By Hedley Galt
I have a secret. Well… ah… I did have a secret, a really big one, until a few days ago when Eloise let the cat out of the bag as she posted details of the next live Soul Sessions event here.
Uh huh, yep… almost two years ago I took myself off to a 12 step meeting for Sex and Love Addiction (SLAA)… and now, I am taking to the very public Soul Sessions stage, April 10, to tell my story. ‘Oh my god am I really doing this?’
You see, just over a year ago I realised I had a problem that was different to any I’d ever considered before. It was not the kind that any regular privately-schooled girl on the
north shore bumps up against every day, and the next thing I knew, I was working my way through a 12-Step healing program for Sex and Love Addiction.
I was 33 years of age and had been mourning yet another failed romantic relationship following a disastrous trip to le city d’amour, Paris, of all places. The bigger problem was that I was clocking up quite a few of these failed romances… and had come to the sudden and rather shocking realisation that these failed relationships all seemed to have one thing in common – me.
It was terrifying at first to read Eloise’s copy under Sex, Love and Domestic Bliss (or lack thereof), but now that a few days have passed, it’s not nearly so scary. In fact, it feels quite liberating to have it all out there on display. Suddenly, I’m not having to hide… or pretend… or make out that I have my shit together, when clearly I don’t… especially when it comes to my intimate relationships.
As for actually sharing my story in the flesh, I’m hoping that the reality will feel just as liberating, because right now I’m still shaking in my boots at the idea (even after writing a ‘how to’ book on public speaking)… and it all begs the question… why am I doing it?
My answer to the why is that I believe that being deeply and truly authentic about who we are, warts and all, is the foundation for true connection. Keeping secrets keeps us lonely. Trust me – I know.
Recently I shared my ‘secret’ with a very dear friend whose opinion I respect and value greatly. To say I was nervous about telling my friend about my entrée into a 12-step SLAA program would be the understatement. I was petrified, worried that he would judge me… or worse, reject me completely. Yet I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Not only did my friend not reject me, it strengthened our trust and deepened our connection. And as for any judgment, I couldn’t find a trace of it anywhere. Which left me wondering what the hell I’d been so worried about?
This same friend then kindly reminded me of something I said in a previous Soul Session – Media Magic – when I’d spoken about a real, raw and original approach to public speaking, a fear ranked worse than death for most. I’d said, “It’s not that we are afraid of what’s in front of us, but rather we are afraid of what is being reflected back, which is our own self judgment, not the judgment of others.”
Whoa! Did I say that? I did, I said that! We really do teach what we most need to learn… and perhaps I should try listening to my own advice, rather than just dishing it out! All this time I’ve been worried what people would think of me when really, all I’ve been doing is judging myself.
The fact is, I’m not perfect. And apparently I’m the only one who didn’t know this was not a secret. But thankfully, my admission to struggling with a Sex and Love Addiction has allowed me to catch up, and in fact, I’ve written a book about the journey titled Finding Paris: An Unusual Love Story… during which the leading character’s search for true love (me) lands her sitting in a circle with a bunch of strangers, speaking what was once the unspeakable; ‘Hi, my name is Hedley and I’m a Sex and Love Addict.’
So with the secret now out, I’m actually quite excited, even if a little (a lot) nervous, to be sharing my true story – warts and all – along with the things I’ve learnt in the last couple of years about Sex, Love and Domestic Bliss (or lack thereof) at Soul Sessions.
My nerves, I know, are just an indication that I’m growing and expanding my capacity for truth and authentic expression, which can only strengthen my ability to connect genuinely with others who I’m betting are just like me… in a way – not perfect, not always holding their shit together, but giving life and love a fair good crack, especially when it comes to Sex, Love and Domestic Bliss (or lack thereof).
Soul Sessions salutes the awesome Hedley Galt, speaking for the very first time about deep wisdoms gained through her controversial struggles in love, April 10.
When and where will we all meet again?
Tomorrow? Fresh soul online here (almost) daily ~ A Grand Love Story
April 10? In person at our next live Soul Session, Sex Love and Domestic Bliss
Any time day or night? Soul Sessions Facebook page