Struggling with lifelong disordered eating and adolescent addiction, Chris Cole had his first psychotic episode at the age of eighteen, suddenly believing he was the Second Coming of Christ. He lost his identity and tried to perform miracles and was ultimately arrested in the lobby of his college dormitory—all while convinced he was being taken to his crucifixion. Even when sanity returned, he could not help but contemplate God's involvement. For years, Chris danced with delusion, but he eventually surrendered to his humanity and learned to embrace reality.
The Body of Chris explores mental illness—from bipolar disorder to substance use to binge eating—in one man’s search for salvation. From his oldest wounds to his renewed spirituality, author Chris Cole tells his story with unflinching honesty in hopes of reaching people who suffer from mental illness and those who love them.
"Cole brings a new and necessary voice to the conversation on mental health, one that's especially vital for its keen observation of male experience.... Powerfully written."—Marya Hornbacher, New York Times bestselling author of Madness: A Bipolar Life and Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
"The Body of Chris shows the power of insight and healing that is available to us all. Chris’s story is a call to awakening, an invitation to the spiritual revolution."—Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx
"With humor, style, and insight, author and life coach Chris Cole takes readers on a page-turning ride... His story will strike a chord—not only with those who suffer from mental illness, but also with anyone who has ever dreamed a little too big."—Chelsea Lowe, author of Living With Someone Who's Living With Bipolar Disorder
"[For] anyone who wants a deeper appreciation for the full range of joys and sorrows that is the human condition."—David Lukoff, PhD, licensed psychologist and co-president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology
"This book will help many, most importantly men, who struggle with similar issues to know they are not alone and that there is hope and help for them too."—Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, author of The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook
"Chris is an arresting storyteller.... This book will illuminate anyone who has had even a taste of such maladaptive behaviors and should be required reading for every therapist, counselor, minister, or instructor in the field of transpersonal psychology."—Dorothy Walters, PhD, author of Unmasking the Rose: A Record of a Kundalini Initiation
"With Chris Cole's book, the intimate link between madness and mysticism could not be more apparent. Written with precision, brutal honesty, and flare, this cautionary tale from the 'boy next door' could be the book that finally opens the mainstream to one of the great mysteries of our time."—Sean Blackwell, author of Am I Bipolar or Waking Up?
"So raw and honest.... Chris leaves no stone unturned in his transformative journey."—Debra Silverman, psychotherapist and world-renowned astrologer
"A brutally honest autobiography and case history that reveals the entanglements of addiction, bipolar illness, eating disorder, and spiritual emergence in the life of one man who has struggled for a lifetime with all four.... His story offers insight and hope for those who have similar afflictions and those who care for them."—Bonnie Greenwell, PhD, author of The Kundalini Guide and The Awakening Guide
"It takes courage, an engaging authorial voice, and a deep love for people to reveal one's winding path from significant personal struggles to heart-centered awakenings, as Chris Cole has done in The Body of Chris."—Stuart Sovatsky, PhD, author of Advanced Spiritual Intimacy and Words From the Soul
"Chris Cole has written a daring, moving, and utterly candid account of the inner world of psychosis and bipolar disorder. I recommend it to psychiatrists and psychologists of all persuasions, and to anyone who wishes to understand the relationship between severe emotional problems and the mysteries of the human unconscious. I was transfixed by it."—Bryan Wittine, PhD, Jungian psychoanalyst
"Chris is a perfect example of how mental illness does not discriminate—it affects the best and brightest of us all.... Chris is a gifted and courageous man, and his story needs to be heard. I am thankful that he is willing to share it."—Mark E. Crawford, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and author of The Obsessive-Compulsive Trap
"Chris's journey touches on many common struggles and creative solutions of our young men today.... Chris's story offers young men more choices, greater freedom for self-expression and deeper communication, and increased emotional intelligence."—Francis Kaklauskas, PsyD, Graduate School of Psychology at Naropa University
"As a mental health psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders, addiction, and chronic mental illness, I believe that Chris's story is not only his truth, [but also] a journey that all of us can relate with.... This work is a game changer."—Joseph R. Eiben, eating psychology counselor and holistic nutritionist
"In The Body of Chris, Chris Cole opens the window to his soul and allows us to observe a remarkable journey through childhood insecurities, alcohol and drug dependency, eating disorders, and bipolar psychosis.... Anyone interested in what it means to be a human being can learn a great deal from this book."—Michael Washburn, PhD, author of The Ego and the Dynamic Ground: A Transpersonal Theory of Human Development
About the Author:
Chris Cole holds a bachelor of arts degree in contemplative psychology from Naropa University and is a certified strategic intervention coach. He works to help clients gain clarity and encourages practical action for a more purposeful existence. Chris wholeheartedly believes in the innate wisdom of people and their ability to choose health when given proper support. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit thebodyofchris.com.