Empowerment Series: Actress, Director, Host of FML Talk & Author of Bestselling books, “Eat, Pray, #FML” and “Misadventures of a Single Girl” Shares All with AW
Gabrielle Stone is an Actress, Director, and Host of the FML Talk Podcast. She also wrote bestselling books Eat, Pray, FML#, and The Ridiculous Misadventures of a Single Girl. If you haven’t read her story, you may be one of the millions that follow her on TikTok.
The fierce author’s story begins the same as many others. A girl falls in love, gets married then uncovers a shocking affair after just two years of nuptials. Divorce was followed by new love then heartbreak, again. The disillusionment was painful but led to something bigger. It forced Gabrielle to deal with her fears of abandonment and struggle with self-love. Ultimately, as she said, “Everything happens for a reason” because this ending was only the beginning.
Gabrielle sat with AW to share her story. She also dropped some gems about the red flags of a cheating man, life lessons, “the surge,” which she repeatedly brings up in her book, falling in love again, backpacking across six countries in a month, and writing about all of it!
You can listen to E28 of the AW Confidential Podcast with Gabrielle Stone is now on Apple, Spotify, and Anchor, or watch it on our YouTube channel – so much to unpack!
I connected with your story, without giving your story away, can you share what happened to you and how “Eat, Pray, FML#” came to be? I was married for almost 2 years and found out my husband was having an affair with a 19-year-old for 6 months. I filed for divorce and left. Shortly, after, I fell madly in love with an actor from Los Angeles. We had a whirlwind romance. I met his family and was ready to have his babies. Total fairytale! He invites me on a month-long trip to Italy. Then 48 hours before getting on a plane with him, the guy tells me that he needs to be himself. He broke up with me. I was absolutely devastated. He broke my heart like my ex-husband never could. Devastating, but I had to make a decision at that moment. I could stay at home heartbroken or go travel for a month alone. So I took a backpack and did 6 countries in the span of a month and wrote the book “Eat Pray FML.”
Several times throughout the book, you refer to “the surge”. I’m not sure but some may call it intuition or gut. There was a sense of something being off at some points during your journey. Can you share a bit about that sensation? The surge can be your intuition flaring up when something is not right. It is a feeling that happens when trauma is experienced. This feeling is in the pit of your stomach like when you find out your husband is cheating on you with a 19-year-old.
Many of us ignore or miss the signs of infidelity. What are some of the “red flags” we should pay attention to? It is an in-depth answer because it was different for me. Of the two men I wrote about in the book, one was my ex-husband. He was narcissistic and sociopathic. The one that broke up with me before Europe was a very damaged person that was not healed from his stuff.
My ex was trying to control me in nonchalant ways. Hinting at things like a boob job, a specific trainer at the gym, and dyeing my hair blonde. His suggestions, in his opinion, would make me look hot. He wanted me to quit my dreams so it would make it easier to financially manipulate me. But I was not going to be the one that would be a victim of that. Other signs were obvious, such as the jealousy of my career which was a threat, and the other was a total giveaway, a second phone.
With Javier, it did not feel like there were red flags walking into it. Now, that I am educated on what love bombing looks like, can see the red flag behavior. If you don’t know, love bombing is when you are showered with attention. You get “I love you” early, it goes from 0 to 100 in one weekend! Calling you his girlfriend, soon after meeting. The relationship gets very intense, quickly! It can be a sign of a full-blown narcissist wanting to control you. The other reason may be that he has a void. This person wants to feel better. Has the “fix me” motivation but no one can fix you, other than you. Javier had that void and unfortunately, I was love bombed which made the break up much harder.
I’ve gone through my own journey of healing and learned a lot about myself. The end of my divorce was confusing. I had a void and lots of questions, bought a ticket to Yellowstone Park, hoping I might find answers. You traveled across Europe looking for yourself. What was the most interesting city or experience you found during your travels? There were so many lessons on that trip. I think the biggest one is that I am never truly abandoned because I will never abandon myself. On a simpler level, I know how incredibly capable I am! I went to six countries and had a good time doing it without help.
What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself during this journey? My favorite part was Barcelona. It had a lot to do with the people I met there. I could live there! It was the first stop on my journey, the place where I started seeing things, differently.
Greatest life lessons? “When ppl show you who they are believe them.”
“Keep your heart open” because one of two things will happen. Ether you will be wildly happy and in love or you will be heartbroken but it will take you exactly where you need to be.
Going through my journey, there was a moment I numbed myself from all emotion but eventually, fell in love, again. After having this experience, everything changed. “I was able to fall in love, again, this time with my eyes wide open.” Have you been able to find love again? Are you in love now? I did fall in love again. Just got engaged in Italy! When you can find love within yourself, it is a good starting point. You aren’t asking for anyone else to fill your cup, you are asking them to add to your life, which becomes a different responsibility for a partner in a very good way.
What words from your book serve as inspiration, right now? We should never settle or conform. Discover what makes you happy and brings your soul joy. If you are not happy, leave. Nothing is worth compromising happiness. Good enough is not good enough, and there is so much more out there when you start choosing yourself and putting yourself first. Go inward and look for what is missing. Find the things you can do more of to bring out that happiness. Life is too long and too short to not be happy – always chase and prioritize that.
We like to end AW interviews with a quote, mantra, or advice to inspire others in their next chapter. The light at the end of the tunnel is more beautiful than you ever imagined, so keep going because it is truly great, once you get there!
Most of us, have at least one love story to tell. Some are a work in progress while others are closed chapters. Either way, these become a volume in our book of life. The hope is that we continue to learn and take with us what we need to make it better each time. Millions of people have heartbreak but they heal, too.
AW is tremendously grateful to Gabrielle for sharing her story. I walked away with countless takeaways, feeling inspired by her resilience and fearless attitude. May this story be a reminder to you, it’s never too late to start something new or do things differently. Start living boldly!
For more on Gabrielle, visit eatprayfml.com TikTok: gabrielle_stone, Instagram@gabriellestone. Her books are sold exclusively on Amazon.com
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.*
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