one of these things is not like the other….

I’ve just begun trying to learn the art of paper flowers using gorgeous Italian crepe papers. The papers come in a gorgeous variety of weights and colors. This is my first go at a rose and a zinnia. (The other flowers and leaves are real) Obviously, I’ve got a long way to go…but it’s so much fun. Can’t wait to try more. 

Have you tried your hand at making some crepe paper flowers? Give it a google and you’ll be amazed!

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Just When I Thought I Was Getting Somewhere…

For years, when someone I loved slipped or relapsed, I’d instantly careen down my emotional waterslide into terrifying despair. Thanks to my 12-step work,  I felt like I was moving beyond this behavior. Um, hold up sister. Two nights ago I was triggered by something my sober hubby shared–a comment so benign it would bore you to tears. 

In a nanosecond, I went from safe and secure to miserable and panicked. I envisioned packing bags and doing a Tokyo drift out of my cul-de-sac. I was suddenly drowning in crazy.

This happens less often now thanks to my 12-step program and my husband’s recovery (I know, I know…but I’m guessing this might be how someone with a substance abuse disorder feels when they slip or relapse. Rock-solid in recovery one minute, sipping the second glass of bourbon the next. 

I shocked myself at how quickly I lost my mind. I apologized the next day while wearing a summery hairshirt and shorts ensemble.  

I’m so over these slides. I gotta remember to turn away and take the steps back down to safety next time. 

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Hey Curlin, What’s all this “Seranity” talk about?


Okay…what in the H.-E.-Double Hockeysticks does this word Seranity mean?? It’s a word I made up accidentally when I was teetering on the edge of the caretaker’s abyss.

Anything can bring us to a place of caregiver burnout– aging parents, crazypants toddlers, the death of a loved one, addiction, losing a job, a big move or deployment. I was the text book case of someone who’d lost themselves to caregiving, caretaking, and, dare I say it, care-controlling.

One time at a 12-step meeting, when it was my turn to share, I was exhausted and wanted to say, “I’m just trying to hold on to my serenity, but what I said instead was, “I’m just trying to hold on to my Seranity.

There it was. A word that perfectly described what I’d lost; my Seranity.

Serenity + Sanity = Seranity.

I had one foot planted in the future–worrying about all the doomsday scenarios that might engulf us if this happened, then that, and one foot stuck in the past kicking at the banked embers of unresolved resentments and disappointments. I can’t do regular splits, much less Chinese, so something had to give. 

That’s when some graceful force of nature swept me and my crumbling bits of sanity to a 12-step meeting. 

(Fyi: I’m never trying to sell anyone on 12-step meetings. I go regularly, but they’re not for everyone.)

For me, Seranity is a state of being I can only achieve when I stop focusing on everybody else’s choices and needs and slowly but surely refocus on myself with the help of a wonderful community.

I know, I know….focus on YOURSELF???? It’s even hard to say isn’t it? Try it, I’m serious. Say it out loud…”I’m going to focus on my……dishes, carpool, grocery list, school auction, dental work, pediatrician appointments, urine for drug tests, green grout… SELF.”

Yup. That’s the key to Seranity.  Detaching from the soul-sucking pull of crisis just enough to re-attach to yourself. Your goals. Your dreams. Your happy dance.

Best news yet??  You don’t have to make a huge life change to “git you some.” I’m talking tiny baby steps back to your own choices and passions. Teeny ones. Really. Hardly visible under a microscope. The size of a waterbug’s compact inside its little sparkly evening clutch.

Are you with me??

If you are, I hope you’ll sign up for my blog posts and to my freshly picked updates about my pippingtooth art and book news here.

And if you want to gab more about Seranity, (what it is and how to find it), I’d love to chat with you and my other Seranity Seekers in my private facebook group here.

Ok…that’s what’s blooming in my brain today.

Peace, love and Bobby Sherman,


ps. You’ll still be able to show up for those you love. Just refreshed and with healthy boundaries in place. Imagine wearing a semi-permeable, floral patterened, brightly-colored hazmat suit with candy-filled pockets. There. That’s the idea.

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Chatting with Christine Terrell of Adaptive Reuse

I love Christine Terrell’s work!! We met in Austin when we both lived there

Q: Was your life affected by someone else’s addictions or recoveries?  

