My Own 'Eat Pray Love' Journey: Very Little Eating But a Whole Lot of ...

Jennifer Cullen
4

CosmopolitanThis past week, I've been inundated with images of Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. In the newspaper, on the television and even on this website. As a matter of fact, unless you've been holed up in a cave somewhere, you know Eat Pray Love opened this weekend. And you know what it's about.

I had my own EPL moment nine years ago when I went through a year of marital separation and subsequent divorce. Sure, there are parallels between Elizabeth Gilbert's experiences and mine. Divorce, loneliness, younger men.

But after the papers were signed, I didn't eat, pray or love much. Other than non-romantic love of my kids and immediate family and friends. And I didn't travel to exotic locales.

But this is what I did do: Drink Smoke F*@k. That's going to be the title of my memoir if I ever get around to writing it. And this is my outline.

Drink: I drank Cosmos and then Gimlets. Only on Thursdays and every other weekend when my kids were with their dad. And I never drove drunk. I walked a few miles drunk and called a few cabs when I was drunk. But the point is I drank. With my neighbors, with my friends and with half my town. 

Smoke: I smoked a lot. I had previously been a drinking-only smoker. But now I was drinking more. And I was smoking even when I wasn't drinking. My mornings went like this: Take the kids to school. Have a cup of coffee and a smoke. Go for a 4 mile run. Have another cup of coffee and another cigarette. Shower. Have a cigarette. You get the idea. This is why there wasn't much eating going on. I was looking good, the skinniest I had ever been in my adult life. Which helped me with the last part of my journey.

F@*k: After being sexually repressed in my unhappy marriage, I needed to make up for lost time. And I did. I had fun and my libido woke up. I felt more comfortable with my sexuality than I ever had. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

So there I was skinny, drunk, smoking and not eating much. And then I ended up in the hospital for four days with an abscess on my kidney. Probably, if I had been healthier, I wouldn't have ended up in the hospital. But the stay there cured me of my need for cigarettes. That, plus I had recently met my future husband, whose mother had lung cancer.

Once I got out of the hospital, I started eating more and drinking less. My life became more balanced. And a few years later, I re-married. Just like Elizabeth Gilbert, I needed my own journey after going through my divorce.

One thing didn't change though. I still F@*k. It's just that now I do it with my husband. And sometimes we call it making love.

Have you had an Eat Pray Love moment in your life? What would you call it?

 

Image via StuartWebster/Flickr

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