But, WHY are the holidays so triggering?

Let's dive into the topic of why the holidays can be triggering for so many people. It's important to understand the impact of social and environmental factors during this time of year, and how it can affect our emotional well-being.

Think of the holidays as that friend who always got you in trouble as a kid. Sure, there were moments of joy and excitement, but it often ended in chaos and stress. If not a catastrophe! And that, my friends, is exactly why the holidays can be so triggering. It's like a rollercoaster ride of emotions, where we're constantly faced with expectations, family dynamics, and the pressure for everything to be picture-perfect.

For those of us who have struggled with mental illness or addiction, this time of year can be especially challenging. We may find ourselves confronted with memories or triggers that bring up old patterns of behavior. It's like our demons are awakened, ready to wreak havoc on our well-being.

But instead of running away from these demons, let's explore ways to channel that energy into more positive pursuits. Just like we did with our destructive tendencies in the past. Remember, it's not about avoiding the chaos altogether, but finding healthier outlets to navigate through it.

Maybe you've tried the traditional methods of coping with stress, like exercise and therapy. And while they can be helpful, sometimes they just don't cut it. They're boring, unfulfilling. We need something more intense, something that'll make our hearts race with excitement.

This is where we can take a page out of Mariel Hemingway's book. In her documentary, "Running from Crazy," she explores her family's history of substance abuse, mental illness, and suicide. It's a beautiful journey of self-discovery and healing, and it shows us that there are other ways to confront our demons.

So, how can we apply this to the holiday season? Well, let's start by taking control of our own recovery. Let's do things that scare us, that push us out of our comfort zones. Sing karaoke in front of strangers, go on that adrenaline-pumping zip line, try something we've always been too afraid to do.

The key is to shift our perspective from running away from our crazy, to chasing it down. Instead of letting it control us, we can harness that energy and use it to pursue our dreams and goals. Embrace the crazy, my friends. It's time to take the reins of our own happiness and steer towards a healthier, happier life.

And if you're still not convinced, here's a short list of exhilarating things you can try this holiday season: get a new tattoo, volunteer at a local shelter, organize a karaoke night with friends, try out a new recipe, or go on a winter hike.

Remember, it's not about avoiding the chaos of the holidays, but finding healthier ways to embrace it. Let's be on the bench, no longer running from our crazy, but chasing it down. Together, we can support one another and create positive, engaging environments that help us navigate through the holiday season with grace and resilience.

So, let's raise a glass to this new approach, this new perspective. Cheers to embracing the holidays with open arms, and finding joy in the midst of the chaos. We've got a team rooting for us, and together, we can conquer anything.

Happy holidays, my fellow Benched Sinners! Let's chase our crazy and make this season one to remember. See you next time, on the bench. 

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