A. Absolutely. I often joke that I come from a long line of alcoholics. 3 of my grandparents used alcohol to numb themselves in one way or another. I was shielded from any direct issues, but the ripple effects of growing up in unpredictable and emotionally fraught homes clearly affected how my parents managed their adult relationships. Though they both struggled with typical security, communication and self-esteem issues, they each had great clarity that drinking was not how they would choose to spend their lives. Which, funny enough, I’m just now realizing was boundary setting. Which may explain why setting boundaries has always been pretty easy for me—I had some pretty clear examples early and often. Also, I’m fairly selfish about my time. It’s easier to set limits, say no and protect yourself when you’re selfish in that way.

Q: Do experience a state or flow or zen while creating? 

A. Absolutely. Working is meditation for me. Ideally I love to have several hours to string together to really experience that flow, but I find that even in my interrupt-driven life, 20 minutes here and an hour there bring me almost as much peace and satisfaction. For me it’s a sense of relaxed purpose. I seem to always work pretty close to that sweet spot of where challenge pushes up against the edge of abilities and that’s the zone where flow happens naturally. ( As far as how it feels, it’s probably more telling to know what the absence is like for me. I tend to get ansty, irritable and restless if I can’t work for even a day or two. It’s why I take some sort of creative project with me whenever I go on vacation. I’m not a great relaxer to begin with!

Q. What’s brings you Seranity?

A. Watching my two teen boys grow into themselves fascinates my left brain and delights the right. So many people lament the teen years with their kids, but all I see is this amazing transformation and individuation. The amount of potential encased inside one being is almost too much to wrap your head around. And I’m not saying my kids are particularly extraordinary, it’s just this time of life that I find so endlessly intriguing. It’s interesting because I didn’t much enjoy my teen years and there are certainly lots of pitfalls to being a kid today, but none of that overrides the curiosity and genuine excitement I have about who my boys will become, what adventures they’ll undertake and what problems they will solve. 

Thanks so much Christine! Loved talking to you. 

Check out the 15% off discount Christine is sharing with our group! 


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Finding 12-step Meetings & And Other Pithy Stuff.

If you’ve got more Q’s than A’s about family recovery programs, I’ve got you covered in my new guide, 12 Answers To 12 Questions About 12-Step Meetings.

By attending meetings and applying the 12 steps to my life, I finally learned how to recover my own happiness and Seranity again in the midst of a loved one’s addiction and recoveries.

A great recovery program can help you refocus on your own health and tranquility whether the person you love is drinking or not. And I think that’s worth checking out if you’re struggling.

How to find a 12-Step Meeting in your area.

There are lots of different 12-step recovery meetings. I talk mostly about the ones for friends and family members, but here are some links to a range of other programs.

Alcoholics Anoymous
Narcotics Anonymous

You can also find out more about addiction, support and recovery here, too: (SAMSA) Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Association 

Just knowing there are 12-step meeetings near you is reassuring–even if you never darken the door. A handy list of meetings is a great resource. And, trust me, you can’t have too many of those. 

The Big Three.

When you love someone who is struggling with addiction, one of the most important things you’ll hear at meetings are the three Cs:

  • You didn’t cause it.
  • You can’t control it.
  • You can’t cure it.

These three little sentences changed my life and helped me refocus on my own choices again. They gave me the space to learn how to stop being so codependent, how to detach with love, and refocus on my own passions.

 My Free Guide:

My guide is a little primer for what to expect at a Family Recovery 12-step meeting- at least it’s my take on it all. In it, I answer the most common questions people ask me about “what goes on in there?” and why I keep going.

You’ll find answers to questions like:

  • Are meetings religious?
  • Will I have to talk?
  • How does anonymity work?

The answers are “No”, “No”, and sign up here for the third answer and more. 


As Always, Feel Free to Drop Me A Line.

You can write me here or join my private facebook group if you’re searching for hope, humor and lots of support.

Please Help Me De-Stigmatize Addiction.

If you know someone who might be struggling with a loved one’s drinking or might need a supportive community, please share my post with them–privately. (As you might expect, we’re big on the privacy thing.) 


