deal out of it and I didn’t think they understood how it truly felt to be in such pain all the time. As I browsed websites about depression I realized all they did was list the symptoms and explain a little bit about depression but they never went to the core of the experience of it (the “how it felt like”). In fact out of many websites, over two dozen, there was only one website that did and after that there wasn’t anything. I remember going back the next day trying to find it but I couldn’t. To this day I don’t know what the name of the website was or how to find it again, I have tried but I have failed.
I had all sorts of thoughts about suicide. What made suicide so bad anyway? Is it because you will hurt the ones that love you? Well, if they loved you they would understand, it is quite selfish of them to keep you alive when every moment you spend alive is in agony. Suicide isn’t being cowardly, I thought, it is just what people say because they are hurt that you killed yourself, they hope by saying so they would prevent even more incidents. And to say people who commit suicide are selfish is just plain insulting and ignorant. Again nobody seemed to consider how attractive death/suicide is or can be. What about the fact that suicide is wrong? No, it isn’t wrong, it might be taboo but it isn’t morally indefensible as some acts are, like rape for an example. Ethics often ponder what is right or wrong in relation to other people, that is what is often considered in moral reason to the extent that it becomes too difficult to talk about how one should behave or treat one’s self and to even offer grounds on which that is even acceptable is problematic. It seems we should be able to decide what we to do with ourselves, we should be free even if that is harmful to us (as long as these acts do not affect the general public adversely as drug addiction and others might). If you have the right to life, you should have the right to death if you choose, right? It’s like forfeiting your rights, only this time it isn’t as a result of doing something wrong.
Boy oh boy, I was messed up. I know now.However, these dark musings, those types of arguments, went into a huge chunk of Before the Cult. They may be wearing masks and lurking behind metaphors, imagery and so forth but this type of thinking is intentionally alluded to in Before the Cult. It changed what the book would become in a few ways, it became more about conveying the experience of being in that depressive state in hopes of maybe helping others understand just how powerful those suicidal inclinations are, how it makes sense (mostly to the depressive) and how powerful mental delusions can be. To make the experience wrought with confusion and all the other elements I thought were indicative of the experience (like being unable to understand other people’s perspectives) I wrote the book in first person and gave the illusion it wasn’t completely in first person because when you are severely mentally ill part of that experience is thinking you know what others think or feel. I will deal more with some of these aspects in some more detail in the upcoming posts.
I promised that in this post I would go over two moments of influence/origin for Before the Cult, aspects that truly shaped what the book would become, but I am sorry to say I could only deal with this one today. Simply because the post is longer than I expected and I have to move on and work on other things relating to the second book of the series.
I apologize. Next week, prepare to learn about the third major moment that really shaped what Before the Cult would be.
For part one click here .