Cherry ripes, jelly snakes and music – same, same

Cherry ripes, jelly snakes and music – same, same

Cherry ripes, jelly snakes and music – same, same

Since I was a very little girl I had been addicted to sugar. It seemed society served me up this sugary addiction on a platter and I chose to take it up because that was what I did back then, joined in with everyone else. It seemed normal.

Eating excessive amounts of sugar was part of my daily ritual and no one seemed to bat an eyelid, because mostly they were addicted to sugar too.

I remember sitting in a hospital room with a sick relative lying in a bed and someone passing around a box of chocolates; suddenly things seemed ok again. Well not really, but at least we were distracted momentarily from our own discomfort, and the obvious suffering of our relative.

Easter time was big in our family and mum and dad would set up an Easter egg hunt for my sisters and I. We would fight to find as many chocolate eggs as possible and then gorge them over the coming days. My school lunch didn’t seem complete unless my mum had ‘so called’ loved me enough to put some chocolate biscuits wrapped in glad wrap into my lunch box. If my day wasn’t going so great, if I was feeling sad, lonely, if I’d been bullied, at least I had my chocolate biscuits.

They could console me, they understood me and could race my system, give me that hit that was just enough to numb me, to take me away from the desolate feeling I had inside. At parties my eyes would light up when I saw the rainbow coloured goodies and the goody bag I would take home with me. I couldn’t get enough.

Into adulthood this just continued and I couldn’t get through a day of work without a Cherry Ripe or a bag of Jelly Snakes. I used to go across the road to the 7-Eleven and get my fix. But over time I started to feel a great dissatisfaction after eating sugar. It was a feeling of being used and abused. That I was using and abusing myself, and when I put this into my body it didn’t seem to give me the same high anymore, I felt flat, or perhaps I started to see it for what it really was – a substance that stopped me from truly connecting with myself and the world.

But how does music fit in here you may ask?

After a while I realised that I was using many other things in life in exactly the same way too. One of those things was music. Just like the sweets and the chocolate, music had been all around me in its many different flavours my whole life, since I was young child.

I remember my mum and dad playing and singing Carole King songs on guitar in another room and distinctly ‘ingesting’ the flavour of sadness that I could feel in the songs… I would just let it overtake me. It was as if the sadness in the song met with the sadness I already had inside me and I let it take me over, I liked it, but really, what was I taking on?

From there I learnt that I didn’t always need to lean on the jelly snakes, I could go to music to indulge my emotions and that someone else’s emotions would meet with mine and together we would be ok. But this was just another addiction. It didn’t help me out of the sadness, in fact it just perpetuated it. In the same way I used rock music to hype me up – it was just another flavour that numbed me from feeling the things I didn’t want to feel, which in turn was stopping me from healing, and dealing with my emotions.

I used music to either take me away from things I didn’t want to feel or to indulge in an emotion that I wanted to roll around in and not move on from.

I thought that the music understood me, I wasn’t alone, because someone else had felt this same thing I had. I came to know it so well that I used to make excuses to myself, “oh it’s ok, sugar is energy and it can’t hurt” etc – or, “I’ll just put on this album for a while, it will soothe me”. Same same.

Sure, sugar is energy, and also music has energy, but what is that particular form of energy contributing to in me?

But as time went on, I realised that there was no true evolution in the way I was going.

It simply wasn’t working for me anymore and I wanted to see what would happen if I let those things go. So I did. I gave up the chocolate and the jelly snakes and the sad and hyped up music and what I found was, I was able to feel what was really going on and why I was reaching for those things in the first place. If I was feeling sad, or disconnected, anxious or annoyed, it became very obvious and I then had the opportunity to seek the tools of connection that would support me in understanding and healing this, taking responsibility for my emotions rather than just covering them up with the sugar or the music and going round and round on the very same merry-go-round, once again.

Inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

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AddictionEnergy in musicMusicSugar

  • Photography: Matt Paul