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The Power Of Three C’s.

If you’re anything like me, and you love someone who has had issues with addiction, it’s easy to think there is something you could, would, should do to make person stop using.  healthy again.  

It’s easy to fault ourselves. Maybe if he would slow down his using if I weren’t so crabby all the time? What if I just did everything myself instead of asking for help. (That sets her off.) I should’ve called and made an excuse explaining why he didn’t show up for work. (It’s only just this once.)

Here are the three big C’s I grabbed early on at my 12-Step meetings. When it comes to my loved one’s addiction:


Phew to the millionth power.  Who knew?

Going to meetings is a way to keep reminding myself of these three little truths. They help me re-center myself when my thinking gets squirrely. 


Working my 12-steps with a trusted community of friends who get it, reminds me that


If I juice up on the experience, strength and hope of other people at my meetings who have found serenity whether their loved ones are drinking/smoking/gambling/using again, I can walk away with the reassurance that


Even if you never choose 12-step meetings (and that’s okay because they might not be your cup of  tea.), I’ve made it my mission to carry these truths to anyone who may be suffering under the delusion that it’s their job to FIX the problems engulfing the one they love.

To be sure, there are ways to support a loved one who is trying to stay sober ( most of them involve healthy, loving and sometimes difficult boundaries), but I’ve come to believe you absolutely positively MUST take care of yourself in the process because that’s the only thing you can CAUSE a great massage for yourself, you can CONTROL the three scoops of ice cream you put on your cone, and you can CURE the self-doubt and distorted thinking by being kind to yourself. 

Let’s talk soon!


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Letting Go And Letting Google…

Family members whose lives have been affected by a loved one’s addictions or recoveries often rely on the old bromide: “Let Go and Let God.”  Letting my Higher Power carry my emotional bag of groceries has saved me many a time.

When I need just a bit more letting go, I do what I call “Clooking” (Looking & Clicking) on Pinterest, Google, Online museums. Instagram.

Sometimes detaching is as easy as taking 10 minutes to “clook” at things that interest you.  You can check out my Instagram or Pinterest pages to get started if you like.

GIF courtesy of ttps://



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One Minute Book Review: Addict In The Family – Stories of Loss, Hope and Recovery by Beverly Conyers

Even when families make the painful decision to distance themselves from their loved one, they can frame their decision in terms of care and support: “We love you. We believe in you. When you’re ready to get help, we’ll be here for you.”

Beverly Conyers offers this wonderful advice and more in her excellent book: Addict in the Family – Stories of Loss, Hope and Recovery. 

She takes the hand of family members and guides them in understanding addiction, finding compassion and offering healthy support to the alcoholic. More importantly to me, she helps family members detach with love by refocusing their energies on their own lives, hopes and dreams. Conyers is one of my faves! Check out the book from here through my affiliate link: Addict In The Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery. If you make a purchase, I’ll receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

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“When we make something new,….we spark a form of ‘spiritual electricity…'”

I found this great article written by Molly Castelloe who writes The Me In We blog for Psychology Today magazine.

In the article, she quotes author Julia Cameron from her book, The Artist’s Way. Cameron comes closest to explaining why I’m starting to notice that my creativity is a collboration I join into with my Hiya Power!

Here’s what Castelloe highlights from Julia Cameron’s wriring:

“Creativity is an induced spiritual experience, writes artist Julia Cameron. We are all part of a vast electrical energy field, she claims, and one’s creative instincts bring one more in harmony with this ecosystem.

When we make something new, generate concepts or build novel associations between existing ones, we spark a form of “spiritual electricity” that puts us in alignment with the natural order of the universe.

Leap into the Void
Source: Macinate/Flickr

Our individual creative acts also connect us more intimately to that of our Great Creator, whether you call that life force Allah, Higher Power, good orderly purpose, or “flow.” Cameron suggests the idea of God is an action, a doing – rather than a noun.”

Do you feel a spiritual connection when you are being creative?

Think of all the things you make with your hands…it can be anything from a glorious meal to a hand-thrown dish.

Do you feel a spark? I hope you’ll share your experience here in the comments section below.

Click on my affilliate link below if you’d like to peek at the book from here:

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