No one ever told me Jesus spent His lost years as a University of Georgia frat star, but I found out the hard way.
After a summer of beach weekends, bar hopping, and one measly microeconomics course, God let me in on His divine plan. At the pinnacle of my first manic psychosis, I was higher than all of the drug-induced states I’d ever experienced combined. “This is what God feels like; I must be Jesus.” I was no longer the horny, blacked-out buffoon frolicking about downtown Athens. In a flash, riding in the back of a campus-cop car, I became the universe’s sole descendent of God, the singular avatar able to save humanity from its history of suffering, the only one that could make all this pain go away.
My name is Chris Cole, and on the Saturday morning prior to my freshman fall semester, I completely lost my mind. “What a relief; for a second there, I thought I was a terrible human being.” Looking back on it, I guess I was already rather disturbed, but this took the cake. My lifetime battles with disordered eating and eventual adolescent alcoholism were nothing compared to the chaos that ensued. My poor parents picked me up from jail that evening, and after a few days spent believing I was having a bad drug trip, they checked me into a psychiatric hospital for treatment.
Life didn’t always look this messy. I graduated with honors from a prestigious Catholic high school in Atlanta and received a scholarship to college, where I planned on pursuing medical school. My self-proclaimed virginity was a treasured token, a trophy I’d won for picking the winning team. I was the kid that other parents wanted their children to be around. Repressed emotions had a way of looking pretty. Behind the preppy facade lay a bottomless sea of spiritual and psychological turmoil.
Simply stated, my book is about mental illness and recovery. More precisely, my story is about the genetic crapshoot, fat kids, dichotomous thinking, white guilt, religious dissent, binges, Red Bull and vodka, the plight of privilege, six-pack abs, graveyard mysticism, lifted trucks, superheroes, penile dysmorphia, happy endings, unrequited love, side effects, perfectionism, wilderness programs, yoga cults, spiritual materialism, Whac-A-Moles, kundalini rising, online blackjack, tattooed hearts, soul mates, wounded healers, full circles, emotional exhibitionism, grief and acceptance, nature and nurture, heaven and hell.
So what does all this have to do with becoming Jesus? For this wayward soul, it meant everything. My delusion was the only way I could possibly atone for my sins, feel that I deserved love, and finally make everyone happy.
A mental illness diagnosis can be absolutely devastating to individuals, their loved ones, and entire communities. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 4 adults—approximately 61.5 million Americans—experiences mental illness in a given year. Despite these alarming numbers, sufferers remain silent, justifiably afraid of ridicule, rejection, and discrimination. My hope is that one less person feels alone as the result of this book.
Please join me on this wild human ride, an inspirational journey through disordered eating, addiction, and bipolar disorder. This book is the result of trauma and triumph, introspection and exploration. It is an examination of the past that provides hope for the future, all while reminding the reader that salvation exists here and now. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll ponder your own crazy wisdom.
We did it! With your generosity and support, The Body of Chris reached its funding goal in only two weeks. Thank you. The coming days will be spent polishing a product I’m honored to share with you all.
I’d love to stay connected. For social media, coaching sessions, and professional collaboration, please visit colecoaching.com.