what if jesus had been medicated?

Trigger warning & disclaimer: I am no christian and it’s not up for discussion. I’m not rude about it, but neither am I reverent.

The Good Luck of Right Now – Matthew Quick

fatherless + fat + jobless + ugly + Mom is your only friend x Mom dies – you are approaching 40 years of age
─── ─── ─── ─── ─── ───
abused grief counselor + bipolar priest + in love with Girlbrarian x possible alien therapist + Guinness at Irish pub

Equals where I am right now!

This is the second Matthew Quick novel I’ve read and I’m still fairly eh meh about him, but the addition of Christ to the list of historical figures diagnosed post mortem with bipolar amused me. In lieu of a review, because I’d basically only be repeating what I said about The Silver Linings Playbook, some quotes about bipolar. I did prefer this novel though. Feel free to answer the quote I used to title this post in the comments. I am adding sweet bipolar baby jebus to my arsenal of expletives.

If he’d been on seroquel, Jesus would have been fat. If he’d had citalopram he wouldn’t have been interested in se….oh!

“It’s a chemical imbalance,” Father Hachette said. “Bipolar people sometimes have too much of the happy chemicals in their brain—which makes them feel as though they can do anything. And this can lead to erratic, impulsive, and dangerous behavior.”

“These manic upswings are always followed by terrible downswings—fierce depressions. The bipolar person can become suicidal and dangerous.”

“I understand why you would be attracted to Father McNamee. His passion can be beautiful,” Father Hachette said. “Extremely beautiful. John the Baptist beautiful. Elijah beautiful even.”

Father McNamee:

“You know Jesus was most likely bipolar,” he said, nodding with great enthusiasm. “Preaching love your enemies one day and then flipping over the money changers’ tables the next. Turn the other cheek, and then it’s all swords and righteousness.” Father raised his right hand and said, “‘These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace,’ John 16:33. ‘Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword!’ Matthew 10:34. Seeking out multitudes to heal and feed and awe—and then escaping on boats to quiet places, praying alone in gardens. What if Jesus had been medicated?” He raked his fingers through his beard. “Do you think he would have been so eager to give his life for the world? That’s not a reasonable, rational thing, after all. People don’t volunteer for crucifixion when chemicals are placating their minds, hearts, and souls. No one would want Jesus taking mood-altering pills, right?

“Besides, this is why God gave us whiskey,”

I googled bipolar jesus and found an anonymous rationale for the hypothesis. Of course, I found tons of miracle cures too – you can quit bipolar if you set your mind to it etc. And this meme:


If, like me, you wondered whether Matthew Quick himself is bipolar, here is the answer:

It wasn’t until I was 30-something years old that I admitted I had anxiety issues, that I would sometimes get depressed. Now I go and talk about it openly all over the world. At 29 I never would have even admitted it.

Rah rah stigma busting … er, is there anyone else who read/saw any of his stuff and just thought meh this is pathetic compared to Benny and Joon and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

the silver linings playbook by matthew quick

I should start by saying that I haven’t seen the film, but I’d read some reviews including this one by a shrink, so I began to read assuming it’d be inaccurate and incomplete about bipolar, but fun regardless.

I’m not quite sure why Pat the protagonist refers to the psychiatric hospital as the bad place and his separation from his wife as apart time, when he seems adult-articulate the rest of the time.

Anyway, Pat went manic, fucked shit up and got institutionalised. When he gets out, he wants his wife (Nikki) back. He’s earnest about it, considers himself a changed man – and has huge holes in his memory.

“I believe in happy endings,” I tell him. “And it feels like this movie has gone on for the right amount of time.”

He describes mania as his brain exploding (there’s no depression, only brief and incendiary manic episodes).

My other friends are in music relaxation class, which I do not attend, because smooth jazz makes me angry sometimes.

In fact, Kenny G sends him absolutely batshit.

After I returned to New Jersey, I thought I was safe, because I did not think Kenny G could leave the bad place, which I realize is silly now — because Kenny G is extremely talented and resourceful and a powerful force to be reckoned with.

It’s kind of weird to read, because he has all sorts of sophisticated thought and memory going on, interspersed with a whole bunch of childlike simplicity and a bit of a hello God this is Anna type thing too. Hrmm.

He meets a depressed woman, who offers to help him get back with Nikki, in return for helping her to win a dance contest.

“What is Dance Away Depression?” I hear you asking. Well—it is an annual competition organized by the Philadelphia Psychiatric Association that allows women diagnosed with clinical depression to transform their despair into movement.

That’s the plot and it does its job and there’s a twist or two, but what carries the book is its offbeat humour. Pat’s parents read like those in That 70s Show, tragicomic dysfunction. It’s a sweet tale, not particularly meaningful; I can see how it would make a feelgood movie.