EAT PRAY CONFESS
Elizabeth Gilbert’s disclosure in The Times today adds a new layer of complexity to her best-selling memoir.
To say Eat Pray Love was a successful book is like saying New York is a big city. Not only did Gilbert’s story of divorcing her husband and traveling the world in search of fulfillment sell millions of copies and inspire a movie version of the same title (Gilbert was played by Julia Roberts), it became part of our cultural currency. Going on vacation after a bad breakup? You’re having an Eat Pray Love moment.
But in the mental health issue of The New York Times Magazine the author opens up about the darker side of her spirit quest. In a piece entitled “Confessions of a Seduction Addict,” Gilbert writes:
“Before my divorce agreement was even signed, I was already breaking up with the guy I had broken up my marriage for. You know you’ve got intimacy issues when, in the space of a few short months, you find yourself visiting two completely different couples’ counselors, with two completely different men on your arm, in order to talk about two completely different emotional firestorms.”
Things get uglier when Gilbert describes the tactics she would use to seduce men who were already in relationships with other women. Each time, the infatuation would fade, leaving Gilbert feeling worse than ever. However, she now says she’s made progress with the help of a therapist.
Gilbert’s candor and willingness to end her marriage and jump into the unknown in favor of personal fulfillment made her a hero among her fans, but the author lets us know that finding her bliss wasn’t a straight line from Italy to Indonesia.
We’ve always loved your honesty, Liz.